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How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

I'm considering buying a Pixel phone, but I wanted to find out about WiFi calling on Pixel phones on Verizon before I do that.

My specific question is whether, if you have a low Verizon cell signal (more than no coverage, but not enough to make a solid call) if your Pixel phone will offer WiFi calling? That is, does having a small (but not usable) amount of cell coverage prevent you from making a WiFi call? Or do you have to have virtually no cell coverage at all before the phone will offer WiFi calling?

If I need to clarify this question, please ask, but I really need an answer before I buy one of these phones. I have some Verizon cell coverage at my home, but not enough for solid calls, and not enough to prevent the battery in phone from going down fast just trying to maintain usable cell coverage. So I need WiFi calling, and I know that the iPhone does what I need. But I'd much rather have a Pixel phone.

Thanks!

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
MattAndroidWarrior

A lot of times it will not initiate a WiFi call when there is no cellular signal. It will say no cellular network, and not make the call.  You cannot change the wifi calling option to wifi preferred to stop this. It also has a hard time holding on to LTE signal during a call and will drop the call.  Even with what one would call reasonable signal.  There are rumours the 7.1.1 update will fix the LTE issue, but nothing confirmed.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

That's not exactly the question that I was asking, but thanks, interesting information. If there's no cell signal, and you have good wifi, the phone should definitely allow a wifi call. That it doesn't do that is clearly a broken implementation of wifi calling.

What I'm asking about is whether, in a low signal cell coverage situation (not no cell signal, but a signal too low to make reliable calls, say one or two bars, whether wifi calling is offered. That is, since the cell signal is too low to be really usable (but there is still a cell signal there), then the phone should switch to wifi calling mode. Again, if the phone doesn't do that then this is also broken.

I'm trying to find out if the implementation of wifi calling is broken. And if so, how broken is it? And it sounds like there's some speculation that Android 7.1.1 will fix these wifi calling problems?

Thanks!

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
adimeco
Member

Mine will switch back and forth between Wi-Fi and cell because of my poor cell signal when I am in my house. I have a really strong Wi-Fi so I put my phone in Airplane mode and turn Wi-Fi back on. It works and sounds great for me doing it this way.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

Yes, i've used the "turn on Airplane mode, and turn wifi back on" dodge many times. I was hoping, though, that one wouldn't have to do that with the Pixel phones on Verizon, since you don't have to do that with an iPhone on Verizon. Doesn't sound like they've stabilized wifi calling on the Pixel phones yet...wonder if it's Verizon or Android at fault? Can't really tell from here *smile*.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
MattAndroidWarrior

Mine has improved some since the leaves fell off the trees. There is enough signal to now initiate the call then switch over to Wi-Fi on the call. I assume it will be back to the same old issue when spring gets here.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

Matt, how do you switch to wifi once your call has been made on cellular? Don't see how you can do that, so it would be great to hear how you're doing it?

You seem to be saying that if you don't have any cellular coverage that you can't make a wifi call? What good is that? Wifi calling is supposed to be what you use when you don't have enough cellular coverage.

Your situation seems anomalous...

Thanks.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

Here's an update on this issue...I've since gotten rid of my Pixel phone because of it. But when I had a Pixel phone here on Verizon I was able to use Wi-Fi calling, but also couldn't change it from "Cellular Prefered" to "Wi-Fi preferred". Decided to try T-Mobile, since I know that they can do this, T-Mobile allows the user to switch their phone to Wi-Fi preferred. That part worked great, but there were other problems with Wi-Fi calling on T-Mobile. So I came back to Verizon and found that "Wi-Fi preferred" was still set from being on T-Mobile. From that point on, until I got the next update, Wi-Fi calling on my Pixel worked really well. When the Android 7.1.2 update came along, my phone got switched back to "Cellular preferred", and again I had the same old problems that had made Wi-Fi calling on the Pixel on Verizon about useless. I've since gotten rid of the Pixel since I needed Wi-Fi calling at home at the time, and the Pixel was messed up by Verizon. I now have an iPhone 6S Plus, and it works perfectly here at home with Wi-Fi calling.

However, the reason for this note is that Verizon deliberately chooses to break Wi-Fi calling on the Google Pixel by not allowing "Wi-Fi preferred" to be set. As I said, during the week or two that I had "Wi-Fi Preferred" (from T-Mobile) set on my Pixel, Wi-Fi calling worked perfectly (like it does on our iPhones now). I have no idea why Verizon chooses to do this, it's clear that they could allow "Wi-Fi Preferred". They must have some ulterior motive, like not supporting Google phones (even though Verizon sells them, too?), since I can't believe that they are as stupid as the choice they've made for "Cellular Preferred" makes them look. Makes me really angry when I think about it, I'd much rather be using a Google Pixel phone than an iPhone, but couldn't keep it when I had one.

As an added note, I just got the new 4G/LTE Network Extender. It gives us 4 or 5 bars of cell signal throughout my house, and works great with my wife's iPhone 6 and my iPhone 6S. So we're not using Wi-Fi calling at home anymore, but still use it where we find Wi-Fi but little or no cellular coverage. I could now get another Google Pixel and use it at home without needing Wi-Fi calling. But Wi-Fi calling will still not work right anywhere except home (unless I'm roaming, apparently) because of Verizon not allowing the "Wi-Fi Preferred" choice.

Maybe Verizon will choose to really support the Google Pixel 2 for Wi-Fi calling, and I'll be able to use that phone. Not holding my breath, Verizon seems to make some choices that are just breathtaking in how self-defeating and customer-deaf they are.

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
ALLYLOVESJUSTYME

That's why I got the s8 plus

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

null

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Re: How is WiFi calling on Pixel phones working?
RogerSC
Novice

Does the S8 have "Wi-Fi preferred" set? Or is it also ""Cellular preferred"?

Thanks!

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