FixYa has identified the top five issues with a number of popular smartphones, based on input from some of the 25 million users of its problem-solving site. These include the "malfunctioning microphone" on the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Gallery Nexus, random reboots on the BlackBerry Curve, and the sometimes-purple-tinted screen of the Nokia Lumia 900. The main issue with the popular Apple iPhone 4S is its limited battery life.
This self-selecting survey does not provide a statistically accurate guide to smartphone problems. By its very nature, FixYa probably attracts users who have problems, not the large numbers who don't. However, the percentages show which problems are most common among FixYa users. Smartphone buyers can benefit by knowing which faults to look for, and find solutions.
FixYa's chief executive Yaniv Bensadon says: "The FixYa Smartphone Report reveals which devices have the edge and where even the top dogs struggle in the constantly evolving battle between iOS, Android, and their competition."
Battery life is, as mentioned, the main problem for FixYa's iPhone 4S users, scoring 45 percent. This is followed by problems with Wi-Fi (20 percent) and Bluetooth (15 percent) connections, then by complaints about Siri (10 percent).
FixYa reckons it helps if users charge their iPhone 4S via the mains rather than a PC, and advises them not to overcharge it. Otherwise, it's the same as saving battery power on other smartphones: turn stuff off if you're not using it (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location services, notifications, push email etc) and turn down the screen brightness.
The main problems with the Galaxy SIII are "Microphone Malfunction" (50 percent), battery life (15 percent), the device getting hot (15 percent), and internet connection issues (10 percent). To try to fix the microphone problem, FixYa suggests updating the firmware and, if that doesn't work, resetting the phone to its factory condition.
The main problems with the Nokia Lumia 900, which runs Microsoft's Windows Phone, are the "Tinted Purple Screen" (25 percent) and the camera button not waking the phone from standby (20 percent). The screen tint problem is resolved by an update, while the suggestion for the camera button problem is to exit all apps before the phone goes into standby.
Also, 20 percent of Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II users complained about the shortage of Windows Phone apps. There are currently about 100,000.
With RIM's Blackberry Curve, the main complaint was "Random Reboots" (40 percent), followed by software errors (20 percent). Curve users also complained about missing applications (20 percent).
FixYa says the Curve's memory card seems to be mainly responsible for the rebooting problem, and describes how to solve it by (among other things) reformatting the card. If that doesn't work, users should buy a new card, says FixYa.