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

Yes sir, using it right now.  I've noticed also that it has great battery life.  If I have one complaint (just an annoyance actually), it's just that this Korean phone has popped up with a notification about something in Korean a couple of times.  I just turn them off.  Still very happy with it.  Again though, if 5G capability is important to you, it won't connect to 5g with TMO, not an issue for me because I'm on wifi 90% of the time.

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

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.

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).

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..

#GuyOnTheHigh, so now in July 2021 is the V50 still working well for you ?

I just turned off my wifi and connected through LTE to respond to your inquiry.  The top right indicates LTE, and I notice no speed difference on the TMO website.  Seems to work fine.  I am on wifi the majority of the time, so I'm not using LTE often for data, but I see no issues.

Just connected a call and received sms while on this site, no issues.  Again, I'm using the Korean world unlocked V50 I got on ebay, I can't speak to the Verizon or Sprint versions.

Thanks! Can you download speedtest app by ookla and see what kind of download speeds you get?

6.61 Mbps

Nice. Thanks

So sprint lg v50 is a no go correct. Just the Korean one corect?

Further update...V50 has been working great, until this morning.  I allowed the Android 11 update to be installed last night, and I'm having sluggish performance and sms delays, as well as battery drain.  Have updated all apps and I'm operating battery saver, hopefully this hasn't caused a permanent reduction in performance.  I've also had basic settings such as ring tones, etc mysteriously changing.

My advice to anyone else using the V50 based on my short-term experience is don't upgrade to Android 11.  I'll update after I determine if the upgrade has caused permanent issues.

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).

still working well? i’m thinking about buying one on ebay.

From my research, the Sprint V50 will cease to work once T-Mobile enforce VoLTE come Jan 2021. Sprint phones do not have T-Mobile VoLTE coding, so they cannot get VoLTE on T-Mobile network. Sprint customers get special offers from T-Mobile to upgrade to S20. But if you buy the Sprint phone on your own, you are stuck. I think that is the reason it is selling at $320.

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Thank you.  I ended up getting the S20 FE with a $500 trade in for the V50. All in all, it worked out.  I wish T-Mo had added VoLTE/VoWiFi support for the V50 because it is a great phone, but this will do.

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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.

Yes sir, using it right now.  I've noticed also that it has great battery life.  If I have one complaint (just an annoyance actually), it's just that this Korean phone has popped up with a notification about something in Korean a couple of times.  I just turn them off.  Still very happy with it.  Again though, if 5G capability is important to you, it won't connect to 5g with TMO, not an issue for me because I'm on wifi 90% of the time.

dope, making an order next week. super excited. i’m more interested in getting an lg v50 then i am a new iphone or galaxy phone since they all don’t have a headphone jack. I got an lg v35 thinq and that didn’t work with tmobile so i’ve been wary of picking up another LG phone

Ha!  I actually just got an unlocked ATT V35 last week, it connected to TMO fine after it downloaded updates, but it does have ATT software and some functions aren't the same.  Yes, I'm a used phone collector…

I agree, I prefer rear fingerprint because they work so well, and I have to have a 3.5mm jack too.  And the last of the new LG phones are just too big and awkward.

Be careful about unlocked Sprint vs Verizon vs Korean though.  I ordered the unlocked Korean one and it works great, but I understand there may be some issues with the Sprint version.  Don't know about the unlocked Verizon, but it's also nice that there's not another carriers startup software and logo on the Korean one.  Check out reviews on YouTube.  Good luck!

I've answered my own question, because there was no clear answer about the V50 on T-Mobile summer 2021 anywhere that I could find.  So for anyone exploring whether to get a V50 unlocked to use on T-Mobile here you go...

08/10/2021 I decided to order a Korean version world unlocked V50 on ebay.  I inserted my sim card and updates were automatically sent to the phone and it seems to work fine.  I'm not sure it was actually necessary, but I entered the suggested apn edits from this site:

T-Mobile APN settings for LG V50 ThinQ 5G - APN Settings USA
https://apn.gishan.net/en/apn/t-mobile/lg-v50-thinq-5g.    

As far as I can tell the phone is functioning perfectly, but doesn't connect 5g, not an issue for me.  Otherwise voLTE seems to be working fine, and I am able to text and use internet and browser while on phone calls.  I wanted to upgrade to the latest pre-V60 and Velvet because of the size and rear fingerprint, which I prefer.  So far I'm happy I took the risk and wish someone would have given complete information so I could have had it months ago!  Just a slight upgrade from the V40 and G8, both of which I like very much, but I appreciate that it's a little better and up to date.  I DO NOT KNOW if my findings would apply to the Sprint version of the V50, as I did see some YouTube reviewers saying it was better to get unlocked non-Sprint version...don't know why. 

When I log in to my TMobile account it can't identify the V50 I'm using on my line, but has the IMEI and it works great.  There's some notes in my account that I'm not connecting to their 5g or LTE on the V50, but my usage experience so far says otherwise, on LTE anyway.  The phone is not actually showing me what kind of T-Mobile network connection I'm getting, but seems fast and no dropped calls or lag as far as I can tell.  I'll update if I run into any problems, but so far so good!

 

 

 

 

 

When y'all say the V50 "won't work anymore", you mean it won't connect with 5g, correct?  Otherwise the phone will work fine, but will only connect LTE?

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