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Problem with button backlight

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My bro-in-law recently got a Wildfire, and he is having problems with the backlight of the "touch" buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Pretty much the button backlight hardly ever comes on. They must be linked to the light sensor next to the speaker at the top of the phone, as when I cover that they switch on.
So in a really dark room, the backlight switches on as expected, but in a normally lit living room the backlight stays off, and its very hard to work with the phone.

This is the second phone (from T-Mobile) with exactly the same problem. I'm assuming this can't be normal or everyone would be screaming about it!

Anyone got any advice...or is this a known problem? Brother-in-law does not want to root and run custom roms, so that option is out.

Guess it will be going back to T-Mobile again?


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