I have had a Sony Ericsson W580i for quite some time now. I've had it for approximately 4 years, but I've only used it for about 3. I am going to be as detailed as possible, so if long messages aren't for you, then please, don't waste your time here.
The smart chip would often go undetected. It would constantly freeze my phone, cause it to go black, and then a minute later, the screen would reappear saying "Insert Smartchip". That's nothing a little wiggling around of the SIMS card couldn't fix.
The number pad is very cracked, and many of the buttons would fall straight off if I wasn't careful, but in general, nothing is missing, and I have all of the pieces. I find this very inconsequential to my new problem however.
The charger connecter on the phone is VERY eroded, but the phone would still charge just fine. It became ultra-sensitive, but if I left it alone, it would charge. For a while, the connector wouldn't detect the charger at all until several minutes of wiggling the charger head (that connects to the phone) around. But that problem just suddenly stopped one day, and it's been working completely fine until now.
My current problem started like this:
I was at my computer all night (which is in the kitchen), and my phone was in my bedroom, under my pillow. It's a fairly large pillow, and I keep it on the opposite side of where I sleep. I'm a still sleeper, so I know I couldn't have rolled my head onto it. It was in the same position when I discovered the problem. ANYWAY, so, after a very long night of working on documents on the computer, I went to bed. I checked my phone, it was FULLY charged, as just an hour before, I had removed it from the charger. I answered the few texts I had received, slid it closed, and stuck it right back under the pillow. After several hours, I woke up of course. The first thing I usually do is check my phone, should any friend or family member need me for an emergency. When I opened my phone, it was completely dead. No lights on ANYTHING.
I popped the back of the phone out, and removed the battery, cleaned it, cleaned the connector prongs, and everything else, and hooked it up to the charger. It didn't turn on even then. So, I popped the battery again, popped it back in, and tried turning it on. It vibrated as it usually does when I first turn it on, but for visuals and sound, I got nothing. I continued to remove the battery/replace the battery, and eventually, it got to the point where the phone won't even vibrate on 'power on' anymore.
I have downloaded nothing to it in the past several months. My memory was CLOSE to full, but not completely. I don't know what could have caused this... Perhaps it just got old? I'd say 3 years is a pretty good life span for a mobile phone that suffers the wear and tear of travel.
(Note: to make sure it was not the battery, SIMS, or memory chip, I took my brother's phone, which is the exact same make and model, and everything booted fine. This is how I am retrieving my data.)
Even though I have managed to fetch my data, I would still like to know if anyone has any idea what happened to my phone. Do you think that something inside has perhaps eroded as well, since the charger connector did?
I would be grateful for any honest feedback and suggestions.
Go to wotanserver.com and redownload the firmware. They offer free flashing and unbranding services. Sign up for a free account, download the client, and follow the instructions. Be sure you choose the right firmware for your location, as well whether you want to keep the AT&T apps, or go generic. Even though the phone refuses to start, their server should still find it. Once the new firmware is downloaded, it should fire right up. You will need to reprogram the internet settings and MMS settings, which I have posted elsewhere and will forward to you if needed. Good luck.
Honestly I think you should put that w580 to rest. Cannot believe you have milked it this long. My sister bought one and cracked 4 keys in a week or 10 days. She sent it to me and I had it in to Cingular store in less than the 30 day return period and even demonstrated I was the owner. They were going to replace it but declared it had "physical damage" and so they refused. DOH, yes it is a totally defective rotten pile of junk and fell apart. S/E did fix it up for me under warranty and I ultimately sent it back after unlocking and de-branding it. As the other poster has suggested, de-branding is recommended.
What you have though is a phone that has far out lived its expected life span. If you were looking for something good from about that time, the W810i is as great a phone as the W580 is rotten. There have been a number of S/E feature phones issued by AT&T between then and now, but S/E focus now seems to be on "smart" phones. The last one was called W518 and is good when debranded and turned into a W508 though its plastic is a bit fragile.
One of the nicest feature phones I have tried that is currently available is the J108 Cedar "Green Heart" bar phone, about $60 from newegg. It comes unlocked and with the generic firmware so no de-branding is needed. The Cedar has a very nice display and a pretty decent keyboard. My only beef with it is inclusion of some cheezy "green" applets so you can help Algore save the planet. The J108 also uses standard SD card, micro USB cable and charger, and standard headphone port. If I had a long case and wasn't hooked on android, I would probably use it a lot more.