Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla Phone Key

This site may earn commission on affiliate links.
Having an issue with the phone key, not sure if anyone else has had a similar experience.

To clarify, I am specifically referring to the ability to unlock the car via the door handles when the phone key is in range.

The problem is the range on my new phone poses security concerns. I have just changed from an iPhone 15 pro to a Samsung s24 ultra. The iPhone worked as intended, the car would only let you unlock via the door handles when the phone was on you and right next to the car.

The 24 on the other hand seems to allow you to open via the door handles roughly up to 5-6m away. I noticed this as my phone was in my bedroom which sits on the exterior wall closest to my driveway but on the 2nd floor, and I was able to walk up and unlock my car with my phone on charge in my bedroom.

I did a few tests and it works every time, unless I disable the key on my phone. iPhone doesn’t allow this though and has to be right next to the car.

Anyone else experienced this? Surely can’t be right.
 
Having an issue with the phone key, not sure if anyone else has had a similar experience.

To clarify, I am specifically referring to the ability to unlock the car via the door handles when the phone key is in range.

The problem is the range on my new phone poses security concerns. I have just changed from an iPhone 15 pro to a Samsung s24 ultra. The iPhone worked as intended, the car would only let you unlock via the door handles when the phone was on you and right next to the car.

The 24 on the other hand seems to allow you to open via the door handles roughly up to 5-6m away. I noticed this as my phone was in my bedroom which sits on the exterior wall closest to my driveway but on the 2nd floor, and I was able to walk up and unlock my car with my phone on charge in my bedroom.

I did a few tests and it works every time, unless I disable the key on my phone. iPhone doesn’t allow this though and has to be right next to the car.

Anyone else experienced this? Surely can’t be right.
I have the same phone as you, and my car sits about 5m away from my bedroom, it doesn't do this, or at least I don't think it does, but one way around it you can use a Samsung routine, which I have on my phone, as I leave it in a wireless charger overnight, is to disable Bluetooth if its is on wireless charging AND connected to my home Wi-Fi. I actually setup this routine with my previous car.
 
I have s24 ultra. It's "ok", because seems the android app don't use UWB, instead ios app use UWB with iPhone.
Android users are economy class... ios user are top class🤬
As far as I'm aware, it's only the new highland and x/s that allow for UWB? Even if you phone supports it, any car that's not those won't make use of it.
 
I have the same phone as you, and my car sits about 5m away from my bedroom, it doesn't do this, or at least I don't think it does, but one way around it you can use a Samsung routine, which I have on my phone, as I leave it in a wireless charger overnight, is to disable Bluetooth if its is on wireless charging AND connected to my home Wi-Fi. I actually setup this routine with my previous car.
Yeah, I guess this could be a temp fix. Only problem is I use Bluetooth a lot in the house for headphones etc. Would be a pain in the a**
 
Only problem is I use Bluetooth a lot in the house for headphones etc. Would be a pain in the a**
Surely it would only be a pain/problem on the occasions that it is on charge 🙂

How long have you left the phone still when you have been testing it? Both iOS and Android use the motion/activity data to 'sleep' the key if the phone is not moving - on iOS it will ask for this permission, on Android it is "just there".
 
My car happened to be going into the SC today for something else, I mentioned it to them and they didn't seem to think this should be happening. So they are investigating.

I did check all the app settings, and evertything looks right. Not sure if this is a bug or whatever, but needs to be sorted.
 
Sorry, iPhone user so not really clued up on Android but have you allowed all the permissions to things like motion tracking for the Android app. I read that it had been using this before iOS also got the feature to detect if the phone was stationary and refuse to unlock but it was unclear.
See
After 35 minutes without touching/moving the phone i could open the car.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20240429_194718_Permission controller.jpg
    Screenshot_20240429_194718_Permission controller.jpg
    117.8 KB · Views: 41
Having an issue with the phone key, not sure if anyone else has had a similar experience.

To clarify, I am specifically referring to the ability to unlock the car via the door handles when the phone key is in range.

The problem is the range on my new phone poses security concerns. I have just changed from an iPhone 15 pro to a Samsung s24 ultra. The iPhone worked as intended, the car would only let you unlock via the door handles when the phone was on you and right next to the car.

The 24 on the other hand seems to allow you to open via the door handles roughly up to 5-6m away. I noticed this as my phone was in my bedroom which sits on the exterior wall closest to my driveway but on the 2nd floor, and I was able to walk up and unlock my car with my phone on charge in my bedroom.

I did a few tests and it works every time, unless I disable the key on my phone. iPhone doesn’t allow this though and has to be right next to the car.

Anyone else experienced this? Surely can’t be right.
Seems like this is quite likely for a Samsung. There was a poll about this ages ago - How Far Away Does Your Phone Key Work to Unlock ?.

Initially I didn't use the phone key for this very reason, instead used the phone like a keycard, but then convinced myself that with a bit of care then it's worth it. Worth enabling PIN-to-drive anyway, and being careful when leaving the phone too close to the car even when in the house. Classic case to avoid would be getting a table in a restaurant just the other side of the wall to the car park, for example, so worth turning bluetooth off then.

Also affects the walk-away lock, for me you're that far away when it kicks in that I lock it using the phone on the pillar before walking away.
 
I did a few more tests today, with my phone outside and just moving further away from the car. I managed to get up to around 8m away before I couldn't open the doors anymore. Quite worrying, considering other phones can pin point me to needing to be right next to the car.

Hopefully this issue gets rectified, although I doubt it. For the moment, I guess I'm going back to my iPhone.

Also, I know people mentioed about it it trakcing movement to turn the key off when it rests. I can't see any permisions in my app to allow access to this. Other apps I have spefically have permission access to "physical activity", but not Tesla. So as far as I can see, it's not using these sensors. I checked my iPhone though, and this has a permision for the fitness/tracking sensors.
 
Not sure if it's just my phone of it's a Samsung or even Android problem,
It's not just your phone, according to the poll posted earlier (How Far Away Does Your Phone Key Work to Unlock ?) then ~20% of responders had an Android phone and could unlock a car-length away or more.

No idea whether it's an Android or Samsung issue, when I mentioned it in passing at a Service Centre the technician was surprised, and then pulled out his new Samsung flip and managed to open the car a full two car-lengths away. He was going to report it up, but that was over two years ago and I never heard anything.

I wouldn't hold out any hope of anything changing, but of course you never know.
 
It's an American car, developed by well paid Tech Sector workers, the reality is most of them will have iPhones and by driving their cars daily with an iPhone. I wouldn't be surprised if the car is just calibrated to the strength of Apple's bluetooth and nothing else hence why Android ranges can vary a lot more.