I had thought my firmware was update and I could avoid the "unresponsive brick" problem that Amy Gahran experienced. So, today, I discovered that there is another method for finding out your firmware version. On the phone, you can go into tools, the device set up. And it gives you the firmware number.
Holy firmware version number Batman, my firmware isn't the most recent version (11.2.009) - but the same older version as Amy's - 10.2.006. I was tempted to simply pack up the phone and send it right back to Amazon. Instead, I registered the phone warranty and found the support phone numbers. I took a deep breath, dialed, and braced myself for an unpleasant technical and customer support experience.
Update: Amy Gahran wrote more about this here and listened to the video and wrote up these points:
In the meantime, if you live in the US and have bought or are considering buying a Nokia N95, please follow these recommendations as soon as it arrives (or right now, if you already have the phone):
- Register your warranty with Nokia. Just good practice in any case.
- Make a record of your phone’s serial number. It’s on the back of the phone, under the battery, in very tiny type. Double-check this by entering this character string into your phone: *#06# — that should yield a number that matches what’s under your battery.
- Check your firmware version. Enter this character string into your N95: *#0000# — Make sure you keep a record of this, too. If your firmware is earlier than 11.2.009 as of this writing, it’s out of date. (If you’re reading this post much later than Apr. 17, 2008, follow these instructions to find the current US N95 firmware version.)
- Call NokiaUSA customer support: 1-888-665-4228. I recommend recording this call. Tell them you want to verify whether the phone you just bought is indeed a US version. Give them your phone’s serial number, and get them to confirm whether it is indeed a US version. (If it isn’t, make sure you find out who to complain to at Nokia about the vendor who sold it to you under false pretenses, and then also complain to the vendor and get a replacement. And blog it, naming the vendor, of course, so we all know who to watch out for.
Also on that call, ask the rep if they are aware of the US/non-US firmware clash that causes bricked phones, which Beth found out about from Nokia. If they aren’t, ask to speak to higher-level customer service until you get someone who knows about the problem. Ask that person whether, if you do a firmware update on your N95, which Nokia just confirmed is a US version, and that still bricks your phone anyway, whether Nokia will repair or replace it for free — and how long it will take them to get a working phone with up-to-date firmware back to you. (Definitely make sure you record this part of the call.)
- Upgrade your firmware only when you need to. For instance, if your phone menus are working too slow or you’re having other interface problems. If, in a case like mine, you have trouble accessing or using a service that’s supposed to work with your phone, don’t immediately assume that you should update the firmware to see if that fixes the problem. Instead, first call Nokia or the service provider’s support to search for other possible causes of the problem, and address those first, and specifically ask if you need a certain firmware version to use the service. (This was my mistake. There might have been another reason I couldn’t use Share on Ovi)
- When you eventually must update your N95 firmware, because you WILL have to at some point, cross your fingers, take a deep breath, and hope for the best. You’ll need to download Nokia’s PC-only update software and follow their procedures exactly — especially backing up all your phone data first.
My running notes in process are here:
I was only on-hold for 3 minutes. The customer support representative was actually articulate, pleasant, and gave me clear answers. Here's transcript of my conversation:
Beth: I just got an N95 and saw that my firmware version is 10.2.006. The newest version if 11.02.009 and I want to update it. However, a friend of mine got the same phone, had the same older firmware, and when she updated - it turned her phone into an unresponsive brick. How can avoid this? (If it happens, I'm returning the phone to Amazon)
Customer Support Rep: Yes, we've heard of the unresponsive brick problem. The problem occurs if you have a phone that isn't a "US" phone, but try to install the US version of the firmware update.
Beth: Well, I purchased my phone from Amazon and it said it was US phone. Are you saying that Amazon sold me an Asian, European, or some other version and labeled it as a US phone?
Customer Support Rep: No, I'm saying that at all. Can you give me your serial number so I can verify that your phone is a US phone.
Beth: Is there a way to get my serial number with having to get my magnifying glass?
Customer Support Rep: yes, type in *#06#
Beth: Here's my serial number.
Customer Support Rep: yes, your phone is US phone. You should have no problems.
Beth: Okay, you have no other records of anything else causing the unresponsive brick problem, right?
Customer Support Rep: You are correct. All unresponsive brick problems were due to a mix in the firmware versions.
He tells me that I can call customer support and they can walk me through the firmware update.
Still not trusting this one customer service rep. I called again. This time I asked as an open-ended question - "Are there any potential problems in updating firmware?"
1. Make sure your battery if fully charged or you are plugged in - if you loose power while doing this it could cause a major problem.
2. Back up all your data.
3. Make sure you download the correct version of the firmware for your phone (see Amy's Advice)
I asked what happens if my phone turns into an unresponsive brick and I followed all these steps?
Answer: He checked for my warranty - it's good for a year. I can call for a repair request. They can definitely fix it. It would take ten days to get it back. No cost. Just the cost of shipping.
Okay, Amy suggested I record call, so I just did a live broadcast and got some different information. She was following the guidelines ..
On the Phone: Our Customer Care Specialists are ready to assist you.
Telephone: 1-888-NOKIA-2U (1-888-665-4228)
TTY/TDD: 1-800-24-NOKIA (1-800-246-6542)
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. EST
I plan to do that tonight. But, I want to find out from Amy whether or not her phone was a verified US phone.