Softbricking the phone

Image by portal gda on Flickr
Image by portal gda on Flickr

Or how I learnt not to install brand new updates without checking the forums first.

So on Sunday, the bear moved me from Exodus to Resurrection Remix. There were a few reasons for the change; RR has themes, better looking wallpapers and most of all promised to be a bit more stable than Exodus (which serves in its own right but had no themes and had a very weird bug with the headphone jack).

The flashing went relatively well. Logged into most of my apps no problem afterwards, and the camera looked ok too. We actually installed the 2 May build, because a friend warned us that the 9 May build had issues. By evening, the 15 May was out, and both of us had no issues installing that either.

Fast forward to Monday. Received notification that a new update (16 May Build) was ready, downloaded it, and then suddenly my phone could not make any calls. Every time I clicked on the “call” button, and I had a few calls to make, the phone crashed. I kind of panicked at that point (because I was also jumping between meetings on that day) and so I immediately dirty flashed my phone to the older May 9 Build to fix it.

As you can guess, I had forgotten about the May 9 Build’s bug. The bug was a relatively easy one to avoid as long as you were patient. It’s a “do not touch phone immediately after reboot, it will cause phone to reboot and go into a loop.”

Which happened. And I panicked even more, so I quickly googled how to force shutdown the OnePlus 2. Turns out you need to hold it for 8 seconds. Once the phone had shut down, I messaged my mom on my colleague’s phone to tell her my phone was having an issue, and then I breathed.

Here’s where it got fun. I tried to switch the phone on, but no dice. This made me want to scream but I had to control it because at least I still had my computer and all. I had to soft reboot the phone (hold Volume DOWN and Power, most other places will tell you it’s Volume UP) by going into recovery, flashing back to the 2 May Build, then I let the phone run normally. Everything was going fine, EXCEPT the dialler, which still crashed.

Told the bear and some friends about my phone being softbricked and the bear suspected it could have been the Black Octopus theme that did it. I doubted that but made a note to do a clean install when I got home.

As it is in all cases, it turns out the answer was easy. I needed to set the Google Phone Dialler as my default. Once that was done, the bug went away. Cue me going WTF but I’m just glad to have my phone again.

The TL;DR Version is:
1. Always read the forums before updating your phone
2. Do not panic.
3. If you use non-stock, be prepared for these kinds of heart attacks. xD