Question

Unlocked s21 Ultra showing as "Unknown Device" and not supporting 5G or Extended Range LTE on My Mobile account


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I just bought an unlocked S21 Ultra directly from Samsung.  It works great, including the tmobile voicemail app and RCS through the Google messages app.  It says I’m connected to 5G on the phone, and I get 150+mbps download from home on speedtest.net

The problem is that the tmobile account website shows this:

The problems with this is:

  1. Most important: I have free phone repair insurance through my Uber Visa Signature credit card.  In the past, when I filed a claim, they required a screenshot of the account to show that I have the device I’m filing a claim for on the tmobile account that I pay monthly through my credit card.  I would have issues proving that I have an S21 Ultra on my tmobile account if it says “unknown device:”
  2. I’m worried I’m not getting the best speeds or roaming experience if I were to take a road trip in a rural setting.  150mbps+ from home is good enough in the major city that I live in, and I’m sure it’ll be better if I get closer to the tmobile cell phone tower which is 3 blocks away.

How do I get this phone to show as “Samsung S21 Ultra” instead of “unknown device”?  I don’t see any option online to specify this.


12 replies

Userlevel 7
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It won't, unless it is a device purchased from T-Mobile.  The device showing in your account doesn't matter.  Samsung's U1 devices work exceptionally well with T-Mobile. 

Exactly the same issue here with the two S21 Ultras we bought directly from Samsung. I have spent countless hours of the phone with all levels of their tech support. Each time I’ve been told at the end of the VERY long call that 1) they had figured out what the issue was, 2) had submitted the necessary hoodoo to get it fixed, 3) they asked me to be patient and give it 48 to 72 hours for the changes to show in my account, and 4) that they would call be back on a specific date to make sure everything was fixed.

Not one time has anyone called me back. None of the ‘fixes’ ever happened.

I’m beyond furious about this, most of all because I feel like I’ve been fed a ration of crapola on every call. It’s ridiculous and disrespectful.

I am extremely unhappy about this, and after years as a faithful customer who has consistently over the years promoted T-Mobile to friends and family, I no longer feel that way.

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I was told by both Samsung and T-Mobile support that both the unlocked and locked version of this phone are 100% compatible with T-Mobile’s network.  Clearly they are incorrect.  

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

I was told by both Samsung and T-Mobile support that both the unlocked and locked version of this phone are 100% compatible with T-Mobile’s network.  Clearly they are incorrect.  

That is correct!  Samsung's issue right now, is their development for their devices.  

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I was told by both Samsung and T-Mobile support that both the unlocked and locked version of this phone are 100% compatible with T-Mobile’s network.  Clearly they are incorrect.  

That is correct!  Samsung's issue right now, is their development for their devices.  

What kind of development “issues” is Samsung having?  Are you saying that the unlocked version is or isn’t 100% compatible?

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

I was told by both Samsung and T-Mobile support that both the unlocked and locked version of this phone are 100% compatible with T-Mobile’s network.  Clearly they are incorrect.  

That is correct!  Samsung's issue right now, is their development for their devices.  

What kind of development “issues” is Samsung having?  Are you saying that the unlocked version is or isn’t 100% compatible?

The unlocked version is 100% compatible.  All of the issues plaguing Samsung devices currently, and it's a lot of them.  Are partially related to COVID, but that is no excuse for a lack of quality control or testing before pushing firmware out to devices. 

Apparently in the situations mentioned, it’s about Samsung phones -- unlocked -- not being compatible with SOMETHING within T-Mobile. Maybe the SIM cards they provide for the unlocked phones aren’t set up correctly. Maybe it even has something to do with an almost passive aggressive way of ‘discouraging’ customers to buy products directly from Samsung.

Whatever it is, it has wrecked the fun and excitement of my new phone.

Interestingly, before I realized what a mess this was going to be, I took advantage of the Samsung watch offer on 2/24. The data lines were added last night, and the phones are being delivered tomorrow, 4/7. I just hope it goes well.

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

It won't, unless it is a device purchased from T-Mobile.  The device showing in your account doesn't matter.  Samsung's U1 devices work exceptionally well with T-Mobile. 

this goes for all BYOD correct? not just Samsung phones brought in as a BYOD?

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

It won't, unless it is a device purchased from T-Mobile.  The device showing in your account doesn't matter.  Samsung's U1 devices work exceptionally well with T-Mobile. 

this goes for all BYOD correct? not just Samsung phones brought in as a BYOD?

That’s correct!  In some cases, it’s due to the devices IMEI not being in T-Mobile’s system.  Other reasons can be international devices not sold in the US, like my Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, and so on.  

So why does customer support keep leading me to believe this is a “glitch” and a “fixable” thing. And that I should expect it to be remedied within 48 to 72 hours?

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

So why does customer support keep leading me to believe this is a “glitch” and a “fixable” thing. And that I should expect it to be remedied within 48 to 72 hours?

I wish I knew.  Support and Customer Care sometimes say things just to get people off of the phone without being more annoyed than when they called.  Your device showing as an unknown device does not restrict it in any way.  If the device is capable of using T-Mobile's implementation of it, it will work as long as the appropriate settings are correct. 

Thank you. I think I just needed to hear that bit about “...just to get people off their back”. 

They owe me four hours of my life back.

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