Go Flip and car Bluetooth

weezyrider

    I just bought a family member the new Alcatel Go Flip. It's acitvated and he likes it well enough. However, I am having the devil of a time hooking up the Go to the Lexus Bluetooth.

     

    His former phone, the Alcatel 768 had no problems. The new Go phone seems to need a physical button press on the phone itself to connect. Otherwise the Lexus bluetooth system keeps connecting and disconnecting. The phone beeps, then there is a screen saying that the car wants to connect with "confirm" on the bottom and this has to be selected every time he gets in the car with the phone  which is annoying him (and me) very much.

     

    I transferred all his private files from the 768 to my OnePlus5 via bluetooth and then to the Go flip. Bluetooth seemed to work just fine. I paired the phone and once the confirmed selection is made, the phone works as it is supposed to. I took the phone OUT as a music player. He doesn't want an external player in any way, shape or form. His car, his phone, his choice. I don't use my phone's Bluetooth anywhere near the car as the car automatically wants to snag it as an audio player.

     

    Apparently Alcatel feels it's a "flip phone" deal with it. (in my opinion the Go is junk even for a flip) The phone needs to tell the car audio to keep out!

     

    I'd like to be able to find another unlocked flip that didn't have to be activated on another network. Any suggestions?

     

    I'm also having trouble with selecting a phone as I can't find out what TMO is doing with towers. One site says 2G going, another site says some of 3G being repurposed and so on and so forth.

     

    In looking at flip phones to see what's available, I looked at Consumer Cellular and the phones listed are all 3G - that makes the repurposing bands even more confusing when trying to buy.

     

    Thanks

      All replies

      • tmo_amanda

        Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

        Hey, weezyrider

         

        Wow, what a situation! By chance, have you tried removing the new Alcatel from the Lexus (similar to "fogetting" a paired Bluetooth device)?

         

        As far as a different unlocked flip phone, I personally cannot think of a different recommendation. Are you looking for an already unlocked Alcatel Go Flip? Also, if you can provide me a zip code, I can see if I can tell what's going on with the towers in the area.

        • weezyrider

          Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

          I tried everything in the manual, and the other half got the Lexus tech out to the house and the tech couldn't install it either. I'm looking for another flip that will work and is totally unlocked. Even if I can find one that will answer a call or call by voice would work. He wants a flip, and that's the end of it.

          I want him to pay attention to the road - he hates to play phone tag with doctors.

           

          I asked about the towers and Consumer Cellular's phones all seem to be 3G. If TMO is repurposing bands it wouldn't be worth even looking at one of their phones. I've also seen plans for the 1900 band. It just makes looking for a phone harder. I've also seen that 2G and 3G will be repurposed.

           

          This came up in another forum about VOLTE.

          My phone does do VOLTE. I have an app called LTE Discovery just to see where towers are. I'm sitting in my living room, and if I have VOLTE selected, the tower is in one direction. If I turn VOLTE off, the tower changes to one in a different direction. They both show band 2 and the same number of bars.

          What advantages does VOLTE have this type of situation?

           

          I don't have a very high opinion of Alcatel phones to say the least.  The Alcatel tech/cust service said it's a flip phone - deal with it.

           

          Thanks

            • tmo_amanda

              Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

              Wow! You've done pretty much everything I could think of to get this fixed. In the end, I believe it comes down to the phone. To answer your question about VoLTE, here are some of the benefits of it:

               

              • VoLTE (Voice over LTE) allows you to place and receive calls on our LTE data network, and it's available nationwide.
              • Placing a call connects twice as fast.
              • Switching between 4G VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling does not drop a call.
              • HD Voice on VoLTE
                • HD Voice is a feature that improves in-call voice quality nationwide for compatible phones.
                • Voice call quality is more true-to-life, with less background noise.
                • It automatically activates, if you and the person you're calling are both using supported phones on VoLTE.
              • Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) is another codec for HD Voice that further enhances call quality. It is available on specific device models, such as those made by Apple.

               

              We do not carry any other phones that would work for what you've listed. What zip code are you located in? I'll take a look at the frequencies and see what other devices might be compatible.

            • weezyrider

              Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

              I'll keep looking. It is not easy dealing with some senior citizens. Oftentimes they do have the money to afford luxury cars and will buy for the ride and interior design, but won't bother with the electronic connections for music, phones, etc. Some also prefer flip phones - they probably would do android or iOS, but none are made. Some just keep a phone in the car for emergencies.

               

              I dislike being distracted by a phone jabbering at me a la GPS, so I print out maps. My ride uses a USB port to play music, so I do my own - either purchased or ripped from my collection on a usb stick. The owner of the Lexus had a bit of trouble cancelling the Spotify service. Spotify couldn't believe that he didn't want it.

               

              Car mfg should include a way to turn off the services. Those services do make money, but if they are being allowed by stealth and not by owner of car, that's close to fraud. Minimum billing for unwanted services which there is no way to refuse. A very small charge will add up over a year.

               

              I rooted an early TMO phone just to get rid of Doubletwist. I didn't have data on account as phones were all paid for up front. Doubletwist kept opening and trying to connect which annoyed me no end.

               

              Thanks for the answer on LTE. I couldn't see why it would affect a static customer in home. Coverage changed from Band 4 to Band 2 in the same direction so I assume it was the same tower. Band 2 has now switched direction. We live above most of the towers and that's why I got curious.

                • tmo_amanda

                  Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                  I agree there there is definitely a difference in phone preferences when it comes to some senior citizens and I wish you the best of luck in finding a phone that works well not only for him but is also compatible with the car.

                   

                  As far as those services go -- I know all too well what you mean. That $9.99 a month service ends up being over a hundred bucks for an entire year when you may not get that much use out of it. I know I didn't and that's why I canceled my Sirius radio subscription but I'm right there with you. I'm sure the car manufacturers get a little piece of the pie ($$) for offering audio/gps services in their vehicles.

                   

                  Coverage wise - Is everything okay with your signal at home? Was it just more curiosity and not so much having signal issues? I want to make sure we get all your questions answered!

                  • tmo_chris

                    Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                    Just checking in here to see how things are going coverage wise. Did you have any concerns that we could help with?

                  • tmo_mike_c

                    Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                    Hi!

                     

                    Did you still need some help with the coverage? Please let us know if there's more we can do to assist.

                    • weezyrider

                      Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                      We seem to have it solved for now. I found a good reconditioned Samsung Rugby 4 that seems to work well. Constructionwise, it's a far better phone than the Alcatel Go.

                       

                      It also had trouble with the MP3 ringtone, except that the car audio used the ringtone for every notification which got annoying.

                      The other half got the Lexus techs here and they did find the solution. Some of the news about the car system will not be welcome in some places. The techs admitted that the car audio was designed to give priority to audio for apps like Spotify. They also said that disabling a phone for audio playing only arrived in this year's software.

                       

                      This whole policy does not agree with "hands free" in my book. The Alcatel had to be allowed everytime you started the car. The response to a complaint (on the web) from Alcatel - "It's a flip phone - deal with it."  This is NOT hands free and Alcatel should learn to do better. Just because someone can purchase a Lexus doesn't mean they want a top of the line smart phone. The car came with a subscription to Spotify, and the other half had to get rather testy to get them to understand he didn't want it and wasn't going to pay for it.

                       

                      The techs showed us where there is also a mode control on the steering wheel for Bluetooth, Audio, etc. The techs switched that to audio, and turned off the audio player. Turning off the audio player in the Lexus does not affect the OTA radio AM/FM.  That has its own controls. The manual and all other searches on the web did not even mention the mode control on the steering wheel.

                       

                      The other half is happy with the solution, and I'm happy I don't have to listen to him complain about phone tag and missed calls.

                       

                      Thanks for the help and suggestions. Hope the final solution will work for anyone else with an audio problem.

                      • weezyrider

                        Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                        As far as coverage at home - I've never really had any problem. I just wondered why the towers and bands kept getting switched.

                        I only got the LTE Discovery app as we live above most of the towers.

                          • tmo_mike_c

                            Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                            I appreciate you sharing what you found out about the Bluetooth. I'm sure this'll be helpful for other folks that may run in to this issue.

                             

                            As for your coverage, are you saying that only get LTE where you live? Are you able to use the get strong signal and use your services without any issues?

                              • weezyrider

                                Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                                No. I'm just curious as to why it switches when I'm static. Mostly get 3 bars so the app says on both LTE bands 2 and 4. Phone works just fine, no problems. No dropped calls. I don't bother with checking the speed of the connection. It works, which is all I care about.

                                 

                                Just why would TMO be switching towers?  I'm sitting in a chair holding the phone and facing north. The arrow for the direction of the signal changes. The DB measurement doesn't change. Does one tower get overloaded and autoswitch? Does it depend on what type of traffic like people using streaming services?

                                Does it depend on the terrain? I don't stream much. Usually after info rather than entertainment with data. Some data won't download except over wifi. Too large a file.

                                  • tmo_mike_c

                                    Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                                    Good question. Signal fluctuation can depend on a lot of what you've already mention. Line of site to the tower and the building structures can play a role as well. Signal fluctuation isn't completely uncommon depending on where you are and what the coverage looks like.

                                      • weezyrider

                                        Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                                        Thanks for the explanation. I could see switching towers while mobile. This answer would impact those customers that need the LTE signal booster the most.

                                         

                                        I once checked a 20 mile ride on a sort of frontage road. The TMO bands went across the whole spectrum (This was before VOLTE) in that 20 mile stretch. 3G was the most prevalent.

                                          • tmo_mike_c

                                            Re: Go Flip and car Bluetooth

                                            Oh yeah. You bring up a good point about being in transit. I know that's not the case you mentioned earlier, but being you can also see some fluctuation while you're moving. So, that among the other things I've mention can cause some signal swings. Just a side note, our engineering team does work hard to improve the coverage and continue to do so in the future. Ideally we'd like you to have seamless coverage wherever you go and we're always working to give you the best network experience we can.