Android Central 306: Note 7 Armageddon

Andrew, Alex, Jerry and Flo (two appearances in a row!) talk about returning exploding Note 7s, how Samsung has handled another week of the ordeal and just who's at fault for the poor return rates up to this point.

With the expected upcoming Google event, we break down the latest Pixel phone leaks, and talk about the future of Android software with Nougat and beyond. Also, what the heck is going on with Android Wear right now? It kind of feels like it's in a holding pattern.

The group also talks about Sony's recent uptick in mind share since IFA, and how that relates to HTC's current dismal state of affairs.

Thanks to this week's sponsor:

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Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Best buy in South Bend IN there r no loaners. They don't loaners and I want a note 7. So my option is switch phones all together or hang on to my phone.
  • We had a slight mismatch in settings that led to Alex's audio quality being a bit lower than we usually offer. Sorry! Thankfully he's completely audible and we were able to keep the show going just fine :) . Will be back to normal next week.
  • I had a NIGHTMARE attempting to return my pre-ordered Note7 to T-Mobile. TWO retail Tmo stores flank my phone address. I went to one store (170th and Jerome) and was told that the Note 7 is being discontinued like the Note 6. I was like what are you talking about. When I asked what should I do, the employee told me I needed to submit my name and # if I intended to keep the phone. I said I needed some kind of option for replacement since I don't have a drawer of old phones. The employee told me I needed to visit the "other" store. Which store? I asked the one on 167th (and Walton) and she just looked at me and nodded. I had already returned my Note 5 08/19/16. Incidentally, T-Mo almost a MONTH later says they didn't receive my N5 even though UPS tracking says it was received on 8/24/16. So I go to the SECOND T-Mo store. The employees there said they are not setup to process exchanges or returns and I needed to go to a (third) main store. I asked what is a main store? There is no sign etc. At this point I left the 2nd Tmo store and was on the phone with Tmp 611. I then learned I was to look for a "corporate" store. First of all, TMOBILE took my money. No mention of partner or corporate store. Yes I pre-ordered online, but since the recall was OFFICIAL, none of this should have happened. I "guessed" which store might be corporate walked in and told the above story. They did take my phone back. No one said I needed the box, etc. Who carries or even keeps the box anyway. Regardless, Justin (T-Mo store manager) was helpful in returning the Note 7. Frankly, the S7 Edge I got is garbage (IMO) and extremely dissatisfied! I then get a call from a district manager (Frank Enriquez) and essentially he promised a credit of $30 for the the multiple trips, lies, misinformation, etc. Guess what I saw when my bill was recalculated? 1. Tmo is STILL charging me for the N5 + 2. their system screwed me on billing from last month (when I received the N7) AND 3. the $30 credit is NO WHERE on my account. When I called T-Mo last night, and spoke to THREE CSR's. The last being Eric, he informed me they I might has sent an empty box, they have no way to know. So that mail-in process to me as far as T-Mo goes is DEAD/NEVER AGAIN! I know what I sent. Tracking # 1ZRV91769096282014. As far as I'm concerned, Samsung did their part. The people that TOOK my money were technically T-Mobile NOT Samsung. Trying to divert ANY blame to Samsung for this mess is BS. T-Mo knows how to bill and TAKE money but does NOTHING to fix or correct issues unless absolutely forced. (They even claimed to have no record of the tracking # THEY ISSUED ME until I gave it to them.)
  • Damn! That sucks, so sorry to hear about your experience. Hope you can still get that situation handled. Thanks for the warning on mailing the phones back.
  • #tmobileuserslivesmatter
  • My TMobile store took the phone and said you have the choice of a loaner S7 or getting new phone. I took the Note 5. It was that simple....
  • These stores are located in Bronx, NY
  • LOL...some of these stores are just making **** up as they go along. Just admit you're clueless and give the customer a refund and try to sell them a new phone. Jesus Christ.
  •'s John legere.
  • Don't blame John Legere. Blame the store manager.
  • The Pixels are gonna take it to a whole new level. It's exciting to hear that they're going to market them aggressively. Good chance the Pixel could end up a household name within the next 1-2 years, which is exactly where it should be since it's better than the competition all things considered
  • They're not going to be better than the new iPhone...say the fanboys. lol
  • Lol. They're gonna crush the iPhone, just like some many android phones releases this last year already do
  • Lol +2 when +1 just ain't enough
  • While I hope you're right, I sorta doubt the SD820/821 is going to crush the A10 Fusion. At least from what few videos I've seen thus far involving speed tests of the SD820 and the A10 Fusion.
  • I'm not worried at all about that. Synthetic benchmarks have been basically worthless for years now when it comes to mobile. The 6P with the 810 proved to be faster than the 6s in general app loading in a bunch of side by side videos all over YouTube this last year. The pixel is most likely going to be the faster of the two as well. Software optimization is all that matters
  • ..but will it rival the iPhone in sales? lol
  • Alot more than Google has up to this point
  • 9ersfan3, I saw the pixel phone, it does look as if they upped the bezel size to a whole new level, looks like you are kinda looking through a tunnel if you squint just right. I can't wait. Rumor is, that on one of the upper or lower bezels there is going to be a drink holder, and the side bezels will have a flip out handle for carrying like a small brief case. Good times.
  • Yeah...that's funny. I wouldn't worry too much about the bezels. The sides are gonna be thin as usual and the top and bottom have front facing speakers. If you don't like that then you should pass on it It'll still have a better screen to size ratio than the iPhone 7 though. Not that that's hard to accomplish
  • "Sine it's better than the competition" so you have a pixel phone do you?
  • Let me know when they get an S Pen.
  • Hosts, Please stop talking over each other so much. The past two weeks have been painful to listen to.
  • Glad to know I'm not the only one picking up on this. Flo does the same thing on AAA.
  • So far she's making me want to listen less and less. Not a useful addition. Replace her with Mr Mobile please.
  • Me too. It makes me feel sexist saying it, but it's not really about that. They could all be women, doesn't matter to me. Just stop laughing at your own jokes (even before you finish them) and talking over others. ugh.
  • I stopped listening. She's annoying.
  • To clarify my comment, I don't have any specific problem with Flo. I find her voice very pleasant to listen to. But for everyone, boys included, the talk over each other and interrupting has gotten crazy recently. There were a couple times Jerry or Alex were saying something i *really* wanted to hear the rest of, and then three people start talking or making little quips that derailed what was being said.
  • Yes, the talking over each other is very annoying. I really wanted to hear what Jerry had to say multiple times but he was being polite and let them have their say only to never get to make his point.
  • Me sentiments exactly. I was touched at how gentlemanly Jerry was. I personally enjoy everything Jerry, Andrew and Alex have to say. Please, some etiquette is required.
  • Plus, it got glossed over, but Jerry held and played with a damn Pixel!!!!! And we hardly got to hear about it at all!!!!!
  • I'm gonna try it one more week and if something hasn't changed I might stop too. Too many other podcasts out there to listen to something that bugs me so much.
  • Like I said in another post, its best not to purchase initial launch devices, there are always hiccups and bugs in the first batch.
  • Amen! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Have you guys tried the Vector Watch? It only does a few things suck as notifications, music controls, alarms and custom watch faces. It's very simple, but the battery lasts over a month. Rather than being just another thing I babysit and charge every like my Android Wear watches were, I don't think about charging it and just use it.
  • Do you guys think the price of note 7 will fall
  • Maybe a little faster than the usual progression where it drops after first going on sale ... but don't count on a $200 drop next week or anything. Still gonna be a while.
  • OMG is true they are talking over each other too much this podcast is becoming very amateur now :( is not the same
  • Great content as always guys. However, I am starting to have a real issue with Flo's podcast etiquette. She constantly talks over the other participants which is starting to make this podcast borderline unlistenable. Hopefully this should be easily rectified.
  • The pixel phone will be successful if it's better than samsung phones. Samsung phones are the only phones that actually trump the iPhone in most areas. Also if you don't get apple users to switch, you get other Android lovers to switch. So that camera is important and I wonder what after sales support will come with pixel owners compared to Samsung.
  • No phones have exploded....merely caught fire. Huge difference
  • Flo...... Chill it with the interruption
  • Agreed. This is the second week in a row I couldn't finish the podcast because her interruptions were so distracting. She really needs to learn to be a better active listener and let people finish their thoughts.
  • I agree with the comments about the interruptions and talking over each other. It's not just Flo, but she did it most frequently when I wanted to hear the rest of the thought she was interrupting. It's almost as if it sounds like she's in a conversation with just one other person and no one else is listening. If that were the case, I don't think I'd mind as much as I think it would seem more natural in that setting.
  • I'm glad Andrew stands by his review of the Note 7 as I fully agree 100%. The Note 7 is by far the best phone I have ever owned and will be sticking with my replacement when it comes. I'm also glad Samsung has bit the bullet and is doing what it takes to try and ensure no faulty Note 7 phones are left to cause harm. It's a shame a lot of the carriers are being such a royal pain in the arse here in the UK!
  • one of the local AT&T Stores quickly took my Note back - yet they cannot or will not give me a firm date as to when I can get my new one. I am hearing anywhere from Friday to October when it is posted on their website that we should have them NLT the 21st. Just once I would like one of them to tell me the right information. Guess it is coming down to taking Wednesday off and haunting the store which I don't like using my leave for but at this point it might be the only way to make sure I get my blue coral phone
  • Hey AC, could you guys please organize the podcast a bit like Phil had it when he was in charge? It's as great as it's ever been, except for this horrible interruption going on throughout the whole podcast. I can't listen to what someone's saying because someone else just randomly starts talking over them...but, even worse, the thought never gets finished afterwards! :-/
    It feels like teenagers who never learned how to listen fully to what others have to say. I guess when Phil hosted it, he kept it balanced and on topic. Easier said than done, huh.
  • I've enjoyed listening to the podcast for 18 months now and that fell well short of your usual high standards. Audio quality could've been better but the constant interruptions by Flo were incredibly frustrating. It broke the flow of the conversation a number of times. Hopefully you're back to your best next week.
  • I found Jerry's hate towards carriers more irksome this episode than most. Upfront, I work for Verizon. And through this whole Note 7 fiasco taking the phones back and giving them something else was never a problem. Myself and the other managers have power to subvert the system to waive restock fees and make it right for the customer. The only thing I didn't agree with was trading out a Note 7 for a Core Prime or similar cheap device. We didn't have any anyways so we just traded them out for Note 5 stock. And I would offer advice to those that are having problems with Verizon sold Note 7s to exchange them now. Today. It can get done. Just walk in and say so. It's been pretty black and white on how to handle this. Every corporate store has a system to follow. I can't say that same for Mom and Pop shops along the way cause they have a very limited point of sale system but get it exchanged. Anyways, I'm just defending my store but I grow tired of the constant rants against carrier stores. Sure, buying a phone through the manufacturer or full retail is always the smart play. Verizon stopped being negative about this a long time ago. I bought a Nexus 6P last year and had zero problems getting it to work along with other customers that brought them in along with 5x. I know this wasn't always the standard but since companies are including all the radios in newer devices its been easier to move phones across networks. (Except TMo and US. They SimLock iPhones until there paid off. They hold your phone ransom) If you bring us a phone that works on our network, Great. We throw a sim card in and on your way. This odd elitism I get about us that we only want to sell phones isn't how we work. Fun Fact: Reps don't want to sell you a phone. They hope you bring you own. Verizon even gives special promotions to those that purchase there device somewhere else. Again. I don't want to grandstand for Verizon or any other carrier stores but we do about 50% technical support and 50% sales now a days anyways. People need a place to go to get answers and as amazing as Google is at problem solving there are a lot more people that just want human contact. Anyways, end rant. I still love you Jerry :)
  • So, my comment is more about the discussion about the Google Pixel XL and how Google should sell it upon release. I work at a Best Buy and we actually sell the Nexus 6P unlocked in the store (even have a display), but I found out this is a more recent thing. In fact we had been selling it online, but a good many months after the nexus 6P had launched. My thought is that perhaps Google can circumvent the carriers by selling it as soon as possible after launch as an unlocked phone in big box and third party retail stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Costco, etc. We have sold a decent amount for what little information people have on it (I've informed a great many at my store). We have had a growing selection of unlocked phones from motorolo/Lenovo, Blu, and even the galaxy s7 and s7 edge. This shows that people want unlocked phones more and more, so its probably a good idea to keep the Google branded phones unlocked. However, the flaw with this is of course the price. The nexus 6P is a good item to sell because it can at times be up to 300 bucks less then the unlocked s7, but people still don't like dropping too much cash outright. There are remedies such as financing through the store credit cards like Best Buy which gives 12 months interest free and I'm sure target and Costco have something. Perhaps google could step in and some how make financing through them more accessible. Just some thoughts and I was curious what you guys think.
  • This was my first listen to an AC podcast. With no prior history to judge by, I found it interesting and I didn't find the conversations objectionable. Regarding BestBuy and unlocked phones, this is exactly where I'm at as I ponder what 2016 phone to get to replace my 2013 flagship (i337/GS4). I've never seen the 6P on display at my local BestBuy. Regardless, were I to buy a 2015 flagship, that's probably the one I would go for. But this is 2016 and I'm looking down the road. I'm tired of carrier and mfg bloat that cannot be uninstalled. I considered waiting for an unlocked Note7 from BB, but have read that the unlocked S7 and S7E phones have warranty coverage concerns and are not getting timely security updates like the carrier versions. This seems totally bass-ackwards to me. I expected the process to be significantly enhanced since the updates won't have to go through the carrier part of the update equation. But if that be the case, then I have little interest in buying an unlocked phone from BB to have even slower OS/security updates and questionable warranty coverage. I would be happy to buy from BestBuy if the above mentioned concerns can be dealt with. But I absolutely agree on the principle of the idea of buying an unlocked phone and minimizing at least some of the bloatware. I agree that people are going to move to unlocked phones. Ergo my current interest in the Pixel.. or the iPhone 7. Most everything else is tied up in some one-off OS or comes with carrier skin/bloat that I simply have no interest in, or have update cycle issues that turn me away. My concern about the Pixel XL (the one I would go for) is that the rumored price is going to be very high. If I'm going to pay Apple-esque prices for the hardware, then I expect Apple-esque support. 2 year OS and 3 year security support simply won't cut it in my opinion and I'll jump platforms and go to iOS before I pay that kind of money to get Google promised support of 2 years OS/3 years security. But it's still early and we don't know the official specs/features nor the price yet. And I'd really like to stay with Android. I'm looking forward to jumping from 5.0.1 to 7.1. ;) So I'm holding off my purchase until I know for sure what Pixel is going to offer.
  • Sorry to say guys, but I used to love your podcast. Now I find i'm switching it off. Flo (i think thats her name) just chips in and interrupts with "'re so right Jerry" that is so annoying! I'm not sure what she has to bring to the table other than cheerleading what Jerry and others are saying. She needs to establish her role and bite her tongue. As for Alex's microphone problem this week.. the podcast should have been paused until this was sorted. It does seem to have gone downhill since Phil left. Alex needs to stop his forced americanisms "a bunch" "a ton" you're from the British Midlands! It comes across as so fake. Apart from all that I love it!