Mobile Phones

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

Which Cell Phone Should I Buy?

Motorola Moto G7.

Episode 1602

Vicky from Rialto, California

Vicky recently dropped her Samsung Galaxy S6 phone and cracked the screen. So now she needs to get a new phone. She's retired and is on a budget, so what should she get? Leo recommends the Motorola Moto G7. It's about $200, and Best Buy is offering $100 off right now. A great phone with a descent camera. And AT&T may give her a deal to keep business. But don't accept any lesser models.

What's the Best Map App for Driving Around Traffic?

Waze

Episode 1602

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny would like to know about re-routing through accidents and bad traffic with his map app. Which ones are best? Leo says that the least helpful are the maps apps in your car unless the car has an LTE connection to get updates. Google Maps has recently added traffic information and rerouting from Waze. 

Leo uses Google Maps for day to day, and usually uses Waze for road trips. And with Google integrating a lot of Waze features, we're starting to get the best of both worlds.

Harry Potter Finally Launches from Niantic

Potter

Episode 1602

Niantic, the creators of the successful mobile game Pokemon Go, has finally put out a game based in the universe of Harry Potter, called Wizards Unite. You play a wizard, using your wand to battle other wizards and catch fantastic beasts. All in Augmented Reality. Leo says that it was originally launched in Australia, and people went wild about it. Now it's been launched in the US and around the world, so MORE people are going wild. 

Is Spectrum wireless service slow by design?

Spectrum

Episode 1601

Steve from Nashville, TN

Steve signed up with Spectrum, using Verizon and the best he could get for his iPhone 7 is 3G. Leo says that's terrible. Verizon is much better than that, and it sounds like Comcast is going cheap on buying wholesale data and then reselling it.  Also, while you're using Verizon's network, Verizon is giving priority to their own customers. So you get a slower experience. Spectrum is hoping you'll be close enough to an Xfinity Access point via WiFi. But half the time, there's nothing there!

Do smaller cell carriers use their own networks?

Spectrum

Episode 1601

Gary from Southern California

Gary got an offer to sign up with Spectrum for mobile service, but he just learned that they use AT&T. Do smaller carriers use the big carriers lines all the time? Leo says that the big four is AT&T, Verizon, TMobile, and Sprint. The smaller cell companies, called MVNOs, interconnect and ride piggyback on multiple lines. It's pretty complicated. But if you sign up with a smaller carrier, you're actually running your traffic on the largest carrier.

What do I need for my technology for a trip to Vietnam?

Travel Adapter

Episode 1601

Sarah from Los Angeles, California

Sarah is traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia later in the year and doens't know what to bring with her for her technology. Leo says that most electronics are now rated for 110w-240w, so they can handle any circuit all over the world. But that plugs will be different. There are travel adapters for sale that you can pick up to plug in your power plugs. They should be the same as China, but you may want to be sure it's not a french adapter since Vietnam was once a French colony. As for your data and international roaming, it depends on your carrier.

What's a good dual sim mobile phone?

Pixel 3

Episode 1601

Manny from Vero Beach, Florida

Manny's wife is going to need a new phone, as her Huawei Mate 9 will be denied service soon since the US Gov't believes Huawei is a security concern due to ties to the Chinese PRC Army, there won't be a new model for sale here in the US. So what are her options? Leo says that she should be able to continue using it for a few more months, but she should definitely consider a replacement soon. And she needs dual sims, which means there aren't a lot of choices, especially since she wants a great camera with it. That really lowers the options. 

Can I Text Using VOIP?

VOIP

Episode 1600

Terry from St. Paul, MN

Terry gets a lot of phone calls from local numbers he doesn't recognize. Leo says that's called "Neighbor Spoofing" and it's designed to get him to answer the phone because the caller ID shows a local number. If it's important, they'll leave a message.

Can he respond to text messages with VOIP? Leo says he can partially. If he's using an app like WhatsApp, he can as long as the other side uses it. But if it's a "text subscribe to [enter number here]." It won't. VOIP doesn't support that.