May 15 AT 12:13 PM Taylor Wimberly 148 Comments

I paid Verizon $2027.57 to beta test their Galaxy Nexus


My name is Taylor Wimberly and I’m an unhappy Verizon customer. Five months ago I walked into a Verizon store, purchased two Galaxy Nexus phones, and ported my numbers over from T-Mobile. I knew there was a strong chance I might regret that decision, but I wanted to try out Google’s flagship smartphone on America’s largest wireless carrier.

Google bent over backwards to get their flagship device on Verizon’s network so we thought they would provide a stellar experience. However, I found the entire experiment to be a big failure and I wish I could go back in time to purchase the unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus and stick with T-Mobile.

Verizon and Google originally planned to launch the Galaxy Nexus back in October, but numerous bugs were discovered and the launch date was pushed back multiple times. On December 15th, Verizon finally released the Galaxy Nexus to retail stores, bugs still present, and issued a small patch on that same day to address some of the issues.

Unfortunately, the patch from Android 4.0.1 to 4.0.2 only addressed a small number of issues and the Galaxy Nexus was left with a good chunk of annoying bugs.

We were told that Verizon and Google were already working together on another update to address the complaints from those of us that rushed out to purchase the device, and we believed them. But never in our wildest dreams did we think that five months would pass and Verizon would still not release a software update to fix all the known issues.

I’ve already covered the bugs and Google has fixed the majority of them with the latest Android 4.0.4 update. The disappointing thing is that Verizon has been testing this update since February, but they have not rolled it out to customers yet.

We reached out to Verizon to get to the bottom of the delay and they told us they needed more time to make sure the software update “won’t harm either customers’ phones or our network.

I’m fully aware I could hack my phone and flash one of the test builds which would end my misery, but I decided to stick with the official Verizon software build so I could endure the same experience that the average subscriber would see on their device.

For all we know Verizon could announce tomorrow that a new software update is finally available for their Galaxy Nexus, but the public image of this device is now forever tarnished and I would no longer recommend that any Verizon customer purchase it.

Drive-by Conclusions

In my five months with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, I have learned some interesting things:

  • The process in which US carriers update the software on their Android phones is completely broken, and Google knows this.
  • The average Android phone ships with numerous bugs and it could take your wireless carrier half a year to fix them.
  • Most Android users don’t hack their phones, and they have a shitty experience.
  • Google’s solution to this whole problem is to just buy a phone directly from them.

At the end of the day, I’m still glad that I got to experience being a Verizon customer. Their in-store staff and phone support is top tier, and I understand there is nothing they can do to fix the problem with Android updates. They offered me the chance to switch to a different smartphone, but I think I’m better off paying the $300 early termination fee and returning to an unlocked device.

Maybe Google will fundamentally change the way that Android devices are updated, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In the mean time it appears that only a Google backed device should expect regular updates, but even that’s not certain.

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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  • Stephen Wagner

    theres a reason why you hack your android phone. the galaxy nexus isnt a letdown, verizon is. ive had mine since december and i have had ZERO problems with my phone. zero. cant say that for any of the phones ive ever had.

  • Anthony Domanico

    First world problems.

    Okay, I kid. You definitely should have gone GSM unlocked. As a regretful Sprint customer, CDMA sucks major balls.

    • Louis A

      Wow, what I coincidence. 2 days ago I put up my Verizon Galaxy nexus on Craigslist for sale. As soon as I sell it, I will use the money to pay out the $300 early termination fee. Then I am left with $100, add $300 and buy it from Google and jump back to T-mobile.

      • GuestEmail

        Maybe this isnt the place for this discussion, but I am also a Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner and thought that I’m with this company for the network coverage. 4G speeds are blazing in the NYC area and cell reception has been fine in most spots.

        I am oblivious to the performance problems others are having…I read through the changelog for 4.0.4 and think that all the ‘improvements’ seem nice, but I’m not in dire need for them. Is there a blog posts that details the would be differences in performance jumping from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4?

        • Eric Mendes

          The majority of issues isn’t within the builds of Android per-se.. but rather the state of the CDMA radio build. I have a Verizon Nexus and I can confirm I’ve had some conflicting signal issues. I updated to the leaked radio and it does perform better, but I’m sure it could be better. It’s mind blowing that this update hasn’t been pushed out yet. If I didn’t root and install AOKP, I’d be pissed! But, I’m loving the phone now and the Verizon’s 4G speeds are incredible!

          • Adam Jones

            someone point me to the step by step process to do this too. but i have to ask. will doing this stop the OTA when it finally does hit?

          • Eric Mendes

            Pretty simple process. The bootloader is easily unlockable (the one thing Verizon didn’t stripe from the Nexus line!). Here’s the link:


            For my build I’m using AOKP, which is a pretty clean ISC build but makes it soo much better! First, it removes the tethering restrictions that Verizon placed in order to get more $$$. Also, it uses the Nova launcher which I think runs fantastic on the Galaxy Nexus! When you unlock the boatloader, you can also change your kernel. Currently, I’m using the franco kernel which has a GREAT battery life! You can set it to turn off a CPU core when the screen turns off, and you’d be surprised how much battery this saves. I can generally get through a full day with it, without completely crippling it. So it would amazing with the extra capacity battery.

            Oh, not to mention you can flash over the new radio!

            You can’t do the OTA when you’re on a custom ROM, but you can always revert back to stock and do it that way. What’s going to happen though, is that you can flash over the OTA ROM and have the best of both worlds. The OTA is 4.0.4, which I’ve had for months. The big change with the OTA is going to be a new radio, which you can still use while using a custom ROM.

    • JessSayin

      So does Sprint…

  • TaoRenCe

    I know you’re pain. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was using the LG G2X. Even after using different roms, the hardware issue was never resolved. I’ll never be an early adopter again. Good things come to those who wait!

    • KenG

      When I got my unlocked GSM GN (to run on T-Mo) last fall, I gave my G2x to my son, who previously used a G-1 and a G2. He is so fed up with the G2x that he says he is done with Android and wants an iphone.

      It’s not Google’s fault, it’s the carriers, and Google has to work with them, at least until the FCC forces the carriers to unbundle equipment and service. Google tried to change consumer and carrier behavior with the first Nexus, but people didn’t respond and the venture was labeled a failure (I don’t think it was). Google needs to stick with the unlocked, unbundled phone offer to offer disgruntled android users a viable option.

      • EWilliams

        This is the truth. I also believe carriers should remove the subsidy fee for those of us using unlocked phones.

      • Futureboy

        Re: “Google tried to change consumer and carrier behavior with the first Nexus, but people didn’t respond and the venture was labeled a failure (I don’t think it was).”

        I totally agree. I don’t think people quite understood the benefits of buying an unlocked phone. I think many still don’t realize it’s cheaper in the long run. I’ve seen more and more discussions of this and I think people are beginning to learn. It’s great to see that Google is offering the GNex through the Play store and for 399! Hopefully they’ll continue to sell phones/tablets direct to consumer at reasonable prices.

    • jeffb34

      I just got rid of my G2X and got a galaxy nexus from Google.

  • R.S

    It’s really unfortunate that the Nexus brand is now tarnished because of this.

  • AvatarZ

    This is not just a VZ or Android issue, this is the essential issue of complicated software and the demands that consumers place on it. As the Lumia commercial pointed out, everything is beta these days and as long as people want new features delivered quickly and frequently, this will continue to be the case. Standardization may help, but even Apple with their direct control has fallen victim to the beta problem at times.

  • Dragonithe

    Or just move away from the us to a country that doesn’t have this carrier BS (like pretty much the rest of the world.)

  • Deafhamster

    I learned a costly lesson (not as costly though) when I gave up waiting for T-Mobile to release a Galaxy Nexus and settled for the HTC Amaze only to have three straight devices have constantly random rebooting issues and no acknowledgement from T-Mo that there was a serious problem with the phone.

    Two months later I gave up and bought the unlocked GN and learned to never F with a carrier phone (or contract) again. It’s just not worth the frustration. I’ve had zero problems since.

    • UMA Fan

      All phones are susceptible to issues. My HTC Amaze works great and I love the 42mbps modem speed.

      • JessSayin

        I went back to T-Mo for the same reasons on Sprint with the Nexus S 4G. Got the Amaze 4G for free when I came back. UMA Fan is right, damn! this phone is fast!

  • thetruth

    Taylor as much as I enjoy reader your articles and great insights, I think you really f*cked yourself going to a CDMA carrier from the jump. I think you should have stayed with tmobile, and I’m still amazed at tech press f*cking themselves over with limited data plans.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Hah I knew what I was getting into, but I had to see for myself why Verizon is the most popular carrier in the US. The tiered data plans I have no issue with. People should pay for what they consume.

      • Sihle

        But now I’m curious, since you put it that way, what is your explanation for why Verizon is the most popular carrier in the US in light of your recent experience? I really don’t have coverage problems with t-mobile where I live but aside from the greater nationwide coverage which I can kind of concede, Verizon’s popularity is inexplicable to me from what I see.

        • Taylor Wimberly

          Verizon wins at Advertising.

          • DroidSamurai

            At least in the NY metro area, there’s more to that — their coverages are just unmatchable in many areas. There are places in my neighborhood that you can get absolutely no coverage unless you are on VZW. The thing is, a smartphone is, after a phone — without good coverage, it’s just a piece of metal/plastic. Some of us just have no choices but to stick with VZW. If T-mobile’s coverage is as good as VZW and has LTE, I will jump ship any moment. But sadly, it is not true, at least to me.

          • delinear

            Exactly this. I appreciate what DroidSamurai is saying about a phone needing to be a phone (actually wanted to reply to his comment but it’s nested too deep or something), but that’s something people complain about -after- they have made their purchasing decision. Before they have made their decision they generally will either go for functionality (a minority) or look and feel (the vast majority) but the number of people who would even consider bandwidth, call strength etc are tiny. The vast majority of people are hugely swayed by advertising so whoever has the most money to splash around has a very good chance of being, and staying, number 1.

        • Homncruse


        • thekaz

          I am willing to bet there is a good chunk of people out there with Android phones who don’t know their device could be better. I think a large chunk of people use their smart phones (iPhone included) for web, email, games and calling. And that’s about it.

          As mentioned, Verizon is better at advertising, and, as Taylor said, their customer service is top tier…

        • d

          Coverage. Where I live (city of over 250,000 people) there is a t-mobile corporate store that had a femtocell inside of it for over a year because they found it difficult to sell people phone plans that didn’t even work in the store.

          Verizon is a horrible about updating phones and worse about removing features to make a buck. They nickle and dime customers with fees and service charges…

          But they have a wonderful network.

          I have been with all the major carriers and many of the smaller ones with work and personal phones. I am on the road for work at least 100 days a year all across the country. In some places other carriers have better data speeds but Verizon is the only carrier I’m ever shocked if i don’t get a decent signal at all.

        • UMA Fan

          True, people are just uninformed.

          T-Mobile’s WiFi Calling for one is an amazing UNDERSTATED feature. All networks in the US have their weak spots SOMEWHERE. T-Mobile plugs those holes by making any WiFi hotspot your cell tower for calls and texts. It’s great on battery life too.

      • john harper

        I hate to break to you, but your not paying for what you consume, your being RAPED, and with a smile on your face to!!!!!


    glad i stayed with the unlocked GSM Gnex and with tmobile. A US carrier will never ever see a dime from me for any phones that carries there garbage. I will just be re upping with Goggle every year with there Nexus Devices..

  • redraider133

    Thats why google needs to crack down and be more apple like with the carriers. They have enough leverage now that they can do this and with selling unlocked phones through the play store I think google is showing this to carriers, they want to screw everything up google will go around them so users can have a no hassle, no wait for updates

  • Gerrell Blake

    Dont feel to bad taylor i paid $750 to negri to beta test the galaxy nexus seeing how my nexus isnt a yakju but a yakuzs so im never gonna get past 4.0.2 it seems

    • Blake

      Here: It’ll take you 15-30 minutes and solve the problem forever. The phones have the exact same hardware (maguro) so there’s no problem (don’t change the radio included in yajku or takju – if you do you’ll have to fix things for future OTA).

      Problem solved.

      • Gerrell Blake

        If i gotta do all that to get the lastest update i might as well have stayed with my gsII and thats kinda the point with having a nexus phone doing those things shouldnt really have to be required to be updated it defeats the purpose of the nexus brand

  • Greybeard

    Hey I have an Idea…I’ll write a post that accomplishes nothing while telling everyone how upset I am that I ignored my own gut feelings from the very beginning.


    • thetruth

      so true

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Maybe others can learn from my mistakes :)

      • Richard Yarrell

        It’s pretty clear that your NOT the only person suffering this fate on Verizon the number one carrier in the United States. People walking around with this device paid TOP DOLLAR for a 2year contract and as soon as we walked out of that store after purchasing Verizon already new they had no intention of doing right by the customers who wanted this device. Think about it we wanted the Galaxy Nexus for the chance of having the BEST device on the BEST supposed carrier. If I wanted a Droid Razr, Razr Maxx, Rezound, Droid Charge, Lg Revolution and all the other crappy bloat filled devices they sell I would’ve purchased one of those devices. People purchased the Galaxy Nexus for a pure stock android google experience mixed with LTE speeds what did we end up with. Buggy devices, poor updates, crappy signal/dBm and even worse no communication from the carrier concerning these issues that customers have experienced. Generally this has been just a poor experience from the number one carrier who seems to always have time for a crappy ass Droid Razr commercial ”F” the Droid Razr and their network as far as I am concerned. Over charging for devices that they label LTE totalling 300.00 then not being able to fully enjoy your device that you paid for from day one and continue to pay for monthly in my case 2 lines worth is the WORST RIP OFF any customer can experience. One thing I can tell you is YES the unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus which can be used on T-mobile is a wonderful experience one of my friends has one and simply put it just puts my VZW Galaxy Nexus to shame. As far as I am concerned right at this moment it doesn’t really pay to make any sudden moves I’ll wait till the NEXT NEXUS comes out with Jellybean come November or December. At that time I will purchase that new device from the Google play store then take it over to T-mobile/At&t then just sell my current VZW Galaxy Nexus to the highest bidder. Verizon is DEAD in my book the WORST CARRIER with over priced devices and overrated service REGARDLESS of their network which has slowed down drasticly since December. We won’t even talk about the update game we already know Verizon SUCKS MONKEY BALLS in that area out of all the other carriers. It’s pretty sad to say that after almost 6 months of being on Verizon the only ice cream sandwich device on it’s network is still the Galaxy Nexus they can’t even update their own devices that they have been selling . Point blank…”F” Verizon I don’t want to here any more crappy about how great their network is because it means nothing based on what many people are going through now. Now many might want to leave a comment stating oh yeah just flash this and flash that and your problems will be solved. After paying top dollar for an LTE Galaxy Nexus on Verizon NOBODY should have to flash anything inorder for the device to work the way it was intended. This isn’t some 3 or 4 year old Samsung Moment that needs to be rooted or flashed just to work properly this is the Galaxy nexus that cost 300 bills on the top carrier in the US. Everyone got played plain and simple google was right when they said it was Verizon’s device we the customers just never knew to what extent that really meant at that time. Now we know folks……

        • squiddy20

          Again with the overly long comments? Good god, your comment is about as long as Taylor’s entire article (if not longer). The only differences between the two are that his is actually readable, mostly everything is spelled right, and it’s broken down into sections. Not to mention the fact that it seems you go into your “shitty” life story which has virtually nothing to do with Verizon and your “pimp slapping” Galaxy Nexus. To top it all off, you say horribly incorrect “facts” like how the Moment is “3 or 4 year[s] old”, and you don’t even cite where you got these little tidbits of info. How can anyone ever take you seriously?
          You understand so little about “the real world”, and your ranting and raving comments about nothing you have control over pretty much proves it. After two whole years of this crap you still don’t seem to understand that, according to the carriers, Nexus phones are not flagship phones. So of course the “crappy ass” Droid Raxr would get a commercial spot and your “pimp slapping” Galaxy Nexus wouldn’t. “Droid” is Verizon’s flagship line, and has been since the OG Droid came out *2 years ago*. You really think a phone that doesn’t offer the best value to Verizon can come along and basically steal the “flagship” title and mantra? Again I say: you have no clue how the “real world” works. You’re a mentally retarded lunatic.
          Oh and by the way, it’s extremely hypocritical that you whine and complain like a little girl about the “high cost” of Verizon’s phones and plans while insulting me about not being able to afford what you call a “real” smartphone. Do you need a loan?

        • jonathan3579

          Richard, just shut the fuck up already. It is bad enough that you taint this site but when I start seeing yarellnate posting from disqus and it is the same long-winded bullshit you spout, it ruins just about any blog I could visit.

        • pekosROB

          You clearly did not heed my advice to start using the enter/return key to separate out your ridiculous sentences into more concise paragraphs.

          Just stop it already man, are you trying to get your AandM score to 0?

        • pekosROB

          *Oh, and you keep saying Verizon’s the top carrier yet you keep saying they’re not.

          *It’s YOU’RE, not your if you’re trying to say someone IS something. YOUR = ownership.

          *300 bills = $30,000. A bill is slang for $100 (at least where I’m from).

          *Some of the words you caps don’t make any sense with that emphasis you add.

          *Please learn to use commas.

      • jamesj

        I agree that a post like this is helpful, to help other people avoid the same mistakes.

        This article reminded me of a post I made when I returned my Galaxy Nexus on Verizon in the first three days, and went back to T-Mobile.

        Carrier Remorse:

  • mustybooks

    Wow looks like Vodafone is really screwing you guys over in the US. Sorry to hear it.

    I think one thing we’ve learnt from the galaxy nexus (release, product, experience) is that buying directly from Google would have been a better option. Wish they’d have done it from the start.

    I personally put a lot of blame on Samsung for a bad release also. Not quite performing to their same high standard as last year.

    At least I have very few bad things to say about the device!

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I think Google made a deal with Verizon to give them an exclusive launch period in the US. That’s why they didn’t start selling the unlocked Galaxy Nexus in the US until a couple weeks ago.

      • mustybooks

        Yeah I think it was the same in the UK can’t quite remember! Do they not tend to sell unlocked devices over there from early on or was this unusual?

        • mustybooks

          EDIT: I meant same as in vodafone had an exclusive deal. Think the main exclusivity was with the retailer Phones 4U. We had an unlocked version for £515 from pretty early on but I couldn’t afford it! :(

        • Zachary Rodriguez

          Nope, you usually have to scour ebay for an unlocked phone. Obviously you can buy off contract but they are still not unlocked and a good phone cost $650+ upon release with no discount in the carrier’s plan like T-Mobile used to have. Phone companies suck in the US and are super expensive, though they have a much larger amount of land to cover so I do give them that benefit of the doubt.

    • amels802

      It’s funny how alot of people considered the Nexus One a failure because Google decided to sell it on their own.

      • mustybooks

        Well exactly. I was one of those people! Until I realised what the nexus line was all about – a pure google experience with quick updates mainly for developers (not sure if google had a different target audience haha)… well ats leasts thats what ‘nexus’ means for me! :)

  • triangle

    Unfortunately, it’s not just the Galaxy Nexus that has flaws, there are definitely some holes in the network because of the way Verizon has rolled out LTE. They did a relatively thin LTE build only going to about 40% of their cell sites, so the result is that I’m on 3G (or sometimes even 1x) a large chunk of the time, even though 4G should be everywhere in NYC.

    I think we’ll all just have to be a little patient as the carrier build up their networks over the next year. Personally, I’m cautiously optimistic about Sprint’s plans to re-build their entire network though it’s going to take a while.

  • Steve Barry

    Taylor, you described exactly why I suggest to most of my non-tech friends why they should get an iPhone. I loathe iPhones sincerely, but you said it yourself…stock Android users have a ‘crappy’ experience and I would agree with this. I have an Epic 4G and I frickin love it. With the devs for this phone, it’s still one of the best phones out currently. I’ve been a Sprint guy for 10+ years, so I have literally zero experience with any GSM carriers, but I’ve said before that if Google offered an unlocked CDMA phone, I’d be all over it in a hurry and I would suggest that route to anyone, especially with Sprint simply because they still have unlimited data plans.

    Google isn’t the one screwing everything up, it’s the carriers, and this story just proves that more.

    • Derek

      You’re absolutely right. I’m an IT professional and tech guru. So, for me, Android is ok. I can read XDA and go through all the processes to root, s-off, unlock bootloader, etc then flash new roms to get what I want. But to be honest, 99% of the smartphone users are not like that. So, for all of them, I recommend iPhone. It simply works and works well. I’ve had several friends jump on Android and now that their 2yr contracts are up they’re all bailing and have iOS phones and they absolutely love them. I fear that could happen to a lot of android users. Right now the vast majority of android users are still under their initial 2 yr contract. But when those two year deals are up, I expect a mass exodus to iphones. I hear nothing but complaint after complaint from “average” users. People who want the smartphone, but just want it to work out of the box.

      • Max.Steel

        Most people that complain either bought cheap Android phones and expected a stellar experience.

      • nerdshowandtell

        People will go to whatever the flavor of the month is when their phone contract is up.. So if the Galaxy SIII is out with all its built in gimmic features, nice camera, etc.. People will go with that.. HTC and Samsung have both been getting better at their “out of the box” experience (just look at the HTC One X/EVO 4G LTE and Samsung Galaxy SIII). Samsung just showed us that the future is about gimmic features and not specs when it comes to android phones. They are putting a lot of development work into the software features to give it those “Selling points” when sitting in the store.. I agree that the user experience with Android was a bit lacking, but since ICS hit and the new hardware to go along with it, the SMOOTH / Performance factor has finally been achieved on base android devices without any need for custom roms, rooting / tweaking. So for the average person, its no longer about just “Android” phones, but more about HTC sense / camera/ gimmics vs Touchwiz / Camera / gimmics. Even iPhone users now are wanting more, just look at all the blog posts about wanting a new home screen / widgets /something NEW.. The user experience advantages of the iphone for average users are not as clear as they were even a year ago.

        • EWilliams

          I strongly agree with your comment about ICS. Prior to my Gnex, my G2 and N1 just didn’t do what I needed without the help of launcher pro which is essentially a skin on top of android. But with ICS I have felt zero need to use any type of skin to get it to work the way I want.

    • ZRod

      I don’t think the stock experience is a bad experience when it comes to Ice Cream Sandwich, it is the updates that people complain about. Thus why I recommend the VZW Galaxy Nexus (Or better, the GSM obviously). It is still a great phone and 99% of users won’t complain that there phone is 4.0.2 not 4.0.4. It is the free – $50 range of phones that people complain about and I’ve worked tech support at Sprint in the past so I have experience. As someone else stated, you can NOT get a free phone and expect it to run as a $200-300 phone.
      Those in the know and annoyed by bugs are able to quickly and usually easily fix it. Though waiting for a new new version of Android is a bummer and I will be complaining b/c I know VZW will take 6+ months to release Jelly Bean and even devs will take some (but not nearly as much time) to get JB running on their ROMs. I have mine rooted and on a custom ROM though because I’m as mad as the author of this article.

    • McLovin

      …”you described exactly why I suggest to most of my non-tech friends why they should get an iPhone”…

      I do the same thing. As much as I’d love to promote the Android religion, I just have little patience anymore answering questions. When somebody asks “what smart phone should I get?”, I judge who they are first. Are they tech savy? Are they going to be able to figure it out on their own?
      For those that I expect to get calls for help from, I just say, “Get an iPhone”.

      I’m excited when I hear one of my friends got an Android, but I’m leary about giving them sermons inviting myself to answer all their Android questions from now on.

      • dVyper

        I’m exactly the same. I love Android more than anything but it’s more for geeks, while the iPhone is way simpler for the less tech savvy.

  • VS

    The way I view cell phones is like this:

    ** Android – The platform for those individuals that are comfortable with technology to seek solutions on their own. They do not need hand holding and are willing to take risks to make their phone customized to how they see fit.

    ** WP7 – The inbetween platform. Somewhat comfortable with tech, but not willing to step outside of scheduled updates or outside solutions to phone problems. Semi hand holding…

    ** iOS – The platform for individuals that want no part in knowing the inner workings of their phone tech or problems (jailbreakers excluded). They want a complete hand holding experience from Apple, from software down to hardware.

    With that in mind, I sympathize with your issues. I’ve been there, as have all initial Android users at some stage. It’s the eternal question, “do I root or stay stock?”. I finally got sick of waiting for ICS from the OEM so I decided to root and I’ve got to say I wish I would of done it sooner.

    However, as a former VZW and Sprint customer, I’ll never go back to a CDMA carrier again. It’s just to limiting, in terms of phone selection and portability to move to another carrier. The GSM advantages are just too good to pass up!

    I’d suggest just eating the ETF, Gazelle the two phones, get two unlocked GSM units and try out T-Mo’s prepaid arm. Savings on a $30 a mo per unit plan stacks up real quick compared to VZW’s plans, which are the priciest of the big 4. You sacrifice coverage, but unless you travel to remote areas of the country, it’s usually worth it.

    I will say that VZW customer service and coverage is exemplary, you just pay a large premium for it.

    Good luck on what you decide and cheers!

    • Derek

      I pretty much agree with your hierarchy of smartphone users. But why should us Android users not get a good experience out of the box? When you pay $299 for a GN dont you expect it to work properly from day one? without having to unlock bootloader, root, and flash new roms? All of which voids the warranty. Why shouldnt we get an A+ experience from the beginning?

      • VS

        They should, which is why I wish Google would of went the route of having the base OS and the carrier UI layered onto each other instead of intermingled. That way, out of the box, carriers could have both activated, users could turn off carrier UI and still have stock functioning without issues.

        Updates could be applied seperately, one from Google to the core OS and alert the user to disable carrier UI if they wish to apply the core update. Then carrier could take all the time they wanted to update their UI variation without affecting the base OS.

        I think this approach would of lead to a more unified experience and I can hope that updates from OEM / carriers will be faster to stock user complaints.

      • Vance

        Exactly. The problem is that right now, for the most part, Android owners HALF to be tech savvy and have to be willing/able to customize their devices at the root level. This capability should be a benefit of the Android ecosystem, for those who want to take advantage of it, not a necessity for every single user. I would say, however, that it’s getting MUCH better! I believe anybody, no matter their level of tech savvy, could go get the One S on t-mo and be thrilled with their decision. It’s solid, it’s stable, it’s pro-actively user friendly, and the camera is ridiculous.

        • Vance

          Don’t ask me why I typed HALF and not HAVE… damn martinis

    • nerdshowandtell

      Android you can now split into two groups.. and this is more apparent than ever after the SIII announcement.. You have all those tech people you mention, etc.. then you have the rest of the world that want that out of box experience / gimmic features.. Samsung and HTC are both showing that they can bring these to the table w/ a smooth experience and this is their primary target audience. So as for the original Android users who like to tinker, they will need to hope google keeps bringing this through the play store, unlocked devices, and rely more and more on “Hacking ” methods to get this experience.

    • Ardrid

      The problem I have with assessments like this is that they assume mutual exclusivity is the only way to do things. Why can’t a phone be aimed at technologically aware individuals and also be free of problems when it comes to software/hardware? Why shouldn’t a phone be tinkerer friendly and also just work like it’s supposed to? The PC market, with its nearly infinite number of configurations, proves that it can be done.

      There’s absolutely no reason that Google can’t take a page out of Apple’s book and start dictating policy to the carriers. That may not have been possible during Android’s inception, given how much of the market Apple controlled, but it’s certainly possible now. Consumers shouldn’t need to resort to jail-breaking or rooting to get their phones to function properly or to install a 6-month old update to fix bugs

  • Joel

    $2027.57 + $300 + 5 months of disappointment = A very unhappy Taylor.
    I admire the fact that you didnt root in order to get a regular consumer perspective, not many people can endure that long.

    “The process in which US carriers update the software on their Android phones is completely broken, and Google knows this.” – Thats just painful to read – and I agree…whats even harder to come to terms with is the fact that its hard to fix something and use it at the same time.

  • Jeff

    For the longest time I planned on switching to Verizon because of their fast LTE network, but their limitation of phones they choose to offer (like not getting the HTC One X), crippling of Android phones, lack of Windows Phones, and general disdain for their customers is going to keep me on AT&T for some time.

    T-Mobile has no LTE network so they’re out.
    Sprint wants to use embedded SIMs so it’s no better than what they have now.

    Better to stay with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know…

    • Taylor Wimberly

      LTE is overrated, for now. Why do you need 20-50 Mbps downstream on your phone?

      • pekosROB

        So I can play Starcraft II and Diablo 3 from ANYWHERE!!!

        I have gotten so sucked into SC II lately I almost want to just go buy an 11″ laptop just to play it on and use LTE… of course I also need to get an LTE phone first to replace my 3G device.

        • Max.Steel

          Yeah, you must have a crap ton of money to pay for overages.

          • pekosROB

            Starcraft takes up very little bandwidth and I have unlimited data… so what are these overages you mention?

          • siphyn

            Not if he is grandfathered in. I consume an average of 20gb a month without any issues. The fact that people here have caved into tiered data is just saddening. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

      • VS

        All the better to hit you with overages, my dear…

    • Eric Rossman

      LTE is not fully baked yet, meanwhile the Faux-G HSPA+21 , and HSPA+42 networks are very wide spread, mature, and plenty fast (9~17Mb in my case) to deliver all your current net-streaming needs.

      This is the same story from a couple years ago when we all were being sold 4G/Faux-G when 3G was just getting widespread and mature. Heck the US carriers even played some legal-sleeze to not get sued for not abiding to the international 4G standard. Today the US carriers are currently up-selling a premium priced LTE service that has a lot of coverage gaps, and is generally not reliable for most customers. Meanwhile, I hope that the extra cash being made off LTE revenue goes into filling in the coverage gaps, but realistically it will be another 1~2 years before LTE lives up to the selling claims.

    • VerryVZWdissatisfied

      you got it right, stay with ATT – after appr. 20 years with ATT, or whatever since they came out with their initial cell phones, I had no problems. I think I had maybe 5 phones in that time. I switched to Verizon a couple of years ago for a specific phone not being carried by ATT (because it was a P.O.S.) after two years with Verizon, I have had appr. 20 phones, their phones and service are crap! ATT has and gets way more and way better phones. Verizon just doesn’t care. What is all the talk of their great customer service? I think it sucks, they are arrogant and could not care less. I have two lines, and as soon as I can afford it, I will pay the ETF and to back to ATT – can’t happen soon enough. You Verizon fans can have it. Also in twenty years, I never had any coverage problems with ATT – commuting 130 miies per day. Whoever does their phone buying is brain dead – no HTC One X? No Galaxy Note? See ya VZW

  • thetruth

    SO THE real question is will they hold off on the next update of the OS so the carriers can catch up or is ICS going to the LOST OS. The update that skipped a generation on Android users

    • VS

      I cant see ICS being skipped. There are too many enhancements that OEMs cant pass up. There will be legacy devices that for whatever reason wont be updated (looking at you Samsung and G1 series) but I think the majority of phones will be updated to ICS.

      Heck, if the HTC Desire C can run ICS, then it just goes to show that low end hardware can pull it off.

      • KC

        FYI, I’ve got ICS v4.0.4 from xda running on my 1st Generation (single core) HTC Desire with only 256MB RAM memory. No bloatware!!!

    • nerdshowandtell

      Look at the history.. with every version of Android.. the new version finally hits the general public / starts to gain traction by the time the next version of Android is released.. SO, ICS will be well in front of the public by the time Jelly Bean is released.. It’s just the nature of the beast when dealing with so many hardware variations, manufacturers, and carriers.

      • thetruth

        except every year it happens later and later

  • autonomousgerm

    I don’t know why you all trust Google so much. I know you will all blame the carriers, but Apple throws their weight around and gets it right. Google should do the same, but Google does not care about the user, they care about appeasing the carrier.

    • thetruth

      thats what they get for working with the big red Devil. Now they are getting abused on that “slippery slope”

    • Derek

      Actually google doesnt care about the consumer or the carrier. All they care about is finding more ways to data mine us to sell more advertising. People forget, in all of google’s gloriousness they are nothing more than an ad company.

      • VS

        Caring for customers and trying to give them the best phone OS experience goes hand in hand actually. If their users are unhappy, they jump ship and, by your admission, lose all those lovely advertising opportunities.

        So, it’s in Google’s best interest to “care” as it helps the bottom line, in any business ;).

  • alexanderharri3

    The concept that is most frustrating is this: Carrier testing to make sure the phone is bug free/won’t affect the network – 2-4 months. Isn’t this delay and process supposed to eliminate these issues from making it to consumers? How do you justify such a lengthy testing process and delay (that isn’t done in europe, etc) and STILL have major bugs. Carriers claim testing makes the phones sure to work properly…but if they don’t – the magical delay for updates to the software seems like a process that takes too long to do too little.

    • Derek

      Carriers test so it doesnt break their network. They dont test for overall quality of software, just so that it wont mess up their network. If they tested for software quality (bugs) we’d get better software.

  • Rob

    My experience has basically been the opposite. Aside from some official mobile hot-spot issues I had initially, I honestly couldn’t be happier with my VZW G-Nex overall. I will readily admit I am NOT pleased regarding the about-face Google did with the CDMA/LTE variant of this phone where they took it out of AOSP by citing some BS about “proprietary” issue, but there is always a custom rom or a leak waiting. I put 4.04 on mine manually, and it is even better now. Let’s be honest here, your average lemming goes out and gets the Faux-G iPhone, and guys that buy the Nexus usually know what they are doing and getting into.

    With that said, I have tasted LTE speeds and I am grandfathered into “unlimited” data on VZW and you couldn’t pay me to go back to 3G AT&T or T-Mobile (Edge speeds in my house). I am in STL, and for once, we are not getting screwed on a carrier roll-out and have LTE from both AT&T and VZW. AT&T’s speeds on my Note are actually even faster than VZW on average. Don’t even get me going on Sprint’s pathetic excuse for a network. There is a reason they and T-Mo are #3 and #4 respectively. I have hopes for Sprint’s LTE, but they have themselves to blame for the position they are in.

    So, while I hate the way carriers drag their feet on updates, an international or pentaband 3G device just won’t cut it for me anymore, the speed is paramount to me. I also do not appreciate the fact that it seems AT&T and VZW purposely chose incompatible LTE implementations, but until Google offers a dual-band LTE phone, you can keep your Play store direct offer because it is meaningless to me.

  • Rob

    Why does LTE matter so much? Try watching your Slingbox on 3G or Faux-G and let me know how that works out for you. More bandwidth means more headroom for quality streaming delivery, plus it isn’t as congested (yet).

  • Rick

    My wife and I had the VZW GN from launch day and the device was awesome. We was very pleased with the phones in Portland OR. Once the issues with 4.0.2 started happening, VZW was playing dump and read Google was already working on a fix in 4.0.3 but that AOSP was not for CDMA.

    Downloaded the first leak 4.0.4 for VZW GN’s and it fixed a lot of issues still remaining non-root with lock boot loader.

    I left VZW since their network sucks where I work. I was missing about 90% of my calls and same with their data except outside or by the windows. GSM carries on the other hand had full bars.

    Got a free Nexus S from Best Buy for TMO and it is great having service.

  • hope

    I believe and surely hope that Google will show their power after the acquisition of Motorola which currently requires approval from china.

  • Troy

    Wow, your life must be filled with candy and unicorns to be able to write an article where all you do is moan and complain over nothing.

  • Nathan D.

    And this is why I I’m sticking with T-Mobile and buying nexus device straight from Google from now on.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I hear what Taylor is saying, and have heard the same from a couple of my cousins stateside. This is where Google needs to step up so that customer experiences don’t suffer due to hardware/software they control. A professor of mine said these wise words to me: If people have a great experience they tell 3-5 people. When they have a negative experience, they tell everybody. Google needs to figure whether they want Verizon to define them, or if they would like to do this themselves. Google needs to start dictating the rules of delivery to carriers. IOS does it, it seems to work for them.

  • Jennifer

    Funny, I had the same problem with TMobile and one of their phones, causing me to switch to Verizon. I had TMobile since 2004, never had a problem until that particular phone – my 3rd android. They would not switch out my phone with anything other than my current garbage, so I waited until had a 1cent sale on Verizon phones, and switched my two lines.

    The point is that all carriers have flaws, and without good customer service, there won’t be any customer loyalty.

  • Gabba

    WAAAH!! My telecom doesn’t update my phone as quickly as I want, they take months on end.

    Dial 1 for #firstworldproblems

    • John Freeman

      This is a site for phone news and views. This article is perfect in this format. You’re the ass on this one. Honestly, I could give a flying f?&k about second or third world problems, anyway.

  • Eric Rossman

    Taylor I applaud you for suffering the Verizon experience, more so for the immersion of grief that the average US customer is experiencing.

    I hate to keep bringing this up, over and over again; the US carriers completely destroy the android experience for the average customer. I initially came to this conclusion with my first HTC device on AT&T that was slow, laggy, FC’ing paid apps constantly (except for the AT&T apps — curiously). The device would eat it’s battery in a few hours as well. Being a tech person I boldly took root and a GSM rom for my specific device, to find out that android is actually fast, reliable, and could go for a solid day+ of battery on the same hardware. AT&T got me once now…

    Onto my second AT&T phone the SGS2 (i777) the default experience was now (dual core) fast and fantastic except that the device would eat through it’s battery in less than a day. I again rooted and took on a GSM (i9100) rom, to find that the same hardware and battery can last well into two days using the same power management schemes. ??? AT&T again found a way to bugger the system.. Cripes, AT&T got me twice (shame on me, but their network is solid in my area)…

    My point is that a few non-paid developers (and lucky hackers) @ XDA-developers can seem to fix the carrier cancer that plagues us all in the US. Did the device manufacturer do this? Some by playing nice with the US carriers, but I see them more in a validating role to assure that the carrier befuddling doesn’t cause the hardware to melt-down. Did Google do this? Yes, by letting the carriers drive the customer experience. Does iOS have this problem? No, because they iron-fist the customer experience, forcing the carriers work for them not against them. Which is what I think Google should ultimately do as well.

    Having now experienced a (wonderfully) clean Google Android experience on two different devices, I personally will pay full price for my hardware in the future to keep the true Google Android experience again. Maybe next time I will not have to root + ROM to unlock the true potential of device I paid for.

    -thanks for hearing my rant, all in all I love android for the diversity of choices it brings.
    -good times, and happy gadgetry to all :)

  • eYe

    People that say just go to xda and root your phone are missing a huge point here. Its OK to go and do it to enhance your phone, add features or change things around. It is NOT OK to have to do it to fix bugs that should have work to begin with. Experience across Android phones is so inconsistent that I’m planning to get iPhone as soon Apple sticks bigger screen in them (that 3.5 screen is just not doing it for me). Not a single phone launched recently bug free, there’s something wrong here!!!!
    Don’t get me wrong, I still think that Android is by far superior OS then iOS but I really need the phone that just works. Somehow, I didn’t get it in my last 4 Android phones so I will be speaking with my wallet.

  • geeknik

    The Galaxy Nexus was meant to be hacked. Why is anyone waiting on Verizon to update the phone?

  • westy

    Taylor what in the world were you thinking? Why didnt you just get the galaxy nexus GSM version? You are a tech guy, i am so confused on your decision. I would never think to leave T-Mo for Verizon strictly because of the lack of sim card support.

  • aholland1

    I managed to snag the IMM76K build when it leaked and once root is re-established (use the rootkit on xda with IMM30B) it’s a way better phone, I have to say. No more random reboots, GPS locks faster, screen rotate is better, even the LTE hand-off seems to work better in fringe areas and I have more bars where I didn’t before with the updated radios! It’s really an all-around better phone and why Verizon hasn’t pushed this to the masses yet is beyond me.

    After waiting and waiting last time with the original Droid Incredible, and finally giving in to the ROM game, I’m glad I didn’t let this one slip by.

    Seriously, anyone out there still on 4.0.2 that doesn’t want to screw around with custom ROMs, this is the build to get until something more official in 4.0.5 is released! Your sanity will thank you :)

  • CJ

    I hate to come across as a dick but there’s no way around it…. Every phone has issues. And as Nokia has pointed out in it’s new ads, we’re all beta testers. But your little rant here is nothing more than an attempt to garner page hits. No matter what phone you buy there will always be things about it, software or hardware wise, that may need tweaking. Verizon is well known for taking their sweet time to certify updates and those of us that have been Verizon customers for any length of time accept this as the way they do business. As someone that has had my hand in software development for years, there may be many reasons why Verizon hasn’t given the green light on 4.0.4. And even more importantly, just because the GSM version gets an update it doesn’t mean that the CDMA/LTE version needs that same update.

    • Dr.Carpy

      I wholeheartedly disagree! Why is it fair for any cell phone carrier or phone maker to deliver half a product? Would you beta test a home, car or clothes? Absolutely not because an unfinished product in those industries would mean the end of that builder/manufacturer. Truth be told, these entities delay software so it can be chalked full of bloat the average consumer does not want at all. If these “additions” made by the carrier where omitted and left as a peripheral app, I doubt they would get a 15% download share .As I guy whose job takes software heavily into consideration as well, beta testing is controlled. If you rolled out a sub-par network you’d have update your resume immediately. Real world standards say what you’re speaking of is not acceptable, so why do cell phone carriers/manufacturers get away with it.

  • Eric Z

    What a dumbass.

  • Roger

    This is not just a Verizon issue or CDMA issue folks. I am on Rogers and my phone is still stuck on 4.0.1 and has all those issues. Rogers STILL has not released 4.0.4 that fixes all those issues.

  • levelm

    I too am unhappy with the way Verizon has handled the Galaxy Nexus, however, I haven’t had a single issue with my Galaxy Nexus and aside from having to play tricks to get Google Wallet on it, I’m beyond happy with it and can honestly say it’s the best Android device I’ve ever owned.

  • bdbplatano

    I reposted this comment from another artile on -in case you missed it-

    My first Android was the OG Droid, only I was in Germany at the time and I bought it locally so it was actually the EU version of the phone, the Milestone. I loved it… except that as soon as the Nexus One came out I bought it thinking it was going to completely change the way that phones were sold and bought. A phone straight from Google with no strings attached and updates came straight from The Big G? I was sold.

    After that I bought the Nexus S and enjoyed that too until the Galaxy Nexus came out. I bought the Gnex, the day it came out in Germany which just happend to be the day I left Germany for good after living there for six years. I was completely blown away by the Gnex, the screen, the built but most importantly Android 4.0. I was blown away until I got back to the states and found out that for some reason my “variation” of the phone did not receive updates from Google. I instantly blamed T-Mobile, but it was not them. The updates came from Samsung EU, and because of that I wasn’t able to download the latest Google Apps (Maps, G+, YouTube, Music and a few others) because the signatures were different. Not an issue, I just unlocked the bootloader, rooted, and flashed the ROM directly from Google. What’s the point of getting a nexus if I wasn’t going to do this, right?

    For some reason I decided to get the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus (VNex). Bigger battery, 4G speeds and more memory, who wouldn’t? All I can tell you is that switching was the biggest mistake ever. Besides not being too happy with CDMA; conference calling, managing multiple calls at once and simultaneous voice and data), I can tell you that the Verizon version of the phone was not as good as the GSM version. Even with the LTE off, the battery was atrocious, no Google Wallet support and the updates coming from Verizon instead of Google was a deal breaker for me. I ended up paying the ETF and going back to my Gnex, this time on AT&T. and I am completely happy. I’m running AOKP and it is beautiful.

    The moral of this story is: In my opinion, Google botched the US launch of the third Nexus. You can’t even call the thing a Nexus. I mean, for what? You compromised the Nexus brand, just so that you can release the phone on Verizon? After Sprint and T-Mobile have been there for you (think G1 on T-Mo and Google Voice for Sprint).

    What they are doing now with is how it should of been from the beginning. I’m not too sure how I feel about Samsung making the next Nexus (rumored). Personally, I think another manufacturer should have a crack at it. I like the built of the Gnex but hope that the launch and sale of next year’s Nexus resembles that of the Nexus One; Google-sold. I definitely believe in second chances and I think that Google is finally doing it right. Let’s just hope they get their act together by the time the Nexus 4 comes out.

    I thought I would repost this since it applied to this article as well, don’t judge me

  • ignitros

    I am certainly going to express the same sentiment with regard to Verizon’s update policies. I experience several reboots a day with my Galaxy Nexus (I love my Nexus though!) and since I’ve been a customer for a long time I have seen the same delays with updates most recently on my Samsung Fascinate before I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Thunderbolt but even that phone had issues after it was updated as well and waited months for a fix that didn’t come. Bug fixes just don’t seem to be a priority for Verizon… they worry more about their network than the customer experience with regard to the handsets themselves. I do agree that Verizon is tops in customer service but leave much to be desired with regard to the handset experience. I have to give Apple props for getting at least one thing right by controlling everything about their product and NOT giving in to the carriers with regard to control of updates and equipment.

  • Jcopernicus

    How exactly did you spend a little over two grand? Did they make you pay the full length of the contract?

    With such an incendiary title I figured you have had a breakdown of the costs.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      2 phones + 6 months of service. Verizon is expensive hah.

  • YNWA

    I have the occasional reboot and other minor bugs with my Galaxy Nexus, but nothing worth switching phones over. The Galaxy Nexus is 3-4 times more smooth and stable than the past VZW phone I have had: Droid 1 (replaced 3 times), Droid 2 (replaced twice), Droid Charge (SUPER slow phone in general). Upgrading to Nexus has been a huge improvement and once we get 4.04 it will solve all the minor things.

    Later on down the road if there are big bugs and issues I may consider switching to an unlocked version, but Google didn’t even push the 4.04 patch until over a month ago. The basic bug fixes should have been pushed out in January sometime, not April.

  • Tico4674

    I know Taylor mentioned the ability to root but I purchased the nexus 2 months ago and couldn’t be happier. I rooted and romed on day 1 and I really have no complaints. Coming from t mobile, Verizon’s network has been close to perfect in reliability and speed performance.

  • jamal adam

    The Nexus name is getting abused and mishandled by these carriers like its the plague.

  • ama332

    I’ve been a steady Verizon customer for years, because their network and support is top notch, and they’ve always treated me well. I’ve laughed at Sprint and AT&T users dropping calls (back in the day, NYC area), and turned my nose up at iPhone sheep. But VZN has truly let me down, considering how long I waited for this phone, how hard I repped it, and how much I’ve pushed Verizon, Android, and Nexus over the years. I know it’s hard to point the finger here, but the failure feels all around, and it’s definitely time to drop the act and ROOT.

  • zyphbear

    I have to agree with you 100% as the information you wrote in the article, I have been having reboots, power downs and many other issues (including chopping signal reporting and dropped signal), I had switched from T-Mobile to get the best Google Experience and I am seeing I have got anything but. Yes, when the signal is great, I have done everything from music to video on my Nexus, but there have been times where it will randomly lose signal or turn off for no reason. I don’t want to root my device to flash a new version that may not be official and then lose warranty/insurance. Nor do I want to do that to my partner’s nexus that has the same issues. What happened to Google standing up and saying “this was a very bad experience and we need to address it”? Or was taking it out of being an official nexus their way of saying “it’s out of our hands at this point, you get what you get”?

  • spazby

    agreed, this looked like a dream come true and verizon just screwed it up royally

  • davetheAndroid

    I went through 3 before the maxx I have now. With that said, I will shop Android market for my next phone after my contract ends next year.

  • xwaylayx

    This is why I started rooting my phones years ago,and continue to be a loyal CyanogenMod user.

  • steve

    Experiences like this is why Im ready to leave Tmo after 8 years & switch to an iphone. At least get a reliable phone & Apples toprated support

  • adnoxaei

    Find an area near you with bad coverage, go there every few days (at least once a week) for a two or three months and get calls dropped. I don’t mean one or two dropped, I mean get a few dozen each month. it sets up a pattern in their system. Complain a few times and agree to let them send a crew to whatever tower it is if they offer. when they say that the tower is fine then politely explain that you can’ be with a carrier that drops this many calls. Then try to get your ETF waived. I’ve seen it work, heck Verizon offered to waive my family’s ETF before offering us an extender for our home. We chose to stay with an extender. You could Switch back to TMo and sell your CDMA Nexii for unlocked Nexii. The cost of the switch should very minimal with the sale of the phones, but it does mean a potential few days without phones, so do it on Friday or something to make sure it interferes least.

    I know it’s annoying and means talking to customer service a few times, but it works if your account is in good standing and saves you the ETF and future high bills from Verizon.

    • adnoxaei

      Also, Google TV is annoying and I hate Sony’s keyboard remote blob. can’ is supposed to can’t and there are a few other mistakes. I hate having to crush keys to get them to work…ugh

  • Raptor

    My name is Raptor. I never buy any hype from salespeople and dumbasses.

    As a result i did not buy any Apple stuff ever as well as the pumped by Google bullcrap Nexus saving myself from wasted time and money.

  • soops

    I don’t know why you’re so upset. Seeing as how you’re new to Verizon, let me just clue you in on how they generally work. As an original Droid owner, I remember the excruciating wait for upgrades. But I learned two things: 1. Seriously, it is a first world problem. We look stupid getting upset over such stupid things. People talk about non-tech customers but my office mate is what you’d call a non-tech guy. So is his wife. Guess what? Both love their GNex LTE. Why? Because their phones still work great without the update. This isn’t a real problem. 2. When Verizon finally releases an update you appreciate it. Why? In general, Verizon is really methodical about their update releases being free of bugs and generally pretty tight on quality. If it takes little longer to get a quality update, so be it. Let’s face it, Google lives in beta. That just doesn’t fly with Verizon. Case in point: this beloved update that you are coveting is littered with signal issues. Pretty egregious issue that would obviously really in more headache and bad press for Verizon. Which evil would you choose? Late on the update or a phone that cannot connect to the most reliable network? There’s a reason patience is a virtue. It’s sites and articles like this that perpetuate and perpetrate this ridiculous, insatiable want for updates now. This isn’t Apple where updates are quality checked and nailed on the first try. This is Google. Expect bugs. So expect delays.

    • Evan

      Your non-techy friends got lucky. My two friends with VZW GNex phones have the same 4G/3G switching and caller echoes that I have–both “real” problems. It’s the phone’s job to work. If even 1 phone in 100 has these sort of issues, that’s an excessively high defect rate. The fact that 75% of the four folks I know with the VZW GNex have these issues is patently unacceptable.

      • soops

        None of the people I know have issues with their GNex. So, because 100% of let’s say 6 people (including myself), does that mean it’s not a problem? No. But neither does 75% that do have the problem say that it’s a gross problem. You see what I’m saying. I’m neither saying that because 100% of people I know with a GNex don’t have a problem doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist. Small issues are small issues to deal with. All OEMs have these issues with their devices. Even the might Apple has defects. But per your logic, because 100% of my friends don’t have any issues, it’s patently ACCEPTABLE. See how ridiculous that sounds?

      • soops

        By the way, the problem I’m talking about isn’t hardware. It’s about software updates. And so far, nothing definitive has been said that 4.0.4 with the new firmware fixes the signal issues on GSM GNex.

  • havi

    seriously you dont buy a nexus and not rooted. Its a dev phone. Not for the average consumer. I am a indirect sales rep at a verizon store. I never sold one to a customer. I have my rooted since day 02 I had the phone.Who cares about verizon when you go with a nexus device root the sucker. That was your mistake there. You should have gone with a razr if you were not going to root it.

  • myandroid99

    looks like you learned your lesson the hard way…

  • mikey

    I wonder who leaked 4.0.4 ? Im thinking google. I was with t-mobile coverage in my area was poor. Im grandfathered in with verizon’s unlimited data plan coverage and service is awesome. Im waiting patiently for offical release.

  • Alexander

    I’m really feeling with you guys in the U.S. That the carriers have that much power cant be good. In Europe, and specially in Sweden. We have been buying our phones directly from the vendors, or unmodified from the carriers for years and I hope that Google can change they way it works four you guys by the initiative to sell the Nexus devices in Play.

  • Gianni

    After 6 month of Nexus gsm, the only problem is little gain of sand in the Bezel.
    Why you bought two if you are so sensitive to quality???

  • hangman

    man!!!! do I have a bridge to show you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • HP

    Sadly VZW has Tarnished the Nexus brand for Google for many people in the future. First experience is the First Impression and the GNex is a fail on VZW.

  • MakeItNasty

    I feel for the author. In a past life, I was a T-Mobile Product Specialist. My main role was to test new software, updates, patches and more (Specifically on Android Devices). This process is lengthy and cumbersome. The main reason is the Carrier wanting to add the bloat and tracking software on these devices. Think of it this way, AOSP Google Android is usually a 90-110MB file, depending on the OEM, they may add about another 20-50MB worth of clutter. When a Carrier gets a hold of this devices and the software, the device ends up with an additional 100-150MB worth of clutter, bloat and code!!! This is the main issue! One device i remember being the biggest pain in the ass to test and deal with was the Original MyTouch Slide 3G. This thing had a bug list 10 pages long at launch! We even had a special “war room” support group setup at launch date at Headquarters to track bugs and issues (ON A WEEKEND!!!) at launch. Then came the update to 2.2 Android. That was another fiasco. First thought to launch in TWO SEPARATE OTA (over the air) updates. Each file being close to 175MB large! This process took about 6 months and by then Gingerbread had been out for 3 months already. One gets the idea where all this is going. Carriers try real hard to add the crap and hide it as best as possible, in the meanwhile pushing out newer devices with the same ability and functionality as the prior device. The kicker is that the Carrier uses the “NEW SOFTWARE” as a way to market to newer customers and so on. Im sure Verizon is even more on this bandwagon than any of the other Carriers here in the US.
    My Solution…. If i were Google …. Create a HARD DEADLINE for software updates and patches for both the OEM and Carrier. If these Deadlines cant be met, then Google can offer an optional base (AOSP type) update for the device that any customer can attain despite what the carrier and OEM have to say.

  • userx

    lil late to the party, so i wont go on a hate-rampage-rant that i usually provide.

    but, you got had Taylor!

    And that “most users dont root their phones and have a shitty experience” couldn’t of landed on the truth any harder than it did.

    That, and going to verizon from Tmobile.
    Some of ya’ll may have had Tmobile in the past, and yes, they sucked.
    But as of right now. Tmobile is the baby maker. The game changer, the guy that just fucked your mom, and your networks worth.

  • Evan

    I sorely miss my days with my T-Mobile Nexus One. Even before I rooted the phone, the phone and service were flawless. After about two years, I was ready for the next Nexus, so I sadly jumped ship for Verizon and their sky-high bills. Since then, I’ve had nothing but problems.

    The phone drops calls and goes from a strong signal to zero signal at the drop of a hat while I’m sitting still. After several calls from Verizon which were greeted with absolute ignorance of this issue, I finally got someone who surmised that the issue may be a long delay in switching between 4G and 3G, during which everything drops–calls and data. I’m paying for 4G (about 33% more a month than my 3G T-Mo service!) so I’m not going to just shut it off to avoid the issue.

    Additionally, I have the much-documented issue of callers hearing their own voices echo if I’m using a wired headset ( I’m sad to report that I have sideloaded the latest 4.0.4 IMM76K update, and it hasn’t fixed either issue one iota. As such, rooting didn’t fix shit.

  • CamDeezy

    At least you didn’t buy a Razr Maxx!!! You should’ve hacked it, dude. It’s so worth it! And there is a huge community backing the ROMS for this phone. But I understand the experiment. Verizon sucks with these updates…

    By the way, for you root Nex users, I recommend ViciousAOSP or LiquidSmooth ROMS. So choice!

  • dcdttu

    I had the Verizon Galaxy Nexus on launch day, and was so disappointed in 3G reception (4G off) that I returned it before my extended holiday return window was up. I had the phone in Austin and other cities in Texas and the results were worse than any other phone I put in 3G and compared the dBm to. My Nexus, as well as the other 5 friends I have with one so it wasn’t bad hardware on my end, consistently had 10-20 LESS dBm than any other phone while in 3G. This is why I constantly dropped calls and failed at sending texts.

    The first call I made with that phone dropped, ironically to an AT&T iPhone customer. It was my drop, not hers.

    I returned it, ordered an unlocked GSM one on Amazon and put a T-Mobile SIM in it. I couldn’t be happier.

  • techvudu

    Never Leave Magenta. I’m usually in Google’s corner but I believe they dropped the ball as well. Carriers are the root of all evil and the reason updates should never be announced. The system is broken and hurting a lot of people who are into the Android experience. Not that Verizon is really that much worse than anyone else, just that they use the Apple rules of “how to be #1″ You won’t find anything other than GSM in my pocket, and until they let me down I’ll forever be with TMO. Good luck.

  • brad

    I’ve had my unlocked version of this phone going a month. And not one issue and receive immediate updates. All using ATT. The issues that are with verzon s version is scary to think at the least. I nearly switched from T-Mobile to Verizon just for this phone. Good thing I didn’t. I have to say this is one of the best phones I have owned. It was 399.00. Unlocked and works on over 200 different carriers world wide. I haven’t had one issue. Typing this from my galaxy nexus on ATT. On chrome browser.

  • Bill Kilpatrick

    If you paid two grand to beta-test a phone that many people – including myself – are happy with, only to pay your way out of your contract so you could go back to T-Mobile, do I even need to utter the words “you-are-an-idiot”?

    Get a life. It’s only a phone.

  • Tom

    Basically you’re taking the problems you had with one phone and claiming that every phone must have the same problem. Now does that sound reasonable?

  • JessSayin

    I went through the exact thing with Sprint and the Nexus S 4g. NEVER should have left T-Mo as well. And the phone is a piece of Crap.
    Went back after 4 months to a monthly rate HALF of what I was paying at Sprint and my wonderfully light Samsung Vibrant running CyanogenMod9 (ICS). I’m as happy as a clam.

  • leo

    solution: google should be able to push updates directly to phones, by-passing carrier’s update time frames and nonsense.

    the above statement is a pipe dream isn’t it?

  • Bastyon

    I just wanted to say I enjoyed the article. And the folloup comments were facinating too. I switched from ATT to Verizon because Verizon had better coverage where my inlaws were located and my wife wanted the coverage…and because all the hype about the Nexus. Now I’m getting nickled and dimed to death and I LOATHE my carrier and I’m on my 5th phone LOL..I would buy an unlocked GSM and switch to TM but I cant afford the expense right now he he.. Oh well lessons learned. Thanks for the article.

  • GeoDunn

    I’ve heard countless complaints like this about Verizon and GNex which is why i switched to AT&T; their 4G LTE speeds are incredible. I work as a graphic designer in ATL, so i had been looking for a device that provides a versatile mobile workstation. With my Nexus, i am able to create presentations right on my phone and then send them to my customers on AT&T’s super fast network. Quick fix for all suffering Verizon customers.