Mobile Phones

Is the iPhone waterproof?

Episode 1239

Dan from Goldsboro, NC
Apple iPhone 6s

Dan dropped his iPhone 6s this week, and found it lying in a puddle at a parking lot in the rain. The great news was it still works! Leo says that Apple has placed additional silicon seals around it to make the iPhone water resistant. Not waterproof, though. There is still a little piece of paper inside it which turns red when wet.

What's a good way to bring my cell phone on a trip to Europe?

Luca from Vancouver, BC

Episode 1238

Luca wants to know which cell carrier would be good for a trip through Eastern Europe. Leo says that the EU will require free roaming across borders in all the EU states by 2017, but until then, it's a mixed bag. Dueche Telecom probably supports it.

Here's a good resource: It will tell him all the carriers that support service in the countries he's traveling to. He should buy a SIM for the country he's visiting.

What's the best phone carrier for traveling all over the country?

William from Michigan

Episode 1236

Leo says this is difficult because it's all very geographical. If William said Kansas City, he'd say Sprint because they're really good there. If he said New York, his advice would be Verizon. Both of those companies originated in those places. William was thinking of going with Cricket Wireless, but Leo said he'd go with one of the big national carriers.

How can I reset my Android phone?

Phillip from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1236

Phillip has a Motorola Moto G through Cricket and he's been playing with his phone and put it into a Java runtime mode called ART. Leo says that's a fiddler. He'll have to go through a lot of hoops to go into developer mode and change that. Now he's getting a lot of error messages. Leo says he's done that on several Android devices and it sounds like it needs to be manually reset.

Should I buy phone insurance?

Ed from San Diego, CA

Episode 1236

Ed says he likes mobile phones, but they're slippery and he's worried about breaking them. He doesn't know what phone insurance program to buy. Leo says that the devil is in the details. There's usually a deductible and a limited number of times he'd be able to use it. Leo advises adding the deductible to the cost of the insurance and see if it's worth investing from that perspective.

What's a good budget Android phone?

Mike from Maine

Episode 1236

Mike is still looking to choose a phone that can keep him secure and protect his privacy. He's looking at the 2nd generation Motorola Moto X and the Moto G. There's also the One Plus X. Leo says that all three of them are great phones. The Moto X is bigger and has a nicer resolution, but at the cost of battery life. The OnePlus gets great battery life, although the new OnePlus Two doesn't have the greatest screen. The Moto G is good, but pricey. The OnePlus X may be his best option.

How can I extend the range of my video signal?

Steve from Chino Hills, CA

Episode 1234

Steve has a Security Camera DVR and he's used a splitter to watch it in several rooms using a balun, but he keeps losing the signal. Leo says that HDMI doesn't throw very far, and using a balun amplifies the signal and sends it over ethernet to the other side. The distance is still limited to around 200' and it could be that he's at the extreme edge of the range. Steve could go RF. The chat room says that using Cat6 Ethernet cables could make it that far, and at he could get an extender kit to around 328 feet.

How can I scan a lot of documents and pictures?

Glenda from Orange, CA

Episode 1232

Glenda wants to know how she can scan multiple documents quickly. Leo says that a mobile phone is a fast way to capture documents and images. The key to good scans is light, though. Glenda will want to hold it as still as she can. There are tons of apps on both Google Play and iOS that can do it. Leo likes Evernote. It'll even do optical character recognition with the paid version.