Fixing the Orange San Francisco Wi-Fi problem?

UPDATE: Gah. 24 hours later and the phone's started going back to its old tricks. Utterly weird how it can be perfect for a day or so and then go back to not re-connecting. Watch this space!

UPDATE 2: OK, I have a reliable workaround. With the setting below, Wi-Fi comes up sometimes. And, for the other times, I've installed "Blade wifi fix" from the Android market, which monitors Wi-fi status after each screen-power-on and restarts Wi-fi as needed, with a small visual notification.

Yes - for me, at any rate, and the fix is trivial and has proved rock solid all day today.

The Orange San Francisco is the best value smartphone in the world, at £99 all-in in the UK, i.e. no contract. Here's my review of it in Phones Show 124:

The sole issue, as mentioned in the review and also referenced here, is that Wi-fi didn't get re-established after a period of disconnection. So the phone goes 'off' or you move away from the house and when you're back in range or powered on again, the Wi-Fi just doesn't reconnect. The workaround was to toggle Wi-Fi off and then on again. A pain.

Thinking about what was happening, i.e. the device needs to go out and LOOK for Wi-fi on its own, I went into Settings/Wireless and networks/Wi-fi settings and turned 'Network notification' ON. This setting is supposed to tell you when an open hotspot is nearby, but I figured that if the device was doing this scanning then it might help it spot the elephant in the room, the home network I wanted it to connect to...

And blow me down if it didn't work. Full reconnections all day.

I'm guessing that Orange had this setting turned on through all their testing. So, ultimately, it's a San Francisco bug, but for me, at least, it's worked a treat and takes all of 5 seconds to do.

By the way, should it be relevant, my router is a Linksys Wireless-G. Though I'm hoping that this will fix Wi-Fi for many people....

Comments welcome if this does or doesn't fix the San Francisco for you!


David.R.Gilson said…
Hi Steve,
I've always had this enabled in my San Francisco, and have tried the WiFi set to sleep when the screen goes off, and to never sleep. However, once it looses its connection to the my router, it can't re-establish until my router is rebooted.

For a data point, here's my technical details.

San Francisco:
Firmware version: 2.1-update1
Baseband version: P729BB01
Kernel version : 2.6.29

Netgear DG834Gv5
Andy said…

An awesome spot, will have to try this!
Suns said…
Ahhh, love this phone, but having so many problems with wireless. I use a BT Homehub2 and I just cannot get it to accept my password - ironically I can connect via BTopenzone which uses my broadband - however this is not satisfactory as I have to log in manually every time via the internet app.

Someone please help - tried your solution Steve, but alas not working for me!
Darryn Reid said…
Hi Steve
Same set up as David with the same problem although I can manually reconnet without having to reset router.

San Francisco :
Firmware version : 2 . 1 - update 1
Baseband version : P 729 BB01
Kernel version : 2 . 6 .29

Bt Home hub
Nick said…
Already enabled on mine too and made no difference.
Mine does have days when it connects perfectly. Rebooting usually fixes (or should I say breaks) that and it goes back to requiring manual reconnect.

Another thing I've noticed if I turn off network data mine usually connects automatically to wifi
Allen said…

Stupid question, but I have to ask. Have you verified the phone's 'Wireless Networks Sleep Policy' is set to 'Never'? Assuming the phone os not running some kind of power-saver app (some of which will override WNSP), that would be the first thing I'd check. I presume you're aware of this setting, but here' s detailed info just in case.

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