So a problem arose with my GS4 beginning yesterday afternoon. I was using my phone to check game times for the ncaa basketball tournament on google chrome when the application suddenly crashed. I tried to re-open the browser and after doing so the phone almost immediately closed it again. I thought perhaps it was just a problem with the program so tried out some other applications on my phone. They all exhibited the same behavior (opened, immediately closed). In an attempt to resolve this, I restarted the phone and then ran into another problem. Upon restart, my phone loaded up until the Verizon loading screen and would not advance further. After roughly 10 minutes, I removed the battery from the phone to kill the power, waited ~1 minute, re installed the battery, and attempted to start the device back up. Again it could make go further in the boot up sequence than the Verizon screen. I was unable to correct this problem unless I removed the battery, re installed it, plugged the phone into a charger, and then turned the phone on. This issue is persisting today - applications are still crashing and I am unable to use my phone for anything other than a large watch - and it's rather frustrating. I thought perhaps it was battery issue, so plugged the phone in and tried to load an application with no success.
So... do I have a battery issue? Software? Hardware?
Update: after being plugged in for a half hour (battery not at 100% still) the programs are opening if that helps diagnose or gives any other indicator of what is going on.
We want you to have a fully functional device! Your issue sounds as if it may be software related. Please place your phone in "Safe Mode" and see if the issue persists. http://vz.to/1hSCHPI Keep us posted.
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I was unsuccessful in my attempt to start my phone in safe mode. I then took it over to a physical store where the IT guy there confirmed it was a software issue not related to a third-party application. Defective phone has been replaced with a refurb.