iFive Mini 3GS hard to wake up?

Oct 22, 2014

Some owners of the iFive Mini 3GS tablet may have experimented troubles when waking up the device or even screen going black randomly while in use...but it turns out that the tablet itself is not to blame ...

The problem:
The FNF iFive Mini 3GS is really a cool Android tablet and provided me so far the best experience in all aspects, but a problem bugged me from the beginning:
The display would turn off in the middle of an activity and would be difficult to wake up at times.
This turned out to be caused by the "Smart Sleep Protective Case Cover" that was sold with the tablet.
The purpose of the Smart Sleep feature (aka Sleep and Wake) is to turn off and lock the screen whenever you close the cover, and turn on the display when the cover is lifted. 

I first though this was done by the light sensor but, instead, the device detects the proximity of a tiny magnet hidden inside the flap cover. 

The cause:
I then realized that the magnet was not only detected by the tablet when the cover flap was folded over the screen... but also when it was folded ...to the back of the tablet, which is something you tend to do naturally when using it! So the screen would turn off, apparently randomly, when the flap comes close enough to the back cover.

I've seen the problem with the cover sold by pandawill.com (SKU 58155, also sold here), which is NOT specifically made for the 3GS Mini or any current FNF tablet of that size (the speaker holes are not centered).

The current Mini 3GS firmware does not allow to disable the smart sleep function, so you either need to avoid folding the cover to the back or, choose a better cover.

There is now a slightly bigger choice of cases for the iFive Mini 3GS. Some protections for iPad Mini may also work, as long as they leave the whole top edge open for buttons and connectors.
I'll report back once I find the right candidate.

Update 11/2014: Many users also reported that, when the tablet had been in a cold environment, it would not turn on at all. In such case, the only solution is to leave the tablet in a warmer place for an hour or two.

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