According to internal T-Mobile documents obtained and verified by Android Police, the company plans to drop support for the mobile network for 19 devices on January 29, 2021. The affected devices include smartphones from Google, Samsung, Sony and others, as well as older home security cameras and wireless routers.
Here is the full summary, according to T-Mobile’s internal list:
- Google Nexus 9
- Huawei Mate 8
- Huawei P9
- Lifestyle HTC Desire 10
- HTC Desire 650
- OnePlus 1
- Quanta Dragon IR7
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (both AT&T and Verizon models; The T-Mobile version of Note 4 is not affected)
- Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Duos
- Sony Xperia Z3
- Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
- Sony Xperia Z3 Orion
- Sony D6616 Xperia Z3 Orion
- Soyea M02
- ZTE ZMax
- Mikrotikls SIA_R11e-LTE6 miniPCIe modem
- Netgear Arlo security camera system
The change affects T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Sprint customers, but the impact will depend on the carrier network that your device originally uses. T-Mobile and MetroPCS devices will lose all network support as of January 29, while Sprint devices will lose T-Mobile’s roaming connectivity, but can still use Sprint’s legacy 3G network until it ends in 2023 .
There may be more incompatible devices, but T-Mobile has not yet made a public announcement at the time of writing, so we can only get information from Android Police. That said, T-Mobile will alert customers via SMS starting December 28, giving those who still use these older products just a few weeks to update.
The short term is inconvenient, but we recommend that users update from any of the smartphones listed above, even if T-Mobile is not abandoning support. The new phones are not only faster and equipped with better features and cameras, but also receive regular security patches that older phones don’t.
If price is an issue, look for mid-range devices like the Pixel 4a and 5a, or Samsung’s Galaxy A51. As long as the phone is still supported by the manufacturer, it will be a huge leap in performance and security, and you can buy one for much less than a new flagship device.