Mobile Phones

Why is my mobile phone camera so pixelated?

Episode 1444

John from Long Beach, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7

John bought a Samsung Galaxy S7 to capture video and share it online. But when he records, he sees a lot of pixelation in it. Leo says it sounds like an odd compression issue. Leo advises trying different settings and using a different video camera app. He should also try a lower resolution or he should change the frame rate. If the issue persists, then it could be something called "macro-blocking" where a solid color like a sky ends up looking banded as a result of video compression. Cinema FV-5 could solve it also.

The Best Phone of the Year

Episode 1444

Apple iPhone X

The holidays are a time where product releases and tech news slow down. This gives technology reporters a chance to look back over the year and come up with winners and losers. This is also when reviews really get into the nitty-gritty of what works and what doesn't. Looking at candidates for Phone of the Year, Leo says that there's plenty of contenders.

Should I return my iPhone 8 for an iPhone X?

Episode 1442

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
Apple iPhone X

Devin bought an iPhone 8 Plus, but now he wants the iPhone X. Leo says that's what we call "iPhone envy." And it's what Apple wants him to have. The iPhone X is the best iPhone made, but the differences are minimal. The camera will give him equally good pictures. It has the same processor, same memory, and same storage. All he would get is a taller screen and no Touch ID (Face ID instead). He also would get an OLED screen, rather than an LCD. But if he's only had that iPhone 8 Plus for a week or two, there's a good chance that he could return it to get the iPhone X if he wants.

Can I use my iPhone X with another carrier?

Episode 1441

Mark from Thousand Oaks, CA
Apple iPhone X

Mark ordered an iPhone X from Apple and he's worried about the order. He ordered an AT&T model, but his wife moving to Verizon. Can he swap it through the Apple store? Leo says that's probable. He'll definitely want to do that since the phones are locked to the carrier. The Verizon model would work with AT&T, but not the other way around. That's because Verizon's phone is unlocked, but have different radios in each. Leo suggests not even opening the box. He should just take the phone to the Apple Store and swap it out.

Should I buy the Essential Phone?

Episode 1440

Myron from Minnesota
Essential Phone

Myron is considering trading in an old iPhone 6S Plus, giving his wife his iPhone 7 Plus and going with the Essential Phone. Leo says it's a great deal because it's a flop sales-wise. It's too bad because it's a really good phone. It had an issue with a crashing camera app, but that has since been fixed along with other housekeeping fixes. Leo now says that the Essential Phone is flawless and one of the only phones running Android 8. It's also $200 off right now. It has a super fast Snapdragon processor and OLED screen with no bezel.

Tech Bloggers Rush Out Reviews of Google Pixel 2

Episode 1440

Pixel 2 XL

Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.

Why doesn't my password vault work in iOS 11?

Episode 1439

Fred from Anchorage, AL
LastPass

Fred has an iPhone 6 that's been updated to iOS 11. But when he updated it, he lost his password vault file. Leo says that Apple discontinued support for 32-bit apps in iOS11 and as such, a lot of apps simply broke and stopped working. They won't work unless the developer updates them. Fred will have to contact the app developer and see if they're working on a solution. If it backed up the data to DropBox then he may see it there.

Why does my phone butt dial?

Episode 1438

Dave from Ridgecrest, CA
Feature Phone

Dave has a problem with a Tracfone that "butt dials" 911. What can he do? Leo says that there's a feature in Tracfone that has physical buttons and a lock that prevents them from being depressed when he has it in his pocket. Modern phones solve this problem with lock screens, but Leo says it doesn't always work either because people don't wait until the screen locks before putting the phone in their pocket. It could be that his phone lock is broken.

One Week with the iPhone X

Episode 1438

One week with the iPhone X and Leo says he's still digging' it. But he's still smarting over the price because he thinks the iPhone X is the phone that everyone should have moving forward. But that cost is staggering. Things he really likes is the Clips app that allows you to put yourself into different scenes, which maps the world around you and sticks you into augmented reality with amazing speed.