Mobile Phones

What Android phone should I buy?

Episode 1448

Scott from Hisperia, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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.

Why doesn't T-Mobile insure the iPhone X?

Episode 1448

Mike from Tinley Park, IL
Apple iPhone X

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.

How can I get notified audibly that I got a call?

Episode 1445

Lee from Big Bear, CA
Phone notification

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.

Why is my mobile phone camera so pixelated?

Episode 1444

John from Long Beach, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7

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 Best Phone of the Year

Episode 1444

Apple iPhone X

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.

Should I return my iPhone 8 for an iPhone X?

Episode 1442

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
Apple iPhone X

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.

Can I use my iPhone X with another carrier?

Episode 1441

Mark from Thousand Oaks, CA
Apple iPhone X

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.

Should I buy the Essential Phone?

Episode 1440

Myron from Minnesota
Essential Phone

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.