Pat uses a flip phone and is looking to get her first smartphone now. Leo says the only real reason to get a smartphone is to text others or to go online while mobile. If all she's using a phone for is phone calls, she won't really need it. But Pat's old phone is obsolete. Leo says she can still buy a flip phone. They're called feature phones now. But if she wants one, the iPhone is the easiest one to use and for most people, it's the best choice. Leo recommends the iPhone SE.
Sherry still uses an old Nokia flip phone. She bought an older Motorola Moto X, but she's concerned that it won't be updated. Leo says that they are probably not being updated since it's several years old, but it's probably safe to use. She'll want to install any patches that are available for it, but Android Nougat is the end of the line for that phone, which is fine. She just shouldn't download any strange applications for it, and only get apps from Google Play.
Veronica says that being in Alaska, mobile service is limited to Verizon or AT&T. Her contract is up and she's trying to decide if she should get a smartphone. Leo says it depends on LTE coverage where she is. Ask your friends and neighbors what they use and if they like it. Paying for data would be an additional monthly cost. There's no need to succumb to the pressure of getting a smart phone if she doesn't need it.
Jerry is looking to get a new mobile phone but he doesn't really need a smart phone. Leo says what Jerry is looking for is a "feature phone." It just makes phone calls. The chatroom says that Verizon Wireless offers the Revere for $50.
Dean is thinking of getting a Samsung Galaxy S4 refurbrished. They want $170 for it. Leo says that's crazy! It was a great phone in its day, but it's about three years old now. They should give it to him for free.
Marti has an old mobile phone from 2010 and is looking to get a new phone, but she wants to be able to get her text messages backed up. How can she do that? Leo says Marti's biggest problem is the age of her phone. There are apps that could possibly do it, like BitPim, but they're buggy. She could forward the texts to herself, or email them to herself.
She could also check to see if she can save texts to her SIM card. If she has that, she could save a few at a time and then move them over. But without a USB connector, Marti's stuck with forwarding her texts and paying for it.
Bradley wants to know when the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be out. Leo says that Samsung will announce it at the Mobile World Conference March 2 through 5, and it'll likely be out by April. There will also be a new M8 phone from HTC.
Amy has several chargers and they all charge at different speeds. Can she run a speed test to see how long it takes to charge them? Leo says she can monitor power usage with the P3 P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. This plugs into the wall, then she can plug a charger into that. There's also this USB in-line voltage and current meter from ADAFruit.
Andy has to replace his old flip phone, and he wants a smart phone with a good camera. Leo says that the smartphones have gotten really good, especially with cameras, but they don't have an optical zoom. Is there one as good as a DSLR? Leo says no, he won't get one as good as a Nikon, for sure.
Jerry has a cell phone and he's traveling out of the country. He's out of his contract. Can he get it unlocked? Leo says yes, he can just go to Verizon and ask them politely. They are supposed to do it, and AT&T does this for its customers too. Verizon is under a consent decree not to lock their phones, so they should unlock it. Then he can put a local SIM card in when he gets to his destination.