21.11.2017 I rang the Huawei repair centre in Burma Road and asked if the figures on the battery represented the date of manufacture. They couldn’t tell me, so I went there with the device and showed them. They still couldn’t tell me, so they took a photo and told me they’d get back to me in a few days.
Sadly it seems my Huawei tablet died at about 18 months old. In late July, 2017.
When I bought my Huawei Media tablet on Christmas 2015 it was the only tablet with the specifications I wanted on the market in Malaysia. And they promised to upgrade the operating system from Lollipop to Marshmallow within a few months.
I was a good tablet for about a year, and then for the remaining seven months plagued by poor battery life. Plus in the last few months I was also constant plagued by ads on the front screen, and if I flicked to open the tablet 1mm in the wrong direction the ad would open and play a video or more ads would appear.
I’m not returning to the Huawei repair centre after my last experience. Back in April I paid Huawei RM157.90 to replace the battery with a new one – an expensive – because it’s a non-removable battery and thus the battery costs more and I have to pay to get it done – process. But also annoying as I first have to wipe the tablet of all settings and data, as they suggest anyway, then after spend a lot of time setting it up again the way I like it. It was no better after, but the battery warranty is a laughably short time – they appear to have no confidence in their own hardware.
I had waited and waited for the upgrade to Marshmallow, and checked Huawei’s web pages and others – the upgrade was coming soon. It never came. Well, It doesn’t matter now.
No shop said they could repair it for a reasonable sum. They didn’t have a screen available to test it on. I thought it might just be a poor connection or some small component that needed replacement, but no one was interested in helping – as the screen didn’t display it was stuck in their minds that it was the screen that needed replacement. I only showed it to them, and never left it with them, and they never opened it.
So now I am back to using my five-year old Asus tablet which still chugs along, and which did deliver the upgrade they promised. And for a phone – for recently I used the tablet as a phone too – I used a years’ old Motorola, which still works fine – and which also delivered the promised upgrade after purchase. But while the Motorola works, it can’t do everything I require, and it’s only 3G, not 4G, so I bought a new phone, which I am very happy with.
18 months is the shortest any electronic device has lasted for me that I can remember. I never dropped it, submerged it in water, or even spoke to it harshly.
So the tablet has been sitting around for months dead, but because I never had the chance to get data off it I didn’t want to recycle it. Finally, I thought I might as well open it up and see if I could see something which was obviously where the data would be stored, then remove this, and the rest could be recycled. If not, I would just have to attack with a hammer. I charged it up, and checked YouTube to find out how to open it. And, on opening it, Mrs Tropicalexpat touched something inside and the screen came to life and I could use it again. It worked on and off for a couple of days, and I could get my data off it via an SD card. At first I closed it again, but then it wouldn’t work. So I opened it again, and it worked again sometimes. Next I did a factory reset. I couldn’t find an obvious data storage chip, but then I don’t know what I should be looking for.
But then I found a nasty secret, or at least a mystery. I’d paid for a new battery, but the date on the battery is 2014-08-03. Either they didn’t replace the battery at all when I took it to the repair centre for the new battery – and when I bought the device they’d installed an already old battery – or they replaced the old battery with another old battery. Either would explain the poor battery performance. The part number on the receipt doesn’t match any number I can see on the battery, either. Or this number is not a date. Or it’s a date using a different calendar. Did they stop manufacturing batteries for this model in 2014, and thus any replacement had to be old – in which case they should have told me and asked me if I still wanted my battery replaced. (My answer – “No”). As I write it’s playing dead again.
I don’t know what to think, so I’ll be off to Huawei to ask for an explanation.