Mobile Phones

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

Can I get data off a dead phone?

iPhone 11 Pro

Episode 1636

Josslyn from Elizabeth, New Jersey

Josslyn's phone recently died. She wants to know if she can take out the memory drive and use it with something else. Leo says no. The memory storage chip is built onto the logic board. Pity.  This is why it's vital to back up your phone regularly: so you don't lose anything. Can Josslyn recover the data on the phone? Leo says as long as it can turn on, you have a chance. But if it doesn't turn on, then you're likely out of luck. 

Does an unlimited wireless plan really mean unlimited?

Unlimited Plans Example

Episode 1636

Robbie from Nashville, TN

Robbie is frustrated with his unlimited cellular plan because he's being throttled relentlessly. So bad to the point that he can't really do anything. But when he signs onto wifi, it's just fine.  So they signed up for a 10GB plan, it was much faster. Leo says that unlimited doesn't mean "as fast." And on Verizon, some of the plans will throttle from bite zero, some after 5GB. There are five plans in total. So you have to read the fine print. It sounds like Robbie had the Unlimited "start" plan. 

Google Announces Pixel 4 Mobile Phone

Google Pixel 4

Episode 1636

Google announced the Pixel 4 this week. Leo says that of all the features, the camera is the one that everyone is looking at. Leo also said that Apple was waiting for what Google announced before releasing the upcoming iOS 13.2 update to improve image quality. Leo also says that computational photography has reached a point where your mobile phone's camera is as good as a real camera, so there's no real need to own a separate one now. The phone will also use machine learning to teach the camera what different parts of the image look like, so it'll adjust the image accordingly.

Which Cell Service is Good in Buffalo?

Buffalo

Episode 1634

Julie from Downey, California

Julie's mom in Buffalo has very poor cellular service. They've tried just about everything. Should she try Verizon? Leo says that it's best to see what the local coverage is. T-Mobile, for instance, is very good in cities, but not in rural areas. Ask her neighbors. Verizon may be better, but they're more expensive. Spectrum, though, uses Verizon's network. In fact, check with MVNOs. They buy cell service in bulk and resell it.

Can I Return My iPhone for a Better Model?

iPhone XS Max

Episode 1634

Mark from Brooklin, Ontario

Mark just upgraded to the iPhone XS. But now he's having buyer's remorse because it feels smaller than he's used to. Should he return it? Leo says to bring it back and get the iPhone XS Max. It'll also have a longer battery life. In fact, go with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, it's got an even bigger battery. Users can usually return a phone after a few days, so go for it.

How can I monitor my son's text messages?

Verizon Smart Family

Episode 1633

Rich from Riverside, CA

Rich needs to monitor his son's text messages. Is there an app for that? Leo says that there are circumstances when this is critical. For Android, it's easy to do. But if he's tech-savvy, he can probably find out pretty easily that he is being monitored. Rich may want to check with the phone company and see if they can help. Ideally, if you can do it without an app on his phone, that would be a better idea. Check out Verizon's Smart Family: they have monitoring tools that may be of help. 

Microsoft to get back in the phone game with dual screen hinged device.

2019 Microsoft Products

Episode 1633

Microsoft has gotten back into the phone game with a new, hinged dual-screen mobile phone. Instead of running Windows though, it will run Android. It opens and closes like a book, and gives users dual screens that can work separately or together tablet-style. It's called the Windows Surface Duo. But here's the thing: the phone won't hit the market until late 2020. 

Do I Have to Still Run as a Standard User on Windows?

Administrator

Episode 1632

Joey from San Diego, CA

Joey wants to know if he still needs to run Windows as a standard user, rather than an Administrator. Leo says he used to recommend that tactic, and he can still do that. It won't hurt anything. However, Windows and Mac have fixed this with UAC (user access configuration) features. This way, users have to type in the Admin password to do anything that could get into trouble. 

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Microsoft Event Showcases Dual Screen Surface Products

Episode 1632

At a surprise event, Microsoft announced two new Surface products, one like a digital book, the other a 5.5" dual screen mobile phone. Dubbed the Surface Neo and Surface Duo respectively, both devices will run on Windows 10X, a new mobile version of the OS, and will be available Christmas 2020. Microsoft says it will fold together like a book, or open up to be both screens on either side, or close facing each other. Unlike the overpriced Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Surface duo is hinged, rather than folding the screen.