Mobile Phones

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

How can I make phone calls without a cellular plan?

Episode 1441

Bernie from Washington State
Verizon JetPack

Bernie wants to know about his data. He's worried that he's going over his data caps. Leo says that cell phone companies are moving towards Voice over LTE, which will use data to do phone calls because the quality is better. Can he get a data only device and do that? Leo says he can use apps like Tango and Skype to do that, but he's still paying for data. No cell company offers a mobile phone with just data only.

Can I use my iPhone X with another carrier?

Episode 1441

Mark from Thousand Oaks, CA
Apple iPhone X

Mark ordered an iPhone X from Apple and he's worried about the order. He ordered an AT&T model, but his wife moving to Verizon. Can he swap it through the Apple store? Leo says that's probable. He'll definitely want to do that since the phones are locked to the carrier. The Verizon model would work with AT&T, but not the other way around. That's because Verizon's phone is unlocked, but have different radios in each. Leo suggests not even opening the box. He should just take the phone to the Apple Store and swap it out.

Should I buy the Essential Phone?

Episode 1440

Myron from Minnesota
Essential Phone

Myron is considering trading in an old iPhone 6S Plus, giving his wife his iPhone 7 Plus and going with the Essential Phone. Leo says it's a great deal because it's a flop sales-wise. It's too bad because it's a really good phone. It had an issue with a crashing camera app, but that has since been fixed along with other housekeeping fixes. Leo now says that the Essential Phone is flawless and one of the only phones running Android 8. It's also $200 off right now. It has a super fast Snapdragon processor and OLED screen with no bezel.

Tech Bloggers Rush Out Reviews of Google Pixel 2

Episode 1440

Pixel 2 XL

Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.

How can I update my iPhone without wireless?

Episode 1439

Howard from Mission Viejo, CA
Apple iPhone X

Howard just got an iPhone X and he had to restore his iPhone 4 data to it. Leo says the fastest way to do that is to plug it into iTunes, back it up, and then restore to his new phone. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. But his problem is that his network is wired and he can't get updates because it's Wi-Fi only. Is that true? Leo says not really. He can connect to iTunes, download the updates, and install them.

Why doesn't my password vault work in iOS 11?

Episode 1439

Fred from Anchorage, AL
LastPass

Fred has an iPhone 6 that's been updated to iOS 11. But when he updated it, he lost his password vault file. Leo says that Apple discontinued support for 32-bit apps in iOS11 and as such, a lot of apps simply broke and stopped working. They won't work unless the developer updates them. Fred will have to contact the app developer and see if they're working on a solution. If it backed up the data to DropBox then he may see it there.

Why does my phone butt dial?

Episode 1438

Dave from Ridgecrest, CA
Feature Phone

Dave has a problem with a Tracfone that "butt dials" 911. What can he do? Leo says that there's a feature in Tracfone that has physical buttons and a lock that prevents them from being depressed when he has it in his pocket. Modern phones solve this problem with lock screens, but Leo says it doesn't always work either because people don't wait until the screen locks before putting the phone in their pocket. It could be that his phone lock is broken.