Forget Bending, Nexus 6P May Have Speaker Defect

UPDATE November 5, 2015: Several people are reporting this issue on Reddit and XDA(The XDA link provides several links into Reddit covering this issue.)

While Bendgate 2.0 haunts the headlines, Speakergate continues to gain attention, and many people are growing concerned that this is a widespread issue. Below is my original post, before I was able to locate other people having the same issue. It’s time for Google to acknowledge Speakergate and address it.

I received my Nexus 6P on November 3rd, and by the end of the day I was printing out a UPS label to return it to Google.

I ordered the 64GB variant in aluminum on November 2nd along with a $34.99 case, and was not expecting to receive it until the 13th of November or later, so you can imagine my amazement when Google emailed me a tracking number on the evening of the 2nd. I had ponied up $18.99 for overnight shipping, but skimped on buying Nexus Protect, as replacing a cracked screen would cost less than the $79 deductible + the $89 purchase of the Nexus Protect coverage. When my phone arrived on the 3rd, I was excited to set it up, but I was taken aback by how much time it took to install a 49 MB OS update – close to 45 minutes!

I’ll spare you a review, as the internet is choking on them. It’s a great device, what can I say?

But, I noticed the one of the front facing speakers was much louder than the other. The earpiece speaker, to be exact. I played back a few videos and moved the phone this way and that, rotating it and moving it back and forth around my face, from ear to ear. Nope, it definitely wasn’t my hearing that was impaired, the bottom speaker was a whisper compared to the top one.

I searched the internet for any complaints about this, but the nets came back empty, so I contacted Google. The nice lady on the phone informed me that she had actually dealt with the same issue two weeks prior, and that she had spoken with the manufacturer to determine if this was a design flaw or just a defective unit. It was determined to be a defective phone.

The nice lady on the phone expressed concern about this speaker problem being more widespread than just a handful of units. I agreed with her that it would indeed be unfortunate.

The OS has no feature to balance the audio channels for the dual speakers, so there was no workaround to this annoying problem.

After having me do the mandatory reset on the phone, the nice lady said I could trade it in or get a refund. A trade in would entail a $584 hold on my bank account, which is $584 I don’t have to be held, so I opted to just mail it back for a refund.

I have to say that I am disappointed, because I truly loved the phone. I am also extremely hesitant to purchase this device a second time – I’m already out $34.99 on the case, and a further $18.99 for shipping. At this point, I have not yet decided if I wish to risk a repeat of this ordeal in a couple of weeks when the refund finally hits my bank account.

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Forget Bending, Nexus 6P May Have Speaker Defect

Windows 10 ROMs for Android handsets could be the perfect Trojan horse for Microsoft.

Microsoft and the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, have announced an upcoming program which will allow current owners of the Mi 4, which runs Android KitKat, to try Windows 10 on their handsets via a ROM which will replace Android. Microsoft will be running this program independently of Xiaomi, which implies that other phones from other companies could be on Microsoft’s conversion list.

Microsoft did not announce that the ROM will be available to more than one specific phone, but it is impossible for me to imagine this ROM staying put for long. Hackers will get this ROM into any phone with similar hardware pretty quickly I imagine. Microsoft and OEMs can already drop the OS onto Android phones (HTC M8), so this move shouldn’t come as a real surprise.

But what if Microsoft itself releases a generic ROM for Android users to flash onto their handsets? The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are off the table due to the Samsung CPU, but the LG Flex 2 and HTC One M9 could run the ROM with ease, as could basically any other Qualcomm based handset. This opens up a whole new user base for Microsoft.

Releasing a ROM for most Android handsets has several implications, not the least of which being that anyone who flashes this onto their phones will be voiding their warranty and potentially losing support for custom hardware features, such as fingerprint scanners and heart rate monitors.

On the flipside, many modding enthusiasts would likely leap at the chance to put Windows on their Android phone, and people feeling disheartened with Android could leap to Microsoft’s OS while keeping their existing handset.

Microsoft could also buy flagships in bulk and flash Windows 10 onto them itself and sell the phones in its own stores, or offer free conversion services for select phones.

Cyanogenmod likely won’t be happy with this news, but I imagine Google is even more upset. Here is Microsoft, with its scrappy third place OS, already sneaking itself onto Android phones with Office, OneDrive and a host of other apps, soon including Cortana, making a play to grab the entire phone away from Google. It could go nowhere, or it could be a very clever move to steal more market share from Google.

Windows 10 ROMs for Android handsets could be the perfect Trojan horse for Microsoft.