To start off, this is not a problem with my phone service because I tested the SIM card in another phone and it didn’t have any problem.
The problem I am having is that in many areas that should have good 4G service, my phone shows no bars. Even when it shows that there is service, it will often be unable to make a call. There are certain locations where this happens consistently. At home it is usually fine, but when I go 2 miles north, it will show that there is service but it can’t make a call, and when I continue another half a mile north it will show that there is no service.
This problem started about 8 months ago.
Maybe it’s related to the phone not getting updates anymore? The last update was on January 13, 2023.
Could it be a VoLTE issue? (As in, lack thereof in the Z3c.)
You haven’t said which country you’re in, but if it’s the U.S., your phone needs VoLTE capability to get good call operation. (T-mobile USA still has 2G GSM in some areas, in addition to VoLTE, so in that case, U.S. users might have calling functionality in some areas, but not others. AT&T and Verizon have no 2G networks anymore. All MVNOs observe the technical requirements of the underlying major networks.)
Z3c was released in 2014; I’m not sure if it was certified for VoLTE with any networks in the world. I’m not sure, though.
In settings, “LTE (recommended)” is selected.
But is there a setting to enable “VoLTE?” (i.e. Voice over LTE)
No, at least not on that screen. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
In my Sonys, the setting appears only when a SIM of a carrier from which Sony has received certification for that carrier’s VoLTE implementation is inserted.
So, if your SIM is inserted, and you don’t see “VoLTE” in your carrier network settings (or sometimes “4G Calling” instead of “VoLTE”), then Sony hasn’t obtained VoLTE certification for your particular device with that carrier (or the carrier doesn’t use VoLTE yet).
You can tell if a phone is using VoLTE by making a call and observing in the notifications area at the top of the screen whether “LTE” or “4G” drops to a lower generation, such as “2G” or “H+”, etc.
Still, it may be that your calling problems have nothing to do with VoLTE issues, but over the last couple of years that has frequently been the cause due to the shutdown of 3G networks in many countries.
Does that phone have the VoLTE setting when your SIM is inserted?
Yes, the other phone does. I’m pretty sure the hardware doesn’t support it. Which is a shame, because there are no more phones that are 5 inches or smaller (besides iPhone 13 mini.)
My Sony is an XZ1 Compact. It’s certified for VoLTE with one U.S. carrier (T-mobile). I think it gets VoLTE with several European carriers as well.
I love the small, pocketable size. You can sometimes still find them for sale, usually used. If you decide to look for one, don’t buy the Japan models (“SO-…”); I don’t think their bootloaders can be unlocked.
What version of Android are you running on it?
The specs say upgradable to Android 9.0, can you do better with /e/?
Currently on Android 10 (/e/'s Q builds).
Custom ROMs for currently maintained (older) devices usually allow you to install higher versions than the manufacturer provided. I even have LineageOS (Android 11 and Android 12) on two other older Sonys, one of which was stuck at Sony’s Android Lollipop, and the other at Android 9 before the custom ROM installation.
I am trying to figure out how this works. My Sony Xperia with /e/ is stuck on android 10. I installed Lineage on a Motorola that was stuck on 10 as well, and now it’s running android 13.
Is it a hardware difference or that /e/ is not as good as Lineage?
It simply requires that someone create the /e/ build.
I think @petefoth made some unofficial “r” builds for the XZ1 Compact (and he has stopped building for it), but I’m not sure if /e/devs are planning to advance with “r” for the device.
As it is now, the XZ1 Compact receives OTA software and security updates from Murena (but so far not upgrades to the next Android version).
But then, I like Android 10 better than either Android 11 or Android 12.
I never knew what I was missing with android 10. Android 13 is so much nicer. Comparing the same QKSMS app in the same version (3.9.4) in both OSs, there are so many more customization options in android 13.
By the way, have you contacted your carrier about the calling problem? If it is related to lack of VoLTE, they will tell you so.
I called them a few times. They tried by helping me change the settings (from automatic to T mobile) and then they reset the line, which didn’t help. Maybe I should ask them specifically if it has VoLTE.
I called them and the guy didn’t really seem to know. He said he will find out and call me back.
I could try LineageOS on the Xperia. The newest version they have for it is 18.1 which corresponds to android 11. Maybe that will support VoLTE.
Maybe that will support VoLTE.
*Maybe a LineageOS build developer found and incorporated an existing specific Sony vendor file that includes VoLTE certification for the Z3 Compact on the specific network(s) of interest to (you/me/etc.)
Probably not likely, as I don’t think VoLTE was much of a thing back in 2014 when the Z3 Compact was released; at least Sony might not have placed much importance on getting their devices certified back then. (I don’t mind being proven wrong, though.)
Or alternately, if a LineageOS developer incorporated the VoLTE certification/implementation from some other Sony device into their build for the Z3 Compact… and I’m not sure if that’s possible, or if it would even work, technologically. I’m not a ROM builder, though, so you would probably need to ask over at XDA.
The best way to know for sure is to try it out. I plan on doing it next week, since there is not much to lose trying.
I am having trouble finding the American version of the XZ2 compact.
You mentioned that you have the XZ1 compact. Is that running /e/ or Lineage? It’s not listed on the Lineage OS wiki. https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/#sony