Samsung Craft Gets LTE Firmware Update, Still Should Not Buy

Hours after we posted our controversial review of the Samsung Craft, the first LTE phone in America, MetroPCS pushed a firmware update.

And, that’s where a bad situation gets worse. The phone updated itself without any warning and without user consent that we could see. We were only notified of the update when it displayed a completion alert on screen.

As you may know, we’ve led the mobile media in being extremely critical of Forced Firmware Updates. We believe they are dangerous, as they run a high risk of bricking a phone, making it impossible to call 911. Cellular phones are regulated Public Safety Access Protocol (PSAP) devices, and a phone bricked by a Forced Firmware Update cannot call for help. With no user authorization, the phone is dangerous in our view.

This only adds to our reasons recommending that you not buy this phone.

No change list has been released, though noticeable performance improvements resulted in the user interface. We also noticed some minor LTE signal acquisition improvements, but that may be due to post-launch tuning on the part of the MetroPCS network.

Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of PhoneNews.com. Today, he leads the team building iConsole.tv - a new kind of Android™ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at ChristopherPrice.net.

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27 responses to “Samsung Craft Gets LTE Firmware Update, Still Should Not Buy”

  1. silverkx2000

    Stop bitching, they did it to improve the phone, its not dangerous, your just mad at the fact it did a forced update so you couldn’t “possibly” hack it.

  2. Humberto Saabedra

    This has nothing to do with hacking and has everything to do with safety. You might want to read the article again.

  3. AndroidFan

    Agreed. This is a bit over the top. Its the carriers first delve into this arena and hopefully they’ll get the kinks worked out. I agree, I’d be upset if this were my device, however, the criticism seams to be more about proving a point that they can.

  4. JJ

    @silverkx
    Think before you speak. If you like the phone then get it. I trust phonenews and thats why every phone I have purchased that has been recommended by them has been great. Go read and get a little more info before speaking your mind.

  5. Mk_ultra

    @ JJ so….what you’re saying is if phone news told you to go jump off a bridge YOU WOULD!!! Kudos to you!! The phone was ” just ” released. I’m sure they will work out the kinks.

  6. JJ

    @Mk_ultra
    How do you go from something like “taking advice from a cellphone forum to jumping off a bridge? Some people just need to chill out.
    Anyway, back to cellphone news, usually when a phone comes out with problems like this one which resembles att it doesn’t get changed much. Unless metro pcs wants to go the way of att they will make some changes either on this phone or on their next lte phone.

  7. mk_ultra

    Well… Christopher no where in that article does it state that the ” forced firmware update ” CAN POSSIBLY cause ur phone to brick. Well did the phone that got the forced firmware update brick??? If not …. Let’s not report on ” what could happen and focus on ” WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS “.

  8. mk_ultra

    I meant the article said… Possibly not for sure.

  9. Andy

    When I compare this phone with my brothers Epic 4G I am very disappointed. First of all I thought this would be bettter and much faster than his Wimax enabled Epic 4G and that is not the case. Now I am skeptical of Verizon with its impending launch of their 4G LTE phone in May of 2011. It is now making more sense that ATT is taking the slower pace of upgrading into 4G LTE. If PCS’s phone is any indication LTE still has a lot to do before it can evolve into a commercially excepted standard.

  10. ST

    Chris- Did you actually test the phone after the update before you returned it? This post by you is just a rant against forced firmware updates and has nothing to do with the Craft.

  11. ST

    The dramatics are just classic! “I just hope no one dies…”!!! Media sensationalism at it’s best.

  12. dt

    Believe it or not people haven’t always had cell phones and we’ve managed to make it this far. If you’re without your phone for 10-15 minutes I think you’ll be fine. Is it inconvenient maybe?!?! But worth crying over? Not so much. Forced update to make the experience better. If companys didn’t force you to update the majority of people would still be running old versions of everything and not getting the best bang for the buck. Work with the general public and realize how so clueless they are about what the phone can do in the first place and you’ll realize forcing them to have a better experience is worth it. If the phone bricks you’re out no money and the phone carries a 1 year warranty at the minimum.

  13. Tony

    Ahem, as we say on the interwebs… Pwned.

  14. Benjamin A

    To Christopher:

    If you were truly reviewing the phone as a member of the media then you should have went through MetroPCS’s corporate offices and obtained a demo unit rather than to just pick up one in a store just to return it. That is now a $300.00 device that can no longer legally be sold as new and Metro either has to sell it as refurbished or send it back where it may end up as a replacement unit for someone down the line but either way Metro just lost money because of you. Its people like you who cause the cost of phones to rise rather than fall. Furthermore you do not even live in Vegas thus proving more your true intent. Even looking past the fact you failed to go through the corporate channels you should have at least kept the phone. I have been a follower of this site since 2005 however that will be coming to an end.

  15. Sam

    Here’s what I think is going on here. Just my two cents, and I think there’s been a lot of angry commenters here that are wasting their time.

    Either:

    1) PhoneNews.com was paid by Metro to be a normal customer and report back.
    Or
    2) Metro wouldn’t give PhoneNews.com the time of day, probably because they new their launch was crap.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say #2 is probably what’s going on here. So, kudos to PhoneNews.com for warning us about the crap Metro is shoveling. I bought one of those GSM Siemens phones that the old AT&T was selling back in the day… and got no signal anywhere. Back then, there wasn’t anyone to blow the whistle, and we all took it in the rear.

  16. Benjamin A

    To Christopher I did ask to be notified of followup comments as I was curious how you would try to justify the return however I have already removed RSS and Favorite links from all personal devices so getting cocky and thinking your not replaceable with another source gets you nowhere.

    Also per your last post I did go back and click the review policy link at the bottom of the page. Here is what is posted

    “Review Policy

    * Written by Christopher Price on March 2, 2010
    *

    In accordance with the FTC’s new rules on the online media, we have posted this open letter to share with you our new policy on reviews.

    Beginning in 2010, we are further emboldening our commitment to ensure all reviews are transacted on an even playing field. Previously, we already had implemented a policy of not purchasing devices for review, removing any concern that some devices were given for free, while some were sought out and purchased by Newsroom Network.

    However, the FTC’s latest rulings have recommended that we take further action to ensure all devices are reviewed on exactly the same criteria. Meaning, all devices will be received from companies and retained by Newsroom Network.

    We have no problem calling a bad device, a bad device, as many companies have learned over the years. For us, this is business as usual.

    In the end, this is beneficial to you, the reader. We can now review devices over a longer period and follow their lifecycle through updates, modifications, tweaks, and all the other stuff that viewers like you are interested in.”

    Even if the phone was purchased through a secret shopper experience program that would mean that cash indeed changed hands. ” Meaning, all devices will be received from companies and retained by Newsroom Network”. I take it an exception was made though for the Craft in question. Also how can you ” review devices over a longer period and follow their lifecycle through updates, modifications, tweaks, and all the other stuff” if the phone is back at the store and no longer in your possession.

  17. mk_ultra

    @christopher …I wouldn’t exactly call metro’s ” launch ” a failure. They just went live in one or 2 cities. I am sure they will hammer out any problems on the data service side and as for the hardware…There will be many more handsets available to make use of the network. I think Chris just likes to type Metro PCS n failure in the same sentence.

  18. ST

    Wow! No, I don’t work at the PCS store. I made my assumptions off of 2 facts. #1- You bought it with your own money or company money at a PCS store. #2- You hate the phone. I assumed that since you hate the phone and you paid money for it, that you would return it. Man, you are one wound up guy. Calm down.

    Read the review at PC World if you want to see a solid review about the Craft. The writer states the PRO’s, states the Con’s, and gives an opinion. You only gave con’s and your opinion and then ranted about people dying due to a firmware update. Not good, in my opinion.

  19. xboxtuner

    Guys, let it go. Move on.

    Even if they did buy the phone just to review, I thank them. They probably saved MetroPCS from hundreds of returns from techies who wanted LTE right away.

    Now, MetroPCS, can you please ship a Samsung Galaxy Tab so that I can have something to look forward to? Thanks.

  20. bvr127

    Any news on the phone…..is it still a do not buy or is it like a good wine…getting better with time????

  21. bvr127

    Thank you Chris…….Any news on upcoming phones for metro? Also any news on when LTE will hit the Miami area?
    Thanks in advance!!!!!

  22. Scotty

    I have been a long time customer of both Metro and Samsung and I have to say that I agree that every new device needs time to work out the bugs. That being said the performance of both the Craft and the way Metro is approaching the problem is sad. Again I understand that it is a new product but when I pay $400.00 for a phone I expect it do at least what what they promoted.it to do.Connecting to the web was never a problem with my last Samsung but with the Craft it almost never connects and my phone like with most people is my main source of internet.I hate to say it but if things dont change soon Metro can kiss my money goodbye!!!

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