How to reinvigorate a not-very-old Droid 2?!
May 10, 2011 7:37 AM   Subscribe

My Droid 2, which I bought in August 2010, is beginning to have performance issues. I assume this is partially a planned obsolescence thing, but given that I have to live with the phone for another year-plus, what can I do to improve its quickness, buggy-ness, etc.?

Examples of problems I'm having:

-Phone won't "wake up" when top right button is pressed; or it takes about a minute for the screen to turn on--usually I have to take the battery out and restart the phone to fix this.
-Freezing in the middle of programs, especially the NYT app
-Difficulty finding and connecting to 3G, even in areas where the 3G signal is or should be very strong.

If I were having this problem with my PC, I would defrag the hard drive and run ad-aware, avg, etc. Is there something similar I can do with my Droid?
posted by prior to Technology (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Planned obsolescence, when it happens at all, does not happen so quickly. Have you tried a factory reset, and testing with no additional apps installed?
posted by mkultra at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is almost certainly related to a misbehaving app in the background. Download taskpanel x, see what's running. If killing an apps process helps, uninstall it. Many android apps are badly coded.

I have a Droid 1 with vastly inferior hardware and don't have these problems.
posted by selfnoise at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2011

I agree that this probably isn't planned obsolescence. Are you doing anything unusual with the device, like unlocking or rooting it? Running any software that didn't come from the Marketplace? Or any other apps with utility functions that may not be typical?

Resetting to factory defaults is a bit overkill, I'd start with identifying the culprit app if you can, and uninstalling it.

It's possible your hardware is failing due to misuse... has the phone been exposed to any liquids or extreme temperatures? Even leaving it on the bathroom counter while you take a hot shower could be a moisture risk from the steam.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:54 AM on May 10, 2011

Factory reset. It'll take you a day of occasional fiddling to be back up and running just where you were, everything's in the cloud anyway.
posted by Jairus at 7:58 AM on May 10, 2011

Best answer: Same phone, same problems. Took perfect care of the phone, and was light on app usage. Thought I had narrowed the problem down to a couple of apps, uninstalled them and still had the same issues. Took most of the apps off my phone, and it still kept doing what you are describing. Did a factory reset and still didn't take care of it. I have placed the blame on Motorola's Blur overlay that they put on the Droid X and Droid 2. What I decided on doing was moving to a custom ROM, and that's taken care of many of my problems. If you feel like going as far as installing a custom ROM on it, I use Fission, but there's the Liberty ROM, which is based off of GummyJar. Fission is great and all, but development has fallen a little bit behind, and I'll probably move to GummyJar soon. I know my solution may seem like overkill, but it has worked for me.
posted by deezil at 8:01 AM on May 10, 2011

My droid 2 experiences similar problems from time to time.
I rooted mine, and removed all the Verizon crapware. I have very few apps, mostly wifi, overclocking, and network apps.
I see the same top power button issue from time to time. It seems a simple power cycle seems to fix that. Another thing that seems to be a problem is if I have a bunch of windows open in the web browser, particularly when its current, refreshing type of content.
I overclocked my device too using Milestone Overclock to run at 1130 which makes quite snappy.
posted by handbanana at 8:13 AM on May 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all for your answers. I don't know anything about "planned obsolescence," I don't know why I said that. I think I just meant normal wear and tear.

I am interested in rooting my phone, but the process has seemed kind of daunting to me. Deezil, maybe I will try Fission. Do you have an opinion on which ROM is the most user-friendly for folks who are not too knowledgeable about this stuff?
posted by prior at 8:16 AM on May 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Z4root is a one click rooting process app. Read the forums on how to manage roms (I still run stock/r2d2 theme)
posted by handbanana at 8:35 AM on May 10, 2011

when you root, do you lose all your apps?
posted by fozzie33 at 9:47 AM on May 10, 2011

fozzie33: "when you root, do you lose all your apps?"

No, your old apps will be fine. But you will be able to install new apps that only work on a rooted system.
posted by octothorpe at 10:16 AM on May 10, 2011

n-thing the background app diagnosis. My pokey virgin mobile intercept was giving me grief, symptoms similar to yours. Turns out the twitter/facebook/google shopper/google maps were firing in regular intervals to 'check' for new messages, update gps etc. that was bogging my system down to no end. Adjusting the settings to never check has made my phone usable again.
posted by edman at 10:28 AM on May 10, 2011

No, your old apps will be fine. But you will be able to install new apps that only work on a rooted system.

Although if you install a custom ROM, you will have to either restore your settings and apps with something like Titanium Backup, or just go back into the market and download them all again and tweak the settings manually. You'll be able to retrieve your paid-apps for free if you are using the same GMail account.
posted by K.P. at 2:01 PM on May 10, 2011

Just the act of rooting shouldn't do anything to your apps. If you install a mod, then sure any of the pre-loaded apps will be gone but rooting by itself only lets you run as root.
posted by octothorpe at 8:58 PM on May 10, 2011

Sorry, just checked back in on the thread. Any ROM you want to go with, do it. Just follow the instructions carefully. I did the Fission one in about 2 hours and I was super slow about it.
posted by deezil at 6:24 AM on May 12, 2011

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