Mobile Phones

iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, or feature phones.

Can I wipe my phone and start over like a computer?

John from Maine

Episode 1146

John just wiped all his computers and started over. Can he do the same with his cellphones? Leo says that all cellphones have a reset command that will wipe it and bring back the base default configuration. Sure. Leo says while you're at it, you could update it to a more recent OS. But Leo also says that a newer phone would probably serve john better since SSDs get sluggish over time.

Why can't I add an old iPhone 4S to Verizon?

Sharon from San Diego, CA

Episode 1146

Sharon has a Verizon cellphone but wants to get her old AT&T iPhone 4S added to it, But they say they can't add that phone to their network. Leo says back then, AT&T and Verizon used different technologies - GSM and CDMA respectively. If the phone was newer, like an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, you could do it because they are called "world phones." You may need to unlock it. But the 4S predates the era and won't work. The good news is that Apple still sells the iPhone 5 and 5S and it may be for free with a two year commitment. So that's an option.

Why won't my Android phone sync?

Brandon from Ontario, CA

Episode 1145

Brandon got a Google Nexus 5. He tried to plug in his Android phone into his PC but it won't sync, it just charges. Leo says that his PC isn't loading the USB drivers for it, which is why it's not syncing. Leo says another option is to try a program called AirDroid. It will then connect over WiFi and you won't have that sync issue. It's a tad slower, but it's a good workaround.

What cellphone service should I get for my first smartphone?

Soup from Venice, CA

Episode 1145

Soup is ready to get his first smartphone. Leo says the number one thing to decide is which carrier you want. Then choose your phone from there. You want the carrier that offers the best coverage in your area. Service wise, they're all horrible. But coverages are better for some than others. Tmobile is the best of the four and they're very aggressive in pricing. AT&T is the “fastest” for data. Verizon has the most coverage but is slower and you can do calling and data at the same time (though that's changing).

How can I extend the battery life of my Samsung Galaxy S5?

Episode 1144

Kelly from Arkansas
Anker battery case

Kelly has an old Casio Brigade phone, but it can't hold a charge anymore, so he got a new Samsung Galaxy S5. But when he's out in survival training, he isn't much of a fan of the battery life. Leo says that the battery life isn't all that great, but the good news is that he can swap out the battery. He should buy a bunch of spare batteries and then he can swap them out in the field. And he can even buy a solar charger and charge them up when not using them.

Will a wallet cellphone case demagnetize my credit cards?

Episode 1144

Willy from Florence, CO
Credit cards

Willy got an LG Vista and he doesn't like how big it is. Leo says at 5.7", it's ginormous. Nice, but very huge. Willy is considering carrying it in a special wallet case that's inside his pocket. Will the cellphone signal demagnetize the credit cards in his wallet? And will it interfere with calls? Leo says no. He has a similar pouch and neither has happened to him. There are several cases that have doubled as wallets and they work well.

Why does my iPhone echo when I get a call from a landline?

Episode 1143

Paul from Pasadena, CA

Paul just upgraded to an Apple iPhone 6 Plus, but every time he gets a call from a landline, he gets an echo. Could it be the Wi-Fi calling feature or noise suppression? Could it be a T-Mobile issue? Leo doesn't think so. But it could be a delay when talking from Wi-Fi or cellular to the landline. This is an odd issue that often happens on the radio show. And they've never been able to track it down. Leo says to get Apple to replace the iPhone. If it still happens, it's the network, not the phone.

Should I upgrade to the iPhone 6?

Episode 1143

Sharon from San Marcos, CA
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Sharon is finally upgrading from her iPhone 4, and she's wondering if the iPhone 6 is a bit too large. She can also get the iPhone 5 for free, so she's wondering what she should do. Leo says that the iPhone 5 really isn't free, she's just paying for it over time.

Sharon would probably like the iPhone 6 better. It's only $70 down. If she's paying for it over a two year contract anyway, she really should go with the iPhone 6. She'll have the Touch ID fingerprint reader for security, and a host of other features that make it worth it.