Mobile Phones

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

Why do so many devices have non-replaceable batteries?

Episode 1373

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA
Nintendo Switch

Clarence is concerned about the new trend to have irreplaceable batteries in devices, like the new Nintendo Switch. Leo says that iFixIt says the battery in the Switch can be replaced with the right tool and replacement part. It's doable. But there's no user serviceable part for the battery in the iPhone. It's all glued in now. Apple will repair a battery for you, but it can't be done by the user. Clarence's battery should last around 500 complete charges. Once that happens, they are dead.

How can I find out what's draining my phone battery?

Episode 1373

Brittany from Anaheim, CA
iPhone Battery Stats

Brittany has heard that the Android phones are having battery life issues. Leo says that the iPhone 7 Plus is one of the best phones for battery life. Apple is also very aggressive about controlling apps on the phone to prevent them from running in the background. The Android phone that Brittany's boyfriend has probably has an ill behaved app that's sucking the battery power out of it. Facebook, for instance, is a battery hog.

How can I charge my phone while hiking?

Episode 1372

Sheri from Pomona, CA
American Red Cross Clipray the crank-powered, clip-on flashlight and smartphone charger

Sheri wants a good battery backup that will last a long time and will enable her to recharge via solar. Leo says the problem with solar is that to be portable, it'll take days to charge because it would be so small. That's why Leo recommends crank chargers. They also have emergency radios built in. Campers also have camp stoves that will charge the phone by converting heat to electricity.

How can I open my phone without losing data from a password lock?

Vic from Glendale CA

Episode 1372

Vic recently lost his son and he is trying to get into his computer and accounts, but only he had the passwords. Leo says that LastPass has a feature that will enable survivors to gain access to the data. The cellphone may be a more difficult proposal, though. The dangerous thing is that there is a setting in both Android and iOS that could erase the phone if he fails 10 times to open it up.

Does the Otterbox iPhone screen protector produce a rainbow effect?

Episode 1372

Kenny from Springfield, MO
Otterbox Case for iPhone 7 Plus

Kenny wants to get an Otter Box for his iPhone 7 Plus, but he hears that there's a rainbow effect with the screen protector. Leo says it could, if he used it. Leo doesn't put it on. It'll protect him against scratches, sure, but the glass of the iPhone is very hard. He can get a sapphire glass cover, but the problem is, he'd have to keep that protected as well.

The Otterbox is very good at protecting the phone, and most of the time, it'll hit on the case, not the screen. Leo recommends them. But if he's worried, Kenny should get the model that has a lid.

Why is my Wi-Fi so bad?

Episode 1371

Steve from Redlands, CA
Wi-Fi

Steve's Dell Inspiron laptop drops Wi-Fi all the time. Dell claims to have fixed it via remote access, but it didn't work. Leo says that it's likely the person at Dell tech support had very little training and was following the directions in the notebook. All too often it doesn't fix the problem. What he'll need to do is call them back and ask to have his case escalated to tier 2 or even tier 3 level support.

How can I update my Nexus 6?

Episode 1371

Mike from St. Cloud, MN
Google Nexus 6

Mike has a Google Nexus 6 that isn't updating. He's tried to get Nougat on it, but it won't update. Leo says that the Nexus 6 may not be getting updates anymore, especially through Verizon. Leo says he may have to root the phone to get it updated. Google didn't offer a major update to the Nexus 6, and the security update for March was pulled because it broke Android Pay. They do plan to update to version 7 soon.