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Questions about cell phone signal boosters

My roommates and I are moving into a basement suite, and we are concerned about the lack of cell phone reception there. I am interested in purchasing a cell phone signal booster, but have a few questions. [more inside]
posted by tickingclock on Aug 12, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me get my kid a phone

Parents, what do you wish you knew when you got your kid their first phone? I need practical advice, but I'm also interested in the less tangible parent/child relations-type advice, too. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Jul 23, 2014 - 23 answers

Best SIM card for EU roaming data?

I will be traveling for 10 days in Germany (2 days), Denmark (2 days), and Sweden (6 days) at the end of this month. Voice and texting is relatively unimportant, but I do need data for maps, keeping in touch with my traveling companions, etc. What's the best way to do this, given that I'm in Greece at the moment and need the SIM card by Friday? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Jul 19, 2014 - 4 answers

Note 3 owners - do you use the stylus?

I am looking at getting a new phone with a big-ass screen, primarily for browsing. I've narrowed it down to an LG Pro 2, Sony T2 Ultra, or Galaxy Note 3 - but I need to know if anyone actually uses the space-age stylus. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Jul 19, 2014 - 15 answers

Cell phone for visiting Canada

I have a Virgin Mobile USA phone, which is useless outside the US. I'll be in Canada (Nova Scotia and Ontario) for two weeks, and while the idea of taking a break from little electronic devices is tempting, it actually would be kind of helpful to have a phone. What's my best (ie, cheapest) option? [more inside]
posted by neroli on Jul 17, 2014 - 2 answers

Who should I go to for an iPhone provider in Germany?

I'm about to move to Germany for one year. I have my own iPhone. Who should I go to for cellular service? [more inside]
posted by vernondalhart on Jul 3, 2014 - 2 answers

What to do about my dying smartphone

I have six months left on my Verizon contract. My phone is dying and is not gonna last that long. I'm not eligible for an upgrade. I'm reluctant to enter another contract. Am I trapped? [more inside]
posted by lolo341 on Jun 24, 2014 - 25 answers

To update or not update my OS: Verizon iPhone4

I've got an old Verizon iPhone I would dearly love to keep as long as possible, because once I give it up for a newer one I lose my unlimited data plan. (Grumble! Rant!). [more inside]
posted by JoanArkham on Jun 20, 2014 - 18 answers

How can I get a OnePlus One invite?

I would really like to get my husband a OnePlus One phone for Father's Day, but it's an invite only release. What would be the best way to get my hands on an invitation?
posted by bq on Jun 7, 2014 - 1 answer

Best Multi-Country Cell SIM?

My son is going on a three-week school trip to several countries in Europe about a month. I'd like to either buy a SIM for his (out of contract, unlocked) iPhone 4s, or direct him to buy one in London, at the airport, when he lands. I'm specifically looking for decent voice rates to the US, some international texting, and data to include an available network of WiFi. [more inside]
posted by tomierna on May 26, 2014 - 13 answers

How can I safely use my iPhone 5 when I'm driving?

I want to make and receive calls when I'm driving, but I want to do it as safely as possible. I've tried two different Bluetooth devices, and they were both terrible. [more inside]
posted by akk2014 on May 24, 2014 - 16 answers

Best SIM card for data and texting travelling in the USA?

I will be in the USA for exactly three weeks in July. I've been looking for a SIM card option (for my unlocked Nexus 4), and it seems like most people recommend the T-Mobile $2 or $3 per day unlimited texts/calls/data option. I also saw a deal from Spot-Mobile that looks better: it's $39.99 for a month of unlimited texts/calls/data, with the first 1GB of data at 4G speeds and free $10 credit for international calls. I'm a little wary, though, because I basically can't find any reference in forums to travellers using Spot-Mobile, or any reviews of them. Their coverage map looks fine, though. Also, I can't tell what their data speed will be for me, since my phone doesn't have 4G. Will it default to 3G or 2G for that first 1GB? Has anyone had any experience with Spot-Mobile? Would you recommend this plan? [more inside]
posted by lollusc on May 24, 2014 - 13 answers

Best portable sucker windshield phone holding thing

I travel a fair amount for work and have discovered that most car-based GPS are crap compared to Google Maps and Waze. So I end up using my cell phone frequently for navigation. I'm looking for the best portable way to attach a phone holder to a rental car. Characteristics I'm looking for: * It needs to be something (like a sucker) that doesn't require installation to a car I don't own. * Should be portable and light - fold up or otherwise easily packable * Should fit Galazy phone, ideally fit multiple phones (I'm due for an upgrade and might change carriers.
posted by canine epigram on May 13, 2014 - 15 answers

Google Voice help, please!

I've been having problems using Google Voice for texts ever since I got a new cell phone in December (Samsung Galaxy Mega). Inside is how I would like it to be configured and what is happening instead. [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on May 8, 2014 - 4 answers

Moto X or Galaxy S5?

I'm looking to upgrade my phone with AT&T. What are your experiences with the Moto X and Galaxy S5? [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Apr 23, 2014 - 10 answers

Galaxy vs iPhone

Help me decide between a Samsung Galaxy S4 and an iPhone 4S. [more inside]
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty on Mar 31, 2014 - 24 answers

Fix existing phone, or buy a new one?

My wife's Android phone is unreliable. Can it be fixed, or should we just buy a new one? [more inside]
posted by alex1965 on Mar 30, 2014 - 7 answers

Quieter bluetooth headsets?

I just bought a Plantronics Marque M155 Bluetooth headset for use with my cell phone. The lowest volume setting on it is too loud for my probably-overly-sensitive ears. Any suggestions for quieter headsets? [more inside]
posted by asperity on Mar 20, 2014 - 2 answers

Recommendations for inexpensive dual-sim smartphone with a decent camera

It's been suggested to me that I pick up a ~$100 dual-sim smartphone for my upcoming trip to Europe, and I'm looking for recommendations. [more inside]
posted by burntflowers on Mar 17, 2014 - 5 answers

Name My Mobile Phone (at least it's not a baby or a pet or a playlist)

I am considering one of those "design your own" mobile phones and would like to make the most of the limited line of characters that can be printed on the back. Examples and requirements within. [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Mar 14, 2014 - 15 answers

Smart phones with a physical keyboard

What are my options for using a smart phone with a physical keyboard (whether built-in or as an attachment)? I am on Verizon and want to stay. I would prefer to stick with Android but would consider an iPhone. I used to love the Blackberry back in the day, but I don't think I can go back. I do not want a Windows phone. Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell on Mar 12, 2014 - 17 answers

No contract / pre-paid Lumia on T-Mobile agreement?

Can I buy a Lumia 521 from the Microsoft Store and bring it to a plan on T-Mobile? (Yes, it's another "Help me with a cell phone / phone plan!" question. Sorry.) [more inside]
posted by Ickster on Feb 27, 2014 - 5 answers

How can I finance an unlocked, no-contract Android phone?

I'm considering signing up for one of Brightspot Mobile's pre-paid plans. I will need to buy an unlocked (or T-Mobile) phone and I'm interested in a Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One. Is there any possible way I can pay for it in installments? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Feb 23, 2014 - 9 answers

Taking the "-roid" Out of "Android Games"

I'm looking for peaceful, quiet, calm, relaxing Android games. Quell (and its two sequels) fit the bill perfectly, but I've played them to death. Digitized snowflakes within! [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Feb 18, 2014 - 29 answers

Help figuring out Note 2 battery drain - details inside

I'm having trouble isolating the issue causing my Note 2 battery to drain, and I think it's related to the screen usage somehow. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by hootenatty on Feb 4, 2014 - 7 answers

Make My New Smart Phone Stylish AND Durable

Good news, everybody! I got a new Moto X smart phone, and now I want to make it as stylish and durable as possible. What's the best compromise between keeping it protected and making it look good? [more inside]
posted by brisquette on Jan 31, 2014 - 4 answers

Getting a US data plan for my foreign cell phone

I am travelling to Chicago in two weeks and want to use my smartphone whilst I am there (and away from WiFi). Importantly though I am not actually bothered about making phone calls. DATA is what I crave. What are my best sim card options? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jan 29, 2014 - 6 answers

Moving to the UK from the US: How do we avoid buying new phones?

We are moving to London and we'd like to bring our American mobile phones to use with whatever British network provider we decide to sign up with. We will no longer have a contract with our US carrier once we move. What do we have to do in order to use UK (and other European) SIM cards in our phones and have them work as well as they did in the US? Complication: Verizon [more inside]
posted by theory on Jan 24, 2014 - 4 answers

Whatsapp or an easy Voice Message program for PC?

What is the best way to share voice messages, like Whatsapp, but with people who don't have a cell phone? My elderly parents don't have cell phones. The easier the interface is (like Whatsapp), the easier it will be for my parents to use it. Does Google Plus or Skype have any features like this? My parents are comfortable using both Google Plus Hangouts and Skype. Thank you.
posted by surenoproblem on Jan 16, 2014 - 3 answers

What gadgets to bring to Nicaragua?

What mobile devices should we bring for a two week trip to Nicaragua? [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Jan 8, 2014 - 6 answers

Recommend an internet/phone setup for me, and/or explain hotspots to me

I'm looking for the cheapest way to have home internet and a cell phone. [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot on Jan 3, 2014 - 9 answers

iPhone 4 versus iPhone 4s: antennas, maps, and iOS questions

I have a no-contract plan at Virgin Mobile USA, which I like because it is so cheap ($35/month for unlimited data and enough calling). The downside of cheap and no-contract is expensive phones. However, I just lost my Android phone and would like to switch back to iPhone. My options at Virgin are iPhone 4, for $200, iPhone 4s, for $314, or iPhone 5, for more than I want to pay really. How to decide? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Dec 27, 2013 - 13 answers

Cell phone provider in EU

We are travelling from Canada to France and Italy and would like to have our roaming charges and calls be as inexpensive as possible. Can someone recommend the best cell phone provider in the EU for both cell phone and data usage where we would buy or get the iPhone 5S SIM card?
posted by Tziv on Dec 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Using a Moto G as my traveling phone

Motorola is selling the Moto G unlocked for $179 as I understand it. If I get the 'global GSM' option is it pretty easy to buy SIMs for the phone throughout Europe and Asia? Where does one get SIMs for the phone? [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Dec 2, 2013 - 6 answers

Which phone should I get? Galaxy S4 (Active?) or Lumia 1020?

Please help me choose between the phones based on my list of pros and cons between each. [more inside]
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. on Dec 2, 2013 - 7 answers

What phone is right for me?

I am a phone luddite moving into the modern era. There is a huge array of options, most of which are meaningless to me. [more inside]
posted by a robot made out of meat on Nov 20, 2013 - 17 answers

What to do about my expensive family wireless plan?

Please tell me what wireless plan to get for my family! We have four lines (mom and dad, two grown kids) on our family plan from Verizon for $188/mt. I think we can pay less but I'm really overwhelmed by all the options and possibilities. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on Nov 20, 2013 - 14 answers

Verizon Phone with Cardock like Droid X

My (Verizon) Droid X is dying. I'm looking for a new-ish used phone on Swappa, but am overwhelmed by the options. One of the features I love most about my Droid X is the car dock / vehicle mount. The dock integrates the power cable, such that I don't have to plug and unplug the cord every time I use the vehicle mount. I just put it in the cradle and it's charging. It's a small detail, but it's really nice for getting in and out of the car quickly. Is there another, slightly newer model phone that has a similar car dock available? Or are there third-party vehicle mounts that are available that are model-specific enough to incorporate the power connector?
posted by ecrivain on Nov 5, 2013 - 2 answers

Unlocking AT&T iPhone for eBay buyer?

Overseas eBay buyer wants me to fill out a "Request to Unlock" on att.com. This wasn't part of the auction; should I do it? [more inside]
posted by electric_counterpoint on Oct 24, 2013 - 10 answers

Diminishing returns on mobile devices?

With the news of the iPad Air and it's wonder 64-bit A7 processor, my curiosity is up again. Will mobile devices, phones or tablets, hit a point of diminishing returns in regards to processing power and/or RAM?
posted by trogdole on Oct 23, 2013 - 12 answers

Please help me run in the rain without horking my phone!

I've recently been bitten by the running bug. Yay! I live in Portland and we're entering into our rainy season. I'd like to run listening to music on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3) and not worry about it getting ruined by water damage. Can anyone recommend an armband or other solution? [more inside]
posted by funkiwan on Oct 17, 2013 - 7 answers

Switching cell phones from Cincinnati Bell to another carrier

My wife and I got HTC Sensation cell phones from Cincinnati Bell in Nov 2011. The contract will expire shortly, and I'd like to find alternatives that would save us some money. We're generally happy with the hardware, so I see little incentive at this point to get rid of the phones. Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, that they can share regarding switching from Cincinnati Bell to a prepaid or other budget carrier? We would both need voice and data (though not a huge data plan), and my wife needs SMS messaging (I use Google Voice). Thanks!
posted by zainsubani on Oct 15, 2013 - 1 answer

How do we get simple cellphone service on an old iPhone?

I have an iPhone (an AT&T 3GS in the United States) that I no longer use. My husband wants to use it as a cellphone for very occasional outgoing and incoming calls. He is willing to find a wifi hotspot in lieu of having a data plan. We took out a 10-cent per minute, 20-cent per text plan with AT&T for $100 a year, which seemed like a good deal but he is receiving dunning calls for whoever had the phone number before, as well as advertising text messages, and we want.it.to.stop. Before we call AT&T and raise holy hell, do we have any alternatives? We would love to find a plan where we prepay a fixed (relatively small) amount, then replenish it a few months or years down the road, when he's used enough minutes/texts to require it. Y'know, something like an EZPass. Does such an animal exist?
posted by DrGail on Oct 11, 2013 - 7 answers

Boosting Cell Signal in Cave

I've searched ask, and other than this question, I'm not really seeing my issue. Even that question doesn't have all the twists mine does, and it didn't really have satisfactory answers. Basically, I work in a blast-hardened cave, and I need to get a cell phone signal to preserve my sanity. [more inside]
posted by ereshkigal45 on Oct 8, 2013 - 8 answers

Am I breaking some unwritten cell phone rule?

When people call my cell phone and don't leave a voicemail, I tend not to call them back. Should I? Is there a pervasive cultural expectation of which I am unaware that one is obligated to return missed calls? [more inside]
posted by coppermoss on Sep 30, 2013 - 93 answers

Temporary move from Android to Blackberry - freaking out...

In a vain attempt at not spending lots of money, I attempted to replace a cracked screen on my Galaxy S3 and managed to make it way worse. I've managed to borrow a phone for a few weeks until I can afford to get it fixed properly but it's a Blackberry! I've had an Android phone for the last few years so am used to being able to being able to have a wide choice of free apps. Once I get over the shock of being so limited, what apps to I need? I can't even find a podcast app... It's a Blackberry 9900 and I'm in the UK. Thanks in advance.
posted by joboe on Sep 19, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me switch my phone from one provider to another

Can someone help me with the technical aspects of switching my cell phone from one provider to another? [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Sep 17, 2013 - 5 answers

Can I fix this, or do I need to suck it up and get a new phone?

I've had my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze) for about a year and a half, and it is no longer under warranty. Recently, it has developed two problems relating to aspects of the hardware. I need to determine if I (a person with little to no experience with fixing electronics) can fix these problems inexpensively, or if I should just bite the bullet and buy a new phone. (I'm a student, so buying a new phone after less than two years is not something that makes my wallet happy.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 16, 2013 - 5 answers

What's the best short term/least hassle cell phone data plan?

A friend is visiting from Brazil and is bringing his iphone 4s with him. He wants to use it while he's here. What's the least painful way to make that happen? [more inside]
posted by msali on Sep 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Cellphones refuse to charge batteries

This has happened over at least 3 different cellphones, from HTC and Samsung. The battery will work fine for months, and then the phone will lose the ability to recognize that it is charging. [more inside]
posted by IAmBroom on Sep 8, 2013 - 12 answers

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