The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a don’t feature RCS messaging on T-Mobile

Pixel 3 XL vs Pixel 3a XL showing front of the phone

Rich Communications Services (RCS) messaging has been touted as the successor to standard text messages, but you’ll have to go without it if you’ve got a Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a on T-Mobile.

Responding to someone on Twitter, T-Mobile bluntly said “no” when asked about RCS support for the new Pixel phones. Compounding matters, there aren’t any Pixel phones on T-Mobile’s list of phones that support RCS.

When Android Authority reached out to T-Mobile for clarification, the carrier said the following:

For wireless provider grade performance, T-Mobile’s advanced messaging RCS capabilities are built into the core of the network rather than individual apps or devices, and the Pixels currently do not support this network-level authentication.

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Keep in mind that T-Mobile adopted the RCS Universal Profile, the same one that Verizon and Sprint also adopted. Because Pixel phones support RCS messaging on Verizon, it makes us wonder whether T-Mobile is doing something on the back-end to limit access.

There’s always a chance that future updates will enable RCS for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a on T-Mobile. For now, RCS on T-Mobile remains limited to Samsung Galaxy S phones dating back to the Galaxy S7 and excluding the newer Galaxy S10 phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, and the OnePlus 6T.

NEXT: What’s the point of the Google Pixel 3a?

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Evidence strongly suggests Sprint will carry Google Pixel phones soon

An anonymous tipster sent a leaked image to Android Police that appears to include details for a Google Pixel display setup to be erected in a Sprint store.

The image, which you can see below, lists out various parts for what appears to be three Pixel-related in-store displays. One of the displays is clearly labeled as the Google Pixel 3 XL, which makes it pretty clear that this Sprint store will, at the very least, carry the Pixel 3 XL at some point in the future.

If one Sprint store carries the Pixel 3 XL, we can only assume they all will. Check out the image below:

Android Police

The first two sections of the image are labeled “Google B4” and “Google S4.” While those names could mean anything, they line up very well with the codenames for the Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL, which are “bonito” and “sargo” respectively.

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Each category also has a “Type-C Sensor” attached to it, which could reference the charging cable that connects to an in-display smartphone in carrier stores (the one that if unplugged makes a very loud noise to deter theft). That’s pure speculation, but it would make a lot of sense, especially when you consider the pedestal, fact tag, and other items on these lists.

Either way, this photo is very strong evidence that Sprint will sell at least one Google Pixel smartphone in the very near future. This would mean that Pixel devices would be available from at least three of the Big Four carriers in the U.S., as T-Mobile is also rumored to carry the Pixel 3a and Verizon has been the exclusive carrier for every Pixel device thus far.

What do you think? Would you be more apt to buy a Pixel smartphone if you could get one from a carrier that isn’t Big Red? Let us know in the comments.

NEXT: T-Mobile-Sprint merger: Everything you need to know

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.