Question

Sprint LG V50 phone on T_Mobile

  • 1 October 2020
  • 46 replies
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Hi, I recently bought a Sprint branded LG V50 which works reasonably well on T-Mobile.  I found out that the phone will no longer work after Jan 2021 because Sprint/T-Mobile is not porting VoLTE and WiFi calling over to the device.  So much for the un-carrier. 

When I called Customer Service, I was told I have to buy a new phone.  I just bought this one.  I do not get why I should have to pay for another phone. Is anyone out there in a similar situation?  Is there a remedy?

Thanks

Pete


46 replies

Update on my V50...apparently there was just a slowing of performance as it was updating apps for Android 11.  Has been back to same battery life and working flawlessly for the last couple of days.

I love this phone, and there's no competitor that I've found that has the same features I like, especially size, rear fingerprint, and 3.5mm jack, with the other specs and great camera.  It's a shame, in my opinion, that LG went so far astray in the size of the phones and taking away the extremely reliable rear fingerprint feature for their final Velvet and V60 models.

I still highly recommend this phone if these are the features important to you.  I did the manual apn setting when I set up the phone and have had no issues.  LTE, data, sms/mms all function perfectly.  Again, I have the Korean model world phone.  Can't speak to the Sprint or other unlocked models. 

Update after 3 days, V50 unlocked Korean version is an awesome phone, awesome features and is working perfectly so far on USA T-Mobile...calls, mms, social media, voLTE, etc. (excluding 5g capability).

So how is it actually working on VOLTE with TMobile? I can't get VOLTE with my Korean v50 at all.

You have to manually enter apn's as described previously in this thread, link is there for instructions.  I believe some software was sent directly from TMobile as well.  I suggest restarting and update software afterwards, if not already done. 

Answering from my LG V50 Korean world phone...still having no issues, data and text working over wifi and LTE no problem.  As pointed out it does show 3g when making a call directly on TMobile network, but voLTE is fine.  Remains to be seen in the coming months if calls on TMobile will become a problem as they upgrade their towers.  I'll update immediately if it ever becomes unusable.

Update 01/27/22:  Got a letter today from T-Mobile saying that my v50 will no longer work with the T-Mobile network as of July 1, 2022.  Bummer, as I still haven't found a replacement phone with the features I'd like from any other manufacturer.  Trying the Velvet now, not thrilled with it, but couldn't handle the size of the v60 at all.  Tried it twice, both times I went back to the v50 within a day.  Fingerprint on-screen is at best annoyingly unreliable on both of the newest LG phones, lack of headphone on newer flagships is my biggest hangup.  May go back to G8 or V40, which would be disappointing to have to do because of battery capacity and lower-grade cameras on both.  Either that or go with mid-level Samsung or other phones because I can get a physical finger print scanner and headphone jack.  I'm open to any suggestions.

I have 2x LG G8X phones that are going to be cut off soon unfortunately. They were great phones and had the dual screen case which really helped my disabled mom. They literally argued with me that the ONEPLUS Nord or Revvl 5g were "massive" upgrades. Ignoring 1/4th resolution, much lower pixel density, lcd vs oled, less ram, less storage. 1/10th the gpu power and literally 1ghz slower per core across 8 cores is a massive downgrade. They finally offered S20FE devices and they were ordered 24th of January and I've yet to get them 22nd of April.... So I feel you on the disappointment as I just want to keep the G8X phones. It's the same way I felt when I had my note 7 and loved everything about it besides the chance of a battery explosion. They swapped it out 2x times then kept lowering the max charge and I was still ok with keeping it as I never try and charge above 80% from the day I get a phone to prevent battery wear. Then they deactivated them and gave me a junk s7 edge that overheats within 60 seconds. But least with that samsung made it right in the end because I was able to trade in a much older s5 and get either 600 or 800.off the note 8 when it came out. But this time I won't get so lucky.  Your best bets is either paying extra to get a top end phone or take the s21fe, pixel 6 pro, or oneplus 9 pro as those are the best phones they offering now but they will act like they only have revvl 5g and the oneplus nord. 

Update...LG V50 is still working the same as before, no issues as of Today, July 3rd.  Tmo network data is LTE, however calls do drop to 3g (although supposedly Tmo has disabled it).  I suspect that it's possibly showing 3g, but actually connecting LTE.  Wifi voLTE is still working perfectly, as does data and text.

I did switch to the LG V60 a few weeks ago, in anticipation of the V50 being non-functional.  Decided to check today, and it didn't happen.  I'm going to continue to use my V50 until I either find an upgrade I actually want some day, or Tmo disables their network with this phone.  Will update again either way, and still love this phone.  V60 is a great device, but the size and unreliable in-screen fingerprint is a deal breaker, and I think LG made a big mistake with their final flagship not having face recognition.  Doesn't matter since they folded anyway.

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seeing as how your V50 has VoLTE it’ll continue to work..the VoLTE side keeps the calls going over LTE and not 3G...the problem is/was the phones that do not have VoLTE capabilities.

Update 8/31/22...I've gotten text and email notification that my LG V50 is no longer compatible because 3g has been shut down.  Phone continues to work fine whether on WiFi or TMO network for data, calls and text.  Phone says it drops to 3g when calling on TMO network, but I've had no connectivity issues at all.

Will update when/if phone ever does stop working.  

I want in!

I’m considering the Korean model because I’d like to fiddle with the Dual Screen case...

I’m in Southeastern Mass, which is considered “rural”, so poor-to-zero 5G at my home (and I don’t care about 5G at all).

I see there’s two issues on tmo -- 1) APN settings (apn.gishan.net...), and 2) VoLTE -- but it appears neither are a roadblock (yet).

BUT, I have no clue what drives android updates… Jmco said that when he’s logged into Tmo portal his V50 isn’t shown/recognized as such. Although I’m tempted to get a USA release -- either Verizon unlocked (cuz refurbished), or Sprint unit, I’ve read that those, even if they have the 3-pad contacts (impossible to know based on ebay photos, cuz people use stock images) for the dual screen case, folks say it won’t work cuz it’s disabled in Software (?)

If I get the Korean model, if it has Android 9 on it, then how do force an update to Android 11/12? I know I can usually use Settings and ‘check for software updates’, but will the source be driven by my carrier? By my geographic location? By the existing software on it? And if it’s by carrier or location, then will the update to android 12 disable the dual screen case?

Has anyone here updated to android 12 using the Korean V50? Are you using the [Korean] dual-screen case?

PS, I know the V50S/G8X may be a bit more adaptable, but I like the open bottom of the V505N case -- I plan to regularly swap the dual-screen case for a normal one, AND I use NetDot magnetic USB cables, so I don’t want to have to keep prying the inserts out in order to use the V515N case. (I suppose I could abandon the NetDot cables for a few wireless charging pads--a worthy compromise for all the greatness adopting the V50 will bring! :D

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Software updates are determined by the devices firmware.  Running Korean firmware, the device will only get updates that were released in that region.  

VoLTE is pretty important because that will be a requirement for all devices using the T-Mobile network soon enough.  Whether or not the Korean firmware has compatible VoLTE with T-Mobile, I have no idea.  The Sprint version is very CDMA dependent.  T-Mobile has converted Sprint's CDMA bands to GSM, leaving that device useless on the T-Mobile network.  

Ah, right -- radio bands…   I forgot to mention that although I’ve been happy with my old Samsung S7, it’s missing band 71 / 600MHz, which is what Tmo prefers in my neighborhood. All this other stuff takes a backseat to needing LTE 71.

EDIT:  @syaoran -- Do you know that for sure? The Sprint version is touted as a “world phone” and supports GSM. This PDF Spec sheet lists LTE 71, HSPA+, GSM. Is this not the last-word on it’s compatibility?

Worth mentioning is that I did once meet at an impasse with Tmo over a foreign Motorola Photon-Q phone who’s IMEI wasn’t in their database, and they didn’t want to add it to their system, which is why i hesitate with foreign phones.

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only if its VoLTE is compatible with TMOs..if it isnt then you will lose voice calls and sms texts.

I went with the Korean model because there were reported compatibility issues with the Sprint version, and I didn't want Verizon software.

The phone updated automatically to An12.  I don't know where it came from, could have been pushed directly from LG (likely), or possibly from Tmo (unlikely).   As far as apn, after I put my sim in the phone I received a text from Tmo saying the phone had incorrect apn so they would be sent to my phone, which they were.  I manually entered apn's myself to make sure, but I don't think it was necessary.

I am not using the dual screen.  I'm still convinced that the V50, world unlocked model anyway, will continue to work fine with Tmo, but I'll report otherwise when/if it does stop functioning.  It's a shame Tmo never ordered a version of the V50, and I still prefer it for several reasons over the V60.  Mostly the much better rear fingerprint sensor, face recognition, and more manageable size and weight.

Thanks for the update -- that’s very encouraging! The indication of call drop to 3G is weird if it’s not really doing that.

I found a mention of Tmo’s Device Assistance > Tutorials page in another thread. Is this a red carpet list of devices? (for non-risk- takers)

BTW, I just got off the phone with a T-Mobile "expert”… They stood behind that a lot of people are bringing phones from other carriers, and mostly the issue is they need a Tmo sim. Of course, I took that with a huge grain of salt, the fellow wasn’t quite tuned in to what I was trying to say, or might be a bit inexperienced in this space. I entered the conversation with a brief overview of the tales within the community, and one simple question: Is the Device Assistance > Tutorials page the end-all for Tmo support? Meaning, if Tmo sold a Tmo-branded phone, and it appears on this page, then will it be supported? (assuming it’s not ancient and supports votle.) Unfortunately I didn’t get a definitive answer or much confidence. Makes me wonder if those non-Tmo phones can make calls, but can’t do VoWifi or some other advanced tricks.

Since I learned of this VoLTE issue I’ve begun to compromise, especially if the phone will be shipped from afar and is effectively nonreturnable. I accept there’s much more to it than a simple “Sure, you can bring your Verizon phone over to T-Mobile.” -- the devil is in the details: What brand is it? did Tmo sell a version of it? does it support VoLTE? will Tmo offer new APNs? All this matters if we want a fully functioning phone and to avoid bootloader-breaking-file-replacing stuff. Tho I started my search with a V50 in mind, I now I’m thinking of sticking to at least a phone that Tmo sold, like the LG G8 G820TM (dual-screen cover be damned). G8 is even a bit smaller than the V50 and still has the nice DAC… but does the screen-speaker suck? (Tho your note on A12 has reassured me a bit on the Korean V50, but if I can’t expect to get 3 years  then I’ll choose another device. And yeah, the V60 is huge)

The G8 is a great phone, but I switched from that mostly because I wanted the better triple cam and larger battery in the V50.  V50 definitely does take a little better pics and vid than the G8.  But G8 does have a crisper, more vibrant display.  G8 also has quad dac.  I have a G8s (G8 with triple cam, but lower resolution), as well as the Korean version of G8 (exactly like US model, but with triple cam), and both of these work the same as the V50 with Tmo, as in network calls indicate they're dropping to 3g, but work fine.  

And I've had the same experience calling into Tmo...the techs don't really seem to know what phones, other than what's on their list, will work and which one's won't.  But there are many that will, including many unlocked Chinese phones I've found.  An IMEI not listed with them doesn't mean it won't work, it depends more on the 4g and 5g bands the phone has.  Otherwise, I don't think they'd push out apn settings.

Not sure if this will help at all, but I am currently in Korea and I just purchased a V50s (Dual screen). I wont be back until early March next year to test out in the states. I don’t have TMO but I’m sure I can get a sim to try out for anyone interested in knowing if it works or not. As far the version, it does have Android 12. It depends on the region / carrier on how fast they push out updates. 

I was thinking about buying the G8 (the screen is gorgeous!), and the V50 .. all just to have. I wanted to get the G8 for my mom (Verizon unlocked model since she uses tracfone and if it works or not!). Not sure if anyone on a TMO forum would know that! ? 

I guess LG phones are just cool in my eyes.

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cool but no longer around. down side is you wont get much of anything for them anymore including security patches..

I received my global LG V50 and tried it out on TMO in southeastern Mass -- I live right next to Miles Standish forest.  Very Poor reception, but I got a few calls to go through. I had to walk out into an open space (front yard) before any bars would show; inside the house or otherwise there was a little (tiny!) spinning circle icon, and I got “not in service network” (SIC). WiFi calling  is a no-go. I messed with APN settings quite a bit as per apn.gishan.net instructions.

I’ve sadly thrown in the towel on LG. Originally I wanted an LG for the much-talked-about Quad DAC, but not at the expense of call quality. Maybe the LGs work ok in other areas around MA, but it seems not here -- I asked a guy at T-Mobile local store and he claims there were lots of complaints on LGs on reception/call-quality specifically (my geo is a challenge for ALL phones). So even though TMO at one time sold the V60, I’m not going to try that since it and the V50 were both released within a year of each other and my guess is there’s nothing significant about the radio build or bands that would dramatically improve the experience (but I’m open to enlightenment!), even if WiFi calling works.

(TMO has offered a good trade-in value for my new V50 (400 clams), but only for new units priced $1K+, so still deciding whether to trade-up with TMO, or sell/replace via 3rd party channels (online/eBay). The fellow at the local store says, for his tenure here at this store, Samsung Galaxys are the most trouble free with regard to reception issues here (only Samsung in the store with a 3.5mm jack is A13--huge downgrade from any flagship). As for the DAC, my actual of use of headphones is seldom, so I’ll look for a different setup -- maybe an hq external dongle or Bluetooth DAC.)

PS, is anyone else having terrible CloudFront 403 issue on this forum?

Update 3/8/22

I've been having some connectivity issues and dropped calls the last week, both wifi and tmo network, and today I'm getting E indicator on my tmo network.  Some sms/mms also failed.  Extremely slow.  So, I don't know if this is a temporary glitch, but looks like it's likely time to reluctantly switch, as I don't think my Korean V50 is connecting to 4g now.  Perhaps tower change in my area?  Don't know.

When I check the IMEI on tmo website, it still indicates full compatibility, but I'm not experiencing that all of a sudden.  Did get another notification from tmo about phone incompatibility as well, maybe true this time. Going to try the V60 again, otherwise I guess Samsung will have to do.  I travel, so I can't take the risk it'll be unusable.  Bummed.

A couple points to make…

TMO phone support explained to me that often a device that doesn’t have TMO’s firmware (y’know, “branded” so that at bootup shows a pink screen with T-Mobile logo) will not be able to use WiFi calling [perfectly] -- I added the “perfectly” part because it involves both outgoing calls and incoming. And my home -- the location I’m most often at -- has a poor cell signal, so it’s important to have that feature. And even if a device like a non-TMO V50 works one day, it may stop working at any time, so to me it’s not worth the risk. When I tried the Korean V50 the reception in my rural location was absolutely awful. (For improved signal, I’ve installed a TMO personal cell-spot tower in my attic that back-hauls to Tmobile via my ISP. I’m sort of in the woods so I’m not worried about passers-by sharing my tower).

So I’m now on a Galaxy S10e. It feels small in the hand (I was worried that a V60 or Samsung XCover Pro 6 would feel huge), so I may jump again soon. I’ve had a few Galaxys, and do love the seamless move using their SmartSwitch app. My attitude used to be “I’m gonna have exactly the phone I want, come hell or high water!” … but at some point ya gotta just give in and be practical. I had wanted the V50 for the DAC, and it’s smaller than the V60, and the 2nd screen case has an open bottom (unlike the V60’s which is closed) so I could use my favorite magnetic-usb-connector usbC insert, and not have to pry it out/in when donning and doffing the 2nd screen case (I share power cords with many other devices and the mag-plug makes them all interchangeable (the V60’s 2nd screen case uses it’s own proprietary bulky mag connector). In retrospect the 2nd screen case is gimmicky, and I’d have tired of it quickly. I also think I would have like the size of the V60 (which comes in TMO sheepskin). Anyway, back to the S10e -- my final deciding factor was that I read that most of the newer Galaxys have a DAC 32-bit/384kHz audio Tuned by AKG -- but that may depend on whether you get an Exynos vs Snapdragon variant, or the country it was issued in (supposedly in the USA we got lesser SoCs). Prob not quite as nice as LG’s, and I’m yet to actually test it -- fooling with my celly is currently dead last on my todo list.

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There is more to a device than just the firmware.  Especially with LG devices.  Unlike Samsung devices, LG devices can't be flashed to the T-Mobile firmware because the RSA key is different.  If you try, you hard brick the device.  Without the T-Mobile firmware, the right bands and VoLTE/VoWiFi are not compatible with T-Mobile's network.

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