What's the fastest you've returned a new device?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: November 22, 2013

I love watching a phone get unveiled, and watching a company talk about their latest generation of devices. A lot of hard work goes into those handsets, or tablets, or whatever else, and I love to see the technology that they've shoved into the new tiny, or large, package. It's just one of the many reasons why I love the mobile industry so much.

Of course, during the announcement there's always one thing lurking in the back of my head: how much is this thing going to cost? It's just part of the beast, I guess. In most cases we have to wait for some kind of secondary announcement after the unveil to find out when the phone or tablet in question is going to be unleashed, and for how much, but that's just a minor detail at this point. Something we've just go to get used to, unfortunately.

I think we can all safely say that sometimes, maybe even almost every time, the device that we see on stage being demonstrated by people who have spent a ridiculous amount of time creating it doesn't turn out exactly like we expected when we finally get our hands on it. Something is different in the final design, whether it's something designed or just figured out while using the new gadget. In those types of situations, our expectations can be hip-checked and undermined.

Which can lead to buyer's remorse.

I make some pretty smart choices when it comes to the phones I buy. I have to, because I know I'm notoriously fickle with the technology that enters my life. I have no qualms about sending something back, or returning something directly, if it doesn't fit my needs or do exactly what I think it should do right out of the box. I go through gadgets and phones and tablets quickly. I'm used to it. I wouldn't necessarily call it buyer's remorse, but I know where the majority of folks would get that idea.

Buyer's remorse can come from anything, really. The phone itself, or even just the price of the device, based on what you're getting. It can be a mixture of features not being what you want, or maybe even there being too many features. It can be a display size that's too big or too small. It can be that your newfangled camera just isn't quite up to par with what all the hype suggested it should be. There are a countless number of reasons why you'd maybe be a little disappointed with a device after the honeymoon wears off (or even sooner). It's not a bad thing. It just happens.

Returns and exchanges happen. While the return period/exchange period for most carriers isn't the best, at least they have one, which probably saves plenty of subscribers more times than they can count. I'm a fan of exchanging when it's possible, when there are devices that I want. But sometimes that's not possible. Sometimes just going back to the old phone makes the most sense.

I'm curious to find out what your fastest return, or exchange, has been. I want to know when you've picked up a new phone, and how fast you've returned it and why. What's the fastest turnaround you've had for a new device?

For me, that's an easy one: the Galaxy S III. I remember I got the device from a retail store, after I was super excited about picking it up. (I had played with it for a few hours the day before it launched, and I was just super excited about bringing  it home.) I played with it as I walked out of the store, through the mall, as I ate lunch (my food got cold), and then I started playing with S Voice. That brought the whole show down for me. It had trouble recognizing simple movie titles, which started me on this weird downward spiral. I just couldn't handle it.

So I returned it. The same day. About two hours after I had bought it. I was plenty happy going back to my Galaxy Nexus at the time. That's my fastest return for a new phone. Two hours.

Tell me, what's the fastest you've returned a phone or a tablet, and why?

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