• Cell Phones

    by Published on 11-20-2017 12:23 PM
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    2. Cell Phones
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    One of the real problems with today's cell phones is, surprisingly they're not as good at taking voice calls as older phones. In fact, this AT&T flip phone performs as well or better than any $1,000 phone and you can find it for under $50. Sure, it doesn't do ...
    by Published on 11-19-2017 01:18 PM
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    2. Misc. Gadgets,
    3. Cell Phones



    I've seen the future, and it's wireless. Obviously. Who wants wires? Although wireless charging has been around since 2010 (and we have the embarrassing video to prove it) it's finally taking off now that both Apple and Samsung have embraced the Qi wireless charging standard.

    Wireless charging isn't such a hard thing to do, you just pump enough power through something and it will transfer to something else over a very small distance. The trick is doing it safely, making sure that power's only being transferred when needed, and keeping heat buildup to a minimum so nothing explodes (cough Samsung cough.) The Qi standard is already proven and you'll find it everywhere from cars to coffeeshops... and of course at Solid Signal.

    You'll want to get a Qi charging mat for your desk at work and anywherethat you lay your phone for a long period of time. Although Qi charging is slower than regular charging, it's still better than no charging at all. If your car doesn't have one built in, you'll probably want one for your car too, if there's a place you can put the phone without it sliding all around all over the place.

    Because the Qi standard has been around for a while, you'll find a great selection of charging pads and mats at SolidSignal.com right now, even though Apple is only just now jumping in. The new iPhones will drive a lot of people to wireless charging, but the Samsung crowd has been there for a while already, of course.

    Shop now!
    by Published on 11-15-2017 01:46 PM
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    2. Commercial,
    3. Cell Phones
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    For over 20 years, the cell phone has been an indispensible part of our lives. Sure, the old Motorola StarTAC in the picture couldn't do much more than make calls, but even that was a critical part of keeping us safe. For most of us, "I need one in the car in case of emergency" ...
    by Published on 11-14-2017 01:28 PM
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    2. Cell Phones



    Another acronym to learn? Now it's "OTG." Luckily this one's easy. It stands for "On the Go" and what it tells you, is you can plug this into your phone. (Well maybe not your phone, but maybe your friend's.)

    Most Android phones made in the last five years charge using the MicroUSB connector. If you have an Android you know this connector, it's the small one at the left of the photo and you probably put it in upside down half a dozen times a day. Yeah, that's the one.

    You use this connector to charge your phone, but it can also be used to download pictures, connect to a flash drive, get pictures off a memory card... pretty much anything a USB connector can do. That's because it is a USB connector, just a smaller one.

    Connect a USB OTG adapter like the one above and you can use almost any USB device. You can't use most hard drives, but pretty much everything else is fair game. There are all sorts of OTG devices too that let you do everything from connect to a camera to use wired ethernet. Not every adapter will work with every phone, but if your phone has this connection it's a fair bet that the adapter will work.

    Small PCs also use this connection instead of a full-size USB because it saves space, and OTG adapters work with these PCs as well.

    Now... the bad news. If you have an iPhone (any iPhone) these won't work for you. They also won't work very well if your phone uses that new USB C connector that you never put in the wrong way. It's found on the top-end phones. There are adapters that let you use one of those OTG cables with USB C, but you're better off just getting a USB C version of what you want, such as this USB C memory card reader.
    by Published on 11-13-2017 12:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Cell Phones



    This Wi-Ex YX500 cell booster was all the rage 8 years ago. It worked well with the older-style analog cell phones and anything else that used the 1900MHz band that was used for voice back then. Today the world has changed and if you're going to boost your signal you need something that not only covers the 1900MHz band, but the four other bands most commonly used by voice and data services. Today, one band just won't cut it.

    So what can you do with an old cell booster?

    Unfortunately not much. Like most older technology today, it's not designed to be repaired or upgraded. That means, even if its fancy electronics work perfectly, it's practically useless today. The frequency it boosts is still used, but so are many other ones so the odds that you'll get the boost you need are pretty slim. Like every other cellular-related thing you used back in 2009, it's not something you'd want to use today. (Remember that Blackberry you had in 2009? Would you want to use that today?)

    So, the best thing to do is responsibly recycle it. At the very least, you're not putting toxic chemicals into the ground and the raw materials, the plastic and silicon and whatnot, can be used in something else, something that you might actually want to buy.
    by Published on 11-12-2017 12:41 PM
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    2. Commercial,
    3. Cell Phones
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    Yes, the cell service in your building stinks. You're probably reading this article on your computer because if you tried to load it up on your phone it would take FOREVER, even though you have the latest and greatest hardware and you probably pay over $100 a month for cell service. How could that be? ...
    by Published on 11-08-2017 08:44 AM
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    2. Cell Phones
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    It's not just about the bars. Real techies measure cell phone signals in dBm, and ignore the cell phone bars. Why? Because as I said a few years ago, those bar measurements are pretty much meaningless.

    Before I really get into the answer, let's ...
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