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I tap on Phone and start typing the first letter of the contact name on the keypad. For a contact named "Home" that would be 466 (H, O, M). The contact "Home" is suggested. I tap on it once, the phone number populates the screen, and then I tap the big green dial button. Simple! Or so I thought... Now the phone displays the funny picture I have of Adam sticking out his tongue, and it says "Dialing". It also later shows up in the Log as if I have called "Adam".

How on Earth is Adam the person I'm calling? I specifically chose to call a contact named "Home". It makes me think I have dialed a wrong number, so I usually hang up and re-dial, only to see Adam sticking out his tongue, again! I want it to display the correct contact name. The correct contact name is "Home". Obviously! What can I do about this (if anything)?

About device...

Model number
GT-I9506

Android version
4.2.2

Baseband version
I9506XXUAMHD

Kernel version
3.4.0-1677708
dpi@DELL217 #1
Fri Sep 13 20:52:59 KST 2013

Build number
JDQ39.I9506XXUAMI3

Update...

I spoke to a Samsung rep today and he told me to make a backup with Kies software and reset the phone. I have restored the contacts back to the phone from the backup file. The problem remains. However... I have made some new discoveries that might shed some light on the problem. Namely, this only affects contacts that were synced to the phone from a PIM software, which in my case is Microsoft Outlook 2010. It does not affect contacts created right in the phone.

Replicating the problem...

To replicate the problem, do the following.

  1. Start Outlook 2010 and go to Contacts.
  2. Click on Home and then New Contact. Give it the name "Home" and set the "Home" phone number to something like 0011223344.
  3. Click on "Save & Close". Note! Make sure you don't have a contact with this name already, neither in the phone nor in Outlook.
  4. Now repeat these steps to create a second contact in Outlook. Name it "Adam Sandler" and set the "Home" number to 0011223344 (the same as above) and the "Mobile" to 9988776655.
  5. Now connect the phone to the computer.
  6. Start Samsung Kies and go to Sync tab.
  7. Check "Sync contacts with" and select Outlook from the list. You can select either "All contacts" or "Selected Contacts folder" and then select which contacts folder to sync with. Note! If you select the second option you need to make sure you check the contacts folder you saved the previously created contacts to in Outlook.
  8. Click the Sync button when ready. When done, disconnect the phone.
  9. Open the Phone app on the phone, dial in HOME, tap the contact name that comes up and then tap the green dial button and watch what happens. Expected behavior is that it should dial 0011223344 but display "Adam Sandler" on the screen, instead of "Home".

This is probably a bug of some sort... Because if you delete these contacts on the phone, and in Outlook, and start all over again, this time creating the same two contacts inside the phone, then there is no issue with dialing. If you dial HOME it will actually say "Home" right on the display. Regardless of how many other contacts you got in your phone book that share the same phone number. Hurray! I'm not sure where to go from here though...

  • My experience shows that when you dial a or select a contact specifically, the the default Android dialer scans the list of contacts alphabetically until it finds a number match. Rather than this being a Samsung bug, it's a universal Android feature (Which HTC may have removed). It may not show the correct contact on your screen in all cases, but it avoids collisions that would cause logic errors (and make your dialer crash). You're always free to remove conflicting numbers (For example, if Adam's secondary number is also "Home", what reason is there to keep it under Adam's secondary numbers?) – dotVezz Jan 7 '14 at 22:22
  • @dotVezz Interesting... so this "feature" might be a much deeper rooted Android problem, and not directly OEM specific. Yes, that might work. But why would they not be allowed to co-exist? It has always worked fine for me, on all kinds of phones. It worked on pre-smartphone Ericsson, old Nokia, Nokia with Symbian, HTC Legend, Desire, Desire X. Is there perhaps an app that can solve this? So I can have normal dialing like on HTC? Without rooting it? – Samir Jan 7 '14 at 22:51
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "Why are they not allowed to co-exist?". They are allowed to co-exist. The alphabetized-sort thing is a decision that was likely made to make phones work better (Alternate methods would naturally take more resources, be more work. Good programmers don't over-engineer simple problems.) If you feel it's a high priority problem, I might posting a feature request. But really, is it that much of an issue? – dotVezz Jan 7 '14 at 22:57
  • Of course, you're also free to try any of the huge selection of dialer replacements. – dotVezz Jan 7 '14 at 23:01
  • 1
    Can you mention what device and OS version you're using? The dialer app is one of those that OEMs just love to monkey with. You may be seeing something that people with other devices/OS versions might not be seeing. – ale Jan 8 '14 at 15:33

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