Verizon

Should I switch to Google Fi?

Episode 1375

Bob from New Mexico
Google Pixel

Bob is grandfathered in to unlimited data with Verizon, but he's thinking about leaving to go with Google Fi. Would it be worth it? Leo says that unlimited has a few caveats. It may be unlimited, but it could slow down dramatically after a few GBs. Google Fi takes connectivity from Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, picking the best one. It really comes down to how well the services work in his area. If Verizon is better, then he's better off staying with it.

Should I get a Google Pixel with Verizon?

Episode 1350

Rick from Torrance, CA
Google Pixel

Rick wants to know about the new Google Pixel. He wants to leave Verizon but they're working overtime to lure him back. What he wants to know is if the Pixel from Verizon is the same as the Google version. Leo says that he used a Verizon Pixel with a T-Mobile SIM and it was functionally the same. Verizon may hold up updates, though. Google Fi may have that same problem because you have to use Verizon's network with it.

How can I get my data from Verizon?

Louis from Michigan

Episode 1346

Louis is having an issue with his cellphone after he dropped it, so he decided to go with a prepaid version. All of his data is in the Verizon cloud and they won't let him retrieve it. Leo says that's because he's no longer a customer. Samsung has a backup system, as does Google. So he should be able to go through them. It's terrible that Verizon won't give him back his personal data. It's likely though that Verizon has dumped his data by now.

AT&T Is Buying Time Warner for $85 Billion

Episode 1333

AT&T

AT&T is buying Time Warner for $85 billion. Time Warner includes HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT, Warner Bros, and more. The reason these carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc are buying media companies is because they don't want to be in the business of being a 'dumb pipe' for internet access. They want to be in the content business. It's expected that the deal will get regulatory approval without issue.

Read more at wsj.com.

Can I bring my mobile phone to a new carrier?

Episode 1332

Steven from New Jersey
Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Steven has a Motorola Droid phone and he has to move over to Sprint. But if he does, he has to get another phone and he doesn't want to lose the great battery life with his Droid. Leo says he doesn't have to get the phone from Sprint. His old Droid is probably carrier locked and if he's paid for it and is in good standing, he can request that they unlock it. Once that's done, he can take it to Sprint. If they refuse, he'll have to get another phone. His choices are going to get more limited because battery life is decreasing. Right now, the iPhone 7 Plus has the best battery life.

Can I get an iPhone that switches between AT&T and Verizon?

Episode 1328

Gary from Laguna Nigel, CA
Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Gary is a bird photographer and he wants to know if there is a phone that can switch between Verizon and AT&T. If Gary has an unlocked phone, he can swap out SIM cards as necessary and the iPhone will switch from carrier to carrier. If he's in good standing with his carrier he can request that they unlock it. Or he can just buy one unlocked.

Google has Project Fi, which can switch to whatever the strongest carrier is, but the iPhone can't do that.

How can I use my phone in Japan?

Episode 1326

Sandy from Canyon Country, CA
Samsung Galaxy S5

Sandy is going to Japan and is taking her Samsung Galaxy S5 through Verizon. How can she use data while overseas? Leo says that Verizon is the least friendly overseas. Verizon offers an international data package, but it's very expensive and complicated. She can buy the best she can, but use Wi-Fi whenever she can. Turn off international data roaming in the settings. Then Google can pre-cache her maps so she can use them there.

Do I need to buy a new iPhone to switch from Verizon to T-Mobile?

Episode 1318

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Neil is switching to T-Mobile and he wants to make sure he has a phone that will work with it. He was planning on just buying an iPhone that works on T-Mobile, but after hearing Leo's impressions of the Galaxy Note 7, he's thinking of getting that instead. Leo says that his favorite phone changes pretty regularly. The folks at XDA Developers Forum also point out that reviewers often don't use the phone long enough to discover some of the longer term issues with using them. In the past, these Samsung phones have become slow and wouldn't run as smoothly.