iPhone

Is my iPhone 5s repairable?

Episode 1191

Mark from Tustin, CA
Apple iPhone 5s

Mark got an iPhone 5s from a friend that had a "dog bite" in it. It will work connect via 4G, but not via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (5 Ghz is fine). Is it worth fixing? He's tried DFU'ing it. Should he try iFixIt? Leo says he can look on iFixIt and get a teardown of the phone to see if the parts that don't work will be replaceable. Some aren't. Leo says it may be the antenna that is damaged. If he can replace the antenna or the Wi-Fi radio, then he should be OK. If it's soldered onto the circuit board, then he's out of luck.

What phone should I buy my mom?

Episode 1189

Alex from Sacramento, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Alex is trying to decide that smartphone to get his mother. He'd like to be able to video chat with her. Leo says that while he likes Android, the iPhone is really good because of FaceTime. What about battery life? Leo says he gets through the entire day with ease. But it really comes down to how good the signal is. If the phone is constantly looking for a signal, that can kill the phone in a half a day. But if he's in a good area, then the phone doesn't have to work as hard and that translates to hours more battery life.

How can I move my old cell phone to a new carrier?

Episode 1188

Kris from Merced, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Kris would like to move her iPhone 4 from AT&T to Verizon. Leo says she can't. The phones are the same model, but the iPhone 4 on AT&T has a GSM radio, and the Verizon model uses CDMA. She could get it unlocked and use it on T-Mobile, though. But to go from AT&T to Verizon, she'll need an iPhone 5 or above. In fact, if she can go to Verizon and say she wants to leave AT&T. Verizon actually sells an unlocked iPhone due to a consent decree with the federal government. And then she could use it on any carrier.

What's a good small screen smart phone?

Episode 1186

Eric from Ann Arbor, MI
BlackBerry Classic

Eric's mom uses an old phone that has a physical keyboard. She needs a new phone now and he can't seem to find one small enough for her. Leo says that Samsung does make smaller versions of their Galaxy Phones, like the Alpha, which is 4.7 inches. The smaller the screen, though, the harder it will be to type. He can go with the older iPhone, like the iPhone 5 or even the iPhone 4S, which is available for free now. It's a great smartphone for a first choice.

Why do my iPhone photos look so bad when I print them?

Episode 1185

Veronica from Los Angeles, CA
Apple iPhone 6

Veronica uses her phone all the time to take pictures. But when she uploads them to Walmart to print, the quality is poor in 4x6. Leo says that the iPhone's 8MP camera is more than enough to get great pics. She won't want to email it from the iPhone. She should connect it to her desktop and import the originals. Then upload those photos from there.

Can the iPhone talk to the Harmony Remote?

Episode 1185

Vincent from Fullerton, CA
Logitech Harmony Remote

Vincent's wife is blind and he's thinking of using a Harmony remote and the screen reading app on her iPhone to use it. How does that reader work? Leo says that's a great idea and some phones have free built-in infrared, making the phone a smart remote. The Harmony remote can talk to the phone via Bluetooth, though. The iPhone also has great accessibility features, if the app developers take advantage of them. But Leo says that the iPhone is the best option.

How does Apple handle OS updates vs. Android?

Episode 1181

Seth from Irvine, CA
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Seth is due for a new phone and is trying to decide whether to stay with the Droid or move to the iPhone. He has an iPad already. He's especially wondering how iOS updates work. Leo says that Apple controls the handset. They don't have to worry about other overlays or interfaces to pollute it. It's a pure OS experience. And it pushes out updates all at the same time to every carrier and every phone. It's great if he just wants a smart phone that just works.

First Impressions with Apple Watch

Episode 1181

Apple Watch

Leo got his Apple Watch yesterday, and he says it's pretty. Still too early to tell about the battery life though, but the wireless battery charging feature is pretty cool. It takes about an hour, and the magnetic charger looks like a stethescope. He says it can charge other watches as well. Leo says it can get you through the day, even though it may not seem like it when you first get it because you'll be playing with it much more. But after a few weeks, you'll see that it will only take about 5% battery life per hour with regular use. The watch will work with iPhone 5 or higher.