Choosing Your Next Smartphone

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

It finally happened, didn’t it? You dropped your smartphone and the screen is either damaged or doesn’t work at all.

So you wander into your nearest Verizon store and only then it hits you… there are DOZENS of choices! Samsung Galaxy, Moto, HTC, Pixel, iPhone… and much, much more.

How is it even possible to decide what phone is best for you, your spouse, your child, or even your parents?

Choosing Your Next Smartphone

  • Decide on Deal Breakers : What do you absolutely NEED in your phone? Usually there are one or two absolute must-haves you will want and/or need on your next phone. Some features that can be decided upon are :
    – Operating system (iOS/Android/Window)
    Carrier, if you are out of contract and want better service
    – Screen size
    – Camera specs
    – Onboard memory size
    – Expandable memory
    – Spillproof
    – Speed, screen resolution, weight, fingerprint scanners, accessories, etc
  • Look of the Phone : Like it or not many of us like to have a phone that LOOKS cool. Apple used to have a monopoly on recognizable form factors, colors, and more, but now there is a vast number of possibilities in the Android lines like combination plastic/glass/aluminum form factors, bezel sizes, available cases, or even if it comes in “Really Blue” like the new Google Pixel.
  • Friends and Other “Experts” : Have friends, family or other resources that you trust to guide you on this journey to new technology? Ask them, knowing full well that they may be biased towards certain operating systems, manufactures or devices. There will be a advocates on many sides based on their personal needs and usage, so filter all of that out as needed.
  • Apps : Sometimes apps just don’t work well on certain phones. Unfortunately for many of us on the bleeding edge of technology it can be too late to find out a certain app doesn’t work on a recently purchased phone. But if you’re getting into the game a few weeks after launch it will often become obvious by reading reviews, online reports or other sources that the apps you need to function at work, your personal life, or entertainment does or does not work with the device you had in mind.
  • Ease of Transition : Most manufacturers have apps that will make the transition from your phone to a new device extremely easy, especially if you are moving Samsung to Samsung, or Motorola to Motorola. This can be a concern to someone who is not very technical or does’t have access, or is willing to pay someone to move apps, data and settings to the new phone. There are other apps that will do this for you as well, my favorite being My App List, which keeps a list of all installed apps that can be transferred to a new phone/tablet for easy install. I also use a custom launcher (Nova) and after all the apps are installed, I can transfer the layout of my home and other screens to the new phone and all the shortcuts and widgets will automatically be created or laid out for me. You can also ease the transition by moving images and videos to Google Photos, contacts to your Google account, move documents to Dropbox, and more!
  • Compare the Specs : All the “easy” stuff is done, and if you still haven’t made up your mind, there are the pure technical specs of the phone that could sway you one way or another.  Below are few of the flagship Android device specs as listed on the Verizon Wireless website:Google Pixel
    Standby Time – Up to: 19 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 22 hrs
    Camera 12.3 MP
    Front Camera 8 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.04 oz
    Height 5.66 in
    Screen 5.0’’ FHD 441ppi AMOLED, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 >75% Active Area
    Battery 2770 mAh
    Operating System Android Nougat 7.1
    Storage RAM: 4GB LPDDR4, Flash 32GB or 128GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Colors Quite Black, Very Silver, or Really Blue (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head: 0.92 W/Kg@1g, Body: 0.58 W/Kg@1g
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T4
    Network 3x Carrier aggregation; CAT 9 (450 Mbps DL/50 Mpbs); CDMA: BC0/BC1; LTE: B13, B4, B2, B5;
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20, B28; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
    Processor Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Samsung Galaxy S7

    Standby Time – Up to: 12 days‡
    Usage Time – Up to: 27 hrs‡
    Camera 12 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.74 in
    Weight 5.36 oz
    Height 5.61 in
    Screen 5.1” Quad HD, Super Amoled, 577 PPI; Full Touch Bar
    Battery 3,000mAH, Non-removable
    Operating System Android Marshmallow (6.0.1)
    Storage RAM: 4G, Flash 32GB (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Removable microSD up to 256GB (sold separately)
    Colors Black Onyx or Gold Platinum (Subject to availability)
    SAR Head 1.24 W/kg; Body 1.41 W/kg
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M4/T3
    Network CDMA 1X and EvDO Rev 0/RevA; LTE (Domestic) B13, B4, B2, B5
    Global Network LTE (Global) B3, B7, B20; GSM Quad B5, B8, B3, B2 (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) UMTS Quad B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); TDS CDMA 34, 39 TDD LTE 38, 39, 40, CAT 4 / CAT 6 / (CAT 9 capable)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Quad Core processor (MSM8996, Quad-Core, 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz)
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.


    Moto Z Force Droid

    Standby Time – Up to: 20 days
    Usage Time – Up to: 29 hrs
    Camera 21 MP
    Front Camera 5 MP
    Width 2.98 in
    Weight 5.75 oz
    Height 6.14 in
    Screen 5.5” AMOLED, 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440), 535 ppi; Shattershield™
    Battery 3500 mAh (non-removable), TurboPower for up to 15 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
    Operating System Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
    Storage 32 GB, 4GB RAM (Actual formatted capacity is less)
    Expandable Memory Supports microSD card up to 2 TB (sold separately)
    Colors Black/Lunar Grey or White/Fine Gold (Subject to availability)
    SAR 0.78 W/kg (head), 1.14 W/kg (body)
    Hearing Aid Compatibility M3/T3
    Network CDMA: 850, 1900MHz;GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); 4G LTE (B2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13)
    Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor
    HD Voice Experience HD Voice, Video Calling and Simultaneous Voice & Data. Enable Wi-Fi Calling and make calls anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.

One final tip…  Join the #VZWBUZZ chat every Friday at 2pm Central on Twitter. We talk about tips on using your phones in real-world situations, give away great phone and accessorie prizes, and provide access to lifestyle professionals that use their mobile devices in a very wide spectrum of uses. Attendees may either have some of the same questions as you, or would benefit from YOU asking questions of the group. See you there!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

BBP: Episode 11 – Surface-gate, Apple Rumors & Me, Live!

In Episode 11 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we chat a little about:

  • The debates are finally over, can I have my social media back yet?
  • My fancy new Dell D3100 docking station connected to two 23″ monitors.
  • The rumors emerging from the pending Mac announcement for next week including the Magic Toolbar.
  • Microsoft’s new booking service through Facebook that will allow tickets and food to be sold right from the social media site.
  • Change your LinkedIn password! Czech officials caught a Russian hacker that compromised over 100million accounts in 2012.
  • Belichick is smashing Surface tablets on the sideline of New England Patriots games.
  • Samsung is replacing Note 7’s right at the airport.
  • And I’ll be appearing on the #VZWBUZZ (#ad) Facebook Live stream tomorrow (Friday, Oct 21) at 3pm CT. Join the chat from 2-3pm, then watch me live!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

BeBizzy Break : Episode 10 – Death of Note 7, Verizon Pixel Updates & Kiss Me On First on LinkedIn

Episode 10 of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some commentary on : 

  • Why do you still have your Note 7? Samsung has stopped the sale and replacement, so turn it in!
  • Verizon promised to push Google Pixel updates at the same time as unlocked phones. 
  • Verizon is also asking for a $1B decrease on the offer to buy Yahoo! due to some information regarding Yahoo!’s screening account information for intelligence informaton, and the 2014 data breach that affected around 500 Million subscribers.
  • Twitter is being shopped around… still. Why hasn’t Google just written a check yet?
  • And if you’re going to “friend” me on LinkedIn, at least wait more than an hour to try and sell me something.
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Sticher Radio, and PocketCasts!

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break : Episode 7 – Google & Twitter, Yahoo Breached, a C-64 Fixed My Car?, and the Debate

BeBizzy Break Podcast : Episode 7

Today’s episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast features some discussion on :

  • Google, Microsoft or Verizon interested in acquiring Twitter? What does that mean for the social media platform?
  • Yahoo was breached back in 2014. Change your password now!
  • When is it time to give up on your old technology and move to something modern and possibly more reliable?
  • Project AirGig
  • And tonight’s Presidential Debate

 

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

Why Haven’t You Backed Up Your Phone Data?

“… and you didn’t have this backed up?”

I got to utter those words a month or so ago when I was called about a computer that was taken over by a ransomware program.

As a computer tech these words bring so many emotions. Despair, confusion, anger… they all are there. And yet several times a year we get that computer, tablet or smartphone and the user lost all of her photos, all of her contacts, and all of her documents.

There are several reasons for this, first, you just expect technology to work. There’s also lack of knowledge of backup options, inability to afford costly solutions, lack of time, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s just being lazy.

Technology Fails

Well let’s just get this out of the way… your technology WILL fail at some point. Hard drives can only spin so many times before they die, flash memory isn’t immortal and phones get dropped. So knowing failure is inevitable, why would you NOT back up? And it’s easier, and cheaper, than you may think.

Below are a few ways to get information off your phone and into the cloud. We’ve all heard the term “cloud” being thrown around, but it’s simply this. It’s a series of computer servers accessible through a controlled login system that allows users access to their data from any device that can control that access. Meaning if you save something on the cloud, you can usually get to it from nearly ANY phone or computer you own, or in some cases just are able to access the internet.

A quick word of warning! Getting this information off your local device and backed up, even to a system claiming to be encrypted or secure, can make the data more vulnerable.

  • Your Mobile Phone Provider Network : Most mobile phone networks have a way to back up your phone automatically with tools like Verizon Backup Assistant. You will get a certain amount of data for free, then pay a small amount to keep more data.
  • Dropbox : My favorite backup solution is Dropbox. This cloud service can be set up to automatically back up photos as they are taken, transfer documents to/from your smartphone, and share folders out to co-workers or family. All of my documents I would like to back up are saved on my computer not to the Documents space, but to my Dropbox folder where they are automatically uploaded and saved to other devices. You can also use it to save sound, video and other files. And the cost to get a business account is minimal compared to recovery or ransomware costs.
  • Your Google Account : I get common complaints about two things when a new phone is purchased or a phone is damaged; I lost my contacts and I lost my photos. Many of you have a Gmail account, especially if you are an Android user, and if you’re not, they are FREE at https://www.google.com/gmail. There are at least two things that should be done with your Google Account, set up Google Photos, and move all your contacts to be managed by Gmail.
    • Google Photos : Google Photos is a free or low cost (depending on the size of files being backed up) storage of photos that are available on ANY device you happend to be logged into. Smartphones can be set up to upload photos as they are taken and your phone has access to wi-fi. This means the risk of losing photos is minimized. But, a word of warning, photos you may NOT want saved are uploaded immediately as well, so blurry shots and photos of subjects you may not want to save for a variety of reasons are backed up, so clean that out on the Photos app as well.
    • Contacts in Gmail : By importing all your contacts into Gmail, and then adding new ones to Gmail instead of saving locally to your phone, you are again making these available on any device. So when you log into that new Moto Z Droid and connect your Google account, all your contacts are automatically downloaded to the new device. Easy and free, and can be done any number of times you wish.
    • Google Drive : Another major FREE part of your Google account is Google Drive. It can be used really two ways. Some use it as an alternative to Microsoft Office by creating and collaborating on documents right in the browser. A second method is to use it as storage by uploading Office docs, PDFs and other items.
  • iCloud : If you’re an iPhone user Apple has the iCloud built into iOS. It’s located in Settings and you can turn off specific apps to keep unneeded data from being backed up.
  • Back Up To A Computer : Your phone is essentially a data storage device in the eyes of a computer. You can always back up your photos and other information by plugging it in as a USB device and pushing/pulling data from it almost like treating it as another hard drive. The downside to this is that you’ve moved it from one potential failure device to another, but the odds of both failing at the same time are remote. And for what it’s worth… BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER TOO! You’ll be happy when your hard drive stops, you need that important Word doc, or ransomware takes over your computer and you could fix it by re-installing Windows instead of paying that shady dude on the phone $1k.
  • Paid Backup Apps : There are a few paid solutions like Carbonite & iDrive out there. These promise a bit more encryption and safety so if you have more that just a few photos and contacts, you may wish to consider going this route.

Why are you still reading?

Please, please, PLEASE back up your phone and computer data! It really only takes a few moments and you’ll be SO happy when the day comes to either move to a fabulous new phone or your device meets a horrible end. I personally back up my photos/videos to both Dropbox and Google Photos simply because it’s cheap and I can get them from anywhere. And I change phones as a Verizon Lifestyle Blogger every few months so having my contacts sync immediately is a huge benefit.

Or, take your chances that your device won’t ever fail while you own it, and if it does you can pay me a few bucks to try to salvage things off the memory. Personally, I’d rather show you how to set up the new device than attempt to recover damaged data, so you can stop reading and set up your backup now.

Have suggestions, questions or comments on these backup solutions? Either use the Contact Us form, or drop me a message on Twitter @BeBizzy!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

BBP : Episode 5 – New Office, iPhone 7 & WordPress Updates

On today’s show we talk about why I missed last week while I moved computers, desks, exercise equipment and a host of other junk to a new office.

We also talk why this year’s iPhone is just a place holder for next year’s 10 year anniversary device, and updating WordPress and Divi.

Have a comment, question or even an interview suggestion? Contact me or send me a note on Twitter @BeBizzy.

Then leave the technical stuff to us!

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Motorola Moto Z Droid Smartphone

Most Olympic swimming events are decided by tenths, even hundredths of seconds. During this Olympic cycle there have even been several ties for medals as there was literally no way to separate athletes as they came to the wall.

And then there were the races that had Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky won the 800m freestyle final by 11 SECONDS. The entire field of runners in the Mens 100m sprint ran their complete race in a shorter amount of time than that. And aside from Katie just being a superior athlete, a main reason for her dominance was a change in the stroke she was using. By changing the game, she changed the outcome… by a lot.

Same goes for technology. When we were tired of carrying CD’s around, mp3’s showed up. When we were tired of carrying multiple sets of media around that stored mp3’s, the iPod appeared. As a DJ I’ve used LP’s, VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs and now mp3 and mp4 files stored on laptops for all my music allowing thousands of songs instead of a handful of records in crates.

On the mobile phone front we were at a bit of a crossroads. Both Android and iOS are pretty good at what they do, and unless you were an enthusiast the same phone would work for years at a pretty acceptable level. All have good cameras, have LTE network service (some networks are better than others), decent processors and are built thinner and lighter. Many have expandable storage. All can have cases and protective covers added.

But once in a while someone changes the game. The Motorola Moto Z Droid is that change. AND, it’s exclusive to Verizon Wireless.

On the surface, the phone is like most any other high-end smartphones.

  • 5.5″ Gorilla Glass screen
  • Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB memory, expandable up to 256GB
  • 13MP primary, 5MP selfie camera
  • Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, accelerometer
  • 2600 mAh battery
  • NO headphone jack! Don’t worry, there’s an adapter to connect to the USB-C in the box and another way to listen available.

Ok, the lack of a standard headphone jack is weird, but other than that, pretty standard stuff.

The MODS

Moto ModsWhat changes the game, is the MODS.

For those of you not familiar with the new mods for the Moto Z, here you go. Mods are attached to the main phone body by a series of powerful magnets, making the attachment easy and not requiring any disassembly of the phone. These mods allow you to transform your phone so the capabilities are extended and include:

  • Moto Insta-Share Projector
    Project your phone screen up to 70″ on any surface, self adjusting the keystone to accomodate the picture. Great for business people who may need to show spreadsheets or slides, or just anyone who may want to show photos or video to friends or family.
  • JBL Soundboost Speaker
    High quality JBL sound anywhere with a built-in kickstand. There’s even an extra battery that brings up to 10 hours of extra battery life.
  • Incipio offGRID Power Pack
    Need up to 22 hours of extra battery life? This sleek battery “case” looks like a beautiful case and continues to work with wireless charging.
  • Moto Style Shell
    Add materials like real wood, genuine leather and more as a styling case to the Moto Z with the Style Shells. Magnets allows you to change in seconds, and while the unprotected back of the phone has the camera protruding a bit more than most phones, the shells (and other mods) bring the camera flush and protected.

So why the big deal?

Phones like the iPhone do a great job of finding the “happy medium.” The have good storage, a good camera, decent battery and ok speakers. Several Android phones maintained the slightly “better-than-average” features as well with better cameras and ok sound, or a great battery, but poor front camera.

The Moto Z mods allow additional functionality to be added to an already great device by simply attaching extension mods to the original phone via strong magnets. So a business person who doesn’t need impressive sound can have a 70″ projector in his pocket, or a power user can have an additional 2200 mAh of battery ( for a TOTAL OF 4800 mAh!!), or that girl who takes a ton of videos can show them using the JBL speaker mod with the attached kickstand.

Throw in the fact that most of us buy some sort of case but may want to go without, or with a different look for multiple events and this makes the mods invaluable.

This phone and the mods are a great step forward in mobile technology. Sure, eventually, we’ll all have a projector built in, a great battery, and amazing speakers in a same small footprint occupied by the Moto Z and other great smartphones. But until then, the Moto Z forces other mobile phone companies to take a look at their devices and think, “What about this?”

Check out the Moto Z Droid and it’s mods at a local Verizon store or at the Verizon Wirless website.

Want to learn more about the Moto Z mods? Watch the official video:

or this great review of the projector and speaker from Hot Hardware.

Do you have, or want, the Motorola Moto Z Droid? I’d love to hear your review on the device, or get questions if you need some clarification on something before you take the plunge.

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Right Time To Move To A Phablet?

Most of us have used cell phones, or more recently, smartphones in our daily life. In recent years, our phones have replaced our computers as our go-to internet device, our communication device, even our entertainment device.

Even more recently companies like Samsung, Google and even Apple have moved to larger devices. Some have included a stylus, some have included extra battery, but all have added screen real estate which makes video, games, and even apps better and easier to use.

So is it time to move to a phablet (phone/tablet)?

I have used cell phones since the day of bag phones (yeah, I’m old… I  know). Since the bag phone I’ve used large brick phones, small flip phones, a large Microsoft Pocket PC with a hidden keyboard, iPhones, Android phones, and yes, even phablets.  I’ve been the COO of an internet company, worked in inside and outside sales, a marketing agency, and now own two businesses.

Of all my experiences, needs and uses my favorite phone to this day is my Samsung Note.

To be fair, I use my phone for a TON of different things like taking notes during meetings, keeping my schedule up to date, websites, emails, social media, photos and much, much more. But really, what could you get from that extra screen real estate?

  • Larger videos for you and the family to watch Netflix or your own videos.
  • More readable font sizes without cramming things on to your narrow screen
  • Pen stylus for note taking, picture drawing, or stylus-specific apps.
  • Better screen for GPS apps
  • Better mobile internet viewing, especially for mobile-enabled pages, but even when viewing websites that have not been made for mobile viewing (call me if this is your page… I can help!)
  • An awesome social media experience when it comes to Facebook, Instagram and others.  Photos and videos just look better in a larger format.
  • And more…

What might be some of the negatives?

  • Larger footprint takes up more space in purse or can be tough to fit in a pocket.
  • For those with smaller hands (me!) it can be problematic to use one-handed (the Note software compensates for this if activated).
  • The larger screen does use battery at a faster rate
  • If you already use a tablet, some of the features could overlap, or possibly be replaced by a phablet (positive?).

So with the recent announcement of the Samsung Note 7, and the impending iPhone 7+ (rumored) announcement days away, now might be the time to consider a larger phone. Personally, I am out-of-contract, and am definitely considering the move to the Note 7 when it’s released in early September. After viewing the launch announcement and reviews (like this one from T3.com) it looks like very comparable specs to my Samsung Galaxy S7, with a larger screen and a few other great features like a bigger battery, more memory, the external memory is back, and of course, the S-Pen and assorted apps.

As the release date approaches and the iPhone announcement becomes official, I would encourage you to read reviews online, talk to your local Verizon store, and even watch the #VZWBUZZ hashtag on Twitter to get some awesome information on the Note 7 and the many benefits of the phablet devices. I can’t wait!

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I received mobile devices with line of service from Verizon (#ad). No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, we meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us! 

#VZWBuzz #ad