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Verizon Support: Update to Address Galaxy Nexus Signal Strength in the Works

Reports started to flow in over the weekend that the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon was experiencing signal strength issues and possibly dropping calls like a mutha. Can’t say that I have noticed the dropped call issue myself, but it does seem tough to ever get a full 4 bars of LTE on this puppy. I’m also not having to toggle in and out of airplane mode as much as some have claimed, but then again, I have had to a couple of times and that’s unfortunate. Some have locked onto the idea that the 4.0.2 update somehow broke signal strength – the jury is still out on that.

So what is Verizon doing about it? There official Twitter support account claimed this morning that an investigation has started and that a software update “is being developed.” Wait, so that essentially says two things:  that they aren’t sure yet and are looking into it or they already know the issue and are fixing it. Hmmm. Either way, the issue is on their radar and we could see something in no time, being a Nexus and all.

How has your experience been? Bad signal and dropped calls? Neither? One or the other?

Cheers Chris and Scott!

  • Slickjim215

    got the phone on Mar 23 and from the second i got it my connection was slow and dropped about ever minute 

  • Scott

    The Galaxy Nexus has serious signal issues. While camping my daughter had the Razr and her internet and data where working very well with 2 to 4 bars signal strength at all times. My wife and I had two new Galaxy Nexus phones and had no internet, no data and no bars. While in a local town my daughter had 5 bars, internet, and data. My wife and I had two bars, no internet, and no data. As an investor data is paramount, and the Nexus has serious issues if you aren’t living in a very high signal strength area. I explained the issue to verizon and received the run around about signal strength coverage areas, different chips, and additional nonsense. Unfortunately for Verizon I had access to my daughters Razr which functioned without issue. As an x-tech for Grumman Aerospace I know a signal issues when I see it. Verizon has a disaster on their hands since the  issue does not seem to be software resolvable.

    • Since the Driod Charge and GNex basically have the same hardware radios and the Charge also had signal issues which were eventually resolved through software updates I would be shocked if they could not resolve the signal issues (yes signal strength issues not indicator issues) through radio firmware tweaks.

  • J.O.

    First of all, I’m a tormented soul because I absolutely LOVE my Galaxy Nexus! I moved from a Droid X, which I also enjoyed, but the camera was and remains crap. Even the Nexus blows my Droid X away with picture quality and the Nexus even gives my wife’s iPhone 4 a run for it’s money! Again, it’s not hard to please me in that category given my past experience, ANYTHING was an improvement (for the record, Moto did seem to fix things with the RAZR… it also takes some good pics).

    Functionally I am in love with this phone! ICS is a huge step in the right direction and the multitasking still blows me away. I do a lot with Google Apps for work and am fully Gmail integrated so it made sense for me to stick with Android. I’ve also managed to retain semi-decent battery life, but do have spare batteries on hand. Something I was used to with the Droid X.BUT, I am plagued by dropped calls and it is pretty embarrassing when… say, interviewing a new hire, or talking to the boss, or a customer, ect, ect, ect, …I keep dropping calls. It happens around 5-6 times per day and seems to be completely random (I’m in a 4G market in the Twin Cities MN area) and some days seem better than others. Sometimes I can’t make it 3 mins before I hear “Hello? Hello?” sometimes I can make it over an hour without an issue.

    Callers on the other end report a “clicking” or a “beeping” and then silence. Some have said it gets static/garbled and then fades out… so maybe we are dealing with two different things, but I NEVER dealt with these issues with my Droid X.

    I talked to Verizon tech support and they said that “they have heard of others having the same issue” and that a software update is coming out, but that they are being told to replace the device when calls like mine come in… which scares me. I have NO other issues with this phone, just the dropped calls and if a software update will truly fix it, I don’t want the risk of getting into a refurbished phone that may or may not have other issues…

  • Graham

    I’ve operated 5 phones over the years from my basement suite. None have
    been perfect but the Galaxy Nexus is by far the worst. No signal sending
    or receiving 50% of the time. My Motorola Droid consistently pulls 3
    bars when tested side-by-side.

  • Crackmonkeys4hire

    Signal strength has been fine for me and I’ve had no dropped calls. On the other hand I have an associate in Sacramento who has a new iPhone and he’s had a load of problems since getting it. His calls get dropped and his battery runs out much quicker than it used to.

    No new technology is perfect on release and there was really a demand for the Nexus to be released. I’m betting the delays were because of similar problems. The 4G network Big Red is deploying is new also. I remember having more problems when 3G came out but that could have just been me.

    You will always have people with issues. Sometimes they are legitimate and sometimes not. The one thing I’ve noticed is much more brand jealousy concerning the G-Nex than any other phone. Seems many of the detractors are just trying to make noise because they chose a different phone.

  • Theraskell

    I am really starting to think that there is a problem with the radios. Multiple times I have been in an area where I am getting 4 bars of signal and I when I run the speedtest app, I am only getting maybe 7 megs down and about 7 megs up. With 4 bars!?!?! Where is my 20 megs down with full signal strength? Anyone else in the Denver are with a 4g phone getting better speeds? I hate trying to show off in from of my AT&T icrap friends and this happens. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • I am now on my second Nexus. The first had horrible problems with Latency even on wi-fi. Well I have not tried the new radios But I can say the actual signal (dBm’s) and the indicator are horrible. I have read VZW statements about it being an indicator issue. But I have spent alot of time with my GNex, our Droid Charge, HTC Thunderbolt, and Motorola Xoom and can say that Verizon is mistaken. I will be more then happy to share my data. BUt I can tell you there is no more blatant of an example as one location where I can not get a 4G LTE signal on the GNex. BUt I can get one on the other 3 devices and can pull down 45 Mbps down and 13 mbps up. Measured from the speedtest.net app as well as other speed test sites and apps. there also is a hugh difference in the dBm and latency from the GNex and my other three devices. I feel like Verizon is turning a deaf ear to us and telling us we are all crazy and are just looking at the signal bars.

  • Dennard70

    im not sure there is a problem with the nexus i watched 3 hours worth of hd video on you tube today with no bars in the signal indicator and it never skipped a beat.

  • Anonymous

    I just got my nexus, and I am sitting in my office with my OG Droid right next to the Nexus using Sensorly to measure the reception levels.

    OG Droid: -3dBm
    Nexus: -75dBm

    I can always get at least one bar at my house up in the trees, I am in rural norcal, but with the Nexus… Nada. Couldn’t even activate the phone at home. 

  • heath

    pure crap,im in lumberton,nc,i purchased the phone late last thursday night!btw the volume is so lame i had to buy a volume app just to decently hear the phone ring,am i alone in these phones/why would vzw pusy a phone out knowing good/well it had alot buggs,etc in it/makes no sense!!!!!!!!

  • Dennard70

    on the phone with verizon tech support at the moment and they have know idea what i am taliking about with the signal issue that the nexus has been giving everyone a fit with. so i guess there is know patch being worked on at the monent

  • 1.E4? C5!

    This is my first smartphone so maybe my expectations aren’t as high as some of yours, but I have been finding that although the bars may not always be there the service seems to be (Goleta, CA and UCSB campus).  I have been able to send and receive calls from places that were a problem with my motorola dumb phone, like deep in the lab.  Locations that use to be good still are.

    Regarding battery life, I’ve just switched to an extended battery but with the stock power source I was getting greater than 16 hours on a charge depending on use which generally equated to about 5 hours of on screen time.  My wife (a light user) has been reliably going more than 24 hours each charge.

    My experience has been that if you use the GNex as a phone that has mail, calendar, and browsing capabilites than it will get you through the day on a single charge.  If you are using it as a computer than you may have to charge it in the middle.  To me this seems fair, I mean how big is your laptop battery?

    Lovin’ my Galaxy Nexus.

  • Voodoo

    does 4G LTE even work ?? My Droid X had no problems.. My Bionic and Gnex can’t even hold a signal..

  • Joc726

    I have had no signal problems.  How about SOUND VOLUME very low?  Anyone had that problem????

  • Jim Button

    my GN side by side with the Motorola Droid Razr there was no match, I was on 1X no bars and the Razr was at full 3g and 4 bars… I plan to return the GN for a refund and waiting on another phone…

  • Scottholstein Sh

    I comprehend all of the talk about how you can’t directly compare devices and their db signal strength. However, I won’t claim to fully understand it. I can tell you this. I have a Dx2 as my old device. I bought the nexus this past Saturday, 12-17-11. The signal quality on the GNex is the pits. I have tried it on 4.0.1 and 4.0.2. It makes no difference…the signal strength is poor at best. The db rate shows -120 most of the time. I reactivated my DX2. I can make calls on it that I cannot make from the same locations using the GNex. My db on the DX2 is around -85 to -95. Everything on the DX2 is faster and that should not be happening. I don’t have 4g in my area and have the GNex set to CDMA only. Battery life stinks…probably because I can’t get a signal worth anything. I will return the device by 12-31-11 if nothing is resolved.

  • (Putting on my dusty BS Electrical Engineering cap)  dB measurements are all relative to some fixed, calibrated point of reference.  For 4G and 3G, the signal strength reference point might be the same (or might not) and it’s likely identical measured calibrated signal strengths have different performance characteristics.   Saying I got -93db on my Bionic and -99db on my Gnex, so therefore the Bionic is better is assuming all the underlying calculations and calibrations are equal.   The Samsung engineer who calibrated the GN may not quite match up with the Moto engineer.

    And signal bars?  Those are just arbitrary visual representations of the relative dB measurements.  Take them for the idiot lights they are.If you want a decent comparison, take two Nexus or two RAZRs since they should be calibrated similarly. The best comparisons are real life tests such as data throughput, voice quality, dropped calls.  You know, things that actually are tangible.   Try not to get too upset if your dB measurement is different when you change phones.    (You’ll start to look like the iphone users who freaked out when the iphone 4 changed their bars calculations.)Anandtech is basically trying to say don’t get your panties in a bunch over technical aspects you don’t understand.(This being said, my GN was unable to connect to both 3G and 4G on Sunday for about 15 minutes after spending all day on WiFi.  At least it has only happened once.)

  • Jim Beam

    Signal strength is terrible, can not use this phone anywhere in my house in Chicago even though my previous LG had a reasonable signal everywhere except the basement. Dropped calls also an issue.

  • I have some signal issues where its almot like the 3G or 4G goes into sleep mode. The bars go gray and you cant access the internet. Idk if this is what everyone else is having issues with???

    • Anonymous

      This happened to me about an hour ago. The phone said I had signal but if I looked close at the notification bar it showed that the phone wasn’t downloading any data, it was only uploading. I did a reboot and so far it’s fixed, for now.

  • weapon x

    Its a shame that Google continues to rely on Samsung

  • Anonymous

    Anandtech has a response to this concern:

    Personally I disagree.  While I like that they don’t have the bars artificially inflated, I am experiencing weaker WiFi and CMDA Voice connections.  Anandtech focuses on LTE, which may well be correct as I haven’t had LTE problems and in fact I have no baseis of comparison coming from the DInc, DX, and DX2.  I do love the point he makes about not comparing apples to oranges where bars and dBms are concerned.

  • not sure why,but I have great signal and fast, ive been pegging the meter on the speed test

  • Anonymous

    I have been saying this all along, Samsung are the worse when it comes to signal strenght, build quality and sound quality.

  • nFans=iFans

    This is me doing my dance for all the nextrolls who suffer at the hands of karma.


  • Antares Ps

    So Glad you posted this! 
    I got a Nexus Google on Friday and the signal SUCKS! 0 bars on 4G and 1
    bar on 3G.  BB 9930 and a 6 year old
    Droid get 4-5 bars in the same location with Verizon.  This has made the phone useless, internet
    non-existent, call quality the worst I’ve ever had (0 bars). 

    Called and talked to Verizon level 2 support and they were
    useless too!  Turn-on, turn-off
    phone.  Remove battery and SIM card.  Re-power unit.  When I told them I would not waste any more
    time because I read on Engadet and Twitter that Verizon acknowledge there was a
    problem and a sw fix was in the works, Level-2 support stated, “we don’t work
    off of internet rumors” When I gave her the Verizon Twitter account info,
    she said, “they don’t pay me to read Twitter only what’s on my
    screen.”  When I told them it’s sad
    when the customer has more information than level 2 tech support, she said,
    “is the anything else I can help you with tonight?

    Completely useless and a waste of my time.  I have 10 days to return the phone and I just
    might have to if they don’t get it fix ASAP. 
    Wanted to post in case anyone else is having signal problems too.

  • EC8CH

    Ive gotten four bars on lte. Getting -90 to -100 at my home which isnt great but Ive had no issues with dropped calls or data and my speeds are consistantly around 10 Mbps

  • Mine works/switches back and forth perfect. No battery issues. I hope the comments are just a reflection of a small portion of people with problems, and that the only ones commenting are users with problems.

  • liveinthemix

    …radio is just weak.. I’d say about 33% weaker than a motorola radio.. My OG Droid and Razr (which I exchanged for this phone) both had solid 3G performance in my condo, and the Razr would pick up 4G no problem on my balcony.. I’m never seeing more than 1 bar 3G on this thing inside or out of my condo.. but once in a solid 4G area, inside or out, it’s fast… Still contemplating going back to the Razr before the holiday return period is up though.. I’d rather have good signal all the time and get ICS later, than have ICS now, and deal w/signal issues for 2 years in my residence.. 

  • Opal8

    Having problems with signal,only two bars.Having problems with forwarding e-mail.

  • SBH

    I’ve had a bit of issue with LTE connectivity. I’m in the same boat as most people, if I’m indoors, the signal is very weak. It struggles to stay on 4G and it will sometimes disconnect completely requiring a reboot. Doesn’t matter where I am, home or work (both LTE covered areas), it drops. Over the weekend, while I charged my phone at night, it would seem to lose data and never regain it until I’d reboot it when I woke up. I was surprised just now to find that my phone was still on 4G data when i woke up and i didn’t have to reboot it. Hoping things continue to improve. Love the phone and once the signal is fixed, I will be very happy.

  • Anonymous

    my experience has been odd to say the least…no reception/connectivity problems with me at all…what’s wierd is inside my apt it shows -100dbm on average and i have no problems with reception 3g or otherwise (i don’t live in a 4g area)…my OG would drop calls at this point but the GNex is handling it like a champ…who knows?!?…no bars and what seems to be bad dbm but with stellar reception!

  • cdraptor

    I haven’t notice any more dropped calls, but I do have to say that I have found it hard to get full bars on the indicator, now that being said with 3bars in 4G LTE I was getting 12.4M down, 6.8M up.  Tonight I had something very disturbing happen, I was on the phone and the signal not the best, all of a sudden I was getting major distortion from the person talking to me,  he seemed to hear me okay.

  • Ryan

    Is anyone else’s GNex get really really hot? Is it related to this network connectivity issue? Let me know!

  • Taglogical

    Yea… my phone kind of needs to be able to… make/receive calls. Went back to my Bionic; best phone I have used to date.

    (Go go Droid 4!!!  Razr HD?!?!)

  • I’ve had my nexus active since the 13th, and it was definitely not the 4.0.2 update because I did not get the update until late afternoon on Weds.  Where my Thunderbolt sitting side by side with my Nexus it always had at least one bar less.  BUT I have not had any kind of connectivity issues in 4g or 3g areas.

  • Anonymous

    If I am inside 1 bar max!  I was going to take it back and see if mine was just a lemon.

  • Guest

    Not in the cards for me, phone was basically useless and the constant searching for signal killed the battery in a few hours several times losing 50% in an hour. As much as I hated to do it I had to return it. Funny when I did Verizon claimed they hadn’t heard of any signal issues and soon after I get home I see this…

  • Not in the cards for me, phone was basically useless and the constant searching for signal killed the battery in a few hours several times losing 50% in an hour. As much as I hated to do it I had to return it. Funny when I did Verizon claimed they hadn’t heard of any signal issues and soon after I get home I see this…

  • Anonymous

    Yes I will be so happy when the FIX happens because my Galaxy Nexus falls to -120dBm 6asu and falls to 3g with NO signal as soon as I make it into the house. The price for early adoption i assume but I am fine with my Galaxy Nexus because I know this fix will be here soon. Meanwhile when I go home I just switch to CDMA service so this way my battery isn’t taxed switching between 4g/3g so with this I will be fine till the fix comes…

  • me

    everyone should just chill out this is why didnt want to release it yet.but. they will fix it my bionic is a great phone now.your nexus will too be patient.I am glad however I didn’t have call problems as that’s why I have a phone.but if you like your phone keep it if they can fix a whole list of things on my phone they can with this one too.

  • I get the feeling people are seeing “less bars,” but the same or better call quality. The visual is just different, I think.

    • Nope, I was getting -120 db on my now former Nexus while my Thunderbolt sitting right next to it was getting -90 to -95. Didn’t pay attention to the “bars”

      • Not going to dispute that. I hope a future update helps you out.