V20-friendly US carriers? (Sprint user needs to migrate)

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Rich_Palermo

Member
Jun 22, 2018
23
3
Sprint sold to T-Mobile and T-Mobile is selling off Sprint bands between now and Q1 2022 requiring a phone change to stay on their network. I like my V20 and am not impressed with the new Android phones on offer. (*)

Are there any US providers with whom a Sprint V20 will still work? Good 4G performance (1-10Mbps) is fine for my needs and I need to have reliable SMS. I don't want 5G, HD video, gaming performance, or anything like that. I've checked the usual AT&T, Verizon, etc. but unless I'm misreading something, their networks will not accept this phone.

(*) I just sent back a Pixel 5a/5g after preferring the V20 in a side-by-side comparison.
 
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baldybill

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2010
482
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Verizon LG G3
LG V20
Which V20 do you have? vs995 is the Verizon model, and will work on Verizon. us996 is the unlocked model, and will work on Verizon (that's what I use on verizon). Other models of the v20 will be tied to their particular carrier.
 
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Rich_Palermo

Member
Jun 22, 2018
23
3
Mine says LS997 in one of the panels. As mentioned in the original post, I am currently with Sprint. The phone boots with a Sprint splash screen but should be unlocked. Hoping to find a compatible provider.
 

C D

Senior Member
The Sprint V20 isn't configured to get VoLTE and doesn't pass any whitelist or IMEI compatibility check for the 3 U.S. carriers, so you'll have to switch to one of the other carrier-branded models, either the H918 for T-Mobile, H910 for AT&T, or VS995 for Verizon.

If your LS997 really is SIM-unlocked, and you can change APN settings (Sprint phones are notorious for having that option grayed out, regardless of whether they are SIM-unlocked or not), then you may still be able to get it to work on T-Mobile without VoLTE until they shut down both 3G and 2G networks next year. However, even before their shut downs, T-Mobile may start actively blocking phones at any time like AT&T do, so I wouldn't go with an LS997 as the only phone.
 

Mysticblaze347

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2018
514
184
This blows so much in the wrong ways. Still have the ls997, but had get free a71 to keep service for TMobile. Tech waste at its finest. Forced to do unwanted.
 
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Rich_Palermo

Member
Jun 22, 2018
23
3
Thanks, everyone. Looks like I am out of luck and have to get another phone regardless of cellular provider.

I am interested in recommendations something 2 or more years old that I could get refurbished to work with what's coming so I can trawl eBay. I'll look for other V20s per @C D but options would be good.

What I like about the V20 and would like to carry over in no particular order.
- Replaceable battery (hence older models)
- Notifications are fast (The Pixel 5a/5g I returned had issues)
- Camera with manual settings. Not an expert photographer but the manual mode has come in handy
- Runs the few apps I care about effortlessly (BlueMail, Newpipe, Berlin Philharmonic apps)
- Slot for a memory card
- Second screen
- Rock solid Bluetooth performance
 
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C D

Senior Member
Thanks, everyone. Looks like I am out of luck and have to get another phone regardless of cellular provider.

I am interested in recommendations something 2 or more years old that I could get refurbished to work with what's coming so I can trawl eBay. I'll look for other V20s per @C D but options would be good.

What I like about the V20 and would like to carry over in no particular order.
- Replaceable battery (hence older models)
- Notifications are fast (The Pixel 5a/5g I returned had issues)
- Camera with manual settings. Not an expert photographer but the manual mode has come in handy
- Runs the few apps I care about effortlessly (BlueMail, Newpipe, Berlin Philharmonic apps)
- Slot for a memory card
- Second screen
- Rock solid Bluetooth performance
Based on that, I'd say if you can go with Verizon or its MVNOs, the Verizon LG V50 would fit most of these. It has roughly the same size as the V20 and still has the fingerprint scanner on the back, too. I guess you'd have to test the notifications and Bluetooth performance, but as long as whatever seller you go with has a good return policy, that shouldn't be a problem.

The second screen doesn't really exist in any phone other than the V10 and V20, and a removable battery only exists in phones (Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro and Teracube 2e) that are more of a sidegrade/downgrade to the V20 while missing many of its features.

If you need compatibility with all U.S. carriers and don't mind the bigger size and lower screen resolution, there is a carrier model of the V60 for each of the big 3 carriers.

Another notable older all-rounder that's easy to find renewed/refurbished on eBay would be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 if you don't mind the curved screen and being stuck on Android 10.

I own both a Sprint V50 and a Note 9 (both rooted), and while they lack the removable battery and second screen, they both have an LED notification light (though the V50 has a weird one on the back that's also the 5G logo) and absolutely blow away the V20 in both performance and battery life. Unfortunately, I can't recommend the Sprint V50 yet since I can't seem to get a signal to stay on T-Mobile, and while it does work perfectly on an AT&T MVNO, AT&T could block it at any point since it's not on their whitelist.

You may be able to find most of these for around $300 or less in mint/refurbished/open box shape, and it's up to you to decide if those are worth over getting a different V20 at likely less than half the price.
 

Rich_Palermo

Member
Jun 22, 2018
23
3
I will chase all of these down! The Pixel 5a/5g I tried was Android 12 and I thought it was hard to use compared to prior versions. Lots of UI customization features I don't need/want at the expense of core capabilities. My V20 has Android 8 and it works just fine.

I think Sprint is out of the equation and whatever I get has to be for one or more of the other carriers/their resellers.
 
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    The Sprint V20 isn't configured to get VoLTE and doesn't pass any whitelist or IMEI compatibility check for the 3 U.S. carriers, so you'll have to switch to one of the other carrier-branded models, either the H918 for T-Mobile, H910 for AT&T, or VS995 for Verizon.

    If your LS997 really is SIM-unlocked, and you can change APN settings (Sprint phones are notorious for having that option grayed out, regardless of whether they are SIM-unlocked or not), then you may still be able to get it to work on T-Mobile without VoLTE until they shut down both 3G and 2G networks next year. However, even before their shut downs, T-Mobile may start actively blocking phones at any time like AT&T do, so I wouldn't go with an LS997 as the only phone.
    2
    Thanks, everyone. Looks like I am out of luck and have to get another phone regardless of cellular provider.

    I am interested in recommendations something 2 or more years old that I could get refurbished to work with what's coming so I can trawl eBay. I'll look for other V20s per @C D but options would be good.

    What I like about the V20 and would like to carry over in no particular order.
    - Replaceable battery (hence older models)
    - Notifications are fast (The Pixel 5a/5g I returned had issues)
    - Camera with manual settings. Not an expert photographer but the manual mode has come in handy
    - Runs the few apps I care about effortlessly (BlueMail, Newpipe, Berlin Philharmonic apps)
    - Slot for a memory card
    - Second screen
    - Rock solid Bluetooth performance
    Based on that, I'd say if you can go with Verizon or its MVNOs, the Verizon LG V50 would fit most of these. It has roughly the same size as the V20 and still has the fingerprint scanner on the back, too. I guess you'd have to test the notifications and Bluetooth performance, but as long as whatever seller you go with has a good return policy, that shouldn't be a problem.

    The second screen doesn't really exist in any phone other than the V10 and V20, and a removable battery only exists in phones (Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro and Teracube 2e) that are more of a sidegrade/downgrade to the V20 while missing many of its features.

    If you need compatibility with all U.S. carriers and don't mind the bigger size and lower screen resolution, there is a carrier model of the V60 for each of the big 3 carriers.

    Another notable older all-rounder that's easy to find renewed/refurbished on eBay would be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 if you don't mind the curved screen and being stuck on Android 10.

    I own both a Sprint V50 and a Note 9 (both rooted), and while they lack the removable battery and second screen, they both have an LED notification light (though the V50 has a weird one on the back that's also the 5G logo) and absolutely blow away the V20 in both performance and battery life. Unfortunately, I can't recommend the Sprint V50 yet since I can't seem to get a signal to stay on T-Mobile, and while it does work perfectly on an AT&T MVNO, AT&T could block it at any point since it's not on their whitelist.

    You may be able to find most of these for around $300 or less in mint/refurbished/open box shape, and it's up to you to decide if those are worth over getting a different V20 at likely less than half the price.
    1
    Which V20 do you have? vs995 is the Verizon model, and will work on Verizon. us996 is the unlocked model, and will work on Verizon (that's what I use on verizon). Other models of the v20 will be tied to their particular carrier.
    1
    That is the Spring Model, apparently only compatible with Spring. Sorry. :-(