Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Gotcha of the Day: Fixing My S10+'s Horrendous Call Quality

The upgrade from my Galaxy S9+ to a Galaxy S10+ has been a mainly pleasent one. It's not the revolutionary jump in tech that marked past cell phone purchases, but it's certainly a nice upgrade. There was one glaring exception: the phone's call quality was horrendous to the point of being unusable.

I noticed the issue a couple days into owning the S10+. I'd take a phone call, and before I knew it, the party on the other end would announce that they lost me. I'd scramble to a different part of the house hoping to find better signal. The call might recover, but would quickly stall again. Before I knew it, I was doing my best can you hear me now? impression and cursing my new phone.

One work-around was to place my phone in just the right spot on my desk and use a Bluetooth headset. It seemed that moving the device, just a few feet in one direction, was enough to interrupt the call.

Not sure what else to do I called Samsung's tech support line. As if to underscore the issue, I initially called from my S10+, which due to the above issue, meant that the tech couldn't hear me. I called back from a landline and plead my case.

The first response from the support person was to mention that calling issues were the domain of my provider (T-mobile). I expected this disclaimer, but knew it was a cop-out. I explained that for years I'd had quality service in our home and that my last phone, a Galaxy S9+, worked fine. The agent gave no indication that he was moved by my speech.

Sticking to his script, the agent started to suggest things I could try. The first suggestion he arrived at that applied to me was to "Reset network settings." At first I protested: but it's a new phone, what is there to reset? I then realized that arguing was no use, so I asked how I could do this.

He explained: go to Settings » General » Reset » Reset network settings.

Huh, I didn't know 'network resetting' was a thing.

I followed his instructions, responding yes that I was OK with losing my network config and then rebooted the phone.

I then had the tech call me on the phone, eager to show him that his reset and reboot didn't fix the problem. Except, it did. He called back and conversation went off without a hitch. I wandered the house and he could hear me. Try as I might, I couldn't get the call to break up.

This happened a few days ago, and since then, the call quality has been back to normal. Making phone calls Just Works again.

Score one for Samsung Tech Support. I'm impressed!

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