Question

Anyone else having problem activating galaxy watch 4 as standalone?

  • 9 October 2021
  • 60 replies
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Do you have a phone synced to it?  It may not work without a phone.   But, it will work as an "extension " of your phone.   I was gone all day today without my phone and was able to call and message...no problem.  I  cannot understand why tech is telling you that UNLESS you don't have a phone synced to it

Just in case this helps anyone else…. I bought my GW4 LTE watch at Best Buy and took it to the T-Mobile store to get activated.  Many hours and trips later I got success.

1 - If your having problems, call 611 and get the help of the Digits tech team.

2 - The line has to be set up with the Data with Paired Digits TE plan.  Your watch technically has a separate number, but the Paired Digits feature makes it so the watch can share the same number as your phone, even when your phone is turned off or far away from you. 

3 - Even after the Digits tech team guy set up the correct plan.  The watch wasn't sensing a mobile plan.  It was showing a 3001 error code which the tech guy said was a Samsung error code that meant the watch was broken (to him) and should be returned to Best Buy.  

4 - An hour later, just before I go to the store, I checked the Wearables app > Watch Settings > Mobile Plan one last time.  An actual T-Mobile plan showed up (T-Mobile-866F).   The watch seemed like it sorta worked but not really.  I went into Airplane mode for some reason.  I rebooted the phone and watch.  It still wasn't correct, but there was definitely the plan being recognized by the watch!   So, I think there is some time involved for the watch to pick up the plan from step 3 above.

5 - On a whim, I went back into the web browser and looked up my T-Mobile account.  I noticed that the Phone was NOT "digits" paired with the Watch line.  You will see an indication in the T-Mobile account, next to your Watch line #.  I was able to set this in my account, it takes you to a Digits pairing screen.

6 - Success, the watch started to work correctly (can't remember if I needed to reboot or not).

7 - You know it's working correctly by pulling down the top menu and you should see a "LTE" icon in between the bluetooth and wifi icons.  (You need to turn off the phone (or at least BT and Wifi), because the watch will only switch to LTE mode, if it doesn't sense being connected to the phone - this is assuming the Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks setting on the watch is set to Auto).\

8 - Another couple notes.  I read on the thread above that many others had setup problems.  One person commented that the "companion" feature needed to be turned off on the line.  The Digits tech guy said that he didn't recognize that as a Tmobile term - not sure if accurate or not.  Another person said that they needed to select the proper device type in their T-mobile account (e.g., the Watch image should show up for that line).  For me, this happened automatically, I didn't need to changes this.

Do you have a phone synced to it?  It may not work without a phone.   But, it will work as an "extension " of your phone.   I was gone all day today without my phone and was able to call and message...no problem.  I  cannot understand why tech is telling you that UNLESS you don't have a phone synced to it

Yes, it’s synced via the phone.

 

Date: 2023 March

Problem: The Samsung Watch 4 LTE could not connect to the T-Mobile network as a standalone device with its own phone number, independent of a Samsung phone on a non T-Mobile phone network.

Solution: Previously the store assigned me the requested cheaper ($10) priced DIGITs plan but it turns out the watch could not function under this standalone plan unless I already had or would purchase a new T-Mobile phone plan. The correct solution for a standalone wearable plan without any existing or new T-Mobile phone plan is only the more expensive ($25) “Magenta Wearable Standalone” plan. 

Background / More Details: I don’t have T-Mobile on my Samsung phone but a competitor. The watch successfully paired to the phone (via Bluetooth) but when looking for a mobile network while paired thru the phone, it tries to use the phone’s mobile network. This is what the cheaper ($10) plan expects - a phone on the same network as the watch - so from the start, this path would never work for me. 

After I left the store with the incorrect plan and with everything untested (got places to be!), I attempted to connect the watch LTE later at home. After several attempts I called the national T-mobile support  number (ie somewhere offshore where English is spoken) for help. Two hours was wasted re-doing obvious checks where at the end they told me the watch could not be used standalone. The correct answer they should have told me is that the chosen cheaper ($10) plan would not allow the watch to be standalone unless the phone was on the T-Mobile network.

The store was revisited the next day and the more knowledgeable manager, after several attempts, correctly determined the chosen cheaper ($10) plan was the culprit, and the solution is to switch to the more expensive ($25) “Magenta Wearable Standalone” plan. Once the plan was switched, the phone was able to correctly find the T-Mobile network without issue or further delay. The watch was called to verify correct operation. 

DIGITs was not needed. I asked about a “Companion” setting mentioned in prior posts but they said this is not a term they heard of. (Maybe it was relevant a year ago but not now?) Apparently not many come to this particular store and perhaps even call into the national support (based on their unsuccessful attempt to help) trying to have the Watch 4 activated with a Samsung phone without T-Mobile as the phone’s network. About 4+ hours was spent to come to a solution. 

Hope this helps lessen the suffering in someone’s similar attempt. Good luck!

So I got my watch Christmas day and it wasn't working without being connected to Bluetooth. So I kept using the term standalone as well. The Samsung watches are not meant to be standalone but needs to be paired to a phone line with digits. After back and forth for 3 days I got connected to the Digits department and he got it working. The issue with mine was simple. When my husband bought it he never registered the watch. We added the line but when you looked at out account it said unknown device. So he registered it I already had that line paired with my phone number. Restarted it and it worked. So just make sure that your watch is actually registered now when you look at the account it shows the watch. I hope this helps someone because I was so frustrated and I loved my active 2 watch and was happy to get this one. 

I was having this issue and they even sent me out a watch that was less than what i paid for because they didnt have a replacement in my size 

The fix 

For me it was saying no mobile network, attach to bluetooth, sims not working 

She had me go into srtting give her eid, iccid, and the other numbers  she reset my sims fixed one of my numbers also looked at the old watch and seen that a old account was still on and once she fixed evetything i shut off bluetooth and wifi on the watch and now at the top i see standalone

 

@Jarods350z and @N2wood what do you mean "companion" feature? I have another digits line that I want to keep, but I think I have to remove it or convert it to a voice line. Any tips? 

See if your watch is actually registered. Mine wasn't that's why it wouldn't connect. 

No, I never tried DIGITS. I'm not sure it would work for me as I came over from Sprint. I'm on the T-mobile network now but I don't think I can use DIGITS. 

I am very frustrated with t-mobile I spent 2 hrs on the phone to activate my 2 watches and my so called team can't help me #1 they put my pin in wrong then they transfer me to someone else who then transfer me to digit department then 1 hrs later the line goes dead how can I get my watches activated. Standalone with their own #s I have been trying for 2 days 

So it can't be standalone with its own number it had to be paired with an existing phone. Ask to be transferred to digits they knew exactly what to do to fix it. 

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You can thank Samsung for that.  That is how their watches are designed.  It’s a peripheral.

You are wrong this issue is T-Mobiles. I bought Samsung galaxy LTE watch 4 yrs ago and the first time I connected to T-mobile my watch had its own number the second time T-Mobile told me it was a glitch.

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So I just got two LTE galaxy watch 4's to use when I don't want to carry my phone with me (while exercising). After spending two hours at a T-Mobile store and another hour on the phone with a technician, they escalate and another tech comes on and advises me that the galaxy watch 4 cannot be used as a standalone on t mobile. It can only be used when connected and near the phone its paired with! WHY would T-Mobile sell an LTE watch that can only be used when connected to the phone? That is called a Bluetooth watch! Very frustrated with them wasting 3 hours of my time, when this could have been mentioned when the watches were ordered. And even then, why sell LTE watches instead of Bluetooth watches? Has anyone one had this issue? 

The LTE Samsung watch will work with its own line. You only need the android phone for the software upgrades and a few other things but you do not need a phone line activated for a phone Samsung Watch will work as a standalone phone/watch 

 

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So I just got two LTE galaxy watch 4's to use when I don't want to carry my phone with me (while exercising). After spending two hours at a T-Mobile store and another hour on the phone with a technician, they escalate and another tech comes on and advises me that the galaxy watch 4 cannot be used as a standalone on t mobile. It can only be used when connected and near the phone its paired with! WHY would T-Mobile sell an LTE watch that can only be used when connected to the phone? That is called a Bluetooth watch! Very frustrated with them wasting 3 hours of my time, when this could have been mentioned when the watches were ordered. And even then, why sell LTE watches instead of Bluetooth watches? Has anyone one had this issue? 

Pull sim card out of phone and your watch will work if its connected with digits. T-Mobile doesn't want the watch to be stand alone and will tell you its a glitch that your watch did

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Update - so after working a full day with T-Mobile, we find that the ICCID is not writing from the T-Mobile back end to my Samsung Galaxy Watch.

For the novices out there, that is what I understand to be the esim (electronic sim) identifier that the watch needs to get lte service.

So - Tmobile finally did a ticket to their back office (where the average customer has no chance of talking to) to find out why their system will not write the ICCID to the watch.

In the mean time, I have just gotten tired of the run around.  Being a 20 year (yes since 2003 of Sprint) I finally lost my patience and went over to the V Store (you will have to figure it out).  They set me up with an account, their system wrote the ICCID to the watch and in an hour I had a new account, with two phone numbers and a stand alone Samsung Watch 4.

It is absolutely great!!!!  When the watch gets out of range of my phone’s bluetooth and wifi, it automatically switches to the carrier lte service.

All the BS about this not being a stand alone watch preached by half the tech department at T-Mobile is total hogwash.

The watch now does exactly what I needed - it is never off line (unless it runs out of battery).  I will be purchasing a watch for my Mother with Alzheimer's and will be tracking her with the Google Find My Device App.  Contacted Life360 and trying to find out if they will port the app to Wear OS.

Again - for all the people who are believing the stories being told by T-Mobile.  The Samsung Watch 4 is capable of stand alone.  THE ISSUE IS WITH THE CARRIER PROGRAMMING AT T-MOBILE.  The issue is definitely that their system will not identify the account and send out the ICCID to the watch, therefore the watch will never be able to connect to their network.

Just a side note for those of you naysayers.  Turn off your bluetooth and wifi on your phone.  The Samsung watch will convert to emergency calls only.  Dial 911 and apologize for the test call.  What happens, the watch goes to emergency stand alone mode and by default becomes a STAND ALONE unidentified watch device on the lte network.  Because it is emergency, the phone will connect to 911 on the lte network (but of course it doesn’t have ICCID so can’t be identified to connect to the back end of T-mobile).  

To bad - so sad T-mobile - you are losing great customers that are trying to help you get it straightened out.

You get this figured out? These watches are standalones and T-mobile knows it they just didnt want to deal with the issues, so yours is acting like a phone its own number? 

 

I just got mine and set it up without issues? Watch has its own number but makes phone calls as the linked phone.

Wow - what a mess - On the phone another 3 hours tonight with TMobile tech support….

I do want to let you all know that TMobile customer service and tech support are lying to their customers.

After spending about 2 hours on line, a tech by name of Michael, brought Samsung tech support on line for a joint call.  AlRashid from Samsung took my watch model number, serial number and imei number and verified that the Samsung Watch 4 with LTE is carrier unlocked, has an internal sim and all that needs to happen is the proper activation at carrier.  During this time, Michael just dropped off the line - so no further on that call - TMobile skirted around the issue again.

Called tech support back - tech by name of Saydi told me to go back to TMobile store for the 10th or so time - Store has been escalating about 6 weeks. Saydi skirted around the issue for a second time - no help from on line tech support - they just pass the issue somewhere else.

This is nuts that TMobile is so clueless - talking with half their techs, they are saying the watches are not stand alone.  The other half understands the issue, but I have not been able to find the right tech or combination to get this working.  

Looking even on this thread and others in this community, some people get the right combination - some don’t and many are just giving up and returning their watches.

Come on TMobile - get the issue under control - get the plan and setting right and train your tech staff.  

THIS IS POSSIBLE - TO MANY PEOPLE ARE REPORTING EVENTUAL SUCCESS!!!!!!!

I had the gear s2 setup as a standalone with its own number and everything. Then upgraded to the s4 watch. Again a standalone that was around 2 years ago. It did take the people at the store along time to figure out what I wanted… the dude was a pain lol.

My only problem with the watch is that it keep saying sim card removed and that it overheats. What i learn from other’s is that T-Mobile has the watch listed as a “phone” and not as a watch. The problem with that is the amount of power from the cell towers that get sent to the watch. It makes it overheat.

So them telling you it isnt able to is BS. As i have been using the 2 and 4 as standalone for a few years now.

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I had the gear s2 setup as a standalone with its own number and everything. Then upgraded to the s4 watch. Again a standalone that was around 2 years ago. It did take the people at the store along time to figure out what I wanted… the dude was a pain lol.

My only problem with the watch is that it keep saying sim card removed and that it overheats. What i learn from other’s is that T-Mobile has the watch listed as a “phone” and not as a watch. The problem with that is the amount of power from the cell towers that get sent to the watch. It makes it overheat.

So them telling you it isnt able to is BS. As i have been using the 2 and 4 as standalone for a few years now.

 

lol thats not how it works..its pulling in the exact same signal your phone is..it’ll overheat however with a lack of signal seeing as how the watch or phone would need to keep searching over and over for a signal.

What did you say to costumer support to get the companion feature removed @Jarods350z ? What do I have to tell them ?

I had the gear s2 setup as a standalone with its own number and everything. Then upgraded to the s4 watch. Again a standalone that was around 2 years ago. It did take the people at the store along time to figure out what I wanted… the dude was a pain lol.

My only problem with the watch is that it keep saying sim card removed and that it overheats. What i learn from other’s is that T-Mobile has the watch listed as a “phone” and not as a watch. The problem with that is the amount of power from the cell towers that get sent to the watch. It makes it overheat.

So them telling you it isnt able to is BS. As i have been using the 2 and 4 as standalone for a few years now.

 

lol thats not how it works..its pulling in the exact same signal your phone is..it’ll overheat however with a lack of signal seeing as how the watch or phone would need to keep searching over and over for a signal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4aXMJ_hlOI&ab_channel=ALLSTARSPACE

This guy seems to put it all in a nice video of the overheating. As the signal is there its not searching (low signal)

And one year later the problem persists.  This is a Samsung issue.  I was easily able to set up a standalone plan on my Apple Watch.  I’m about to cuss somebody out at Samsung lol.

No, I never tried DIGITS. I'm not sure it would work for me as I came over from Sprint. I'm on the T-mobile network now but I don't think I can use DIGITS. 

I shouldn't have anything to do with Sprint anymore... 

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I am having a similar issue. I have a Sprint business account, I got a call from someone from Sprint that I need to get updated T-M0bile SIM cards for our devices otherwise we will not be able to use the network soon. Went to a local T-Mobile store/repair center [where I have been going for years with Sprint] asked about updating SIM cards, after waiting 45 minutes for an available associate, they changed SIM cards in our Samsung phones. I mentioned that I am considering upgrading my Galaxy S3 smartwatch and getting a new watch with LTE plan instead of only Bluetooth/WiFi, I chose a Galaxy Smart Watch 4 Active [44 mm without classic bevel] that is on promotion for $99 if I sign up for an unlimited wearale plan for $10 a month and agree to keeping it active for 2 years. So I did, I was almost going to do a trade in on Samsung’s website for the Smartwatch 4 Classic LTE 46mm for their Black Friday special of $299, so this seemed like a good deal without the bevel and slightly smaller for $99. The agreeing and signing up, then, pulling my new watch from inventory and waiting for the associate to set it up and pair to my phone took about 90 minutes. Then an hour later I was at home and tried to make a call from phone, got error message that I am not connected to a network, drove back to the store, got on waiting list again, eventually got the guy who was helping me before, he apologized and ended up changing to yet another new SIM card, seemed to work, but I asked him to test watch to make sure the standalone LTE worked without being connected to my cell phone’s Bluetooth. It did not work, he tried to do a factory reset of the watch and set it up again, but still did not work on standalone without my cell phone on. Kept trying different fixes, got help from other associates, and eventually a a manger, they could not make the stand alone LTE work, only Bluetooth with my phone on. The store was soon closing, manager suggested they would send a message to someone offsite to recommend higher tier for a fix, said they would call me first thing upon opening the following day. I had no choice but to say “OK. Next morning arrives, I did not hear from them, at 2 PM I called the store, got put on hold, then somehow was cut off, so I decided to drive there again. Got on waiting list again, a different manager said he knows how to fix it, however after an hour he could not fix it, so asked one of the technicians from the back to try. Three factory resets and reactivations, and 3 hours later they said they can not figure out why it wont work and will need to submit a claim to yet a higher level of assistance and it will take 5 business days. “But the good news is you can use your watch/phone while paired together via Bluetooth as long as you are within 30 feet of phone”. I explained that I already had a Samsung watch that I can do that with and did not need an extra 410 per month wearable, plan. The whole reason to agreeing to two years of $10 a month fees was because I want stand alone capability to go on walks and bike rides without my phone, but still have network access. They said “well you can still pair with your watch via BlueTooth” We went round and round about that, I eventually realized and accepted the level of customer service I was dealing with at this location and can only hope that after 5 business days they either fix it, or they end the contact. I am very disappointed, I like the watch, I just wish it would do what they promised it would do. I was sold on the idea of standalone LTE and now I want it. My wife has it on her phone, same Sprint business account, recent upgraded SIM card, same Samsung watch/phone pairing, her stand alone works, mine does not. 

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this can be done by attempting to make a call from the watch with your phone off. You will be connected to T-Mobile as a result. I just explained what i was trying to do and they were able to activate the watch for this to work. You will need to give them info off of the watch like IMEI number and the EID number . And you will need a way for them to text you a security code to prove you are who you say you are for security reasons. After they are done just power off the watch for 10 to 15 seconds and power it back on and it should work. That process worked for me it getting done on mine.

I got it fixed!  Chat just unpaired from my number and then put the watch on the $5 stand alone plan. 

Hi everyone. I am having the same problem.  I told the CSR the information I got here.  They set the account to standalone.  I rebooted the watch and still doesn’t work.  Did you guys have to reinstall the wearable apps and do the setup again?  Were you able to go to the watch setting, manage mobile plan and open it up?  The watch is not able to call, or text but only can do emergency call.  I just need to know if there is anything else need to be done after they set the account to standalone because it is not working for me. and i have been bounce from tmobile, to samsung to tmobile again.

the watch is not activated to the phone number that i signed up for.

Thanks.

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