Mobile Phones

Should I buy my iPhone subsidized or at full price?

Episode 1120

Ed from Charlotte, NC
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Ed can upgrade to the new iPhone and wonders if it's worth it to extend his contract or just buy it unsubsidized. Leo says that buying an iPhone outright can cost up to $1000. That's why most users buy subsidized, which is essentially paying for the phone over time with a two year contract. All the carriers have special plans now so he can get a new phone every year. But in the long run, he's actually spending more. If he isn't eligible for an upgrade, then he's going to pay the full price anyway.

I have a bricked One Plus One!

Ron from Anchorage, AL

Episode 1118

Ron had a One Plus One, and it's a great phone, but the customer service is terrible. His phone broke and he's had a hell of a time getting his problems addressed. Leo says you'd have to send your handset overseas after logging to their website and communicate via eMail. And it's tedious. But considering the cost you paid for the phone ($350), there's no margin to offer support. Leo says it's a desirable phone, at an impressive price, but if support is bad, that's a bad thing.

What does Leo think of the One Plus One phone?

David from Pennsylvania

Episode 1118

David recently got the One Plus One Android phone, it's the one where you have to get an invitation in order to buy it But Leo says the price is right at $350 for 64GB. It's rooted, running Cyanogen Mod, so there isn't really any "kruft." And David is using a kind of kluge of routing it through his vonage VOIP account to call Leo.. But Leo is concerned that One Plus One just needs to open it up for everyone to buy. It was initially good marketing, but the time has come to open it up to let people to just buy it. Why are they doing it this way?

Should I get an iPhone 4S for $0.99 at Verizon?

Episode 1116

Max from West LA, CA
Apple iPhone 4S

Max had a Blackberry Curve with Verizon and it just died. He can get the iPhone 4S for .99, and is wondering if that would be a good deal. Leo says they should give him .99 for the iPhone 4S! It's fine for what Max is doing, but it's three generations behind, and will be the last model that he can install the most recent OS on. Max will be able to install iOS 8, but it will be really slow. If he doesn't care, then sure, it'll work. Leo also says that within days, he's likely to see a similar deal for iPhone 5.

How do I get rid of Farmville on Facebook?

Kevin from Ashville, NC

Episode 1115

Kevin's daughter has a facebook account and when she plays Farmville, it says she's already logged into another account. Leo says to go into the applications screen and delete Farmville, and any others, then just relog in and it'll reassociate with her original account. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or HTC One? Leo says that the Note has a far better camera. But the HTC One has better features. So it comes down to what you use it for.

Should I get a smartphone through StraightTalk Wireless?

Joe from Simi Valley, CA

Episode 1114

Joe is getting his first smartphone and he's looking at Walmart's StraightTalk which offers unlimited talk, text, and data. Leo says that unlimited doesn't necessarily mean true unlimited. After a few GBs, they'll throttle it down to an almost unusable speed. And StraightTalk is an MVNO through AT&T or Sprint. So he'll have to check what network he would be using, and what the coverage is like in his area.

What's the best phone for someone losing their sight?

Jack from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1113

Jack wants to get a phone for his friend who's losing his sight. He wants something that they can talk with. Leo says that the iPhone is easily the best in that regard as it's accessibility features are specifically deisgned for those who are blind or vision impaired. And the next version - iPhone 6 - will have a bigger screen which will make it easier for him to use.

Should I wait to buy the iPhone 6 until people return it for being too big?

Episode 1113

Dale from Santa Monica, CA
Apple HQ

Dale is thinking about waiting until the larger iPhone 6 comes out and then buying it refurbished after people return it for being too big. Leo says that's a great idea. His patience will always be rewarded and even with this, Apple will likely lower the price on the iPhone 5 or 5S after the 6 comes out. Leo says that with the size of the iPhone 6 being 5.5 inches (rumored), it may end up cannibalizing the iPad Mini.