When Google announced that the Pixel 3a would be coming to multiple carriers in the United States, it was pretty damn exciting. Verizon's reign of exclusivity is finally over, meaning the 3a is accessible to more people than ever compared to past Pixels.
Unfortunately, if you happen to use the Pixel 3a on T-Mobile, you will be missing out on one big feature — RCS.
RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the framework Google uses for its Chat features in its Google Messages app. If you have a supported phone on a carrier that uses RCS, this vastly upgrades your texting experience with things like read receipts, typing indicators, and high-quality photo sharing.
When asked on Twitter if the Pixel 3a supports RCS, T-Mobile responded with:
We're super excited for this device! No, the new Pixel devices won't support RCS messaging. Feel free to DM us any further questions. ^JamieEnglish— T-Mobile Help (@TMobileHelp) May 7, 2019
No further explanation. Just "no" and that's it.
In addition to the new Pixel 3a series, T-Mobile's list of devices that do support RCS shows that the regular Pixel 3 devices — which T-Mobile just recently began selling — don't support RCS either.
RCS works on the Pixel 3a if you use it on another carrier, such as Sprint or Verizon, so it's rather peculiar that T-Mobile is choosing to omit the feature. Whatever the reasoning is, it's certainly a bummer, to say the least.
The best mid-range phone you can get.
Sick of companies asking $1000 for new smartphones? The Pixel 3a offers a solid polycarbonate design, good performance, a headphone jack, and the best camera of any smartphone regardless of price for just $400. If you're shopping for a mid-range phone, this is the one to get.
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