Mobile Phones

What mobile phone should I buy?

Episode 1602

Vicky from California

Vicky recently dropped her Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and cracked the screen. So now she needs to get a new phone. She's retired and is on a budget, so what should she get? Leo recommends the Motorola Moto G7. It's about $200, and Best Buy is offering $100 off right now. A great phone with a descent camera. And AT&T may give you a deal to keep your business. But don't accept any lesser models.

Harry Potter Finally Launches from Niantic

Potter

Episode 1602

Niantic, the creators of the successful mobile game Pokemon Go, has finally put out a game based in the universe of Harry Potter, called Wizards Unite. You play a wizard, using your wand to battle other wizards and catch fantastic beasts. All in Augmented Reality. Leo says that it was originally launched in Australia, and people went wild about it. Now it's been launched in the US and around the world, so MORE people are going wild. 

Do smaller cell carriers use their own networks?

Spectrum

Episode 1601

Gary from Southern California

Gary got an offer to sign up with Spectrum for mobile service, but he just learned that they use AT&T. Do smaller carriers use the big carriers lines all the time? Leo says that the big four is AT&T, Verizon, TMobile, and Sprint. The smaller cell companies, called MVNOs, interconnect and ride piggyback on multiple lines. It's pretty complicated. But if you sign up with a smaller carrier, you're actually running your traffic on the largest carrier.

What do I need for my technology for a trip to Vietnam?

Travel Adapter

Episode 1601

Sarah from Los Angeles, California

Sarah is traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia later in the year and doens't know what to bring with her for her technology. Leo says that most electronics are now rated for 110w-240w, so they can handle any circuit all over the world. But that plugs will be different. There are travel adapters for sale that you can pick up to plug in your power plugs. They should be the same as China, but you may want to be sure it's not a french adapter since Vietnam was once a French colony. As for your data and international roaming, it depends on your carrier.

What's a good dual sim mobile phone?

Pixel 3

Episode 1601

Manny from Vero Beach, Florida

Manny's wife is going to need a new phone, as her Huawei Mate 9 will be denied service soon since the US Gov't believes Huawei is a security concern due to ties to the Chinese PRC Army, there won't be a new model for sale here in the US. So what are her options? Leo says that she should be able to continue using it for a few more months, but she should definitely consider a replacement soon. And she needs dual sims, which means there aren't a lot of choices, especially since she wants a great camera with it. That really lowers the options. 

How can I be sure I'm getting my Android updates?

Fido Solutions

Episode 1599

Nathan from New Brunswick, Canada

Nathan wants to switch from cellphone providers. He gets his Android updates from one, will he lose them? Leo says that FIDO is a ROGERS MVNO, and Android updates come in three stages. 1) google releases it 2) the cellphone maker certifies it 3) the carrier has to agree to push it out. All three have to happen to get the update. Leo's opinion is that since Roger's owns FIDO as an MVNO, it's likely you'll keep getting them. But it's worth following them on XDA Developers or Reddit to see when they come out.

What should be my next Android phone?

Samsung Galaxy S10

Episode 1599

Richard from Sonoma, CA

Richard recently came across his old Google G1, the first Android mobile device. Now he's at the Google Pixl2 XL and he wants a phone with an SD card for storage. Leo says that SD card slots are on a lot of phones, but they are notoriously difficult. The operating system doens't trust them to install apps. But Samsung seems to have gotten a handle on it. Leo recommends the Samsung Galaxy S10. But understand that Samsung does modify the Android OS a bit to make everything work the way they want. Some things are great, some aren't. Which is why Leo roots his and uses a custom launcher.

How can I prevent smartphone apps from spying on me?

App Store

Episode 1597

Scott from Long Beach, CA

Scott doesn't want his smartphone to phone home and spy on him. Leo says that both IOS and Android will allow you to turn off their cell access, thereby preventing them from phoning home. But realize that will limit their usefulness.  Check out this article on how apps phone home - https://www.dailyherald.com/business/20190601/what-is-your-iphone-doing-...

Why can't I use my Obama Phone with Verizon?

Motorola Moto G7

Episode 1597

John from Santa Barbara, CA

John got an "Obama Phone" with AirVoice Wireless. When he got a new Motorola Moto Phone that was unlocked, it says it uses GSM or LTE. And AirVoice Wireless only uses Verizon. Can he use the phone? Leo says that Verizon is CDMA, so a GSM phone won't work. But AirVoice also says they're an AT&T carrier. From the chatroom - input the APN settings listed here and it needs to be a phone that works with AT&T. https://apn.gishan.net/en/apn/airvoice/motorola-moto-g-4g-2nd-gen

How can I backup photos from my mobile phone?

iPhone XS

Episode 1596

David from Riverside, CA

David takes a lot of pictures with his smartphone and he is having issues transferring his pictures to his computer. He plugs in the iPhone to his Windows PC and drags and drops. But it stops. Leo says that Windows is awful doing that. It's not fault tolerant and it can time out really easily. Microsoft has a command line option called ROBO COPY that'll handle it without error. But in the long run, that's a difficult way to do it. Leo recommends using Google Photos. And the photos are just as good.