These days many brands are focused on competing with the specification wars, but we all know that doesn’t lead to good end user experience. At the end what matters is whether a company is offering good user experience or not. What would one do even with proper specifications; a device doesn’t provide at least decent software experience? That’s why the new brand called CREO Sense has launched their first smartphone, the Mark 1, which is supposed to offer some of the best software functionality one could hope for in their smartphone.
There are couples of interesting features that company has introduced on their handsets such as Sense bar, Echo, New Messaging Approach and Retriever feature. Earlier have discussed some of those features in a post where you can learn how the CREO Mark 1 becomes new phone every month. Apart from such bold promises, what we were interested in is to check out the Retriever feature in detail. Instead of working on a detailed review of the hardware specification, we are keen in examining how this feature works. And it’s quite important to analyse such claims done by the company as well.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post; we are just bunch of nerds who like to test the possibilities of the innovative features to the core. So, that our readers don’t have to. In this post, we are depicting one of those scenarios of a phone being stolen. The phone in question here is the Mark 1, which is equipped with hardware level retrieving chip that would enable this handset to send the location and other details of the device if the new SIM card is inserted on your already registered CREO smartphone. Again, this is a drill, a real life simulation where our CREO Mark 1 is stolen.
The situation goes like this; I had this phone for like two weeks using as a daily driver, I have all the social media accounts logged-in, Google accounts, my favorite movies, songs and all the moments that I took with it. Every personal information one can possibly store on their smartphone. Now imagine that is stolen one day, and you don’t have an idea what to do. It’s scary, right! Don’t be scared if you have a Mark 1 smartphone. Well, that is what the CREO Sense Founder, Sai Srinivas would tell you.
When I first inserted the SIM on my Mark 1, the first thing I did was the registration for SIM alerts. You need to complete three steps in order to completely secure your device; register your Gmail ID for alerts, set PIN to locate device via text message and erase the data remotely using Android Device Manager. We have gone through all of these procedures.
I Lost Mark 1
After I lost my Mark 1 the first thing I wondered whether I will get the device back or not. The device got stolen near my office location when I went to get some refreshment in the evening. Four hours passed, and I was still waiting for the other guy who stole my device to insert a new SIM card or either switch it ON. Since the option to send the text to my Mark 1 & locate its whereabouts was not working. With a promise of hardware level integration, the company promised that one can easily retrieve their Mark 1 without having an internet connection.
The brand is hyping up this feature a lot, and they have even created dedicated advertisements touting about this retriever function. Ultimately it failed in our real life simulation test where we pretended that our CREO handset was stolen. It was a complete waste of time and resources.
The next day in morning, I got an email notification of the device with details such as when it was activated. The new SIM number inserted wasn’t showed completely just the first four digits and last two digits. The email, which I received, said that I should contact the CREO support if the activity looks suspicious. Well, yeah it was suspicious. But by the time, I got any help from their support team; the guy who stole my Mark 1 might have sold the device to someone.
You Do Not Want This to Happen
For you to understand it clearly, let us tell you by an instance. Suppose if you have bought a phone from the offline market and you didn’t know that it was stolen. After tracking that phone, its original owner comes to collect that phone without knowing that you’re not the culprit here. Would it be fair? No. This retriever service is only helpful if the support team is able to help its customers within just 1-2 hour because in that time frame the owner can track down their handset and catch the real culprit before he sells it off to someone else by faking legal invoice and all. Because you should know that if more than 200,000 phones are being stolen in the country every year as claimed by the company, then this is a big industry for thieves, which might be operating with some mobile sellers. We suggest a brand to ante up their support team for this dedicated service, because if you’re marketing your phone around this thing, then the service should be helpful in getting your stolen phone back. Otherwise, why one should spend a bomb money for the specification one can get for the much lower price, even better in some cases.
With such hype and buzz around this feature, we didn’t think it was quite that worthy. Apart from that SIM alert on email, which is again not the first time that any company has offered, there is nothing special about this retriever feature, as the text to locate feature was not working at all. While the third feature to remotely erase data using Android Device Manager will work only if the Google account is there on your device, once that is removed you cannot do anything to secure your data.
The SIM alert on email feature was introduced by LG on their G3 flagship phone in partnership with Mcafee, which was not as secure as the company stated because ultimately some users were seen breaking that quite easily. And here we thought there is an ultimate solution introduced by an Indian company about the situation of stolen phones. But it looks like it’s not yet perfected; only half-baked measures are taken, and they are being marketed with a lot of buzz.
The Official Response I got from CREO Support Team
I had three interactions with the CREO support.
- In the first call, I explained that my phone was stolen, and the new SIM has been detected. The support person instructed me to go through procedure mentioned in the mail I got on my registered email. But that didn’t help. I was then informed to wait for few minutes to get back a call regarding my issue.
- I got the second call, after six hours, where the person again asked me to go through same procedure. So, it was a total waste. In the end, I was informed that my request is being forwarded to the higher end. Until now I was promised that the new SIM inserted on my Mark 1 would be tracked by the company and informed as soon as possible.
- The third call that I got from CREO team was shocking, where I was informed to drop an email to the support team with my credentials. Then after 48-72 hours, I would be getting a reply from the team. Also, the support person informed me to file an FIR and attach the printout of an email that I have sent to the support team.
24 Hours has passed the retriever feature and CREO support team failed to locate my Mark 1.
After going through the whole procedure, it can be said that there is nothing CREO Sense did that helped me track down the culprit that have stolen my Mark 1. While they were just recommending me to file and FIR and wait for the team to get a reply until they track my device. With a promise of hardware level integration to track the device, it should have been easier for the company, just fire up an application and track the location of my device. But instead, I have been instructed to go through several other channels to find the location of my device. So, was all this a gimmick, CREO? Well Looks like & I will have to make sure that I will Never Lose my Phone
Update: We received an official response from CREO on our twitter handle. You can read that in the below images.
Response from Sai Srinivas (CREO Founder)
Our intention of building Retriever in Mark 1 is that when someone loses their smartphone, they should have a way of claiming it back swiftly and quickly. We’ve now in fact made the process of knowing the thief’s number and location much easier for a Mark 1 owner by setting a shorter identification process.
When a Mark 1 owner loses his/her phone, all they need to do is to confirm his/her identity by sending an email via their registered email ID with the invoice of the purchase and a PAN Card / Driving Licence Copy / any government authorised identity proof to prove their ownership and identity. Just when this process is completed, our Support team will help the owner with the phone number of the new sim entered into the phone.
We have ensured that our customer support executives are adequately trained to react to these queries faster and better.
Editor’ Note: After reading the response from CREO team and the founder, Sai Srinivas, I can say that the users of Mark 1 can expect a better service from the team. Since this is a startup company, they are also new to at what level the issues can arise. But with the company promising to learn from their mistakes, we hope that their services in future would be a help. Such as the retriever feature in question here. In this extensive drill we conducted to analyze if the feature actually works or not, we at least expected to get a location of the device, as promised when a new SIM is inserted. What is done is done now, the brand should learn from the mistake and make their services friendly to its customers.