Personally, the camera thing is a non-issue. The easy fix for it is to just hit the home screen after you are done taking pictures. I can reproduce the issue, but I've never encountered it in regular use because there is really no reason to leave the camera app sitting open waiting for the screen to turn off. Once I'm done with the camera, I close the app or manually turn off the screen.
The group messaging bug, while very annoying, is really not the end of the world. It shouldn't stop you from getting the phone IMO. Hopefully this gets fixed in the official release of GDR3 that will eventually come from Samsung/Sprint.
As for the voicemail issue, the one thing I can see is that Sprint is _well_ aware of the issue and they are working on it. I'm sure it is only a short matter of time before it gets fixed. Yes, it is very annoying and has caused me a few issues, but it isn't that big of a deal.
Don't let these issues be the reason you wait. Let Sprint's lack of a true flagship (e.g. Lumia 9XX/1XXX) device be the reason you wait.
True, the camera work around is not a show-stopper. I am just tired of my Windows 7.5 phone and the work-around about calendar notifications. I'm thinking, "wonderful, yet another deficiency I have to adjust to."
After seeing some Andriod Phones have the Group Messaging, I kinda liked it and was disappointed to see that it wasn't working. (I also hoped that another limitation would be fixed with Windows 8 too - length of message. My Arrive has a limit of 160.)
The voicemail thing is bad and for me. Since I often can't always answer my phone right away, voicemail working is important.
They all just added up.
Yeah, and the Lumia phone does look better... But, considering how the how Windows Phone situation's been going with Sprint, I didn't think I could hold my breath that long.
Unfortunate that it sounds like you already switched to an Android device. I think you are missing out, even with the issues with the current devices.
A couple things though regarding your points...
#1 - You can load WP 7.8 on the Arrive. I had it on there and it worked beautifully. It doesn't change all that much in reality, but it at least makes you feel like you are part of the story with the new devices.
#2 - You aren't limited to 160 characters, it will split them up into multiple messages like any other device does. I'm not sure who is saying that WP8 doesn't do that, but it does.
#2 - Voicemail works it's just that you don't always get the notifications. The voicemail system itself actually works fine, regardless of the VVM app. Again though, this is an issue that is certainly being fixed.
No, I haven't switched to an Android device. My wife and two sons have them.
1. You can load WP 7.8 on a HTC Arrive from Sprint? How do you do that? Does it solve the calendar notification issue (it doesn't consistently work)?
2. No one told me that WP8 is limited to that. My WP7.5 Arrive is limited that way. Sorry, I wasn't clear. (Does WP7.8 solve this?)
3. Yeah, I understood that voicemail works. But, since you don't get notified, you have to check periodically. Kinda a pain. I imagine I'd miss a lot of messages...
1. You can but it will not be something from HTC or Microsoft themselves. You will have to run the update from another source and follow the instruction. Also, you do not want your phone to end up getting bricked because it is not covered in your warranty. Its a chance you take. With that said, it worked for me when I had the HTC Arrive when. I now have the Samsung Ativ S Neo.
2. I dont think it solves the issue and Windows Phone 7.5 or 7.8 might never solve the issue. However, Windows Phone 8 doesn't have that problem at all.
3. Voicemail works all the time, its Visual Voicemail that works some of the time. Thats not a problem with Windows Phone 8 or the phones themselves, thats a problem with the application and the Sprint Devs who decides to update Android, and IOS first then Windows Phone last. If there was an issue with Android or Apple's IOS, it would have been updated by now because of the large market share. I dont blame Sprint for that but eventually they should support their customers who went to the third largest OS.
4. Group messaging work with the HTC 8XT, but an update will have it work for the Samsung Ativ S Neo.
5. Go to a Sprint store near you and try out the Windows Phone 8 OS. You will love it more than the Windows Phone 7.5 or 7.8. Also try out the text messages and other features you want to test before you buy it.
By the way, they just released an update to the Visual Voicemail app and it now works perfectly ok for me.
Edit: After working with the updated app for a few weeks now, while it isn't perfect, it mostly works as expected. The live tile does update, but you have to have a pretty keen eye to notice it. All you get is a _tiny_ exclamation point on the tile to indicate there is a new voicemail pending. The voicemail does not seem to download until you open the app and it also does not give me a number indicating how many voicemails I have missed until after I close it. Seems like a weird thing to do, but it is what it is. Hopefully the official GDR3 update will come soon.
I just got the S Neo and now found out that the group messaging is gone! (I really like the phone other than that, for what it's worth) I mean, What? How can you release a phone with less features and expect to keep customers. What is worse to me, though, is that no one from SPRINT communicates to anyone about this. How hard is it to type, "We're sorry you are missing a feature you are used to having with the "X" phone. Please know we are working hard to update the phone to include this feature in the near future. Thank you for being a valued SPRINT customer." Instead, crickets and multiple heads in the sand. Sad really.
No the voicemail is still not acceptable. I live in phoenix and service is horrid. So I don't know if I missed a call. Having to keep checking the tile and opening the app is not acceptable. No automatic lockscreen notice is pretty horrible.
Thanks for posting. I sincerely apologize for the issues you're facing. Let's address 1 issue at a time. You mentioned having service issues in Pheonix. Mind sharing with us your zip cod and nearest cross streets? This information will allow us to survey your nearest tower performance.
Sprint Social Care Team
85013 Camelback and 7th ave Lets see what will the answer will be. A. Nothing B. Cell tower upgrade to 4G C. Bouncing between 3g and 4 G D. Update your prl
Thanks for the locating info. There are a few things going on in your area. First, we have a bit of option B. We are working on upgrades that will affect services. Second, there is an outage in your vicinity cause issues. Third your tower is running a bit low. I have alerted our techs.
So, is this still an issue? I see that the VMM is working (from another community thread). The group texting thing was the other thing with the VMM issue that gave me pause before buying the Samsung Ativ S Neo.