Mobile Phones

Should I buy the HTC Ultra?

Episode 1383

Ryan from Anaheim, CA
HTC Ultra

Ryan has an iPhone 7 and he's thinking of getting an HTC Ultra. Worth it? Leo says that he doesn't think so. HTC made great phones for years with great speakers and long battery life. But lately, they've been courting the low cost Asian market with tinny speakers and awful battery life.

If Ryan wants a good Android phone, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 or LG G6 is worth getting because of it's bezel-less design. He'll get a larger screen without having to carry a larger phone.

Why do my apps move when I update Android?

Episode 1382

Marty from Los Angeles, CA
Samsung Galaxy S5

Marty has a Samsung Galaxy S5 with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB memory card. When the apps update, however, they install back onto the internal storage. Leo says that SD card storage is an issue on Android. They can't put apps on an SD card if it uses widgets. So some apps will move back. It's probably why Apple doesn't mess with it.

The chatroom says that the S5 update to Android 6.0 solves that problem, if he can update. It's called Adoptable Storage, but it was really only a Google feature. The SD card is really meant for media and storage, not for apps. He should get a new phone.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Review

Episode 1382

Samsung Galaxy S8

Leo got the Samsung Galaxy S8 this week and it has a 6.2" screen, but it's a bit weird because of its aspect ratio. Like the iPhone 5 which had a tall, narrow screen, the S8 is doing the same thing to make it tall and larger without being wider. The edge is more aesthetic and has less usable area as before. It is "bezel-less" now, so the image goes edge to edge making it look larger without being wider. It's not the same camera as the S7 – it's extremely nice with an upgraded sensor.

Why does my mobile phone screen turn black when I get a call?

Episode 1381

Marty from Los Angeles, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Marty has a Samsung Note 4 that goes to a blank screen when he's on calls. Then he has to touch the power button to turn it back on. Leo says that there is a proximity sensor that turns off the screen when you put it up to your ear. That way your cheek doesn't hit any buttons on the screen. So it sounds like that sensor is a bit out of wack.

Marty could try resetting his phone, but if that doesn't fix it, it would be a hardware issue and that means either getting a new phone, repairing it, or living with it.

Why doesn't GPS work on my phone?

Episode 1381

Milian from Seattle, WA
Samsung Galaxy S8

Milian wants to know why he can't use his maps app on his Samsung Galaxy S5. Leo says that Milian may have not given the app permission to use his location and as such, it won't access the GPS. But if it used to work, then there may be a hardware issue, like a flakey antenna. It may have a lose connection. He may want to go to the store and ask them to check it. If it's out of warranty, then it may be time to get a new phone and the timing is perfect since the Samsung Galaxy S8 is coming out this week. That will drop the price of the S7 as well.

Why doesn't my phone work in the US?

Episode 1380

Mike from Santa Monica, CA
Huawei G8

Mike bought a Huawei G8 mobile phone in Hong Kong that is a dual SIM model, but it only runs on the G2 band in the US, even though it's on G4 in Hong Kong. Leo says that it wasn't designed for the US market and as such, it only supports certain bands here. He may not have much of a choice. One thing he can try is going over to the XDA Developer Forums. He may be able to root the device and gain access to those bands. He should enter the exact model of the phone to find out how to do it.

Can I use my Google Fi phone on Verizon?

Episode 1377

Robert from Laguna Hills, CA
Google Pixel

Robert signed up for Google Fi and bought a new Google Pixel phone, but Google is having issues activating his account. Leo says that's disappointing, especially when they don't know what the problem is. Leo says it's a good system and Robert shouldn't give up on it yet.

Can he use it on Verizon until it does? Leo says yes. He should just ask them for a SIM and he'll be able to use it. It shouldn't add any software overlays, but it may download some apps. He'll be able to uninstall them, though.