help! I bought a cellphone I can't use.
April 16, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Confused about my new Samsung cell phone..

Yesterday I bought the most complicated cell phone I've ever had- went from having the most basic, cheapest kind to a Samsung smartphone. GT-15508.

Two main things so far I don't get, and they are more general questions (I think?) than ones specific about my phone:

-What's up with the internet? Last night when I brought it home it connected automatically to the internet without me doing anything, and now it won't connect. So what's the problem and is it wireless connection or an automatic connection? Why would it connect automatically last night but not today? There are options to connect to wireless, but if I have to connect to wireless why would it automatically connect before?

-what's up with keyboard? (I mean, it's there's no actual keyboard, it's a touchscreen).I know how to dial a number, but if I call a service where you have to "press one for this option", etc, it doesn't work. Is there a different way I am supposed to be pressing the buttons in this scenario?

-THe phone has android on it. What does that mean and what do I do with it?

I realize I may seem silly getting a phone I don't know much about, but I mainly wanted a phone on which I can write and look up Chinese characters , check email and use a camera. (I'm in China). I have an instruction booklet but it's in Chinese and while I can read it somewhat, it will take me twice as long to figure things out.

Maybe significant: In China you buy a phone and add pre-paid minutes on it, you don't buy a phone plan (at least the majority of people do not).

thank you!
posted by bearette to Technology (6 answers total)
Does your 'calling' screen look like this? You can bring up the keypad by hitting the top right button.
posted by ofthestrait at 7:04 PM on April 16, 2011

My fancy Samsung phone hates me. This isn't a "Moment", is it? Anyway, here's what I've learned about mine: The only way to keep it from roaming the internet without you is to make sure the screen locks before you put it back in your purse pocket. This will keep random touchscreen buttons from being pressed & achieving things that you couldn't figure out if you spent two hours readiing the manual trying to do them on purpose. If it's not roaming randomly from butt dials, try holding down the OFF button until the shutdown screen pops up: Has it managed to put itself on airplane mode? If so, turn it off; nothing gets out while you're in airplane mode. Check & make sure the ringer hasn't gone to mute while you're their. If it is in airplane mode, but decides to ignore your pleas to change this setting (or has managed to put itself in 911 response mode...that's another fun one), pull the battery to correct.
The dialpad is a flaming nuisance when dealing with phone drones. It has a light sensor, and every time your ear/hair covers the light sensor the dial pad goes away. When talking to anything that will require button pushing, I lay mine flat & put it on speaker. Note that voice recognition speaker does not recognize you when you are on speaker, but at least your dialpad stays accessible. It will try to lock every 30 seconds or so, though, so you may have to tap the lock icon from time to time to keep using it.
Since you're in China & may not have a Samsung Moment, perhaps none of this applies. I am sorry your phone is not working out. Unlike all other phones, phones which you don't like will last forever, survive all tumbles & wettings, and will never get lost.
posted by Ys at 7:08 PM on April 16, 2011

Oh, hmm. I'm assuming this is your phone. It's also known as the Galaxy Europa, I would look at some video reviews to get familiar with how to use it.
posted by ofthestrait at 7:09 PM on April 16, 2011

Just a short note: What you have is a pocket-size computer that happens to include some phone functions (and not a phone with a very large number of bells and whistles). It might make things a little less unclear in general if you approach things from that angle.
posted by labberdasher at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2011

thanks for the answers....I realize I will have to spend sometime figuring things out.

one thing about the key pad- I have no problem bringing it up (well, I managed to do it anyway) but when I have to "press 1" for the a listening torecording, nothing happens when I press on the touchpad. Is there another way on touchpad phones to press a number for a recording or do I have to touch it differently or something?

@Ys, your response made me laugh. I think I am in over my head!
posted by bearette at 8:43 PM on April 16, 2011

For the keypad, the numbers you're calling could just not be picking up the tones the phone is sending. If you open up the Settings application on the phone, you should see an item "Call Settings" (assuming that the phone's language is set to English.) Open that, and there should be an option for "DTMF Tones". It's probably set to Normal, so try switching it to Long and see if that helps (or vice-versa if it's already on Long.)
posted by sysinfo at 1:02 AM on April 17, 2011

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