Google Pixel units on Verizon displaying roaming icon ("R") after Android 10 update

It’s always a great feeling to receive a new software update ahead of everyone else. Such is the case for Google Pixel owners who have already switched to the latest Android 10 OS.


However, little do most people know that these early updates are usually the first beta versions of the stable release. If anything, Google is using the initial batch to test the stability of the OS on a wider scale before following it up with bug fixes and other performance improvements.

It’s arguably right to say that the recent October security update is the first stable Android 10 build for the Google Pixels, but not many would agree with me considering the meager size of the OTAs that some Pixel owners have received.

Google Pixel 2 XL October security update

Early adopters of Android 10 on the Google Pixels have had a few annoying issues to deal with. Some of the first ones to pop up had to do with ambient display, shortcuts feature, dead sensor, and so on.

Apparently, those on Verizon Wireless are now experiencing another issue that is coming in the way of an otherwise great experience with Android 10 on the Pixel phones.

My phone displays “Preferred system” at the top where it used to say “Verizon Wireless” and there is a “R” next to the signal strength indicator. I first noticed this on 9/30/2019. My phone recently updated to Android 10. I’m not noticing any issues with calls, texts, or data. I also know I am not actually roaming. I’m on the VZW network in Columbus OH.

My Pixel 3 XL phone, recently updated to Android 10, has been showing “preferred system — roaming” for several days. I am not and Verizon confirmed that. Roaming affects many phone behaviors and apps so I want it fixed 🙂


After updating to Android 10, some users of the various Google Pixel phones on Verizon say the phones keep displaying the roaming (R) icon even when the know very well they are not roaming.

Furthermore, the affected phones show “Preferred System” under the Network section in the SIM status menu instead of displaying the actual name of the carrier, in this case, Verizon.


Interestingly, though, it seems this issue was reported in Android Q beta but still hasn’t been addressed in the stable version. That’s rather unusual coming from two of the biggest companies in their respective spaces.

Google Pixel roaming icon bug first popped up in Android Q beta (Source)

Affected users are still flocking various forums to air their grievances. And according to a Verizon community manager, the issue may be software-related, meaning Google should fix it via one of its future OTA updates. Meanwhile, affected users are advised to contact Google.

It seems this is an issue that has been reported with some of these model devices and in certain areas only. It seems to be a software-related issue; however, Google has not reported this as a known issue to us yet. You can contact Google directly at 855-971-9123 to see if they can provide more details regarding this concern.

Speaking of OTA updates, one affected user now claims to have fixed the issue after forcing the latest software update to download on their Pixel phone. FYI, the most recent update brings the October patch, but it’s unclear if it indeed fixes the roaming icon issue in all affected units.


If the above fix worked for you, do let us know in your comments below. Otherwise, stay tuned to our Google and Bugs & Issues sections to get notified when the roaming icon bug is fixed.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.