Apr 22 AT 5:17 PM Taylor Wimberly 51 Comments

Nexus One learns a new trick, Wireless N

If you remember the iFixit teardown of the Nexus One, it revealed the device had a Broadcom chip labeled BCM4329EKUBG (which supports Wireless N) and a FM transmitter. Both features were not present when the phone launched on January 5th, but it looks like each is close to being implemented in Android 2.2.

Broadcom and Google just released updated drivers for the WiFi chipset which appear to enable Wireless N. Android hacker Steve Kondik (@cyanogen) was quick to pull the files into his repo and then @kmobs compiled them to run on his Nexus One. After setting his WiFi router to 802.11 N, Mr. Kmobs was able to connect his Nexus One and browse the internets.

This was captured in a short blurry-cam video.

If Broadcom and Google have already released these files into the wild, chances are pretty high they have already been implemented in an upcoming firmware. The official Android Open Source Project is typically a month behind (or more) the latest Android firmware.

What other tricks does the Nexus One have up its sleeve?

Source: YouTube

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Jeremiah

    This is awesome news to hear!

  • abronia

    This is awesome, and my Nexus One comes in tomorrow :)

  • http://Website matt

    Oh snap! Someone tear down the HTC Incredible and see if we can get in on this N train, too!

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I would think so. The HTC N1, Incredible, Desire, EVO, etc are all on a similar platform.

    • http://Website lesh

      For all we know, we could have a nexus 2 model, coming next year.

  • http://Website Richard


    GO GOOGLE!!!!

    • http://Website Name (required)

      Feeling defensive, Richard? Why are you SHOUTING?

      BTW, you can be sure the EVO will get 2.2 in no time (if it doesn’t already ship with it *cough*) so you go and enjoy your WiFi-N. Just doesn’t have the same ring as WiMax, now does it? kthxby

      • http://Website Kmobs

        Wimax is slooowww. Enjoy your gimped phone. I’ll keep rocking out with the N1. Unlocked bootloader ftw.

        • http://Website J. Mc

          Uprated in agreement.
          How long do you think it’s going to take to root the EVO?

        • http://Website Michael

          how do you know its slow evo gonna be the first wimax phone

      • http://Website J. Mc.

        Um…you do realize that 802.11n is about 6x faster than the theoretical max on WiMax, and about 20x faster than the real-world testing has produced, right?

        I’d be damn excited and SHOUTING if I were him as well.

        • http://Website Edzilla

          Yeah, and the range of wimax is the same as that of wifi, is it?

          Wimax is supposed to be a rival to 3G, not wifi…

        • http://Website TheGM

          Are you an idiot? Are you comparing Wi-Fi to WiMax. Different things, buddy.

          • http://Website justsomedude

            Some people are clueless regarding specs, anyway the N1 rocks in NYC with tmos HSPA, also tmo is testing HSPA+ here in NYC which will be more than twice as fast as sprints 4G. it will be on par with LTE maybe even faster. Im hitting 3 quarters of a MB (not Mb) in some cases tethered to mu mac.

      • http://Website Jay

        ship with 2.2, lol. how many sense UI devices have the latest and greatest firmware…not to mention any of the sprint devices

      • http://Website TPR300C

        WiMax, haha, are you kidding me? Wimax does 6Mbps at the most. I have an ipod touch that on wifi G downloads at 11Mbps. With wireless n it will be faster. Ofcourse that all depends on your ISP and router. Anonimac from androidforums.com announced yesterday that he was able to verify the Incredible supports wireless N.

        • http://Website TheGM


          We know WiFi is faster than WiMax. WiMax is a cellular data network not something to replace Wi-Fi. Is it really that difficult to understand. The Evo has both WiFi and WiMax. WiMax is set to replace 3G not WiFi. Ignore the fact that both start with “Wi”

          • http://Website B


            Are you all missing the fact that those responses were for the anonymous comment that got ranked down? He said “enjoy your Wifi N. Doesn’t have the same ring as WiMax.” Of course there is no comparison, but that is why they were bringing it up.

  • http://Website midtoad

    I already notice that high-sensitivity 802.11N antenna in my N1. It detects, and connects to, wireless networks that are undetectable by my MacBookPro

  • http://Website Addison

    Any chance of this for the Droid? I don’t know the Hardware specs.

    • http://Website J. Mc

      Nope. Uses a completely different baseband/wireless chip.


  • http://Website Steve

    Uhh…what’s the big deal? My Moto Droid has been working on my router that is set to wireless N mode only since the day i got it back in December with 2.0. I’ve turned off the B and G on my router since all my devices are N capable. In a speed test it pulls 4Mbs down and 1.1Mbs up while on 3g it only pulls 1.2Mbs down and 500K up.

    • http://Website Steve

      Wow, on the SpeedTest app on my Droid, I switched to a closer server and it just hit 5Mbs down :)

  • http://Website EVO > Than All Others


    What a bunch of losers!

    Just admit you bought a piece of crap in the N1 and now that the Incredible and EVO are being released, you are so far left behind in the Android race that you’ve completely lost.

    There, there, little babies.

    WiMax is 10x faster than 3G, and, oh yeah, the last time I checked WiFi-N isn’t available citywide. So, yeah, WiMax FTW and you WTF.

    And don’t bother replying. I don’t speak failure. :-)

  • http://pro-thoughts.blogspot.com/ vkelman

    You said “FM Transmitter”. Did you actually mean “FM Radio”? Transmitter means something different, a device like Motorola ROKR, which allows to transmit voice from a phone or mp3 player to a car GMT Radio. Or am I mistaken?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Looking at the Broadcom chipset details, it says it does FM Tx and Rx.

      • http://Website Jeff

        I think the transmitter part is so you can play music on a car radio over an empty channel. I have a doohickey I used to plug into my ipod for that.

  • http://hxbc.us khc
    • http://Website N14eva

      I have always been able to connect to 802.11n with my N1 without any mods, maybe it is those “cymods” who have been in the dark.

      This story quotes “Broadcom and Google just released updated drivers for the WiFi chipset which appear to enable Wireless N.” any leaves readers with impression that we (The N! users) have never been able to connect to 802.11n networks. I and many others who will remain silent know this in not the case.

      All @kmobs has done is update the driver and now it is upon him to enlighten us on the features added by the Broadcom driver update.

  • stalker

    I’ve nexus one and I am happy to hear that it has wifi N support and a FM radio.

  • http://Website cV

    How about they actually fix phone reception problems on the N1? Sick and tired of having a phone that can’t make calls!

    • http://Website Derek

      How dare you bad mouth the holy grail of phones? *sarcasm*

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  • http://Website Alan

    Is that chip in the HTC Desire?

  • http://Website Derek

    “What other tricks does the Nexus One have up its sleeve?”

    Can they fix the ragged 3G data connection? How about fix that before worrying about implementing wifi n.

    • http://Website DJ

      Where do you people live who keep complaining about the 3G? I have not had one problem with my 3G since the day my Nexus One. Not being an a$$ just curious

      • http://hxbc.us/ khc

        How about… San Francisco?

  • http://Website Galen20K

    Excellent News! And for the record the 3G on my Nexus One works FLAWLESSLY, I have never had any of these mythical problems people keep trying to bring up. Its Tired, just let it go!!!

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  • http://Website pr3w

    But will it support 5GHz?
    I hope so, but I don’t expect it. But I have a simultaneous dual-band router which is broadcasting my g-network on the 2,4GHz and the n-network on 5GHz.

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