Mobile Phones

Why is my phone getting bright and then dim?

Samsung Note 8

Episode 1586

Jason from Indianapolis, IN

Jason updated his Samsung Note 8 recently and now his display is reacting strangely as it gets super bright, then super dim, and then bright again. Leo suspects the proximity sensor may be out of wack, or Jason is holding the phone wrong and covering it up. Try turning off auto brightness as this will prevent it from constantly adjusting the brightness on your phone. But it could be a failing proximity sensor as well, which if that is the case, see if Samsung is able to fix it.

Can my phone get a virus from a Robocall?

RoboCalls

Episode 1586

Warren from Lakewood, CA

Warren answered a phone call that ended up being a robocall. Can answering robocalls deliver viruses to his phone? Leo says no. You can get your phone hacked by clicking on a link or reading a text message, but answering a phone call won't do it. It's likely just coincidental. Leo says that this is an ongoing problem now and people just can't use their phones anymore

Samsung's Folding Phone Screen Failures

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1585

This week, several reviewers who got the Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone experienced catastrophic screen failures after just a day or two of use. Leo feels bad for Samsung since many reviewers who were sceptical of the design had begun to praise it. But then four different reviewers experienced screen failures: One from a piece of debris that caught in the hinge broke the screen, two others who inadvertently removed the protective film of the screen itself, and several others just plain died. It's like battery-gate all over again. 

Should I Buy a Used or Refurbished Phone?

Moto G6

Episode 1584

Ernest from Los Angeles, CA

Ernest needs a new phone but can't afford $1,000 to buy a brand new one. Should he buy a refurbished or used one? Leo says he can, but only from the manufacturer or a trusted reseller like Gazelle. But there are plenty of affordable Android phones out there, like the Motorola Moto G6 that are only a few hundred dollars. One Plus is another and the benefit is that they come unlocked. It's about $500 but for the price, the Moto G6 is an excellent choice.

What Happened to my Local TV Channels?

Hauppauge

Episode 1584

Mark from Tustin, California

Mark's channels have disappeared from his Hauppauge tuner. What happened? Leo says that the FCC has made stations shift frequencies, and have advised that users rescan for missing channels. Check out TVAnswers.org for when and how to rescan. There's more information here - https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video/4040289-cbs2-rescan-day/. But it may also be a Hauppauge issue.

Samsung's Folding Phone Breaks Easily

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Episode 1584

The infamous $2,000 Samsung Galaxy Fold folding phone has been reported by reviewers to break after just a day or two of regular use. Leo says this is the reason why early adopters should avoid bleeding edge technology. Samsung says that two of the reviewers removed a protective film that was required to keep the phone in shape, but other reviewers had debris that got jammed into the hinge causing the screen to crack. That's normal use. While Samsung says that reviewers were mistreating the phone, Leo's advising users not to buy this one.

Is Google Fi Good for International Travel?

Fi

Episode 1583

Don from Victor, MT

Don has a Samsung Galaxy S9 and they're going to take a cruise to the Baltic soon. He wants to know if he should sign up with Google Fi before he does. Rich used to buy the SIMs, which is the best way to do it. Don should check out Prepaidwithdata.wikia.com for what is the best in the countries Don is travelling to.  He can also try getting a MiFi Mobile Hotspot. That way he can use it overseas with multiple devices. He can also try using the Passport plan with his carrier. He can also check out Verizon's international options, which offer 2G coverage for free for users. 

Is it Safe to Send Documents Scanned by my Phone?

Google Drive

Episode 1583

Dolores from Lancaster, CA

Dolores wants to know if it's safe to scan images of documents and send them to her attorney. Rich says it depends on the app itself.  Take proper precautions and use a reliable/reputable app. Rich uses Google Drive to scan apps on an Android phone. On the iPhone, scan the document with Apple's NOTES app, or with Scannable.

Once she's scanned them, then she wants to be sure she can send them securely.

Why Does my iPhone Screen Go Dim?

 iPhone 8

Episode 1583

Rose from Los Angeles, CA

Rose is having issues where her iPhone 8 screen just goes dim. Rich says that there is a sensor on her phone that will go dim if it gets obscured. Rose should clean her screen, or check that if her case is interfering with her phone's sensor. It may also be a failing sensor, so bring it to the Apple Store and have them run diagnostics to determine what's going on.