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How frequently does the "phone key" fail to work properly with your Model 3?

  • 0-1% failure rate, iPhone

    Votes: 50 32.7%
  • 0-1% failure rate, Android

    Votes: 10 6.5%
  • 2-10% failure rate, iPhone

    Votes: 19 12.4%
  • 2-10% failure rate, Android

    Votes: 9 5.9%
  • 11-25% failure rate, iPhone

    Votes: 7 4.6%
  • 11-25% failure rate, Android

    Votes: 12 7.8%
  • 26%+ failure rate, iPhone

    Votes: 12 7.8%
  • 26%+ failure rate, Android

    Votes: 34 22.2%

  • Total voters
    153
  • Poll closed .

jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,060
1,552
Chicago suburbs
I’m hoping to get a sense for how consistently the “phone key” is working for Model 3 owners, and if there’s any significant difference between iPhone and Android phones. (Apologies in advance to any Windows/Blackberry users.)

For this poll, let’s consider a “failure” to be any trip during which any of the following things occur:
  • While entering, the door fails to unlock/open within 3 seconds of pressing the door handle
  • Once inside, the car doesn’t allow you to shift into gear right away
  • After exiting, the car doesn’t auto-lock (assuming “Walk Away Lock” is turned on)
Any instances where you have to fiddle with the phone (like toggling on/off Bluetooth or Airplane mode, or opening up the app in the "foreground") before it will work should also be considered a "failure". (This poll is meant to assess how well the phone key works without having to jump through any extra hoops compared to a regular key fob.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

MWex

Member
Apr 11, 2018
6
4
San Diego
I am not sure if it is the model 3 or the phone. I have a pixel XL. When it does not unlock the car, I put it in airplane mode and then turn airplane mode off. This resets the Bluetooth and the car unlocks. I am not happy I have to do this, but it works.
 
  • Funny
  • Informative
Reactions: Altes and JES2

GSP

Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,565
795
The phone key doesn't work (or takes more than the 3-5 seconds that I am willing to wait) about 2-5% of the time. I am using an iPhone X. Most of those "failures" are because I have my Model S selected in the Tesla app. Hopefully Tesla will fix this in an update, so you don't have to have the particular car selected in the app.

When the phone doesn't work, it is fast and easy to use the card in my wallet. I don't even have to take the card out of the wallet, I just hold the wallet next to the B pillar.

I have also noticed that when opening the trunk first with the phone key, that sometimes I have to push the trunk button once to unlock the car, then a second time to open the trunk.

GSP
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jsmay311

Tony_YYZ

Tezler Guru
Apr 7, 2016
1,958
2,101
Caledon, ON Canada
I’m hoping to get a sense for how consistently the “phone key” is working for Model 3 owners, and if there’s any significant difference between iPhone and Android phones. (Apologies in advance to any Windows/Blackberry users.)

For this poll, let’s consider a “failure” to be any trip during which any of the following things occur:
  • While entering, the door fails to unlock/open within 3 seconds of pressing the door handle
  • Once inside, the car doesn’t allow you to shift into gear right away
  • After exiting, the car doesn’t auto-lock (assuming “Walk Away Lock” is turned on)
Any instances where you have to fiddle with the phone (like toggling on/off Bluetooth or Airplane mode, or opening up the app in the "foreground") before it will work should also be considered a "failure". (This poll is meant to assess how well the phone key works without having to jump through any extra hoops compared to a regular key fob.)
There is most definitely a difference between the iOS and Android experiences. The devices running Android are the ones experiencing 90%+ of the issues.

Unfortunately this is due to multiple factors such as possible the way the app is written as well as the varying differences of Bluetooth and energy savings implementations across the various OEMs and their flavours of Android.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Brando and DR61

privater

2016 Model S and 2017 Model 3 owner
Jun 22, 2016
254
735
CA
93% iPhones are iOS 10/11, it's a lot easy for developers to sort out bugs and compatibility issues when times are critical.

PS: If you're wearing a jeans, they're notorious for blocking signals, try walk by with your phone on hand.

App_Store_-_Support_-_Apple_Developer.jpg
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Runt8

Pkmmte

Le meow
Sep 19, 2017
687
1,172
Los Angeles, California
I switch between a Google Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus and never had an issue with either one of them.

My only complaint is that this latest 2018.12 update removed the auto-unlock feature based on proximity and now requires me to pull on the door handle first. The proximity feature used to work flawlessly even with low signal whereas there's now a small delay when pulling on the door handles. Not so futuristic anymore. :(
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Brando

David L

Member
Jun 26, 2016
323
454
San Diego, CA
Sadly, my Nexus 6 on 7.1.1 (latest available) only works about 50% of the time. Ever since getting the TM3, I get bluetooth share has stopped messages once in a while. When it happens, it pops up repeatedly unless I manually disable and enable Bluetooth, so I'm starting to think it's a phone issue and not a TM3 issue. For those of you whose Android phone nearly always works, which phone are you using?
 

Pkmmte

Le meow
Sep 19, 2017
687
1,172
Los Angeles, California
Sadly, my Nexus 6 on 7.1.1 (latest available) only works about 50% of the time. Ever since getting the TM3, I get bluetooth share has stopped messages once in a while. When it happens, it pops up repeatedly unless I manually disable and enable Bluetooth, so I'm starting to think it's a phone issue and not a TM3 issue. For those of you whose Android phone nearly always works, which phone are you using?
It has never failed me on my Google Pixel XL. I also tested with my Nexus 6P, LG G5, LG G4, LG G3, and Galaxy S5 and they all worked.

My boss is having issues on his Google Pixel XL so I'm thinking this has more to do with the car than the phone.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: David L and JES2

slipnslider

Member
Apr 13, 2016
786
875
los angeles, ca
93% iPhones are iOS 10/11, it's a lot easy for developers to sort out bugs and compatibility issues when times are critical.

PS: If you're wearing a jeans, they're notorious for blocking signals, try walk by with your phone on hand.

View attachment 294608
So "You're wearing the wrong pants." is going to be the new phoneboy excuse?
Tesla - the first carmaker to determine what phone you can own and what pants you can wear. INNOVATION!
 
Last edited:

ImEric

Member
Aug 26, 2015
107
141
Los Angeles, CA
For what it's worth, we have two Model 3s. She has an iPhone 7 (iOS 11.3) and I have a Galaxy S7 (Android 7.0), and I estimate that my phone key works about 65% of the time, while she has virtually no issues with using the phone as the key.
Meanwhile, inside the car, I have had virtually no issues streaming music or talking on the phone (once when I got in the car while talking on speakerphone, I couldn't hear the other call once bluetooth connected. I had to turn off bluetooth on my phone to get it to work right). For her, everyday, at some point, her bluetooth calls mute the person she's talking to so that she can't hear them. She has to reset the screen to make it work again. Tesla SC says this is a known issue that they're working out with Apple right now.

My conspiracy theory is that apple is punishing automakers who don't get a CarPlay license.
 

slipnslider

Member
Apr 13, 2016
786
875
los angeles, ca
For what it's worth, we have two Model 3s. She has an iPhone 7 (iOS 11.3) and I have a Galaxy S7 (Android 7.0), and I estimate that my phone key works about 65% of the time, while she has virtually no issues with using the phone as the key.
Meanwhile, inside the car, I have had virtually no issues streaming music or talking on the phone (once when I got in the car while talking on speakerphone, I couldn't hear the other call once bluetooth connected. I had to turn off bluetooth on my phone to get it to work right). For her, everyday, at some point, her bluetooth calls mute the person she's talking to so that she can't hear them. She has to reset the screen to make it work again. Tesla SC says this is a known issue that they're working out with Apple right now.

My conspiracy theory is that apple is punishing automakers who don't get a CarPlay license.
No conspiracy theory required. Phones weren't designed to be car keys.
 

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