Moe is going to be traveling to India in a few months and he wants to know if Verizon is a good choice for traveling. Leo says no, it really isn't. They've gotten better, since they've left CDMA behind for LTE and that means it could work in India. And the FCC requires all Verizon SIM slots to be unlocked. Moe will have to be sure that the frequencies are supported. He may also request his phone be unlocked as well. A better bet would be to get a cheap GSM compatible phone locally in India, with a local SIM card. He'll have a local number, but it'll work better.
Ron bought a Samsung Galaxy Note IV from T-Mobile and he's having issues with the hardware. They offered him a refurbished replacement. Leo says that Ron should be able to get a new one under warranty and he should stick to his guns and demand it. That being said, refurbished isn't bad.
Google announced its own wireless service on Wednesday called "Google Fi." It's very restricted, and only works by invitation and its exclusive to Google's Nexus 6 phone. It uses both Sprint and T-Mobile cellular service along with Wi-Fi, and it switches between those to whatever has the best coverage. It costs $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, including international text. It does not include data though, but it only costs $10 a month per gigabyte. If you don't use all of the data you're paying for, you'll get reimbursed. No contract and its very straightforward.
Multiple news reports are saying that Google has plans to enter the wireless business. The idea is that you'll be able to buy a phone with Google as the service provider. The interesting part, however, is that Google is negotiating with Sprint and T-Mobile. The phone you buy will work with both carriers, and it will connect to whichever network has the best signal. It will also utilize Wi-Fi whenever possible.
This is only a rumor as of now, but it's an interesting idea. The cell phone industry is ripe for disruption.
Soup is ready to get his first smartphone. Leo says the number one thing to decide is which carrier he wants. Then choose the phone from there. He'll want the carrier that offers the best coverage in his area. Service-wise, they're all horrible in some way. But coverage is better for some than others.
Corky is ready to buy her first smartphone. She's going to be traveling to Spain and needs to know what kind of phone to get. Leo says that Corky should check out PrepaidWithData.wikia.com. It'll show what data SIMS to buy in the country she travels to. Roaming can be expensive and buying a local SIM is a great way to save a lot of money.
Zack wants to know what cell phone carrier would be best for him. Leo uses all four to keep up with them and he says they're all terrible. Bad customer service, expensive, and monopolistic. Out of all of them, T-Mobile is probably his favorite, especially because it works well in his area. They have great plans including a $30 a month data plan with 100 minutes of calling. It's hard to find, but it's there. Leo likes T-Mobile's "we try harder" attitude. By and large, they are the best of the worst.
Rick says that he hears that with Sprint, if they upgrade to the new iPhone, they won't be able to talk and surf at the same time. Leo says that he can on AT&T and Verizon, though. Verizon moved over to Voice Over LTE and Leo thought Sprint was moving that way too, but apparently they haven't. T-Mobile will also work. Any GSM network will do it, and Leo suspects that Sprint will eventually go that way.
In a no-holds-barred cage match of British proportions, Leo carried both the iPhone 6 and the Motorola Moto X to see how they worked in London. Since he was using T-Mobile, he got free 2G data roaming while there. And while it took a bit longer, it was data and it worked. Leo says that the Moto X has several improvements, but the iPhone 6 still has the best camera out there. Battery life is better on the iPhone 6, while he couldn't get through the day with the Moto X. But he still thinks iOS 8 has more to do to catch up with Android.
Will T-Mobile and Sprint be merging? Leo says no. The merger is dead since it looks like the FCC wouldn't approve the merger. Pity too. So now, a French company is trying to buy T-Mobile. Leo says that TMobile has great speeds, especially in areas where there isn't a lot of presence. So if the coverage is good in your area, then go for T-Mobile.