Whining about phones – my love / hate realationship with Sprint, Android & Samsung!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

samsung s2

What does any of this have to do with Delta, SPG or any other Skyteam member or Delta partner you may ask? Well, your Delta points blogger uses Samsung Android phones on Sprint and to access GoGo wifi (ah ha, that is the tie-in GoGo onboard – OK I am pushing it, but just humor me for today)! 🙂 I will say I do like that Delta has been quicker to release updates to the Fly Delta App for Android than iOS as of late.

I have been with Sprint for almost 15 years! Yeah, that is a long time (almost as long as I have been a Delta loyalist). I just wish all those years I could have been earning some kind of Sprint points, but I guess they did not think of that (hey, here is an idea to get more Sprint users – POINTS)! Anyway, I went from a bag phone, to a Motorola flip phone, to a kool Matrix type phone to a Samsung Palm smart-ish phone, then a Centro to the S2 you see above. I LOVED my S2 and could not say enough good things about it. That is until…

samsung note2

Samsung dumped on me a massive Samsung update pack that made my baby worthless and unusable. I went crazy. Sprint just blamed Samsung and said “sure we can roll it back, wipe your data, but it will bug you each day to update again and ruin your phone all over”. Grrr… So what is the fix? I could upgrade to the NOTE2. I liked the idea of having a stylus and the fast fix was a new phone so I, reluctantly, went for that. I was in love all over again. I could not say enough good things about my NOTE2. What a phone. That is until…

samsung note4

You have got to be kidding me, another Samsung upgrade that made me CRAZY. I am not a conspiracy theorist but I am starting to think Samsung, every few years, blows up my phone just to push me to upgrade. I even called Sprint to see what my choices were. They were upgrade to the Samsung NOTE4 or do a factory reset – Ugg – I hate both choices I think!

I backed up most of my stuff to my memory card (other than my address book – oppseee) and wiped my phone. And… still worthless after reboot. AGGGG! I started to read up on the NOTE4 to see if that would be my next phone. It looked amazing, but did I really want to upgrade again after only 2 years (yeah, yeah I know, that is like forever but still)!

The next morning I call my local Sprint store. I find out the phone support folks were clueless. I guess I should have applied the Delta HUCB before I wiped my dearest NOTE2 but I did not. Things could be worse. I was told my phone was NOT broken (well sorta not broken anyway). You see the Samsung software update was like a bad burrito at midnight (or any AA 1st class meal), that is, it sounds good when you think about it, but in practice really not so much. What happened was the “enhancement” had caused my phone to not understand where my 3 main Sprint towers are resulting in just about zero connectivity. Being a Delta flyer I understand “enhancement” so it was a strangely familiar feeling.

My choices were to wait for Sprint to find a solution but that could be as long a wait as Delta IT to fix the award booking page (yeah we all know that will never happen). So why not upgrade and be done with it.

Honestly it really was a good choice. Sure it cost a few bucks (like a ton of them but at least I will earn 5x points from my  Chase INK card) but the new NOTE4 is really fast. It has Wifi calling. It has a SIM slot for use in Sweden (the NOTE2 SIM has it welded in place). There are a ton of other nice perks including the fact I should be able to use Delta Studio but we will see about that. Oh and the camera is WAY better so my reports should offer much better high rez shots of whatever! Bottom line, I like the new phone!

from top gear bbc samsung note4

I mean just look at the quality of a photo of my TV with the STIG from Top Gear – I mean WoW. I cannot wait to start flying and start shooting. Impressive.

So what can you take away from this tech rant? No, I am not going to change over to anything i-product as I fly Delta Air Lines not AA or Alaska (infer what you want from that). I love my upgraded and faster Note4 but am just so reluctant to switch until I have to or am just forced to. But then once I do, I am happy I did. Who knows, maybe it is time to upgrade to an iPhone + AA or AS as my airline – maybe I will be happy if I do – maybe Delta will push me just that far one day! – René

PS – time is almost up to WIN 2 SKYCLUB passes!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. René,

    Well now…. I guess it is time to leave Sprint and move to T-Mobile, who will pay your Sprint ETF. My wife has the Note4, upgrading from an Apple 4S and I still have my Note2. Both now get free texting on all Delta flights with GOGO on Board.

    Additional Tmobile benefits… $.20 per minute when Roaming to over 120 countries and free “edge” speed data in the same countries as well as free texting.

    WIFI Calling… Hit a HotSpot and your phone can make and receive calls like it is home. When visiting people outside the US, connect to their WIFI and pay no Roaming fees….

    also, there is a promotion for $10 per month to get international calling, and texting to over 150 countries, including to cell phones and this is for all phones in the family plan.

    The rate plans at Tmobile are pretty good as well. I have 5 lines for $140 per month. I have the $10 internaional plan and I have a $20 unlimited high speed data plan on my phone with the ability for 3 gigs of hotspot per month.

    you buy the phones from Tmobile for 0 interest over 2 years and even then it is still cheaper than ATT and Verizon. I stopped using sprint about ten years ago.

    good luck…..

    • @Gregg – Txs. I can text with GoGo on Sprint too and should be able to do Wifi calling as well. We shall see.

  2. I’m a huge Sprint fan (I’ve actually been in Virgin Mobile (Sprint’s sub company for years). I also like in Kansas City which is Sprint HQ so that helps with coverage but recently I switched over to Verizon. I know YMMV but it’s like night and day with coverage. I have the Galaxy S5 and love it. My old iphone 5s doesn’t hold a candle and Apple’s updates to IOS are the worst. The latest one won’t even let me download it because I only have a 16gb iphone with hardly any files on it but not enough room for the update. Sad sour apples I say.

  3. TexasYankee Reply

    ummmm, some genius must have demonstrated his note4 to you a few days ago? The new phablet will work with Delta Studio some times but may not on the smaller commuter jets.

    Costco offers a better deal on phones and the insurance is much less ad hassle free!

    On our next MR adventure will you show me how to use the stylus or write a post about it? I guess it really does help to read your blog!!!

  4. T-Mobile iPhone 6+ is my perfect travelling companion. INCLUDED international data and text roaming, unlike AT&T which used to gouge me. And the 6+ after about a week I got used to the size, and realized it was the perfect mini-tablet. LONG battery life, and a lot of the time I find I don’t reach for my iPad anymore. Last few trips I did with just the 6+ and no tablets or laptops along, and it worked just fine for me.

  5. At least you can use Delta Studio. Readers should know that studio does not work with Microsoft surface. Disappointing to say the least. I know there are programs you can down load, but they don’t seem to be comparable with the surface.

  6. I have 2 phones(iPhone 6+ & Nokia 1020) and 2 tablets with Tmobile for $120. Unlimited data, text, and voice on the 2 phones and 5GB data each on the tablets (in US). Love it when I land in a new country and the phone welcomes me with a text and I can start using it immediately. Accidentally left one of the tablets on flying from LHR to LAX and when I landed, I saw I had received a “Welcome to Iceland” text. Guess those towers are pretty powerful when the plane flew over. And like Greg G said, only 20 cents/min to make calls in over 120 countries. AMAZING!

  7. I had to laugh when I read about what the update did to your Galaxy S2. I have a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 and have been avoiding installing a software update for a year now. I do have to hit “install later” button every day, but I’m used to it now. I’m so afraid to install it because I’ve heard so many stories like yours. I have been thinking about replacing the phone because it’s almost 3 years old and starting to slow down, but I have the unlimited data plan on Verizon, which I’ll lose if I buy a new phone from them with a subsidy. I may try to buy an unlocked, gently used S5 online and just stick my Verizon SIM card in.

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