Replacement for V20 - No VoLTE Outside of Stock

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pistacios

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2014
324
172
Took a jump and ended my 20+ year relationship with Verizon, without even "test driving" another carrier.

Went "all-in" on T-Mobile. Signed up for Magenta Max, 4 lines, 4 "free" Motorola One 5g Ace phones. Service has been comparable if not better than Verizon at my home, 5g to boot! Wifi calling is a huge gain, as well as unlimited data and other perks which I didn't have on Verizon. Ended up saving per month as well.

I'm amazed that I haven't unlocked the bootloader and rooted this thing yet. This is the first device since my OG Moto Droid that I haven't rooted immediately.
Avoiding ads by way of private DNS, used Helium to transfer a few apps/data (with some hiccups), and YT Vanced non-root have filled the gap so far. Sure, there will be times where I'll miss having R/W privileges, but I'm content so far.
 
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C D

Senior Member
Took a jump and ended my 20+ year relationship with Verizon, without even "test driving" another carrier.

Went "all-in" on T-Mobile. Signed up for Magenta Max, 4 lines, 4 "free" Motorola One 5g Ace phones. Service has been comparable if not better than Verizon at my home, 5g to boot! Wifi calling is a huge gain, as well as unlimited data and other perks which I didn't have on Verizon. Ended up saving per month as well.

I'm amazed that I haven't unlocked the bootloader and rooted this thing yet. This is the first device since my OG Moto Droid that I haven't rooted immediately.
Avoiding ads by way of private DNS, used Helium to transfer a few apps/data (with some hiccups), and YT Vanced non-root have filled the gap so far. Sure, there will be times where I'll miss having R/W privileges, but I'm content so far.
Pretty good deal for 4 phones without extra costs (I'm assuming you have to stay with T-Mobile for a fixed amount of time), and you still have the option to root any of them whenever you feel like it. Do Motorola phones still have an FM radio?
 

pistacios

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Jan 12, 2014
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Fm Radio is preloaded on these, can't speak for other Motos.

Had to pay taxes only ($66 total) on full price ($264ea) upfront, 24 months of bill credits for cost of devices.
 
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DaCHeF36

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Jan 3, 2017
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Fm Radio is preloaded on these, can't speak for other Motos.

Had to pay taxes only ($66 total) on full price ($264ea) upfront, 24 months of bill credits for cost of devices.
So you're stuck for 24 months for those phones. Doesn't sound like a terrible deal at all. I dd look at the Ace, but was seeing most reviews stating the Pixel 4a beat them out across most specs and real-life use. I also saw that Moto would only be releasing one update for Android 11, and then the device would be stuck there. I don't know much about the Motos, but will there be AOSP or other modding options for those phones? My concern is always longevity, but I realize others might not be as concerned.

Congrats and hope they work out well for you!
 

C D

Senior Member
I don't know much about the Motos, but will there be AOSP or other modding options for those phones? My concern is always longevity, but I realize others might not be as concerned.
From what I can tell, Motorola phones typically have plenty of development with custom ROMs since bootloader unlocking has been officially supported for a long time (I did that previously with a Motorola Photon Q, Moto E (2015), and Moto Z Play). This might come in handy since Motorola overall probably has an even worse track record than LG when it comes to official updates. And unlike LG and Samsung, VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling can work on non-stock custom ROMs.
 

pistacios

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2014
324
172
So you're stuck for 24 months for those phones. Doesn't sound like a terrible deal at all. I dd look at the Ace, but was seeing most reviews stating the Pixel 4a beat them out across most specs and real-life use. I also saw that Moto would only be releasing one update for Android 11, and then the device would be stuck there. I don't know much about the Motos, but will there be AOSP or other modding options for those phones? My concern is always longevity, but I realize others might not be as concerned.

Congrats and hope they work out well for you!
I'm not concerned with the 24 months. Even after 6 months if I decide I want another device, I could recoup my money by paying off the balance and selling them for roughly $200. Or let the bill credits ride out and keep them as backups, they didn't cost much besides taxes.

The battery is great. Thought I'd miss a removable battery, but this thing lasts a couple days easily.

There's some/little development activity (Moto G 5g/5g Ace), Lineage and Havoc available, R/W access, and semi-functional TWRP. But again, I've been content without root thus far. The EU Version is on Android 11, which can be flashed with fastboot.

We all have our must-haves, but this has fit the bill so far for the wife and I since our V20's have finally worn all of our spare batteries out without reliable sources for quality replacements.

Screenshot_20220117-123135.png
 
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DaCHeF36

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Jan 3, 2017
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I'm not concerned with the 24 months. Even after 6 months if I decide I want another device, I could recoup my money by paying off the balance and selling them for roughly $200. Or let the bill credits ride out and keep them as backups, they didn't cost much besides taxes.

The battery is great. Thought I'd miss a removable battery, but this thing lasts a couple days easily.

There's some/little development activity (Moto G 5g/5g Ace), Lineage and Havoc available, R/W access, and semi-functional TWRP. But again, I've been content without root thus far. The EU Version is on Android 11, which can be flashed with fastboot.

We all have our must-haves, but this has fit the bill so far for the wife and I since our V20's have finally worn all of our spare batteries out without reliable sources for quality replacements.

View attachment 5511001
Glad you found what you need. Like I said, congrats. Hopefully they work out well for you. Thanks for the feedback.
 
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luafac

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Jan 18, 2022
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Right, but it also depends on what the carrier supports as AT&T and Verizon use whitelists.
In the U.S., VoLTE support on the American V20 models goes something like this :

- H910 gets VoLTE on AT&T and its MVNOs
- H918 gets VoLTE on T-Mobile and its MVNOs
- VS995 gets VoLTE on Verizon and its MVNOs
- US996 may get VoLTE on some of the above. I've gotten it to work on T-Mobile, 1 out of 2 T-Mobile MVNOs (worked on Tracfone's T-Mobile card but not Liberty Wireless), and an AT&T MVNO (Red Pocket's GSMA).
- LS997 is not configured to have VoLTE out of the box, so any LS997 that has been updated past May 2017 will for sure soon be useless in the U.S. for making and receiving phone calls. For the few of us who still have the older rooted LS997 models, I will soon look into installing Alpha Omega ROMs from the US996 to see if VoLTE can get enabled through there since the hardware is likely present, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks for the info on this. I was exicted until I read "(and of course stock-based ROMs are a must for this)." Noooooo.
Is there a way around this? For example, I have a VS995 on Lineage. Currently using ATT. Do you think swapping to Verizon would do anything on a non-stock ROM?

Mint looked good until I saw it say VOLTE enabled phone. Well crap, is there another offbrand carrier that could work?

ATT is already blocking outgoing calls. Incoming still work, as well as VOIP, but the other end needs the same VOIP app or whatever.

Mini Update: Could be a coincidence, but I opened dial and typed *#*#4636#*#* the Volte and Video Calling Provisioned toggle is ON. This could mean nothing I suppose, but I was able to make an outgoing call by pressing "Trigger Carrier Provisioning" on the bottom and leaving this screen open then tabing to dialer.
 
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C D

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Thanks for the info on this. I was exicted until I read "(and of course stock-based ROMs are a must for this)." Noooooo.
Is there a way around this? For example, I have a VS995 on Lineage. Currently using ATT. Do you think swapping to Verizon would do anything on a non-stock ROM?

Mint looked good until I saw it say VOLTE enabled phone. Well crap, is there another offbrand carrier that could work?

ATT is already blocking outgoing calls. Incoming still work, as well as VOIP, but the other end needs the same VOIP app or whatever.

Mini Update: Could be a coincidence, but I opened dial and typed *#*#4636#*#* the Volte and Video Calling Provisioned toggle is ON. This could mean nothing I suppose, but I was able to make an outgoing call by pressing "Trigger Carrier Provisioning" on the bottom and leaving this screen open then tabing to dialer.
Pretty much zero chance to have VoLTE or Wi-Fi calling on non-stock ROMs on any LG phone unless someone figures out LG's closed-source files. This is on the phones' capabilities themselves and has nothing to do with the carrier, so you can think of it as [all LG phones on non-stock ROMs] = [phones with no ability to get working VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling and LG stock apps]. So if a carrier no longer has any network below LTE (like all U.S. carriers later this year), then phone calls (and text messages likely, too) will no longer work without VoLTE.

You can always check during a call if the 4G/LTE icon stays up. If it doesn't, there's no VoLTE, regardless of whatever provisioning switch may be on or not.
 

baldybill

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2010
481
69
Verizon LG G3
LG V20
Sounds like we are unsure if the V20 on Verizon will be able to make calls after 2022, right?
So, what phone should we go to on Verizon? xiamoi? oneplus? pixel 6(a)? morotola?
 

C D

Senior Member
Sounds like we are unsure if the V20 on Verizon will be able to make calls after 2022, right?
So, what phone should we go to on Verizon? xiamoi? oneplus? pixel 6(a)? morotola?
The VS995 should be fine on Verizon's network as long as LTE exists. See my earlier post #11 on page 1 for the U.S. model–major carrier combinations that are safe.

As for other phone options, definitely stay away from Xiaomi as their models usually lack most LTE bands to be usable in the U.S.
 
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baldybill

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2010
481
69
Verizon LG G3
LG V20
Thanks. May need to switch to a VS995.

You said you weren't sure of the US996 on Verizon. Any update to that? Do we think yes or no?

Thanks for your help and for all of your input to the V20 community.
 

C D

Senior Member
Thanks. May need to switch to a VS995.

You said you weren't sure of the US996 on Verizon. Any update to that? Do we think yes or no?

Thanks for your help and for all of your input to the V20 community.
I don't have Verizon, so I can't say much more than I already have on it. The general rule is that if you have VoLTE now (4G/LTE icon stays up during calls), then it should continue to work beyond the 2G/3G/CDMA shutdown.

The only thing you may want to be aware of is that the US996 was removed from Verizon's IMEI-based whitelist some time in 2018, so they could shut the door any time and completely block all non-whitelisted phones like AT&T already does for its postpaid, prepaid, and Cricket divisions. If that ever happens, then the only way to keep going with your US996 is to change its IMEI (you can message me if you don't know how to do this) to a Verizon-whitelisted one, so if you happen to have another phone around with such an IMEI, copying that one would likely work.
 
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baldybill

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2010
481
69
Verizon LG G3
LG V20
Seeing how this will be stuck on Oreo (8.0) indefinitely, I think I'll switch to a Google Pixel sometime before 2023. Then, when it gets to its end of life, I can keep it going with Custom ROMs and keep the 4G / 5g calling.
Thank you all for your help / advice.
 
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DaCHeF36

Senior Member
Jan 3, 2017
82
21
Yeah, this thread has really turned out to be an awesome reference, guys. Thanks. I think we'll get unlocked Pixel 6s this year. Just waiting for the bugs to work their way out of the system, and some deals to pop, to purchase. Since Verizon will pull the plug by December 2022, it's time, unfortunately. At least the Pixels will be modable, which will give them hope for a long time in the future; if battery replacements are on the agenda that is. Boy will I miss the user replaceables on the Note 4 and V20!
 
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luafac

New member
Jan 18, 2022
2
3
Yeah thanks for the insight here. I swapped to Verizon for now on my V995, but definately does not have VoLTE just as CD stated. (Lineage OS)

Looking firlmly at a Pixel 6 Pro with Calyx OS once savings allow.
 

baldybill

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2010
481
69
Verizon LG G3
LG V20
I don't have Verizon, so I can't say much more than I already have on it. The general rule is that if you have VoLTE now (4G/LTE icon stays up during calls), then it should continue to work beyond the 2G/3G/CDMA shutdown.

The only thing you may want to be aware of is that the US996 was removed from Verizon's IMEI-based whitelist some time in 2018, so they could shut the door any time and completely block all non-whitelisted phones like AT&T already does for its postpaid, prepaid, and Cricket divisions. If that ever happens, then the only way to keep going with your US996 is to change its IMEI (you can message me if you don't know how to do this) to a Verizon-whitelisted one, so if you happen to have another phone around with such an IMEI, copying that one would likely work.
How do I find that imei based list?
 

C D

Senior Member
How do I find that imei based list?
As far as I know, unlike AT&T, Verizon does not make that list public. You can assume that list includes all Verizon-branded models that have VoLTE capabilities (which should include the VS995). Outside of those, you probably have unbranded factory-unlocked U.S. models that work on all 3 major carriers such as most Samsung, Motorola, and Pixel phones. Beyond that, you'll just have to hear it from someone else or manually enter the number on the IMEI checker on Verizon's own website.
 
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  • 4
    I was a die hard V20 hold out from its release date. I've tried changing devices a few times in the past, but always returned them almost immediately.
    The Pixel 6 pro is the first one that has stuck. The battery seems like it lasts 2x longer than my newish pefine V20 battery, so I can deal without it being removable. The missing headphone jack is still annoying though. The cameras are only marginally better.

    Where the P6 shines is in the development community. This phone was dead simple to root, and custom roms are already appearing for it.
    3
    Really wish I could figure out WIFI calling. That would probably take flashing a VS995 ROM, and that still is a gamble.
    Wi-Fi calling is heavily carrier-based, and since there never was a universal all-carrier USA V20 model, you almost certainly have to be on VS995 firmware to get it. Another lesser-known thing to try would be changing your US996's IMEI number to another one that still passes Verizon's IMEI check if you happen to have a phone like that around. I cannot openly discuss the method here since it's illegal in some countries (but not the U.S. – more info here) but it's quite simple to do, and you can message me if you need some pointers. This can be done on my LS997 and US996 but not the H918.
    Does anyone share concerns over running stock-based software that hasn't been updated for years to continue using these devices? Are you aware of the critical vulnerabilities released monthly for Android OSes? I just want to make sure everyone understands the risks of such an approach.
    To me, it mainly depends on what you do on your phone. My usage is likely quite different from yours. You can see my view on this and what my post-V20 daily driver phone has been since September in a similar topic thread on the V20 Subreddit from a few months ago.

    And if you want to have a deeper look, you can see most of the stuff of what I've been running on my V20s over here.
    2
    The options in the U.S. for a proper replacement are slim to none, depending on your priorities. I don't know much about how easy it is to replace batteries for newer phones, but I can give you an overview for most of the other stuff:

    - Phones with hand-removable batteries: Probably not worth going for at this point. Most have specs that are barely better than the V20 with lower screen resolutions, and spare batteries are much less common to find for them. And half of them are from Europe and therefore have almost zero usable LTE bands in the U.S.

    - Phones with non-stock custom ROMs that have VoLTE working in the U.S.: Probably limited to the Google Pixels, Motorola, and OnePlus models. Forget about all LG and Samsung phones here since they both use closed-source proprietary files that makes it pretty much impossible for anyone to figure out how to get VoLTE and other stock features to work on AOSP or LineageOS-type ROMs. And unfortunately, Pixels and the higher end OnePlus phones have no microSD card slots, and Motorola phones haven't been known for top quality cameras in a long time.

    - Others: There are also Sony phones, but their higher end models are so expensive that I never bothered looking far into any of them.

    So, it looks like you'll have to decide which features are must-haves for you and which are OK to let go in order to widen your options a bit.
    2
    The options in the U.S. for a proper replacement are slim to none, depending on your priorities. I don't know much about how easy it is to replace batteries for newer phones, but I can give you an overview for most of the other stuff:

    - Phones with hand-removable batteries: Probably not worth going for at this point. Most have specs that are barely better than the V20 with lower screen resolutions, and spare batteries are much less common to find for them. And half of them are from Europe and therefore have almost zero usable LTE bands in the U.S.

    - Phones with non-stock custom ROMs that have VoLTE working in the U.S.: Probably limited to the Google Pixels, Motorola, and OnePlus models. Forget about all LG and Samsung phones here since they both use closed-source proprietary files that makes it pretty much impossible for anyone to figure out how to get VoLTE and other stock features to work on AOSP or LineageOS-type ROMs. And unfortunately, Pixels and the higher end OnePlus phones have no microSD card slots, and Motorola phones haven't been known for top quality cameras in a long time.

    - Others: There are also Sony phones, but their higher end models are so expensive that I never bothered looking far into any of them.

    So, it looks like you'll have to decide which features are must-haves for you and which are OK to let go in order to widen your options a bit.
    Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate the input. Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected. The reason I am leaving the V20, and also a Samsung Note 4 isn't because they no longer work for me, but because of the VoLTE push. It makes me sad. ;(

    I have looked at the removable battery options, and to your point, the specs are horrible. I don't think a truly removable battery will work. However, if there's a phone with a non-removable battery that doesn't take an act of God to change, that would be an option.

    I do not want to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars every couple of years for a new device. Custom ROMs have made these devices last years and years. It's also better for the environment. I don't need 20 cores and a TB of RAM in a phone based on my use cases unlike everyone seems to think they do. Without the ability to custom ROM, once the manufacturer ditches the device, it forces one to spend again even though it could last many more years. It seems many aren't really too worried or informed about running a computer in your pocket missing critical security updates. These truths irk the **** out of me! :)

    I wonder if a Pixel would suffice despite the lack of external storage... I know they get updates pretty quickly, are being supported for like 5 years by Google, etc. I think development is pretty active for them too, but I'll have to investigate. The Sony suggestion was a good one to mention, but yeah, ridiculous in price.

    I guess I'll start there. If anyone else has other suggestions or advice, I greatly appreciate it. I haven't had to stay up with things because of these wonderful devices and the plethora of options over the years. All good things must come to an end...
    2
    My understanding is that our phones (V20) will continue to work for now since they have 4g. Yes, we can also access the 3g band, but my phone rarely switches to it. We should be fine for a while on the V20 on 4g.

    PS - That's presuming our phones are stock or near-stock and still have functioning VoLTE / HD calls. Stock Android and A_O (Alpha Omega) ROM has this. I believe these phones are safe to use in 2022 and beyond when 3g drops.
    Right, but it also depends on what the carrier supports as AT&T and Verizon use whitelists.
    In the U.S., VoLTE support on the American V20 models goes something like this (and of course stock-based ROMs are a must for this):

    - H910 gets VoLTE on AT&T and its MVNOs
    - H918 gets VoLTE on T-Mobile and its MVNOs
    - VS995 gets VoLTE on Verizon and its MVNOs
    - US996 may get VoLTE on some of the above. I've gotten it to work on T-Mobile, 1 out of 2 T-Mobile MVNOs (worked on Tracfone's T-Mobile card but not Liberty Wireless), and an AT&T MVNO (Red Pocket's GSMA).
    - LS997 is not configured to have VoLTE out of the box, so any LS997 that has been updated past May 2017 will for sure soon be useless in the U.S. for making and receiving phone calls. For the few of us who still have the older rooted LS997 models, I will soon look into installing Alpha Omega ROMs from the US996 to see if VoLTE can get enabled through there since the hardware is likely present, but I'm not getting my hopes up.