Mobile Phones

Why can't I port my phone number to Google Voice?

Episode 1472

Tom from South Carolina
Google Voice

Tom got rid of his landline in favor of a TracFone. Now he wants to use Google Voice and port his number over, but it won't work. Leo says Google voice can't port a landline, and that's what it originally was. It's better to let Google Voice generate a phone number for him and then have Google Voice forward the calls to his TracFone number. It will continue to work, and he'll avoid the hassle.

What phone should I buy my wife?

Sam from Las Cruces, NM

Episode 1470

Sam is trying to decide on a phone for his wife. He was thinking of getting a phone that runs Tango. Leo says that Tango is awful. Took expensive. Lousy battery life. And Google doesn't support it anymore. THey're going with AR Kit. But AR really isn't the reason to buy a mobile device. It's just a gimmick. But having said that, Samsung's S9 does it, and it's a great price with some great features. And it does have AR emoji, though Leo thinks they're a bit weird.

Leo Got the Samsung Galaxy S9 and HP Envy X2

Episode 1471

Samsung Galaxy S9+

This week, Leo got the Samsung Galaxy S9. Not only does it have one of the best cameras ever, DxOMark says the screen is practically perfect in every way. Leo also says he's pleased that the fingerprint reader was finally put in the right place. But what's strange for him is that there's not much difference between the Galaxy S9 and the Note 8. It may have a faster processor and is slightly smaller, but they're practically the same.

Is there a mobile phone with an actual keyboard?

Episode 1469

Gary from Sylmar, CA
BlackBerry KEYone

Gary has kept a really old Android phone because it had a slide down keyboard. He hates virtual keyboards. Is there any physical phone out there with an actual keyboard? Leo says that ironically, BlackBerry is making them with a clean version of Android installed. BlackBerry is the last phone company to make a phone with a physical keyboard, but they're really tiny. One option is to get a better phone and then use a Bluetooth external keyboard when he needs it.

What mobile phone should I get?

Episode 1468

Cheryl from Yorba Linda, CA
Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Cheryl is trying to decide whether to take a free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or get a newer Moto G5. Leo says that sad thing about older mobile phones is not that they aren't perfectly good. They are. They are just being left behind when it comes to security and other features. Leo recommends getting a Motorola Moto G5 Plus. It'll be faster, but more importantly, more secure. The camera is also better.

How can I update my phone if there's not enough room?

Episode 1466

Kevin from Mizzoula, MT
Smartphone and coffee

Kevin's mobile phone needs to be updated, but he can't because there's not enough room. Leo says that Kevin's phone probably has too little storage. He may need to wipe the phone and restore it to factory default settings, and then try updating it. Kevin should backup his data first and then give that a try. If that doesn't work, there's simply not enough room for the latest update and he's out of luck. The extra benefit of wiping and reinstalling is that it will clear out any bad popups or kruft left behind by old apps.

Why can't I unlock my iPhone?

Episode 1466

Nick from Marina Del Rey, CA
iPhone 6S

Nick has an iPhone 6S that he uses as a backup phone. He wants to unlock it for a trip to Europe, but neither T-Mobile nor Apple can unlock it. What can he do? Leo says that T-Mobile should be able to unlock it. It's their carrier lock. Leo recommends tweeting John Legere of T-Mobile (@JohnLegere). He pays attention to his Twitter feed and Leo bets he'll get back to him with someone to talk to.

Leo says he could also go to an independent cell phone store. They have great talent to unlock phones and could solve it.