Android

How can I test my phone's signal strength?

Bill from Denver, CO

Episode 1257

Bill likes his Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but he isn't sure the antenna is all that great. Since he's moving to a new apartment that has sketchy reception, he's looking to upgrade his phone. Leo says the first thing to consider about the "bars" reception indication is that there isn't any standard for signal strength. If he wants a serious test, he can key in the code *3001#12345#, which will give him a field test for his phone. It's very accurate. The closer to zero the better the reception is.

How can I update my Android phone to Marshmallow?

Peter from Lake Geneva, WI

Episode 1253

Peter has a Motorola Nexus 6. Leo says it's a gorgeous phone but huge (code named Shamu). Peter says it hasn't been updated to Marshmallow yet, even though it's been unlocked. Leo says that T-Mobile got the Marshmallow update last month. Peter is on Google Fi, though. Leo says that he should've gotten it updated before anyone else. The word is that the Marshmallow OTA update has been out since October. Peter could install a factory image himself, but sideloading is tricky.

Is it easy to transfer data between Android phones?

Episode 1248

Robert from Charleston, SC
Google Nexus 6P

Robert is looking to get the new Google Nexus 5X or 6P. Leo says that the Nexus brand is popular because it's a pure Android experience that gets updated quickly. How does he transfer all his data? Leo says that any mobile phone with NFC will be able to transfer all the data with "tap and go," and the rest will come from signing into Google in the cloud. Then it will restore the previous Android phone.

Is there still an Android phone with a replaceable battery?

Episode 1247

Mike from El Segundo, CA
Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Mike needs a new phone and is looking at the latest Samsung Galaxy Note or Galaxy S6. He wants one with a replaceable battery. Mike found an unlocked international Samsung phone at an electronics store, and they said it doesn't have the extra software on it. Leo says it'll most certainly have the Samsung software installed, but since it's an unlocked international phone, it won't have any carrier software on it.

How can I stop my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 from restarting?

Episode 1246

Sy from California
Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Sy has a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that restarts a lot. Sometimes it even locks him out. Leo says that it's worth doing a factory reset to get rid of any corruption in the software. But more likely, it's hardware which is due to age.

Sy could also root it. He should check out XDA-Developers.com. He needs to search for the exact model phone as his, and he can learn how to root the phone. This will allow him to create a better recovery or ROM like Cyanogen Mod, which can give it new life.

What unlocked Android phone should I buy?

Episode 1246

Sam from Santa Monica, CA
Motorola Moto G

Sam wants to buy an unlocked smartphone. He's heard Leo talk about the Motorola Moto G, but he's also looking at the Huawei P8 lite, and the Alcatel Idol 3. Leo says that the benefit of owning an unlocked phone is that he can take it to just about any carrier. It gives him flexibility, but it also means he'll have to pay for the phone completely up front.