Question Unlocked Pixel 3a XL - T-Mobile says not compatible with Sprint LTE migration ?!

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Anyone else still on the sprint network getting harassed by T-Mobile reps to get a new device even when the old one should be compatible with their network?

My wife's Pixel 3a XL is an unlocked model, should be fully LTE capable, and is only 2 years old but the tmo customer service rep told her that her device is not compatible with t-mo's network and she'll have to upgrade to a 5g compatible device, which sort of sounds like a shakedown when really they should send her a new SIM card and call it a day.

Anyone else experiencing this, or has brought a Pixel 3a XL over from sprint to t-mo care to share how the experience went.
 

nisryus

Senior member
Sep 11, 2007
589
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91
Weird. My wife has a used unlocked Pixel 3 and she moved over to Mint along with me last month. As far as I know Mint uses T mobile network too, and she had no problem joining.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
4,015
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I've been reading through some reddit forums and just around in general and it sounds like there is definitely a push on the T-mo rep side to push new phones on the sprint membership as there are definitely a couple people saying they get the SIM card after pushing back a little.

There might be some training mix-ups where things like 3G, Pixel 3 (not a), and switch overs are all overlapping on each other.

Still curious to know if anyone else has been encountering this issue with Sprint/T-mo with this specific phone or others that by all rights should be able to swap over.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,363
476
126
TMO seems to be pushy lately. I always buy my phones directly from either Samsung or Apple. Example, when the S22 came out I got mine directly from Samsung and use it on tmo. My girlfriend like the phone and wanted one but wanted to get one at a tmo store. I tried talking her out of it but she wanted to go. So I go with her as I knew what to expect and sure enough they were spouting BS like she needed a new plan, sim card had to be replaced for 5G and all sorts of crap. We left, I was smirking on the inside as I told her this would happen, we went home and bought directly from samsung and shes all good now. Ironically, the tmo store we went to in my neighborhood closed down last week. I havent bought a phone from a phone store in 10 years at least.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,611
5,584
126
I got hassled by TM to get a new phone, but I was due for one anyway. My old phone /should/ have been sufficient for the network, but I'm enjoying my MotoG Stylus 5G(god this name sucks to use...). The 5G network's pretty sweet. It's a very noticeable speed bump, and coverage is great around here.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
781
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Being a phone geek and having worked for a few different providers over the years there's some tricks to figuring out things.

For instance before buying a phone use this site. I have an OP 8 Pro which you'll see when you click the link but, it tells you what bands each phone uses / works on.

Never go through the stores / provider it's a bad idea for your wallet. I picked up my OP8 n ebay w/ some additional accessories for IIRC $200 less than retail for the 8/256 model.

I'm using different MVNO's w/ TMO as the provider for $-$15/mo for 5GB of data by churning different promos for 1-3 months depending on the SIM. Mint is good but, I don't feel like paying them $300/yr up front. Getting their 3 month trial though isn't too bad but I found better deals with Tello (3 months / 5gb / $40) or US Mobile w/ a promo code that knocks off $20 for 1 month.

TMO w/ 5G I can hit 600-700mbps DL / 100mbps UL and I even test other providers like VZ/Visible which only hit 20x5 @ $40/mo unlimited.

There's nothing wrong with a Pixel 3+ though other than you won't get 5G This other site breaks down you 3A for bands it will work on / which carriers.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
5,548
1,752
136
Check the phones IMEI here to see if it's compatible with T-mobile.


My mothers Moto G5 plus quit working last month on Red Pocket/AT&T because of the 3G sunset. The phone had some sort of LTE but the when I checked the "secret" dialer code the option was greyed out. Perhaps a newer sim would have fixed the issue but instead I tried moving the phone over to Tello/T-mobile and the phone worked she just didn't have service in her building. I finally gave up and made her buy a new phone and went back with Red Pocket/AT&T for the time being.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
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@balloonshark WIFI calling works in buildings if you enable it. Or port the # to google voice and use data only for voice / SMS.

There's plenty of odd stuff coming though for phones that are above a certain age. It's going to be an apocalypse of sorts for many different devices.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
5,548
1,752
136
@balloonshark WIFI calling works in buildings if you enable it. Or port the # to google voice and use data only for voice / SMS.

There's plenty of odd stuff coming though for phones that are above a certain age. It's going to be an apocalypse of sorts for many different devices.
For some reason she kept getting a DNS error for wifi calling so it wouldn't work. Texting worked fine though. She's in her 70's with several health problems so I gave up and just made her get a new phone.
 

Tech Junky

Senior member
Jan 27, 2022
781
246
76
Yeah there can be some issues depending on the WiFi network. Getting the APN for the right network / voice can be an issue depending on the phone. Using the tello app though should work.
 
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GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Ok, just a quick update. Wife and I went to the T-Mo store after checking phone's IMI, which T-Mo said was fully compatible with their network.

Store manager did a bit of heel dragging "We want you to have the best experience on T-mo" and "For a small price you can have a Pixel 6 instead of your 3a XL!" (For $300 after bill credits...)

Proud of the wife, she held her ground like a pro, "No, I just want the sim card and if things aren't working out I'll look into upgrading".

So after basically half a dozen people at T-Mo essentially flat out lying or misinforming her about her Unlocked Pixel 3a XL not being compatible with the T-Mo switch... she got her SIM card and her phone is now running on the T-Mo network.
 

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