International roaming with Pixel 3a - does it work in UK, France\, Greece?

magenta8943106

    I have called T-mobile support twice to confirm that the Pixel 3a works/roams in Greece, the UK and France prior to up grading. My question was motivated by my current phone, the Samsung Galaxy J3 Prime not working in Japan ( confirmed by 2nd level tech support) despite being sold as doing so. One person said it would not work in those countries citing frequency band issues, one person said it would work. Any experiences/answers?

      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        I would have no qualms about taking a Pixel 3a to Europe. Our Nexus 5X worked like a charm and T-Mobile's site doesn't list it. It's the fault of the way T-Mobile implemented their compatibility list. It's binary (Yes/No) and should be ternary (Yes/No/Maybe)

          • magenta8943106

            Thanks for the reply. I just found out how to use the compatibility list and it says that the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, both of which are being offered/sold by T-Mobile on their list of supported devices, are not compatible with any of the European countries I have checked. I guess I don't understand why T-Mobile offers phones that will not roam internationally and at the same time offer international roaming as a service.Google Fi, which uses the T-Mobile and partner networks, says that the 3a and 3a XL work fine everywhere in Europe I have looked at, so the frequency bands must be covered by those devices! I feel like switching to Google Fi if T-Mobile won't sell me a Pixel 3a that roams.

              • syaoran

                They both work perfectly fine on just about every EU and UK carrier. 

                 

                3G bandsHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
                CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
                4G bandsLTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 14(700), 17(700), 20(800), 25(1900), 26(850), 28(700), 29(700), 30(2300), 38(2600), 40(2300), 41(2500), 66(1700/2100), 71(600)
                • drnewcomb2

                  magenta8943106 wrote:

                   

                  .......I guess I don't understand why T-Mobile offers phones that will not roam internationally and at the same time offer international roaming as a service.Google Fi, .....

                   

                  The problem is not with the phone. The problem is with T-Mobile's website. Any time you look at phone specs on T-Mobile's website you should ask yourself, "I wonder how they managed to screw it up this time?"

                    • magenta8943106

                      So today I visited the local t-Mobile store and asked them to check with technical support if the Pixel 3a would roam in Europe on the T-Mobile plan before I bought the phone. The answer, after the agent contacted support, was NO, the stated reason being the frequencies used by their partners didn't match those on the phone. I think this answer is nuts, Google Fi uses the T-mobile partners in Europe and the 3a apparently works fine, so the frequencies must be OK and an earlier reply to my original post said so too. The agent then suggested buying an IPhone instead, I said I wasn't interested, what about other Android phones. At that point she said that none of the Android phones, including all the Samsung ones, with the exception of the OnePlus 7T, roamed in Europe. I have to believe that this answer is incorrect since half the phones in the store were Android and there would be a lot of unhappy customers if they didn't roam. Is there any way to get to someone in T-Mobile who really knows the answer?

                        • syaoran

                          I don't work for T-Mobile but I do travel a lot and consider myself a tech enthusiast.  If the phone did not work overseas, they would not be sold overseas.  What it sounds like, is the store you went to is misleading you into buying something you don't want or need. 

                          • drnewcomb2

                            You need to have more confidence in your own research and rely less on T-Mobile's "Experts".

                            • pixel3a

                              Bought a Pixel 3A in mid-July at the local T-Mobile store, switching from Virgin Mobile (pre-pay - now owned by Sprint), which has no international arrangements. Going to Greece and Italy in early October, and needed a phone update (without the higher-priced iPhones & Pixel 3, which are just too expensive for the features I need and use), and looking for international service (sending texts to/from Greece and Italy to US, plus data (to check emails), and a limited # of phone calls to/from US contacts). Per the sales person, the 3A will work without having to pay for roaming services, or a different SIM card, etc. Friend who lives in Germany switches SIM card in her iPhone to a Verizon SIM when she is in US. Friend who lives in US, going with me, switched from Verizon to T-Mobile, primarily for considerable monthly cost savings - he was told he can buy a "package" from T-Mobile that will allow his iPhone 6 to work in Greece and Italy - he did not get details on how much data, texts, phone calls, etc. that $10 buys him - he doesn't believe he will need to switch SIM card.

                              T-Mobile store agent told me the Pixel 3A will work in Europe without any additional packages, equipment, sign-ups, etc. Research shows that 3A has an eSIM (electronic SIM card) as part of its software., which is how the unit functions, as is, in international destinations. T-Mobile's website says Magenta Unlimited cell plans (which is the plan I have) work in 210 countries - yet another place on site does not mention Italy and Greece as part of the coverage, when you do a search. For that matter, doing a random search of countries where the 3A will work turns up no hits at all (I haven't been able to locate a detailed list - just the Search function replies)..

                              Got a Welcome Call from T-Mobile today - agent confirmed Pixel 3A will work "right off the plane" in both Greece and Italy- will get a "Welcome to Greece" message.No need to do anything further. Texting back and forth from US is free. Data is free (though it may be at 3G speeds, not the 4GLTE the 3A is capable of). Phone calls are $.25 a minute. US Contacts calling my area code 310 # of course won't be charged - but I would be per minute for calls.

                               

                              Confusing? Contradictory? Definitely yes. I'm hoping the Welcome Call agent is correct - except for this being the first time I've heard mention of the $.25 per minute charge for phone calls (several places on the website refer to Free International Service - though upon closer reading, it does say "Data and Texting Abroad"), her information tracks well mostly with the website and store agent - if one overlooks the fact that a Search for which countries are included in the 210 that the Pixel 3A can be used in seems to bring up none. The 3A apparently does not need an international SIM card (the eSim serves that purpose), it automatically connects with local cell phone companies in foreign countries, and no "package" has to be bought in advance.  Data and Texting are unlimited.

                              The proof of whether all this actually works as verbally confirmed, and as opposed to what parts of the website say, I'll know in a few months.