Mobile Phones

What phone should I buy my mom?

Episode 1189

Alex from Sacramento, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Alex is trying to decide that smartphone to get his mother. He'd like to be able to video chat with her. Leo says that while he likes Android, the iPhone is really good because of FaceTime. What about battery life? Leo says he gets through the entire day with ease. But it really comes down to how good the signal is. If the phone is constantly looking for a signal, that can kill the phone in a half a day. But if he's in a good area, then the phone doesn't have to work as hard and that translates to hours more battery life.

What's a good small screen smart phone?

Episode 1186

Eric from Ann Arbor, MI
BlackBerry Classic

Eric's mom uses an old phone that has a physical keyboard. She needs a new phone now and he can't seem to find one small enough for her. Leo says that Samsung does make smaller versions of their Galaxy Phones, like the Alpha, which is 4.7 inches. The smaller the screen, though, the harder it will be to type. He can go with the older iPhone, like the iPhone 5 or even the iPhone 4S, which is available for free now. It's a great smartphone for a first choice.

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Note IV Edge?

Episode 1185

Robert from Greensboro, NC
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Dave loves his Samsung Galaxy Note II, but he's looking to upgrade. Leo says that he should get the Galaxy Note IV. It has a great camera and nice screen. Should he get the Galaxy Note Edge? Leo says the Edge is kind of gimmicky. Some people like it and he likes the look of the S6 Edge, but the Note IV Edge is completely different with a separate screen. Leo says it's not worth the extra $100 for it, that's for sure.

What pay as you go phone is good for Verizon?

Mike from Indiana, PA

Episode 1185

Mike's contract is up with Verizon and he's looking to get a new phone. He wants to buy his own phone and go month to month and get off the contract. Leo says that family plans are beneficial and he wonders why people just don't get together to get one. Leo says that the Droid Turbo is quite nice. The MotoX is a nice size. If you can still get a Samsung Galaxy SIII phone, it's a great phone, and you may be able to get it free. Verizon also allows you to bring a phone to your pay as you go. The One Plus One may be able to work on Verizon.

Could a cell phone give me cancer?

Episode 1184

Jeff from Fullerton, CA
Cell phone

Jeff is worried that using a cell phone is dangerous because of electromagnetic radiation. Leo says that there's no evidence at all that one could get brain cancer from a cell phone.The theory is sensible because electromagnetic radition can damage human cells, but it's in proportion to power output and cell phones are just too low power to do that. People don't really use smart phones as actual phones anymore, anyway. They use them as handheld computers.

How can I back up my text messages?

Marti from San Juan Capistrano, CA

Episode 1184

Marti has an old mobile phone from 2010 and is looking to get a new phone, but she wants to be able to get her text messages backed up. How can she do that? Leo says Marti's biggest problem is the age of her phone. There are apps that could possibly do it, like BitPim, but they're buggy. She could forward the texts to herself, or email them to herself.

She could also check to see if she can save texts to her SIM card. If she has that, she could save a few at a time and then move them over. But without a USB connector, Marti's stuck with forwarding her texts and paying for it.

What phone carrier is best in Santa Monica?

Dana from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1184

Dana says that the best carrier in Santa Monica depends on who you're calling and where you're calling from. Different phones work better in different areas because of algorithms. Some carriers are going to be better in certain zones than others. But she says that T-Mobile is the best out there based on her experience as a phone company executive.

Where can I go for good reviews on Android phones?

Michael from Orange, CA

Episode 1184

Michael is looking for a new phone but he really doesn't know if he can trust the reviews. Leo says that the mobile phone is a personal choice, and it's hard to give a blanket review of what phone is best. It largely comes down to what he's looking for. Leo says he hasn't really tried many of the phones Michael is looking at because they are the basic, low cost phones, not the flagship phones. But since Michael doesn't need or want to spend much, and he just wants a basic phone that does a bit of internet access, there are plenty out there.