Mobile Phones

What phone should I buy for china?

Episode 1206

Earl from Lakeside, CA
Xiao Mi Note 4

Earl's daughter lives in China and wants to get a new Android phone. She wants a Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that she should probably wait and get the Xiao Mi Note 4 in China. There's a different Galaxy S5 for every region, and if she gets an S5 in the US, it may not work in China. So if she wants an S5, she needs to get the G9009D version to be supported in China. The iPhone would also work.

How can I wipe my mobile device completely?

Episode 1204

Jonathan from Ohio
Samsung Galaxy Tab

Jonathan wants to know if there's an Android equivalent to DBAN (Derek's Boot and Nuke). He wants to be sure to wipe his older phones and tablets completely. Leo says that the problem is that solid state discs can't really be erased effectively. It's because of the wear leveling software that SSDs use. Leo says one thing he can do is turn on encryption. That way, it's just word salad across the entire drive.

How can I transfer apps from my old phone to my new phone?

Episode 1201

G. Scott from Minnesota
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

G. Scott has finally ordered a Samsung Galaxy Note IV. How can he move his apps from his old Note II to his new Note IV? Leo says that with Android 5.0, he can copy everything over via Bluetooth with a tap. But he'll also want the latest apps, and that will require downloading his apps, which he'll want anyway. Android has a backup to Google option, then he can restore the settings and the list of apps to his new phone.

Why is my Blackberry having issues after sideloading an update?

Episode 1201

Kevin from San Diego, CA
BlackBerry Classic

Kevin updated his BlackBerry to the new 10.3 OS and now some of his apps don't work. Kevin did a "sideload" to update his phone, and Leo suspects the issues he's having is due to the carrier, namely Verizon.

When sideloading an OS, he's not getting the approved carrier edition of the operating system, but the version directly from BlackBerry without Verizon's customization. It's likely that it's an APN setting issue within Verizon's servers that is causing connection issues with Kevin's phone. This is why sideloading can be problematic.

Should I buy my next phone before moving to Italy?

Michael from Sacramento, CA

Episode 1198

Michael is retiring to Italy. Leo says that's exciting! He has a Samsung Galaxy Note III. Will it work in Europe? Leo says probably, but he'll have to have it unlocked. If he wants to get a new one, should he get it where he is now in the US or in Italy? Leo says that if he buys it here, again, he'll need to unlock it. He'd also have to buy it outright, and not subsidized through a carrier. The key is to be sure it has all the frequencies he needs. But he should get ready for some sticker shock because there is no subsidizing in Europe, plus there's VAT taxes, exchange rates, etc.

Should I wait for the Ubuntu phone?

Rusty from Mobile, AL

Episode 1196

Rusty is an open source fan and has heard about the Ubuntu phone. Should he wait for it? Leo says that he's a fan of Ubuntu but it's very unfinished and he imagines that a phone OS is probably going to be the same. It's primarily aimed at emerging markets where price is a consideration. If you like Ubuntu, it's probably very usable. But there won't be a lot of apps for it and that's going to be a frustration,.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1195

If you have an older car that doesn't allow you to connect your stereo to your phone, then Dickie D has a great gadget for you. It's called the Kinivo Bluetooth Car Kit with Multipoint. (Model BTC-455) and it allows you to plug in via the cigarette lighter and have a powered audio jack that plugs into your car stereo, which then connects to your phone via bluetooth. Under $50 on Amazon. (If you're positive you’ll only be using one Bluetooth device, you can buy the older model 450 which is about $10 to $15 cheaper.)