Tech News and Commentary
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Margaret in Raleigh, North Carolina listens on WPTF and asked: “I’m in a quandary. I still love my flip phone and it’s evidently had some water issues. Wondering where I could go to get some used flip phones. I use Verizon currently. The flip phones are small, they fit in my pocket. I’m a senior citizen and I need a small phone so it fits easily in my pocket. No big old square phones for me.”
Margaret, Verizon still sells feature phones, fewer and fewer as time goes by but you can still find them.
Currently, they only have 6 of them listed on their site, so your options are relatively limited, but there is some good news here.
These phones are not very popular, so they are very cheap. The ones Verizon as listed online right now range from $5/month for a basic Kyocera LTE flip phone to $14/month for a ruggedized, weather proof, push-to-talk enabled, Sonim XP5.
You can also find these phones in the usual retail sites like Amazon, but if you want choices that you know will work with Verizon you can still get them from them for the time being, even if every year your options get smaller.
Eva in Amherstburg, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW “The Information Station” and asked: “I was considering buying a Huawei 8x cell phone, it’s available only on Amazon, and it says international therefore no warranty. I’d like to know your thoughts on that, should I or shouldn’t I? and is it ok to buy a Huawei? I heard Google was going to pull out and I might have issues using the apps on that phone.”
Eva, assuming Google sticks to the ban on Huawei, the main problem you’re going to run into is not so much apps themselves but long term support.
Google offers manufacturers support in a number of ways, most of which are pretty transparent to you, but if they lose that support it will be very hard for them to incorporate any features or patch any issues successfully.
If you’re considering a Huawei phone at all, security may not be your number one concern, since their reputation on that front is a little bit tarnished right now, but there are bad actors completely independent from any government that can take care of security problems with phones that can allow them to gain some access and steal some data or otherwise cause harm.
Overall, there isn’t much a reason to go out of your way to choose a phone with no warranty and a host of potential serious issues. You may be better off looking elsewhere.
Lex in Bossier City, Louisiana listens on 710 KEEL and asked: “Comment and question about a battery system I am using for my Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I use a battery pack case that lasts me all day long. I am at 100% battery power when I reach the end of my day. There have been times when I am able to go a second day without having to plugging into a charger. And I’m really happy with that. I wanted to know if there were any adverse effects to my phone that would be hurting it by charging it with this battery pack.”
Lex, generally speaking it should be ok. Smartphones do what is known as trickle charging, which basically means that they’ll charge you’re battery until it’s almost full, then only give it enough power to keep it topped up as needed.
That means that your phone won’t really be getting full power at all times, it will just be getting topped up little by little.
There is one possible concern, though, and that is heat. If this is one of those battery packs that you strap to the phone and it’s constantly warm, then that could shorten the life of your battery.
Other than that, we wouldn’t have any major concerns.
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