Bruce misses his Windows Phone 8 mobile phone. Now he needs to get a new phone and doesn't know what to get. Is the iPhone good for his wife? Or should he get her the LG V30? Leo says the V30 is a very nice phone, but he thinks the Google Pixel 2 XL is the best camera phone on the market. Leo uses it on T-Mobile and it works great.
Scott owns a Windows Phone, but he's tired of people making fun of them and Microsoft has killed it. So he's ready for a new phone. Should he go with Android or Apple? He doesn't trust Google, but he'd prefer an SD card option. Leo says the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the ideal phone for Scott. It takes an SD card, has a large screen, and has a stylus. If he doesn't want the stylus, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is very close in size.
Mike got an iPhone X on T-Mobile from the Apple Store. He took it to T-Mobile to activate it, but found out that T-Mobile won't insure it. Leo says that's because Mike bought it from Apple, not T-Mobile. So Apple Care applies. Leo tends to self-insure because extended warranties are profit centers for the seller. But the iPhone X is very expensive to repair or replace. So he does make an exception with Apple Care, but he'll want to get Apple Care Plus. If he breaks it once, it's probably going to pay for itself.
Lee wants to know how he can be notified of a call on his iPhone 7. Leo says that if he looks at his phone icon, he'll see a red dot with the number of calls. Then he can tap it and see what calls he missed. What about an audio notification? Leo says that If This Then That may be able to give him what he needs. He should try the iPhone app, but Apple is pretty restrictive on opening up the iOS architecture. So that could be something it just won't let him do.
Alan wants to get a new smartphone, but can't afford to buy them at full price. He doesn't like being tied to a contract, either. Leo says that Apple now has a pay as you go system, where you can make payments over two years interest-free, then turn it back in for a new model. Leo thinks it's the best way to go without subsidizing.
John bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 to capture video and share it online. But when he records, he sees a lot of pixelation in it. Leo says it sounds like an odd compression issue. Leo advises trying different settings and using a different video camera app. He should also try a lower resolution or he should change the frame rate. If the issue persists, then it could be something called "macro-blocking" where a solid color like a sky ends up looking banded as a result of video compression. Cinema FV-5 could solve it also.
The holidays are a time where product releases and tech news slow down. This gives technology reporters a chance to look back over the year and come up with winners and losers. This is also when reviews really get into the nitty-gritty of what works and what doesn't. Looking at candidates for Phone of the Year, Leo says that there's plenty of contenders.
Devin bought an iPhone 8 Plus, but now he wants the iPhone X. Leo says that's what we call "iPhone envy." And it's what Apple wants him to have. The iPhone X is the best iPhone made, but the differences are minimal. The camera will give him equally good pictures. It has the same processor, same memory, and same storage. All he would get is a taller screen and no Touch ID (Face ID instead). He also would get an OLED screen, rather than an LCD. But if he's only had that iPhone 8 Plus for a week or two, there's a good chance that he could return it to get the iPhone X if he wants.
Mark ordered an iPhone X from Apple and he's worried about the order. He ordered an AT&T model, but his wife moving to Verizon. Can he swap it through the Apple store? Leo says that's probable. He'll definitely want to do that since the phones are locked to the carrier. The Verizon model would work with AT&T, but not the other way around. That's because Verizon's phone is unlocked, but have different radios in each. Leo suggests not even opening the box. He should just take the phone to the Apple Store and swap it out.
Myron is considering trading in an old iPhone 6S Plus, giving his wife his iPhone 7 Plus and going with the Essential Phone. Leo says it's a great deal because it's a flop sales-wise. It's too bad because it's a really good phone. It had an issue with a crashing camera app, but that has since been fixed along with other housekeeping fixes. Leo now says that the Essential Phone is flawless and one of the only phones running Android 8. It's also $200 off right now. It has a super fast Snapdragon processor and OLED screen with no bezel.