Question

Anyone else having problem activating galaxy watch 4 as standalone?

  • 9 October 2021
  • 47 replies
  • 17396 views

Userlevel 1
Badge

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? 


47 replies

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. 

@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. 

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. 

Sorry I was offline for a while the companion mode is a feature through them you have to have the phone operator turn it off.  now with that being said without a phone you are limited because you need a phone to change the watch faces. so what I did was find an old android phone and used it for connection first then just put it in a drawer once the setup was complete. 

still a few bugs to work out (like tracking the watch on google maps) but I am pretty happy with the results so far. I can get ahold of my 10 year old without her having access to a smartphone

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. 

it can be just need to contact tech support to turn off companion mode then you need to turn on the lte feature on the watch itself

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

I bought a Galaxy Watch 4 with just BT and WiFi (no cellular). It works perfectly but I’d like to be able to communicate with the watch, when it’s not connected to the phone but has access to WiFi. So far, I have not figured out a way to do this. None of the current VoIP apps work on the watch in stand-alone mode. I’ve read some stuff online about side-loading old versions of Google Voice, etc. but it sounds a bit dicey. I wonder why WearOS is so restrictive?

@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? 

Sorry I was offline for a while the companion mode is a feature through them you have to have the phone operator turn it off.  now with that being said without a phone you are limited because you need a phone to change the watch faces. so what I did was find an old android phone and used it for connection first then just put it in a drawer once the setup was complete. 

still a few bugs to work out (like tracking the watch on google maps) but I am pretty happy with the results so far. I can get ahold of my 10 year old without her having access to a smartphone

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.

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.

I also got the same issue. I ordered 2 different watches on 2 different months via T-Mobile chat with the standalone feature. I specifically asked T-Mobile agents to confirm that I wanted to use the watch independently with its own separate number without having the phone around before I asked them to process each of my purchases.
1. The first watch arrived, setting up was a breeze and I was able to use it as a standalone (had it own number, I could make a call/text when I didn’t have the phone with me). I was happy with it so I decided to get another one and handed the 1st one to a family member after 2 weeks used. However, because that person used the iphone and the galaxy watch 4 cannot be used with iphone, I contacted T-Mobile to setup that Samsung standalone line on her apple watch and agreed to pay an additional $5/month (because they said the plan for apple watch is different and more expensive). We kept the 1st Samsung watch as a Bluetooth only to play around.
The 2nd one came and I can never be able to activate the mobile plan. The screen keep getting stucked at the stage “Connecting to your service provider” (see picture below). Yesterday I spent 10 hours with T-Mobile from text to call, was being sent from departments to departments and back to the square one. 2 different Tech Supports, 2 customer supports, and 1 supervisor told me that T-Mobile does not offer standalone, independently plan for Galaxy Watch 4??? I asked them then why even right now in T-Mobile website, it still shows 2 plans for you to select (see attached picture as well)? They straightforwardly told me that the standalone only works on older generation of Samsung watch??? Then I asked them why I was able to use the 1st watch (now showed the apple watch in my account) as a standalone before? They told me it’s a mystery that the 1st watch worked because T-Mobile never offer a standalone for it and it will never work as a standalone. I told them to check the usages on the date range before I changed to apple watch and they told me just focus on the 2nd ones??? Unbelievable! What kind of business is that? 10 straight hours wasted for nothing with total 5 different agents and 2 supervisors. 2 of them even told me to use it as a Bluetooth version or change to Digit plan. Standalone was the only reason why I bought the watch, and they told me to use it as Bluetooth or force me to change to Digit plan?

Seeing that many of users here are having the exact same situation as me, it makes me think that T-Mobile is lying to the consumers. They lured the customers to buy their products butT-Mobile does not provide the service that they promised. I will not stay silent for this kind of business. I have everything in written from before I made the purchase to asking for support. I also recorded the conversation with the customer service and Tech support agents. I will fight for my customer rights. 

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

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 was having the same issue and you don't need to go into a store to fix this. Some of the reps just aren't familiar with the device. Go to settings > connections>mobile networks> then scroll to the bottom to the last option (I don't remember what it said cause it changed when I connected it to a network). It will ask if you need to connect to a network and you need to open your phone to connect the watch to a network. The reason some of the reps will tell you they are unable to do this is because they need to activate which line on their end while you open this on your phone. If it stays stuck on a loading screen they just need to refresh the device on their end after you provide them with both numbers from the device imei.

Badge

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.

Badge

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 

 

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!!!!!!!

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.

Update - I can’t believe how confused T-Mobile/Sprint tech support has become.

No one has called me back on my ticket supposedly to the back office to work on the Galaxy Watch 4 stand alone issue.  Was promised a 48-72 hour turn around time on ticket SD7783155. from last week.

So - decided to give it one more shot today.  Waited 50 minutes with customer support to transfer me to tech support.  I transferred to tech support to find the ticket still open, but now the ticket says it is to send me a booster.  Lte service signal is not the issue.  I have tried multiple locations with 4 bars including in a tmobile store sitting at their table for an afternoon. (Also see the last post with emergency call testing).

Again to show how messed up everything is - when asking for a supervisor after finding the tech support person wanted to factory reset my watch and start from scratch (which I have done maybe 20 times) I asked for supervisor.  My call was disconnected with a recorded message that there were system errors that couldn’t complete the call.

Thankfully, supervisor by the name of Annie called me back.  She went back through the notes and couldn’t figure out anything.  She offered to  work on this off line (with really no plan) so I asked why we couldn’t escalate further.  

She said her boss was at lunch.  I asked her to find someone who could help.  No one is available.  She said she would call me back in an hour.  The call ticket is I2226600550.  Will wait for a call, but I guess I am beyond holding my breath.

It seems at this point, T-Mobile is totally beyond help...

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

I’ve had my new Galaxy 4 44mm watch for 1 day and am returning it. I was on chat support all day yesterday and they were never able to solve the stand alone issue. Not only does it not do stand alone calls all the time, but the volume is so weak that it’s hard to have a conversation with anyone. The other thing I don’t like, being in Florida, is the watch is unusable in the sun. The screen becomes washed out and you have to cup your hand around the face. 

Badge

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

Badge

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? 

 

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? 

I was with Verizon and got the galaxy watch 4 lte . It was 100% stand alone for a week! I could call my phone from the watch . I could call my watch from my cell phone too ! Everything was amazing! But then they tied the phone number together without asking me. 🙄  it totally was NOT worth it anymore.  I tried to unhook it from the phone numbers.  But all their technicians only messed up the eSim cards . It was also force locked out ! It is a carrier thing to save money,  but charge you extra ! They allow watch 3 , and others to be true stand alone,  but not watch 4, and 5/ pro. It's not worth buying lte anymore 😕  !! Save your money and buy real stand alone watch.  It is so much better/ worth it ! Don't ever let them tie the numbers together in numbers share , they also don't give you a choice!! This is also Samsung's fault! The battery wears out fast in stand alone.  But we should get a choice as the consumer!! They are trying to save face on an inferior battery . I got rid of my watch 4 . It's just not worth it !

Reply