Phone Camera/Other Issues - vibe related? - BMW G450X Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    zulujams's Avatar
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    Curious if others have run into issues. I just replaced my third Pixel 2 phone under warranty for camera errors. After several months or so, the camera stops working regardless of the app used. I cannot switch from rear to front camera and cannot even get the 'flashlight' feature to work. A full factory reset doesn't restore camera functionality. Google Support was called in by Verizon but they could not determine a fix. A user in a Pixel specific forum thought maybe vibrations from the bike are causing the issue. I attach the phones to the handlebars via a RAM X-Grip which has rubber grips. Prior iPhones didn't have these issues, but maybe there are distinct differences in the camera hardware as the Pixel 2 (and now the Pixel 3) are touted as having amazing cameras. Thoughts? I could stop mounting the phone on the X-Grip and just put it in a pocket or padded bag in a pannier, but I like using the NAV app Waze. I'm in a contract and doubt I can switch to another phone and stop paying on the Pixel. I've seen others posting online about camera failures but not all that often and I don't know what conditions their phones may have faced. I thought it might be worth discussing a bit even if the chances of root causing this are slim. Anyone else having issues with a Pixel or other phone or device that may be similar? Thanks.
    used 2004 R1150RT -> new 2014 F800GT

     

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  3. #2
    ccramerusc's Avatar
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    I intentionally chose an older Samsung Galaxy S7 Active because it is not only IP68 certified against water and dust, but also MIL-STD-810G certified against vibration and shock (drops). I was worried about exactly what you describe. I use RAM's RAM-HOL-PD3U and at certain RPM see it vibrating so much I can't even read the screen, but I haven't had a problem with my phone in a couple years now. The only problem I have is that the screen is useless and jumps around on it's own when it's raining hard. In that case I turn the screen off and just listen. The nice thing about the active version of the Galaxy is that the home and "go back" buttons are hard (not touch screen) and can be used when wet. I loved my old phone!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
    08' F800ST- side panniers & Shad SH45 top case, Russell Day Long seat, MRA Vario Windscreen, SW Motech crash bars, ZTechnik exhaust, PC-8 fuseblock, Stebel Nautilus horn, Throttlemeister throttle lock, SW Motech handlebar risers, LED fog lights, highway pegs 

  4. #3
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I've got a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that I tried to use for a GPS, and gave up on. I don't know that it would die from vibration, but it does heat up a lot when using it as a GPS and having it out in the sunlight.

    I gave up on using a phone for a GPS on the bike and just bought a "motorcycle" GPS. It works great and I've gotten my money's worth out of it.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  6. #4
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    Vibrations, just like water, are the enemy of electronics. Think of all those micro components attached to a circuit board with the slightest bit of solder and spaced with the smallest of margins. And, just because one model survived doesn't mean every model will - the internals and engineering are completely different. Might as well compare an Apple with an orange.
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

  7. #5
    zulujams's Avatar
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    Good info all, thanks. There's a chance that I killed the last phones through vibration. I don't see the vibes on the phone, just the mirrors, but they are there. I can't change phones right now, and I can't think of a better mount that would absorb more of the vibes. Looks like I have two options: 1) continue as I've done and pray, or 2) stash the phone in a pannier or pocket. I'm feeling a bit religious, hmmmmmm!
    used 2004 R1150RT -> new 2014 F800GT

     

  8. #6
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I dropped my Garmin 595LM last night outside the prison. It hit the pavement hard. I picked it up and snapped it into the holder. It worked fine.

    I don't know if my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would've held up as well.

    I bought the phone with the intention of using it as a GPS. It had the brightest screen at the time and great resolution. I even subscribed to the TomTom GPS app...which is great. But I finally had to admit it wasn't going to work like I wanted it to. The screen was bright enough...but the phone wasn't waterproof. It was an expensive phone, and I didn't want to see it drop off and become road kill, so I used a tether that came with the RAM cradle...and that took about five minutes to put on each time and adjust the cradle arms. The arms had a tendency to sit on the volume button or the on/off button with detrimental effects.

    That's when I finally gave up and bit the bullet. Then the choice was TomTom or Garmin. I liked the TomTom the best, but I wanted the larger 5 inch screen, so Garmin won out. That was a couple years ago and I've had no problems with it at all...including after dropping it on the pavement.

    I think it is like getting a different windshield. You'll spend a lot of time and money trying to find the right one...when you should've just bought a Madstad in the beginning and lived with the looks. It would save you a lot of time and money in the end. You'll give in eventually. Just buy a motorcycle GPS and enjoy.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

  9. #7
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Speaking of Tom Tom, it looks like BMW is switching from Garmin to Tom Tom for their extra-cost, official, integrated GPS units next year.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  10. #8
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    I could go the dedicated GPS route, but mostly I just want something for commuting and Waze provides great traffic updates with no subscriptions. Maybe some GPS units do now also. Having everything you need in one device has benefits but can be a problem too such as if the unit dies, or in this case one function of the unit. I've been on four wheels lately as a suffer through a pretty good cold, but I'll be back on two wheels soon enough. Maybe I'll just look at the traffic patterns before leaving and then tuck the phone in a pocket or pannier for the rest of the season. I can still enjoy Greta Van Fleet's new album (shameful plug) via bluetooth! I will try to see if RAM has something more vibration dampening than the X-Grip also. In a year I'll be paid up and can look deeper into vibe specs on phones and maybe I'll jump ship and try something new. Great info as always on here. Best forum I've been on, hands down.
    used 2004 R1150RT -> new 2014 F800GT

     

  11. #9
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Jason, if you look at the dedicated GPS units, you'll find they do traffic also. They'll also offer to route you around traffic jams. And play Greta.

    They really will do all you are asking for, in one device. The difference I found is that they will take just about any abuse you can give them.


    A couple years ago, I started planning for my post-retirement ride. Not that I had set a date to retire... I had also recently bought my F800GT. BMW MOA was having a Getaway over in Coeur d'Alene. I thought this would be a good dry run for that post-retirement ride. I used my trusty Navigon 2100 MAX GPS on the way over. It was a wonderful GPS with features you didn't find on other GPS's unless you spent double the price. Well, it was fine on the way over...but there weren't too many options for turnoffs anyway till I got much closer to the Spokane area. And that's when I realized it wasn't going to work.

    In Western Washington, I could generally see the screen. The sun was coming down now at an angle making it impossible to see the screen, even with the large sunshade I had. And I couldn't hear directions, because it didn't have BT. I almost missed a turn off on the freeway and had to do one of those fast (and stupid) last second turn offs. I'm lucky I didn't get hit. As I got near the motel, I made a wrong turn down a narrow side street and almost dumped the bike when I was doing a U-turn. I was spending far too much time trying to see what the GPS was telling me to do in rush hour traffic in an area I wasn't familiar with. The accident potential was definitely there. I thought to myself how cheap I was to not get a "motorcycle" GPS, and how the damage to the bike could easily exceed the cost of the GPS if any of those events had turned bad.

    My backup plan was to use my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Large bright screen. Built in GPS. I'd try it.

    The next day, it poured. The rain came down in buckets. And my Note 4 wasn't waterproof. But I had a brilliant idea. I'd program the route in both the Navigon (which was a car GPS), and the phone. I could put the phone in my tank bag where it was safe and it would give me the verbal directions, while the Navigon would give me the visual. Cool! I'm set.

    Well, not quite. I was in a hurry to get going with this other rider and didn't take the time to make sure the turn-by-turn directions were the same. So the phone wanted to send me one direction...and the Navigon another. That's when I decided to bite the bullet and buy a motorcycle GPS. I wasn't going to let something like that, ruin my post-retirement ride.

    The phones have improved a lot since then. But I still find my Note 4 will overheat if out in the sun. Partly because of the sun, but also because the processor is probably going at 100% and the screen brightness is on full. So it wouldn't have worked, even if it was waterproof. Since buying the Garmin GPS, I leave it on the bike all the time, taking it off only when I stop somewhere. It works great for listening to Hillsong. I can get traffic on it, and weather reports that show where the thunderstorms are at, and where my route is on the same screen. If I get a phone call, I can easily see who's calling and decide whether to answer or not. The high cost for the refurbished Garmin GPS I picked up has been amortized over a lot of miles and trips. I'm glad I did it.

    If you can find a phone that can take the vibration and is waterproof and is bright enough in direct sunlight and won't overheat...great.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

  12. #10
    zulujams's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris! Good thoughts to contemplate. I'll take my time and do the research. I've thought about a tank bag too. I'm guessing the vibes would be less above the faux tank and inside a bag with some padding. Not sure what I'll do, but I know I can't keep replacing phones.
    used 2004 R1150RT -> new 2014 F800GT

     

  13. #11
    Daboo's Avatar
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    If you go with a "motorcycle" GPS, don't rule out a factory refurbished version. I've seen two kinds of refurbished GPS's. One that I think I'd stay away from is when the seller bought a used GPS, turned it on to see if it worked and labeled it "refurbished". You see those on eBay.

    The other is like I bought. It was about $300 less than "new". Yet when it arrived, it was in a box like the new ones came in. All the documentation. The GPS looked brand new. And it had the full manufacturer's warranty. I got mine at https://g.factoryoutletstore.com/cat...cycle-GPS.html The inventory changes all the time, so if you don't see what you like, just go back later.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  15. #12
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    I hate to resurrect a dead thread, but thought I'd mention that my F800ST has now destroyed the camera on two separate iPhones. I had to replace the camera on an iPhone 8 in 2019 (out of warranty, yuck) and I just had to replace the camera on an iPhone 11 (apple covered this one since the phone was less than a year old). Both times my phone was handlebar mounted and the camera lens focus device began to flicker uncontrollably, leading to blurry photos and an unusable camera.

    I think now I'm going to mount my old, nearly dead iPhone 6s on the handlebars as a "sacrificial lamb" and download my navigation stuff onto it.

  16. #13
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    I have stopped mounting any phone on the handlebars. I now keep them in my jacket pocket or in my pants pocket if they have the little pocket in the leg for a phone.

    You can't see the phone or dial numbers without stopping and removing it from your pocket - however my Sena headset Bluetooth allows me to use the phone for navigation and to answer any incoming calls.

    Since I bought the BMW Nav VI for navigation I seldom use my phone GPS, and if I need to make a telephone call I just make the calls when I stop.

    I have lost one handlebar mounted phone when I got slammed by a sudden rainstorm - I am just not willing to gamble on losing an expensive phone when the NavVI can do the job and is water and vibration proof!

  17. #14
    Richard230's Avatar
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    I have always wondered about riders who attach cell phones to the handlebars of their Royal Enfield 500 singles.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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