5 Best T-Mobile Phones [December, 2014]
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5 Best T-Mobile Phones [December, 2014]

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Those of you looking to buy a new T-Mobile phone this month might run into some trouble because the carrier’s lineup is full of outstanding devices. With that in mind, we want to help those of you that need help deciding on a new device. Here, we take a look at the devices we think are the five best T-Mobile phones money can buy in the month of December.

Over the past year, we’ve seen U.S. carriers release a number of big name, big time smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 set the tone early in the year but more recently its been devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and Moto X that have lured in consumers looking for a brand new device on T-Mobile’s UnCarrier network.

That kind of choice can present problems for anyone, particularly for those that aren’t caught up with the latest devices. Many of T-Mobile’s smartphones share similar hardware and many offer similar software features under different names. Seeking out the best smartphones can be a difficult assignment and that’s why we’re here to help.

Speck MightyShell iPhone 6 Case Review - 5

We are constantly bombarded with questions about the best T-Mobile phones money can buy. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the carrier’s shelves are full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five best T-Mobile phones available.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five best T-Mobile phones for December, 2014.

Moto X Pure Edition

Moto X Pure Edition

The new Moto X 2014, also known as Moto X, delivers an excellent all-around package. In our opinion, it's one of the best Android phones ever made and one of the best T-Mobile phones you can buy right now.

The Moto X 2014 offers an excellent design, a beautiful display, tons of of horsepower, a good camera, and extremely useful software. The device is essentially a Nexus smartphone with some nice Motorola features attached. If you or a loved one likes vanilla Android, this is a phone to look at in December

You'll need to buy the Pure Edition of the phone but we think that the price of admission is worth it. 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Greg

    12/11/2014 at 3:28 pm

    Sony Xperia Z3 should be on this list no question. Maybe at number 1 or 2. Do your homework.

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Carriers

Is Spectrum Mobile Worth It? What You Need to Know in 2020

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Spectrum isn’t just for your home Internet or TV. Spectrum Mobile is a cell phone plan that wants to sell you cell service from the same company you get your Internet and TV from. They are targeting users looking for affordable cell phone service. Prices start at $14 per GB or $45 a month for unlimited and they promise great coverage and a lot of features. You can even get 5G coverage in some locations.

We’ll walk you through what you need to know before you sign up, or before you switch to Spectrum Mobile from Verizon, AT&T, or another mainstream cell phone company. We’ll also help you decide if Spectrum Mobile is worth it in 2020.

With a look at Spectrum Mobile coverage and Spectrum Mobile reviews, plus the information you need to know about what phones you can use, the features available, and key info about Spectrum Mobile WiFi, you can decide if this is the right switch for you.

Read: How to Save $100 on Spectrum

Spectrum Mobile ads focus on going places, streaming, uploading videos, live-streaming, and creating content with cheaper plans. Sometimes Ellen tells you about them, and other times you’ll simply see a teen enjoying a smartphone at home.

Spectrum claims you can save up to 40% every month compared to Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. In addition to using the LTE network when you are mobile, you can also use Spectrum WiFi hotspots that don’t use any of your data plan.

Spectrum Mobile Coverage

This is the Spectrum Mobile coverage map.

This is the Spectrum Mobile coverage map.

While they don’t come out and say it, Spectrum Mobile is very likely running on Verizon’s LTE network. Spectrum Mobile says it uses the “nation’s largest, most reliable LTE network.” They also don’t compare savings to Verizon. the coverage map is also Verizon red.

If you already have Verizon, or if you know someone who does, you can get an accurate feel for how good the Spectrum Mobile coverage is at your home, work, school, and other places you travel.

Spectrum Mobile 5G is available with select Samsung phones and you can connect in 35 cities.

You can also enter your zip code on the Spectrum Mobile website to check local coverage before you switch.

Spectrum Mobile WiFi

Spectrum Mobile WiFi gets you connected without using your WiFi.

Spectrum Mobile WiFi gets you connected without using your WiFi.

One of the benefits of using Spectrum Mobile is connecting to Spectrum WiFi hotspots instead of using your data plan. While this isn’t a huge issue with the Unlimited Plan, it is a major upside to using a pay per GB plan on Spectrum Mobile.

You can find Spectrum WiFi around the country with the WiFi name Spectrum WiFi or CableWiFi. If you see these already, you will be able to connect to them with your phone on Spectrum Mobile.

Use this tool to search for Spectrum WiFi near you.

Spectrum Mobile Plans

You need to be a Spectrum Internet customer to use Spectrum Mobile. If you don’t use Spectrum for your home Internet access, you cannot use Spectrum Mobile for your cell phones. If you are a new Spectrum Internet customer you can only get two lines for the first 30 days, and then up to five lines after.

Spectrum Mobile plans include an Unlimited for $45 a month or a $14 per GB pre-paid plan that is a tempting option if you plan to use the WiFi that is part of this plan. With both plans, you need to pay additional fees, and taxes on top of the prices listed.

With the unlimited plan, you may see reduced speeds after 20GB of use in a billing cycle. You can use your phone as a mobile hotspot at no extra charge. With the unlimited plan, you get 5GB of full-speed hotspot use, and then it is downgraded to 600kbps for the rest of the cycle. With the pay per GB option, you don’t get any speed restrictions, but you pay the normal $14 per GB.

All plans stream video at 480P, which is DVD quality. There is no option to stream at 720P, 1080P or 4K when you are on LTE.

If you cancel your home Internet through Spectrum there is a $20 a month additional charge, Spectrum WiFi speeds are capped at 5Mbps and you cannot add any additional lines. The first GB is charged in advance, per billing cycle.

Spectrum Mobile Reviews

Overall the Spectrum Mobile reviews are good when it comes to connectivity, speeds, and pricing. One user shared a super fast Spectrum Mobile speed result, others like the coverage on WiFi hotspots and the Verizon coverage when you are away from them.

One complaint on Howard Forums starts off happy that support is based in America but then is frustrated that it took 6 hours on the phone to get a return label.

Spectrum Mobile Phones & iPhone

You can get the latest devices on Spectrum Mobile.

You can get the latest devices on Spectrum Mobile.

The good news is that you can buy the latest smartphones on Spectrum Mobile. You can buy the following devices on Spectrum Mobile from $7.50 to $$45.84 a month;

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone SE 2020
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • Galaxy Note 10
  • Galaxy Note 10+
  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy S20 5G
  • Galaxy S20+ 5G
  • Galaxy S20 Utra 5G
  • Galaxy A51
  • Galaxy S10e
  • Galaxy A21
  • Galaxy A20
  • Galaxy A10e
  • Google Pixel 4
  • LG Stylo 5
  • LG K51
  • LG K31
  • LGQ70

Spectrum also offers a Bring Your Own Device option. This allows you to bring a compatible phone to Spectrum when you switch. This way you don’t need to spend any money on a new phone.

Spectrum Mobile Features

With Spectrum Mobile you get the same features that you do on most major carriers. You get LTE connectivity, which means fast speeds, but the video playback is limited to 480P streaming quality. You should get full resolutions when connected to WiFi.

You can also use your phone as a hotspot on Spectrum Mobile without paying any extra fees. You will see speeds throttled after 5GB of mobile hotspot use each billing cycle.

Is Spectrum Mobile Worth It?

Do you need a reliable cell network with cheaper prices and the option to connect to WiFi hotspots across the country? If you are OK with buying a new phone, you should consider Spectrum Mobile.

You get Verizon’s network, good plan options, US-based customer support, and the standard features. The downside is that you are limited to 480P video streaming and you need to be a Spectrum Internet customer at home. The last point isn’t a major issue for many users since in my city Spectrum is the only choice for high-speed home Internet.

29 Surprising Things You Can Buy on the Wish App

Fake Gold Bars

Fake Gold Bars
$3.00 from Wish

You can buy Fake Gold bars on the Wish App. These small gold bars are designed to look like real gold. With a MSRP of $54 you only need to pay $3 to get an oz of fake gold that is designed to look like real gold. 

The description is up front about what you are getting. Even though the photo shows Credit Suisse and appears to show markings that this is real gold, it is identified as a replica souvenir coin.  

Most reviews indicate this is a great prank gift to give to someone. A real 1 oz bar of gold like this can be purchased on eBay for significantly more. 

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Accessories

Verizon & Nimble Partner to Make Eco-Friendly Accessories Easier to Buy

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Verizon stores nationwide will start selling Nimble tech accessories including battery banks, cables, and wireless chargers.  This partnership comes as we celebrate Earth Day and it’s a natural fit.

Nimble’s mobile accessories are top-notch and made with sustainable materials including recycled aluminum, recycled plastic, organic hemp, and plant-based bioplastic. These accessories come in 100% plastic-free packaging and each item comes with a biodegradable envelop that shoppers can use to recycle old electronics free of charge.

The best part about this partnership and these products is that you’re getting great accessories, that are also eco-friendly. These are not simply eco-friendly accessories, they are great accessories that are also a low impact way to outfit your gadgets.

This article may contain affiliate links. Click here for more details.

Nimble accessories are now available at Verizon.

Starting today shoppers can order the Nimble accessories on Verizon and they will be at 1,600 Verizon Wireless stores. While in-store shopping is on hold in many locations due to COVID, you can buy the following items online today;

We’ve been using Nimble battery packs and wireless chargers for over a year and they’ve held up impressively well. The mix of textures on the battery pack is great and the fabric cover on the wireless charger looks amazing, feels nice, and stays looking like new.

This is the first time Nimble accessories are available in-stores and it is part of Verizon’s push to offer lower impact technology. Nimble is a Certified B Corporation and a 1% for the Planet member. The partnership

“The world is changing. People are seeking more ethical options in all product categories from apparel to home goods. Personal technology should be no different,” said Ross Howe, Nimble Co-Founder and CEO. “We created Nimble to push consumer electronics in a better direction. Today, thanks to Verizon’s vision, we’re helping play an even larger role in reducing the impact these products create.”

You can explore the Nimble options at Verizon, see the full lineup of Nimble products and check out their iPhone cases made from recycled plastic bottles.

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Android

15 Common Galaxy Note 10 Problems & Fixes

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This is a list of the most common Galaxy Note 10 problems and how to fix them. It’s Samsung’s biggest and best phone yet, but it’s not perfect. Whether that’s the fingerprint scanner acting funny, camera problems, S-Pen issues or something else from the Android 10 update. These bugs and fixes apply to the Note 10+ as well.

You don’t need to call Samsung support, your carrier, or browse the forums for hours on end. Instead, we’ll help you fix most Note 10 issues right now, yourself, at home. Plus, we’ll continuously update this post with more info, fixes, software updates and details as they arrive.

Most of what we mention below are common issues we see with most new smartphones, Samsung devices, and other Android phones. That said, some of it might be specific to the Note 10 and the latest Android 10 update running One UI 2.0. We’ll also add to this list as more people get the update. So while the Galaxy Note 10 is still somewhat new, these tips will help you get the best experience from your phone or fix frustrating little issues.

Then, owners can expect the One UI 2.1 update (or One UI 2.5) in the near future, which is the current software on Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 lineup. It delivers several changes, fixes, and new camera features to your phone.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Fingerprint Scanner Problems

First things first, we want to talk about the fingerprint scanner. Yes, all Galaxy Note 10 devices have a built-in screen protector. You can remove this if you’d like, which may give you better results with the fingerprint scanner. We saw a lot of failed attempts during the setup process with the S10, but that’s not a problem with the Note.

The under screen fingerprint reader is a cool feature.

If you’re dealing with scanning problems move your finger in several different locations while you do the registration process. Then, register your fingertip a few times holding the phone with one hand, as that’s how you’ll likely unlock it the most. Don’t hold the phone in one hand and use the other to tap. Register your finger while holding the phone as you normally would.

When you add a case we recommend redoing the entire finger scan process again, to get the angle right. Delete the saved prints and redo both thumbs after you apply a case. Plus, we’re hearing registering the same finger twice substantially improves the results, too. And finally, whether you do or don’t use a screen protector, try this trick to increase screen sensitivity.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Accidental Screen Touch Problems

This is one big phone, and it’s even bigger if you chose the Galaxy Note 10+. With a huge 6.8-inch screen some people are getting accidental screen touches or taps. Accidentally opening the Edge apps panel, launching apps, or just waking the screen by accident.

With almost no bezels, there isn’t anywhere to put your hand during use. That said, one quick change in settings will prevent these accidental taps. Or, just disable the edge panel as I did.

  • Go to Settings and select Display
  • Scroll down to Accidental Touch Protection
  • Flip the switch to ON

Not only does this help prevent accidental taps and touches in general, but it also helps with accidental taps in a pocket, purse, bag, or dark areas. On the flip side, some users are reporting the screen doesn’t recognize touches, specifically in certain areas of the screen with the S-pen. Samsung is apparently looking into touchscreen responsiveness issues and will report back soon.

And if the screen keeps randomly turning on, that’s the “Lift to Wake” feature. Disable it in settings.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 App Drawer Button Missing

If you’re coming from an older Galaxy Note phone you’re in for a surprise. There are no physical buttons, no home key, and no app tray icon. They’re all gone. Some owners are getting frustrated that they can’t find all of their installed apps. Swipe up, and they’ll appear. Or, here’s how to go back to the old style.

  • Press and hold down on any blank space on your screen. It will zoom out to an edit and layout page, and give you setting or wallpaper options.
  • Tap the gear-shaped settings button.
  • Next hit the option in settings labeled “Apps Button” and select the “show apps button”.

This way you’ll have a button that launches a tray with all of your apps like before. Or, if you’re coming from an iPhone select “Home screen only” if you want all the apps on your home screen like iOS.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Apps That Aren’t Full Screen

With a huge 6.3 or 6.8-inch HD screen, some apps don’t use the entire display on your new Note. This is due to the long aspect ratio, similar to 16:9 widescreen movies back in the early days of HD movies and Blu-Ray players.

Most apps and games scale up to fit the entire screen, but some don’t. If so follow these steps to fix the issue. That guide is from the Galaxy S8, but the same steps apply on Android 10 and Samsung’s One UI software experience.

  • Pull down the notification bar and head to Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)
  • Tap on Display
  • Select the option labeled Full screen Apps
  • Tap on any app that isn’t full screen, and switch it from Auto to Full Screen

By now almost every app and game works great with the bigger screens of Samsung devices. So, you shouldn’t deal with this very often, if at all. If you do, just force them into full screen mode. Now it will automatically scale to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio and fill your entire display with content.

Read: Best Galaxy Note 10 Cases

Additionally, when you launch an app and it doesn’t use the entire screen, you’ll see a little popup at the bottom of the screen to quickly toggle it to full-view. Tap that to instantly switch.

Galaxy Note 10 Freezing & Unresponsive Problems

Is your Galaxy Note 10 or some of its apps freezing and becoming unresponsive? It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen it on a new Samsung device. You might experience this in the contacts app or phone dialer while trying to make a call. Or just general laggy performance at times.

If your Note 10 is frozen or unresponsive press and hold both the power and volume down buttons at the same time, and hold them down for 7-8 seconds. The phone will turn off, reboot, and start fresh. This will not harm anything and simply forces the phone to restart, even if it’s completely frozen and the screen is black. Give it a try.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 WiFi & GPS Problems

Once any new phone comes out, we see reports about WiFi problems. And, we’re already seeing comments about poor performance, WiFi drops, connection issues and more with the Galaxy Note 10. This is rarely a phone problem and instead usually something else entirely.

We’ve found that Samsung’s super helpful SmartSwitch tool for transferring an old phone to a new phone can often be the problem for bad WiFi. The software transferred the name, password, and connection for you and sometimes it causes a glitch in the Matrix. Those experiencing Galaxy Note 10 WiFi problems should try all of these steps.

First, we recommend you forget your WiFi network and re-enter the password on the phone. Do this by heading to Settings > Connections > WiFi. Push and hold your home internet connection and tap forget network on the pop-up. Then search for a WiFi connection, find yours, put in the password and it should work. Better yet, reset your network to default settings or buy a new router.

We also recommend unplugging the power to your router for a good 10 seconds to give it a fresh start. Then try reconnecting your Galaxy Note 10 again.

And finally, we have one other very helpful tip for WiFi issues. Go to Settings > Connections > WiFi > Advanced Settings > and disable the WiFi sleep option. That way WiFi stays on no matter what, even when the screen is off. Now all your apps and services continue to use WiFi, and you don’t need to keep the screen on while you update apps. The September Note 10 update has changes to call quality, WiFi, and overall device stability, we saw more tweaks in the October upgrade, and Samsung is about to deliver a big March 2020 update too.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Always-On Display Problems (Or Lift to Wake)

Samsung added a “lift to wake” feature to the Galaxy S10 that’s also on the Note 10. When you pick it up the screen automatically comes to life. It’s nice, but some people don’t like it. Plus, we’re hearing complaints that the lift to wake or AOD feature is making the phone wakeup in pockets, which is draining the battery or butt dialing.

Here’s how to change, customize and tweak the always-on display. We’ll also show you how to turn off the lift to wake feature.

Go to Settings > Lock screen > and tap on Always-On Display. From here, you can customize anything and everything. Personally, we recommend using the always-on display to cut down on screen turn-ons, which will increase battery life.

Then, go back to the main Settings menu and go to Advanced Features > Motions and gestures > and uncheck the Lift to wake feature. While you’re here, kill the “double-tap to wake” if it keeps going off in your pocket.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Battery Life Problems

With bigger battery packs and faster charging than any Galaxy device, these phones should last plenty long and recharge super fast. It’s pretty impressive. Still, you might face a battery problem or have random battery drain you’ll want to fix.

First, here’s our big guide to fixing bad Galaxy Note 10 battery life problems. Your next step to solving any battery situation is by heading to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery > Battery Usage to see what’s going on. This gives you a detailed breakdown on what uses what, and what’s using the most.

If an app is malfunctioning or misbehaving it’ll use too much battery and appear at the top of this list. If you see anything other than Display, screen, Android System, or a recent app or game you’re using, then something isn’t right. Disable or reinstall any app or service that’s draining more battery than it should.

Then, we have one other tip that could potentially make a big difference. It’s a weird mobile data thing we’ll be turning off.

Basically, turn off any and all network or carrier enhancement or diagnostic tools. The June/July update for the AT&T Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus added something called “AT&T mobile network diagnostics” to the mobile networks settings menu, and is ON by default. It’s also on by default with the Galaxy Note 10, and takes a big chunk of your battery life.

Turn this off using our steps in the image above, and look for something similar from Verizon or T-Mobile.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Camera Problems

So far we’re not seeing any big complaints about the Note 10 camera, but it is still fairly new. Some users are complaining about auto-focus in third party apps, but that’s about it so far, which is good news.

For now, the only real “problem” we’re seeing is that the buttons for the 3-4 rear cameras don’t always switch to that specific lens. I’m not seeing this issue, but if you are, try rebooting your phone. Then, users are reporting poor lighting and a super dark super slow-motion video experience. The 960 FPS slow-mo feature needs a lot of light for the best experience, so if you try it indoors, you won’t enjoy the results. That’s not a problem, it’s just how the new technology works so far.

If we see anything else about the camera or you’re having problems let us know in the comment section below. There is a new camera update that arrived in October. To update the Camera app, open the Galaxy Store app, log in and go to Profile > Update > Camera. Or, open the camera, tap settings and go to About Camera > and tap update.

Samsung fixed a slew of little camera glitches in the January and March 2020 updates for the Galaxy Note 10. Then, we’re expecting several exciting new camera features with the One UI 2.1 update in the near future.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 Wet Speaker Problems

The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ are IP68 dust and water-resistant. Meaning you can take it in the shower, drop it in the pool, or use it at depths of around 5 ft without worry. The phone can technically handle around 5ft for 30 minutes and still work fine.

However, if either of the two speakers get wet your phone will sound funny and muffled for a minute. This isn’t a concern and there’s no damage either, you just need to let it dry.

Samsung uses a coating on the inside of the device to keep the components safe. Then, something they call “surface tension” to keep water out of both speakers. If water gets in there just tap it gently against your hand to push any water out of the speaker. Most likely there’s nothing wrong with your phone, just give it time to dry.

Bonus tip: Never charge your phone when it’s wet. Let the USB Type-C charging port completely dry before you plug in your phone to refill the battery.

How to Fix Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen Problems

Are you experiencing problems with the S-Pen on your Galaxy Note 10? This year Samsung added multiple noteworthy new features to its stylus. This little device now has more sensors, Bluetooth, a gyroscope and more. This way you can use the S-Pen as a remote control, a magic wand, pause/play movies or YouTube, and even as a shutter button for the camera.

However, that also means there’s a small built-in capacitor battery that can and will run out. And while all the usual S-Pen features work 24/7 some of the wireless options need battery life. Plus, we’re getting a lot of complaints that the pen doesn’t always work, or doesn’t work in random spots on the display.

If your Galaxy Note 10 S-Pen isn’t doing what you want, put it back inside the phone for about a minute. Yes, in under a minute it’ll recharge enough to last over 30 minutes. Again, that’s only for a few features, as everything else we’ve ever used the S-Pen for works even if the battery is dead. Samsung’s September and October updates both mentioned the S-Pen, so they’re still fine-tuning things.

Reboot Your Galaxy Note 10 to Fix Most Problems

Before we share our last tip, try rebooting your phone. Seriously, almost every problem we hear from friends, family, or see online can quickly be fixed by rebooting your Galaxy Note 10. Text messages not coming in, reboot your phone. Your sound isn’t working, reboot the phone. Camera acting funny, reboot your phone.

Press and hold the power button on the side of your Note 10, then tap restart. Within about 1 minute you’ll be up and running with almost every problem gone.

Also, go to Settings > Device Maintenance > and tap the 3-dots in the top corner and select Auto Restart. Now, choose the time and day of the week, like Monday at 3 AM. This way your phone will reboot once a week at night so performance stays at its best, and problems are a thing of the past. Additionally, make sure you’re on the latest software release.

How to Factory Reset the Galaxy Note 10

It’s likely that you won’t experience any major problems with the Galaxy Note 10 or 10+. If you tried everything we mentioned above and checked with your carrier for help, we do have one last step you can try before asking Samsung for a replacement. The last resort to fix big problems is doing a factory data reset. This will erase all user data, apps, messages, and content from the phone. Only do this if something is seriously wrong and a show-stopping problem.

Keep in mind that you will want to backup any data before you proceed. Go to Settings > General Management > and hit Reset to get started.

This process will only take a few minutes and will restore the original software that came with your phone. Then, just use Samsung SmartSwitch or Google restore to get all your apps back. Again, this is the last resort if you have major problems. If this doesn’t fix it, consider reaching out to Samsung or your carrier for a replacement phone.

Galaxy Note 10 Android 10 Problems

Then, the Android 10 (One UI 2.0) update is finally available in the United States and around the globe, full of bug fixes and new features. The beta program is over and Samsung’s readily sending this to models everywhere, including carrier models stateside.

So far, we’re only seeing a few of those typical small complaints about abnormal battery drain, update installation issues, and lag. Keep in mind that your phone will be warm and a little laggy after a massive update like the Android 10 release. So, let the update finish, let your phone sit for a minute or two, then reboot it for the best experience.

For those preparing for Android 10, this guide for the Galaxy S10 applies to the Note 10 as well. By now you should already be on the latest update, but that same guide applies for when the One UI 2.1 update comes out in April or May.

What Else & What’s Next?

If anything else emerges over the coming weeks and months as more people buy one, we’ll report back and look into anything we see. Basically, stay tuned for more information.

In closing, we want to mention what’s coming next. Now that the phone is running Android 10, it will be Samsung’s main focus for the foreseeable future. This means Samsung and carriers will fine-tune the experience and fix any problems from Android 10 and the One UI 2.0 software experience. Even though they had an extensive beta program with several versions of Android 10, bugs, issues, or problems will fall through the cracks.

Keep in mind that Samsung’s One UI 2.0 running on Android 10 is really new, just started hitting devices in mid-December 2019, and finished in January. And while the One UI 2.0 update is great it did add a few issues that will be fixed in March, April, or later this year with the One UI 2.1 update. Currently, the only phones with One UI 2.1 are the Galaxy S20 family.

Basically, Samsung finished the Android 10 rollout, then will rapidly release an update within the next 30-45 days to fix any issues from this major upgrade. As millions get Google’s new software they’ll have more information to work with to gather and deploy fixes for it. What’s actually next though, aside from some quick bug-fixing updates for One UI 2.0, is the actual update to Android 11 sometime in 2020. Yes, Google released the first Android 11 beta in February, the second beta in March, and will test it for several months before a global launch in July or August. We doubt Samsung’s Note 10 will be part of the beta, so you have a long time to wait.

Basically, just know that a few more updates are coming soon, building on and improving the experience that is Android 10. They’ll spend the next several months improving the new One UI 2.0 software everyone just got. For now, drop us a comment below if you’re experiencing any other major issues and we’ll do our best to help, or research a fix for you. Otherwise, enjoy everything your phone has to offer.

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Android

How Much Data Does Video Streaming Use?

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In this guide we’ll explain how much data usage video streaming takes, what you need to know, and how to avoid using too much data. Most people love watching YouTube or streaming video and music on their phones, which is why they’re the biggest reason people go over their monthly data plan.

And while more and more people have unlimited plans here in 2020, if you don’t, you’ll realize it’s very easy to burn through your monthly 5GB plan in a matter of days. Whether that’s from streaming football, watching Netflix, or listening to Spotify.

So, here’s how much data video streaming uses.

These days you can watch HD video, stream high-def music, and watch live TV anywhere from your phone. Thankfully some carriers like T-Mobile offer free 480p video streaming plans, but even then, if you stream a higher quality you could quickly surpass your limit.

How Much Data Does Streaming Video Use in 2020?

Streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO, YouTube, or other popular services is usually the biggest problem, so we’ll start with that.

A prime example is YouTube. By default, most videos play at 720p HD on smartphones, which will use nearly 1GB of data in just over an hour. That means one day of heavy YouTube watching could use your entire data allowance for the entire month. That said, here are some average usage rates for streaming media.

  • Ultra-HD Quality: Basically, a 4K stream uses anywhere from 6-7GB per hour
  • HD Quality: Streaming video in HD is usually 720p or 1080p full HD and uses about 800MB (0.8GB) per hour, or around 1.4GB for 1080p per hour
  • Regular Quality (SD): What carriers and most consider SD is 480p and uses roughly (650MB) per hour
  • Very Low Quality:  Starting at 144p, 240p or 320p resolution will use roughly 250 MB per hour (144 is the minimum offered on YouTube)

Most people stream video in 480p (SD) or 720p (HD) on smartphones and tablets, which means you can expect to use anywhere from 600MB to over 1GB an hour when you stream video from one of the many video streaming services and cable TV alternatives available these days.

Netflix data usage estimates

If you have a 5GB data plan with Verizon or AT&T, streaming just five episodes of The Witcher or Better Call Saul could potentially put you over the limit. Thus costing you an exorbitant amount of money per gigabyte when you go over your cap at the end of the month.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages and rough estimates. Some apps consider 720p as HQ, so pay attention and don’t just take our word for it. Additionally, most apps auto-adjust your quality on the fly based on network conditions and your cell service, which can make you quickly use way too much data. Always go into settings and set a specific quality standard, or just remember to use WiFi.

How Much Data Does Streaming Music Use in 2020

Next up is music, which is actually a little easier to manage and calculate as they all use the same bitrate numbers for the quality of your music or stream. And while Super-HQ is growing in popularity, here’s what you can expect from the likes of YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora and more.

  • High Quality: Usually 320kbps for music. HQ streams use around 110+MB per hour
  • Normal Quality: Typically 160kbps, the default for most apps and uses around 75MB per hour
  • Low Quality: Around 96kbps and sounds fine while using around 40MB per hour

So, streaming music at a normal quality for about an hour a day (like at the gym) will use less than 1GB after 10 days, or under 3GB in a month which is perfect for most people.

Just like you can change the video playback quality on Netflix or YouTube, you can control the quality of streaming audio to keep your data usage in check. Plus, apps like YouTube Music have specific settings where music will stream in lower quality on a mobile network, and switch to HQ when you’re on WiFi at home.

Average Data Usage for Streaming

Next, we want to offer a list that details multiple different streaming options for a typical smartphone data plan in the United States. Basically, the list below is about what you can expect to use each month without going over your limit. Well, unless you have unlimited data. If so, go hog-wild.

The typical cheap plan from carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint is 3-5GB a month. If you have a 5GB data plan with unlimited talk and text, here’s how much you can stream music and video for the entire month.

5GB Data Plan Monthly Streaming Limits:

  • 7+ hours of SD video (like Netflix, YouTube, NFL Network, HBO Now)
  • 5-6 hours of 720p video
  • 3.25 hours of 1080p HD video
  • 100 hours of low-quality music
  • 70+ hours of normal music
  • 40 hours of high-quality music (At HQ, you can only listen to a little over an hour of music a day)

Looking at those numbers, someone with a 5GB plan can’t even stream one episode of their favorite show each night without going over their limit. So, always remember to use WiFi at home or work.

Unlimited Data Isn’t Really “Unlimited”

In closing, we want to mention that Unlimited data plans being offered by most carriers aren’t truly “unlimited” and you will run into limits. So don’t think that just because you have an AT&T unlimited plan you can stream 1080p or 2k videos to your Galaxy S10+ for 3-4 hours a day — because you can’t.

Read: 5 Problems You Didn’t Think of Before Cutting the Cord

Most carriers throttle data usage at 22 or 25GB a month. What this means is you’ve used more than most customers do in any given month, and after 22GB they’ll cut your speeds so slow that videos likely won’t play, buffer non-stop, and you’ll need WiFi to do anything useful on your phone.

Typically the average person that listens to music on the way to work, views a few YouTube videos on his/her lunch break, and uses streaming services often will never hit this 22GB limit. Just know that it does exist, and you can hit that data wall if you’re not careful. An hour of Netflix a day at 720p for 30 days will put you pretty close to 25-30GB of data usage in a month. Keep that in mind.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you’re always better off signing into a WiFi connection at home, your work WiFi, or asking friends and family members to share the password. Anywhere and everywhere I go I’m on WiFi instead of using my AT&T account, so I rarely use more than 6-7GB a month.

We recommend keeping an eye on data usage with the built-in tools on iPhone or Android if you’re a heavy streamer. Or, if your kids are streaming tons of YouTube.

Additionally, keep in mind that the numbers you see on your phone in settings may differ from what Verizon or AT&T calculates. It’s always a good idea to check with your carrier or internet service provider on occasion to make sure everything lines up.

So, now that you know how much music or video you can and can’t stream on your smartphone, get a data plan that works for you.

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Android

Samsung Galaxy S20: Release Date & Where to Buy

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Samsung recently announced three all-new smartphones with the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and the bigger, better, and more expensive Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. These are essentially the Galaxy S11, only with a new name and here’s absolutely everything you need to know.

Below, we’ll go over the Galaxy S20 release date, pre-orders, specs, and pricing for buyers looking to get Samsung’s newest awesome 5G Galaxy smartphone. Then, we’ll show you where to buy one and how to get the best deal.

As we all now know, Galaxy S20 pre-orders begin on February 21st, and that the official Galaxy S20 release date is March 6th when orders get delivered and the phones are available in-stores. Read on for more details.

Important Galaxy S20 Release Info

  • Galaxy S20 Pre-Orders open on February 21st
  • Available in stores and online by March 6th
  • Galaxy S20 pricing starts at $999
  • Choose between three Galaxy S20 models and three different color options

Samsung Galaxy S20 Release Date

The all-new, bigger, faster, camera-packed Galaxy S20 can be yours in just a few weeks. Just as we expected, the Galaxy S20 release date is March 6th. However, I have a feeling T-Mobile will ship them early, again.

With a slightly smaller 6.2-inch display, a bigger and better 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+ and a massive crazy powerful Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, all with 5G speeds and insane new cameras, we knew these phones could take a little longer to arrive. The fact that they made big changes to the cameras, added a 120 Hz display, packed bigger battery cells inside and everything else we’re getting here, not to mention three different models to choose from, we’re surprised they’re coming out so soon.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Pre-Orders

You can officially pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S20 today, right now, as of February 21st, 12:01 AM, all the way until March 5th. Then, pre-orders will ship in time to arrive at your door on the March 6th release date, or potentially even earlier.

If you want to reserve your own Galaxy S20 or that crazy Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, you can online or by walking into a carrier or retail store to get set up. Don’t forget to take advantage of the trade-in deals, too. Those who pre-order get $100 Samsung credit with an S20, $150 credit with an S20+, or a $200 credit with an S20 Ultra. Samsung is also offering up to $700 off with select trade-ins, probably because they know these phones are expensive.

Head to places like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Walmart or Best Buy. Links to buy or pre-order the phone from EVERY major outlet is listed in the “Where to Buy” section below. Or, get it from Samsung.com at a heavy discount and with a guaranteed early delivery date.

Where to Buy the Galaxy S20

The Galaxy S20 will be available everywhere soon. You can see it yourself and test out these bigger screens at local carriers stores, or a Best Buy then pre-order your own. Your best bet is to buy it from Samsung.com, or hit the links below for other retailers.

We’ll link to each carrier page as they’re released. Unfortunately, it looks like Verizon will NOT offer the smallest cheaper $999 Galaxy S20, and only the bigger two. Well, not until later this year. This is due to the cheapest Galaxy S20 having a different 5G chip than the bigger two models.

Either way, with different models to choose from and high price tags we don’t think these devices will sell out. Basically, that means you can take your time and choose which model and size is right for you without worrying about rushing before they sell out.

In fact, you’ll probably be able to walk into any retail or carrier store on March 6th and buy one without any fuss or lines.

Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Deals

With phones as expensive as the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Ultra, we’re starting to see deals everywhere. Everyone from Samsung to AT&T understands that people don’t want to pay $1,399 for a phone, so they have some crazy impressive Galaxy S20 deals to help you buy one.

While almost every carrier is offering a deal and we’re even seeing a few “Buy one, get one” offers, your hands-down best option is to order one from Samsung’s website. Seriously.

With the right trade-in, you’ll get a $700 discount, and Samsung is offering higher trade-in values than anyone else, by far.

With a $700 discount, you are looking at $299 for the Galaxy S20, instead of $1000. Or, snag a Galaxy S20+ at $499.99 (down from $1,199.99). And finally, if you trade in a newer phone you could get the insanely powerful Galaxy S20 Ultra for just $699, instead of $1,400. These are crazy good deals that surely won’t last.

Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra Specifications

  • 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch Curved Quad-HD Infinity SAMOLED Display (Bezel-free) (all 120 Hz high refresh rates)
  • The smaller regular Galaxy S20 has a 6.2-inch screen
  • 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Processor in the US and Samsung Exynos in select regions
  • 12GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB storage with microSD expansion (16GB RAM option on Ultra)
  • Android 10 with Samsung One UI 2.0
  • Quad Rear Cameras: 1264, 12, 16, (variable aperture main lens), f/2.4 3-10x telephoto lens, wide-angle camera, DoF sensor, more) Dual OIS, 960 FPS slo-mo, 4K, laser focus, 10-scene optimizer, Night Sight (rumors)
  • Crazy 108 MP Camera and 48MP 10-100x periscope zoom on the Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • 10MP Front Selfie Camera with a smaller centered cutout (40MP Front Selfie Camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra)
  • Stereo Speaker tuned by AKG
  • 4,000 mAh, 4,500 mAh and massive 5,000 mAh batteries with new 25w Faster Charging, Faster 45w on S20 Ultra, Wireless Charging 2.0 and Powershare Reverse Wireless Charging
  • IP68 Dust & Water-resistance
  • USB Type-C, Bixby 2.0, Bixby AI, and 5G (all models have 5G)
  • Heart-rate sensor, Better In-Display Fingerprint Sensor, potentially FaceID tech
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack and no Bixby button

Samsung has offered similar screen sizes for several years, only increasing them by a hair as bezels have shrunk on our devices. This year though, they made a huge jump in almost every category.

With the Galaxy S20 series, Samsung made the screens bigger and doubled the refresh rate, made the biggest changes to the camera we’ve seen in nearly three years, packed huge batteries inside, then added 5G technology on top of everything else. They might look like a familiar experience, but these are vastly different and highly improved smartphones compared to last year.

As a comparison, last year the Galaxy S10 lineup had a 5.8-inch screen, 6.1-inch and the biggest was the 6.4-inch Galaxy S10 Plus. For 2020 everything is bigger and better.

We’re most excited about the massive battery in these phones, the cameras, and the new 120Hz refresh rate on the screens. Any of those things would be exciting, but all of them at the same time is a big deal. Plus, the screens have a new 240 Hz touch response too, so everything will feel absurdly fast and smooth. You’ll want to buy a Galaxy S20.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Color Options

In case you didn’t notice, Samsung has some neat new colors this year for the Galaxy S20. While you’ll be able to get it the usual Black colorway, there will also be a new Cloud Blue and Pinkish Red option for potential buyers.

  • Galaxy S20: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink
  • Galaxy S20+: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black

Samsung Galaxy S20 Prices

Finally, we have to talk about pricing, as these are three super-expensive smartphones. In fact, the smaller S20 is more expensive than we expected, although it does have more to offer than the budget-friendly Galaxy S10e from 2019, so the higher price is justified.

Here’s how much you’ll need to save to get this phone, or how much you’ll have to spend each month on a carrier payment plan to have a big Galaxy S20 and all those cameras in your pocket.

  • Galaxy S20 (6.2-inch): $999
  • Galaxy S20+ (6.7-inch): $1,200
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (6.9-inch): $1,399

These are expensive smartphones. However, as we said above Samsung has a slew of impressive trade-in deals, discounts, and almost every carrier is offering some sort of discount or promotion as well. Your best bet is to trade in whatever phone you have and then do a payment plan with carriers.

If you’re shocked by these prices, don’t think that this is out of the norm. Samsung is just first to the market with high-end flagship phones with better screens, 5G, and bigger batteries. We’re expecting similar high prices from the 5G iPhone 12, the OnePlus 8 Pro, and other phones coming in 2020.

What I’m trying to say is that you should expect these types of prices for the rest of the year, so if you love the Galaxy S20, get one and enjoy it.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Cases & Accessories

After spending over $1000 on a smartphone you’ll want it to last. That’s why we highly highly recommend everyone with any of the Galaxy S20 models use a case, get a screen protector, and potentially other accessories for a better and more enjoyable experience.

So, if you just bought the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ or a Galaxy S20 Ultra, here are some accessory roundups for your new phone.

Enjoy your new phone.

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