UPDATE - The replacement battery did not fix my device power down issues. Since it is still under warranty, I get a replacement device (refurbished) at no cost. I get to keep the replacement battery. I can’t help assuming that my ‘refurbished’ device will be a Captivate that someone else returned because it was powering down.
So my Captivate is still powering down. I want to document a little bit more of my trials, hopefully this will save some other frustrated Captivate owners a little hassle.
When you call AT&T, they are going to ask you a handful of questions. These go something like this:
Are you talking on the device right now? Don’t be.
Is there noticeable wear on the device?
Has the device been exposed to extreme temperatures?
Open the battery compartment, is the battery secure in its position?
With the phone on, remove the battery. Are the battery contacts clean and appropriately positioned?
Near the battery contacts, there is a square - what color is it? This is a moisture detector. It should be white.
Replace the battery, while the phone powers back on: Have you tried a second battery? Have you tried a second charger? Do you usually charge the phone until it is fully charged?
From the phone dial screen, type *#06# - this displays your device IMEI.
From the home screen, tap menu, select Settings, then select About Phone. What is the Baseband version? This should end in JH7. If not, they’ll ask you to try the software update on your phone (which will likely fail, and then instruct you to use Kies Mini to upgrade - good luck with that. By the way, after successfully upgrading my Baseband version with Kies Mini, I can no longer connect to Kies with my Captivate.
[Only Android Specialists ask] Do you have applications installed? Do yourself a favor and just say, “No”.
[Only Android Specialists ask] Have you performed a factory reset? They will direct you to Settings -> Privacy -> Factory Reset. You will want to backup your device before doing this. Connecting to a computer in mass storage mode will allow you to get your photos and videos. You will need something like MyBackup Pro ($4.99, there is a free version that allows limited use, but he pro version is a worthwhile investment). If you say that you do not have a backup, they will provide instructions for saving your contacts to your SIM. Don’t do this, call back later and get a full backup. They will save your troubleshooting activity for 24 hours, so you will not have to run through the earlier steps a second time.
Notice that part about “Only Android Specialists ask”? When you call the warranty department with an Android phone, you normally talk to an Android-specific technician. They will ask you more Android-esque questions, and tend to be much more familiar with the OS. Considering this from a different angle, a non-Android-specific technician will (often) more readily accept your device as faulty. So, call warranty very early or very late. The Android group’s hours are shorter. I think standard warranty is 8AM-midnight EST, but Android-specific is 10AM-9PM EST (those are probably wrong, but I call at 9AM EST, and there were no Android techs available).
So what have I learned? You should call at a time to avoid talking to an Android technician. By doing this, I avoided the mandatory factory reset. Also, make sure that you are running the latest Baseband Version. One final gotcha: if you told them that you have NOT tried an extra battery, they will first send you a new battery to rule that out as a possible issue. Apparently many Captivate issues have been linked to bad batteries. This reminded me a little of the story that many Captivate issues have been linked to the old Baseband Version.
I received my new battery today, and hope (against hope) that it turns out to fix the power down issue. I am giving them a chance here, because with the old Baseband Version there definitely was a strange screen flicker on my device before the “battery full” message displayed. I suppose it is possible that the battery was being over-charged or otherwise mangled in someway when this occurred. Anyway, if the new battery does not fix the power down issue, I get to call back, and they say a new Captivate will be coming my way. I couldn’t be less excited about the prospect of a brand new Android phone arriving at my doorstep.