Mobile Phones

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

What phone service should I have for a trip to Australia?

Episode 1541

JT from Irvine, CA

JT is heading to Australia for a week. What mobile service should he use? Leo says that Google Fi and T-Mobile both work all over the world. Not as fast, but free EDGE service, which is nice. You can then use local WiFi at the hotel, coffee shops, etc. when you can. The Global plan on TMobile is $20 a month, but it's only slightly faster, and the speeds vary wildly. Or you can buy a "day pass" of 4G access which charges by the bandwidth.

Is it best to keep my smartphone plugged in whenever possible?

Motorola Moto G4 charging

Episode 1539

Mike from Culver City, CA

Mike has a Motorola G4 and he wants to know if it's best for his battery to keep the phone plugged in whenever possible. There's been articles that claim it's best to do it differently, though. Leo says there's a lot of lore about lithium ion batteries, and Leo isn't even convinced that we understand how they really work. Leo gets his information from BatteryUniversity.com.

Would Apple robocall me?

Man yelling at phone

Episode 1540

Bob from Danville, CA

Bob and his wife keep getting robocalls from Apple. Leo says those are scams. These are fake robocalls claiming their iCloud has been breached. Apple would never call him. If something really did happen, Apple would just put out a press release. Bob shouldn't call them back. Even better, if he doesn't recognize the number, he shouldn't answer. If it's important, they will leave a message.

Which iPhone should I buy?

Apple iPhone XS

Episode 1539

Warren from Granada Hills, CA

Warren wants a new iPhone with a large screen. But he doesn't know what to get. He wants one that will last awhile. Leo says that to future proof, he's going to want to get the iPhone XS Max. It'll have the longest runway as for use. He could get the iPhone XR, as it's got the same internals as the iPhone XS, but it's a smaller liquid retina screen, not OLED. He's also giving up the dual camera on the back, but the iPhone XR camera still has a basic version of portrait mode, which is pretty good. The iPhone XR is also available in several colors!

Why does my iPhone disconnect when listening in the car?

iPhone X

Episode 1538

Barry from Torrance, CA

Barry's Bluetooth connection in his Infinity keeps dropping his iPhones when he's listening to Amazon music. Leo says that Bluetooth is really finicky, but it's all we've got. It shouldn't happen, but chances are, the problem is on Infinity's end and not Apple's. It could also be an issue with Amazon Music. He should try using iTunes and see if the problem is repeated. He should also check his app settings that could change the behavior. Maybe the app thinks he's getting a call and it's "ducking" the audio.

What's a good Bluetooth headset for his iPhone?

VAVA MOOV Bluetooth Headphones

Episode 1537

Kevin from Missoula, MT

Kevin wants a wireless Bluetooth connection to his mobile device so he can be hands-free. Leo likes the headsets that have a wrap around your neck, but it contains a huge battery to let you listen for hours. Motorola headsets are great. Jabras are also good. These VaVa Moovs have nine hours of battery life and support APTX Bluetooth. The Anker Soundcore is a good speaker option.

How can I turn my smartphone into a hotspot?

Episode 1536

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." His phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. But he'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).