Dec 19 AT 3:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 60 Comments

Galaxy Nexus owners complain about signal strength, Verizon says a fix is being developed


When any high-profile smartphone finally hits the market you expect it to receive a few critical complaints and the Galaxy Nexus is no exception. Over the weekend several Verizon Wireless customers began to complain about signal strength issues on their new Galaxy Nexus. We haven’t experienced any 4G LTE problems with our Galaxy Nexus phones around Austin, but it appears a number of customers are having problems because Verizon Wireless responded to the claims.

Today on Twitter, the @VZWSupport account said that signal issues are “currently being investigated” and a software update is already in the works. No ETA was provided on the fix, but we all know how long it takes Verizon to test and approve a software update before sending it out over the air.

It appears the problem is happening most often on the edge of 4G LTE coverage areas where a device switches over to a 3G connection. Some users have reported a complete lack of data connection when this occurs and have to toggle airplane mode to establish a new connection.

We know from all the Galaxy Nexus launch stories people posted that many of you now own this device, so let us know if you have experienced any signal strength issues or any other problems in the comments below.

Source: Twitter

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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  • Martjn2

    Does anyone know how the phone works in europe?

    • beatrixasdfghjk.

      Get the GSM one.

  • Thomas Biard

    I’ve heard some people are experiencing the problem, but the overwhelming opinion I have heard is that this phone is still operating above and beyond what people expected.

    Could it be similar to the Droid Charge issue Samsung had? Maybe? Would I still get one if it were time to upgrade, OF COURSE!

    • NegativeOne13

      I agree…. I can deal with signal issues for now. I’m still like….. Woahh!!! Wow!!!! This phone is legit. Where has the GN been all my life?

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      AnandTech has more or less disproved the issue:

      Turns out if you have 4G turned on on a pre-ICS device and go to show LTE signal strength stats, it shows EVDO signal strength instead of 4G signal strength.

      This was fixed in ICS, and thus if you put the Galaxy Nexus next to another 4G device and compare signal strengths, the GN will almost always appear to have lower signal strength because you’re actually comparing its 4G signal strength to the 3G signal strength of the other device. Anand goes on to pull LTE signal stats from other pre-ICS devices (via logcat and service applications) to compare to the GN and they’re virtually the same.

      Verizon is probably admitting to a “problem” because as Anand pointed out, the Galaxy Nexus is a lot more honest about displaying the right number of bars for 4G signal strength than other 4G Android phones, which have a tendency to show more bars than they should when signal is weak. Verizon will probably release a “fix” that causes the GN to show more bars when 4G signal is poor. Talk about weak.

      • Nicholas J Keckeisen

        So you’re NOT experiencing issues? ‘Cause I am.

        • Shadowlore

          No issues at all here…

      • dcdttu

        This is true, but if I put my phone and my coworker’s Charge in 3G and compare dBm and not the bars of service (which don’t mean anything) other phones consistently beat the Nexus by 10-20dBm, which is HUGE.

        Something’s wrong with the Nexus. Or at least mine and many others.

      • dcdttu

        No amount of numbermongering can disprove the fact that I drop calls like crazy, have crappy call quality, lose signal entirely all over Austin, TX and the fact that, when my phone and a Droid Charge are set next to each other in 3G only (to eliminate confusion over what is being shown), the Charge is a constant 10-20dBm better than the Nexus.

        Sorry, but there is still a huge problem.

        • DrJRDonaldson

          Here in Monterey county, California I have had a similar experience. The Nexus replaced my Moto Global, and from the start the inferior reception of the Nexus was blatantly obvious. The Moto never dropped a call and i never received a complaint about voice quality.
          In comparison, the Nexus drops calls frequently and I am constantly fielding complaints from callers about the poor quality of voice transmission.
          With my Nexus at least, the problem is not with the size of the signal bars displayed, it is with the inability of my Nexus to adequately use the Verizon cell signal.

          • dcdttu

            Same here. I’ve tested the Nexus in 3G mode against a Verizon iPhone 4 / iPhone 4s, two Droid Charges, a Droid X and original Droid, and all are 10-20 dBm better, signal-wise. The whole ‘Nexus-shows-4G-bars-while-all-other-phones-show-3G-bars’ is a cover up. There’s a problem with the Nexus’ reception in 3G at least.

            I was at a friend’s yesterday that had an iPhone 4s on Verizon and I was there with my Nexus as was another friend. The iPhone had 3 bars and registered in the -90dBm range while both my and my friend’s Nexus had ZERO signal. In Austin. Not in a weird area at all and ZERO signal.

            3G reception sucks on every Nexus I’ve seen.

  • NegativeOne13

    I have had similar issues, best I can get is -93. Hope VZW addresses this in a timely manner, unlike the launch.

  • zyphbear

    Even if it’s a little buggy, i’m Glad Google and Verizon are on it like flies on honey, shows they care about the experience everyone is getting from the Nexus devices.

    • Alex George

      Flies on honey? More like all of us to ICS haha

  • ben dover

    I just picked mine up last night.

    I’m not letting it update to 4.0.2 just yet :)

    • redraider133

      Someone on xda said that update may have actually made the radio a little worse. I guess we will see if google fixes it in the next update.

  • mikeyDroid

    And we all laugh at iPhone users!

    • Evokill1

      I still do haha

  • wnemay

    This is funny, because my Nexus is getting a decent signal at home, but the iPhone my work issued me doesn’t get anything at my house.

  • TarHeelDude

    I hope AT&T doesn’t have these issues when/if they get the Nexus.

    • Voliam

      Yeah, we certainly don’t need ATT to incur any more problems, being that they can’t solve the myriad issues they ALREADY have!

  • Skis03

    I am going to buy one this Friday so I will plan to comment on my own personal experiences.

  • redraider133

    I have the phone and yes the dbm is higher than other phones but im not losing data or anything. Hoping a radio enhancement will help with the battery. Other than that i hope a fix gets pushed soon for those having iasues. It seems vzw is still having issues with lte and their phones playing nice.

    • PacoBell

      Clarification: Higher…in the NEGATIVE direction?

  • Ms. Mae

    I live in Baltimore and when travelling to family outside the city this weekend I noticed this problem! When going from 4G to 3G there is a definite lag and then no connectivity and then it’ll go into 3G.

  • Clinton Jackson

    Have not had signal problems but my local area still 3g. I had my nexus boot when listening to music twice. No other problems so far.

  • Ari32

    I haven’t experienced any signal issues, nor has my fiancee. We live in the metro Atlanta area. The phones have been great so far.

  • GeauxLSU

    I’ve been waiting to see how many bugs were reported in the first couple of weeks. So far looks like this is a solid phone

  • lexicdys

    My nexus stopped having phone and txt service on saturday, but the data worked. Had to go to a store, and they fixed it.

  • Gplayer72

    Hahaha at galaxy nexus! Droid RAZR is the real deal! Oh yeah, it will have ics, a less buggy one!

    • keridel

      my GSM Galaxy Nexus has no signal drop out.

      oh and is a lot better than the razr :D

  • Michael C.

    “You’re holding it wrong…”

    …oh come on. Seriously? I’m the first one to post this?

  • ramenchef

    Just a side affect of Verizon’s transition from a CDMA network to a GSM based one.

    • ramenchef

      For further clarification, they have to use a different authentication service on LTE, so during the transition period between CDMA and LTE, they had to use a makeshift authentication service that works on both networks. LTE is gsm based. Failed authentications are what is causing this issue to occur.

      • PacoBell

        If the problem is how you say it is, why does it affect some some LTE devices and not others. Even some Galaxy Nexus devices seem to be immune. How do we account for the seemingly ransom nature of these occurrences?

  • Jorge Eslava

    I hope this is only for the Verizon version. I’m want to get the gsm version but either way it’ll be fixed soon since these kind of issues are always top priority.

  • inerdtia

    Same problem in St Louis, MO

    • inerdtia

      Compared to a Droid Bionic, the Bionic gets a signal pretty much everywhere even inside buildings but the Nexus constantly struggles or fails to get it.

      • adnoxaei

        I came from the Bionic also, but am far happier with my Nexus. I consistently see fewer bars, but I have maintained my connection to 4G far better than on the Bionic. I also have found far fewer bugs on my Nexus than on my Bionic and the bugs I have found are less annoying. The apps that don’t run on ICS are my biggest problem, but those will surely be updated in the coming months and the most important ones run.

    • Shadowlore

      I’m in St Louis, and haven’t noticed this issue.. What area of the city you in? Not seeing any problems in the Creve Couer area.

      Signal does seem to rank low, but performance stays nice and strong… ;)

  • jimtravis

    Have noticed the problem several times. Also, no more than 2 bars on 4G, but am impressed with 4G speeds.

  • Anon

    Completely lost signal in downtown sf (union square). never came back even when I drove 30 miles away. phone reboot fixed. will try airplane mode toggle next time. Extremely annoying.

  • donte

    I’m having the same problem. It is very frushtrating. When my phone loses the 4G signal, it drops to a very poor 3G signal. 3G works better when i choose the CDMA only option. There is definately a problem that needs to be solved.

  • mclarensr

    Sweet fix all these issues and then release the GSM version.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I do not live in a fringe LTE area I enjoy 4g LTE in every aspect of New York City. But when I arrive home getting off the train strong 4g LTE signal at 3bars 60dBm 99asu then as soon as I walk into the house -125dBm 6asu no signal strength and on 3g no 4g LTE symbol at all. So yes it is the signal strength or the radio inside of the device. Even my Lg Revolution flexed between 4g, 3g, 1x often inside my house with 2bars or less often but seemed to hold a signal better. Since Thursday I have found a way to deal with the issue by just switching to CDMA and turning off LTE/CDMA in the settings this offers a strong 3g symbol with 1 bar so at least I can surf the web on my device without any problems. I just downloaded an application from xda that deals with reception issues and I will see if this application works and holds the signal when I get home. Regardless of this a fix is definately coming on this matter so I am fine and will keep this device because in the long run many blessings is on the way to the Galaxy Nexus. Plus I love the screen and google wallet I get great use out of that application daily…..

  • Louis A

    Yes hope they fix it quick because I have notice that it happens when the phone switches from a 4G signal to 3G.

    • Louis A

      I guess this’s one of the price we pay for being early adopters. All good!

  • Cole Loomis

    Luckily I am in metro Atlanta so I have not had this issue. The only place that I have had bad signal is my house, but that is normal, and I don’t care because I am on my wifi.

  • jdawg334

    Wow! This phone was nothing but headaches and problems before its release with delay after delay and now look at the complaints pouring in afterwards. Think I’ll stick with Moto phones

  • donger

    no problems yet.

  • Voliam

    This problem is probably what delayed the launch. With the pressure to get it to market, they figured they would fix it after the fact.
    This is a common issue with technology. No doubt the same position Apple was in with the antenna on the iPhone 4.

  • damambt

    Just waiting to for the NOTE to come to the US.

  • dpleus

    You know this kinda irks me. My poor Galaxy Tab 7.0 WiFi is stuck on Android 2.2 and they are working on upgrade for everything else, and leaving us in the back to collect dust. Just because I’m not a 3G device and on a contract with Verizon, doesn’t mean that support for my device should be nil. It’s this experience that makes me question buying another Samsung device. My poor BlackJack II was lacking support as well.

  • Adam Jones

    I’m in South West Georgia (USA) and it’s a complete 3G zone here. So no issues in my neck of the woods. However, my biggest complaint is why hasn’t Verizon hit the 3rd largest city in the state of GA but has hit some of the smaller areas? I truly wonder how they choose their roll out map.

  • jenskristian

    Can’t wait! My Galaxy S 2 and Galaxy Tab is longing for some ice cream sandwich.

  • Marcus

    Hopefully the software update that Verizon is talking about comes fast.

    I’m not experiencing any issues though… well there is one: I don’t have one! :(

  • Jim

    I just purchased the Nexus last night, I am getting -120dBm and I am ready to return the phone. Speaking to Verizon, the rep said he has a Nexus and is having no problems. -120dBm means dropped calls which is what I am experiencing. I believe both calls and data are affected. If the problem is not resolved quickly, I will have no choice but to return the phone and go back to my HTC Thunderbolt as it does not have these issues.

    • jim

      Update, I took my phone to Verizon last night, after about 30 minutes of the rep playing with the phone, he took it to his manager, they acknowledge that the signal is not changing, after the manager played with it for about another 15 minutes, they took it over to the display and said, well it has the same level of service as our display, we hard booted it and “hopefully” that will take care of it. I mentioned the news and admission from Verizon that it has issues but neither of them acknowledged it. Here is my rub, why would they take 45 minutes to evaluate something they know has a problem, then send me on my way. Is this customer service? Seriously, it has a problem, they fix it or let me try another one or take it back. Now I have to make a return trip to the store, because they simply have no clue about how to properly handle a customer, esp one that has been with them over 15 years…

  • humidity

    I think I’m experiencing this problem too. I keep getting knocked down to 3G and there’s been a couple times where I’ll be surfing online and all of a sudden I lose connection. I have 0 bars and there’s not even 3G in the notification bar.

  • dcdttu

    I live in Austin and got a Nexus day one. The first call I made on it dropped, and I have had subsiquent dropped calls, which I’ve never experienced before. Call quality is also very poor. On a call with a person on a land-line, i experienced frequent cellular quality issues and it was difficult to make out the conversation on the other line.

    I also have 2 coworkers with Droid Charge Verizon devices. I my Nexus in 3G-only mode and did the same with theirs and did a side-by-side comparison of them in multiple locations. The Nexus would consistently report a signal of 10-20dBm less than the Charge(s) did. That is massive, and is probably why I am having such issues making calls and keeping service.

    Something is up with this phone. I’m likely exchanging mine for another Nexus tonight in hopes that I just have a bad model.