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Defective Verizon Galaxy Nexus Devices to Receive OTA Update to Address Signal Issues

A few weeks ago, we reported that a number of replacement Galaxy Nexus devices were having major signal issues. If you were to get stuck with one of these, you likely couldn’t hold a 4G connection for more than a few minutes before it would drop. To call it a “frustrating” situation is a gross understatement. Some of our readers went through a half a dozen replacement devices before finally receiving one that did not have this issue. Many are under the impression that version I515.10 of the device is to blame.

Best Buy is under the impression that a software update will rollout to these devices over the next couple of days to address the problem. It doesn’t sound like this is Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), but more of a bug fixer instead, since Samsung has apparently figured out the problem. 

If you happen to swing by a Best Buy this weekend to buy a Galaxy Nexus, you may want to inquire about this update. We are hearing that many of the affected devices have an “Updated” sticker on the box.

Cheers J!

  • T4rd

    Wow, only 10 months after it launched! Amazing support, Verizon/Samsung! /s

    • JoshGroff

      I’ve given up on VZW when it comes to updates. I’ll just stick to the dev community since what they release is usually better than the official release, and it takes much less time to get updates.

      Also, being a Nexus device, Samsung has nothing to do with the software. I totally blame them on any hardware issues though (obviously.)

      • T4rd

        Same here. Running JBSourcery 2.3 right now and it’s awesome. The new FF02 / FG02 radios didn’t help any for me though. If anything they’re worse on hand-offs than the previous radios. I was stuck with no data or 1x for a while last night despite being in a strong 3G area, even after toggling mobile data several times. As far as phone signal goes though, the Gnex seems about the same as any other phone I’ve had (Rezound, OG Droid). It just doesn’t hold onto 4G in fringe areas or indoors as well as my wifes Rezound.

        I would think Samsung would be responsible for updating the baseband radios though, not Verizon. I mean, that’s specific to their hardware, so I would think they would have to be the ones to update the radios. Verizon would just have to approve/push the update (which is most of the delay probably).

  • teevirus

    I got a replacement phone last week that I assume was a refurbished. The had significant signal issues. The insurance company sent me a new phone. The new one works without any problem.

  • honeydipperdan

    2 like new sent to me and I complained again w the signal issue demanding that I receive a brand new or better phone and after the struggle I got the GS3

  • mtbhk44

    Are we really going to continue to rely on Best Buy for information on releases, etc? Really??? They are wrong 100% of the time.

    I had these signal issues. Went through 2 refurbs and 2 sim cards. Finally took matters into my own hands – unlocked, rooted and installed the leaked JB radios. My phone has been awesome since. I find the way that Verizon has been handling this signal issue to be a flat out joke. Thankfully, we have a great community with lots of resources. If you have signal issues, change out your radios – they are the issue.

  • Tim Swann

    Just to let everyone know, I was one of the people getting sent defective replacement devices. The one that I got that finally worked was hardware revision .09. Hence it’s not a software bug. It is definitely a hardware defect

    • Jim McClain

      i have a 1515.10, its a software issue, after i installed Jelly Bean and updated my radios,the problem is gone, I have had 8 gnex phones, after that I took matters into my own hands,its never been better

  • http://twitter.com/splendorthought Splendor Thought

    had to give up my gnex after 4 replacements. Verizon let me swap for a GS3 and man, I couldn’t be happier!

  • Jackson
  • Jackson

    I got a replacement for my Gnex and it’s signal was just disgusting but I flashed the Jelly bean radio and its PERFECT I suggest everyone do so

  • http://profiles.google.com/arther.casillas Arther Casillas

    Nexus all the way…only complaints. Battery life is 6 hours moderate to heavy use with3800 mAh And the lack of 2 seperate port: usb port and micro hdmi out.

  • http://profiles.google.com/arther.casillas Arther Casillas

    I’m unlocked and rooted. What problems? Who the hell buys a nexus and doesn’t unlock the boot loader and root? My gps locks on to 10 satellites with permission
    fixed. Maps are pre cached.

    • JoshGroff

      Some people just want stock android and timely updates. I of course am not one of those people, I prefer tweaking my phone. :)

  • Jim McClain

    I have the 1515.10, but I got tired of the mic cuts off and rooted, then flashed the new radios and this used to be a pos,but now its great, no problems at all, i now hold signal better than my wifes s3

  • ddevito

    I just ordered a replacement GNex just so I could use Google Wallet again (secure element issue). I bricked the NFC chip back in January. Now I’m seriously thinking of rejecting the package come Monday. But I plan on running Bugless Beast and running the latest radios…not sure what to do now

    • C-Law

      Everyone with these issues has reported them completely gone after roaming. So accept ur phone, unlock, install Bugless Beast, install the newest leaked radios, and you will have the best Android phone out there!

      • ddevito

        Thanks – yeah I’m probably going to keep it. I’ll probably hold onto my old phone for a day just to make sure.

        I already had the best Android phone (sans Google Wallet since bricking the stupid NFC chip), I don’t want to sabotage myself just for google wallet.

    • Jackson

      Get the new one and flash the Jelly Bean radio literally 0 problems and I used to drop 4g literally every half hour

      • ddevito

        Thanks. You guys have reassured me to keep the replacement

        Cheers!

        • Jackson

          Good its a great phone when you’re not worried about the data lol

    • Larizard

      Doesn’t the BuglessBeast 9-7-12 release include the newest radios? FG02/FF02?

      • ddevito

        Not sure, you might be right. I flashed them while running his prior build then flashed his 9-7 build. Either way I feel better hearing the new radios fix the issues with replacements.

      • http://twitter.com/Chasemanhattan3 Chase Chick

        You have to flash radios separately.

  • YankInDaSouth

    Went through 6 GNex (data / call issues) since it dropped … got VZW to let me swap out for the Razr Maxx and I couldn’t be happier! Solid data ALL the time, GREAT call quality AND UNREAL battery life!!
    Just happy to have a fully functional phone again!

    • JoshGroff

      Wait, a Motorola phone with solid radios? What a shocker… Glad you’re enjoying the MAXX though, it’s pretty beast. Still haven’t had to go past stock battery on my G-Nex though as my N7 takes the brunt of my on screen use, and the reception with the “new” JB radios is pretty stellar.

  • Benny

    There is only so many ways you can polish a turd.

  • TheDrunkenClam

    Feel bad for you people having issues with the device. From day 1 I haven’t really had any issues with my service at all here in D.C. area. I even get 3G coverage in many of the metro rail tunnels. When I take my voyages back to Ohio (404 miles away) I get a nice connection doing YouTube, Pandora, and even tethering much of the route. I always run the latest radios available.

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ koveleski

    I AM DRUNK. VIVA DROID LIFE

    • John

      weird

  • the MANsion

    Oh how ironic, I just called asurion to send me a brand new nexus, which will be nexus number four. Yeah…first and last samsung phone I’ll own. Keep making TVs sammie, at least you’re good at that…

    • TheDrunkenClam

      I have a nice gaming laptop by Samsung that I happen to love.

  • Nick

    I have gotten 3 replacement device this last week and two of them had this issue. When I called Verizon they insisted that i was doing something wrong and it wasn’t the device.. Lying sacks of doggie do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sjtilney Scott Tilney

    After my 4th replacement, Verizon agreed to give me an S3. This was not easy, it took an hour of complaining to tech support

    • Jackson

      For free? son of a bitch lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/sjtilney Scott Tilney

        Yes, but they made me pay for the battery and battery cover. darn

        • Jackson

          Still that’s pretty awesome

  • Adam Brazionis

    Question: I’m on my 3rd Android device and decided to do it right and go Nexus. Had a 4S before the GNex and once agin I’m having serious issues with my android, not only the 4G, but also it just shuts off frequently… Why do we keep putting up with garbage hard/software and not go to the iPhone that “just works?”

    • http://twitter.com/metalhead520 Nick

      I’d rather go through 100 defective Galaxy S III’s before I go to an iPhone and giving any of my money to the already money hungry Apple jackwagons. I’ll be going to the local Verizon store on Monday to start the process of getting my 3rd SGSIII due to screen flickering and GPS problems.

      • jay_peter

        Apple could cure cancer and you’d still find something to complain about. Enjoy your defective Android phones, while I use my flawless iPhone.

        • Guest

          Cool story bro

        • http://twitter.com/metalhead520 Nick

          Cool story bro!!!, The only thing Apple has EVER done right to me is maybe the iPods

        • cruzfl0w

          Flawless? Maybe in your opinion.

  • mcp2006

    Picked up a GNex tonight at Best Buy for my Fiance. Box and phone had “Updated” stickers on it, but still has problems. Still has the
    I515.10 radios on it also. Kinda mad that I just found out about this and that it still has problems.

    • ddevito

      Did you flash the new radios?

      • mcp2006

        I tried to find the new radios everyone is talking about and havent had much success. Are they the new JB radios (I think its like FG02 or something ?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705034 Jeff Simpson

      i515.10 is the hardware version (i515 = Verizon Galaxy Nexus, .10 = hardware revision)

      The other numbers are the Firmware/Baseband that can be updated

      For example, my Nexus says: I515.09 V.FF02 / I515.FG02

      It will ALWAYS be I515.09. But the FF02 and FG02 are the modifiable parts.

      See the complete list of all known radio firmware/baseband releases here. Note that there are two radios in the Nexus (3G and 4G) so there are two version numbers (in my case, FF02 and FG02):
      http://rootzwiki.com/topic/12864-radiosvzw-all-radios-in-flashable-zip/

      • mcp2006

        Ahh.. I get it. Thank you for explaining that.

        Since I’ll need to unlock the phone to put the new radios on it, I might as well put the leaked OTA of 4.1.1 on it.

        Can you mix the radios that are for the 4.1.1 with 4.0.4?

  • shehippie

    My 5th replacement will be here tueday. I cant even hold a 3G signal. :/

    • jay_peter

      Getting an iPhone will solve all your problems.

      • cruzfl0w

        As long as s/he doesn’t mind a lack of customization, freedom, and control.

      • klaone

        Yeah, like I really want someone telling me what i can and can’t do with my phone. I guess you like being told what you can and can not do with a product you paid for.

      • Greyhame

        Rrrrrright. Btw, you’re holding it wrong.

      • shehippie

        No thanks, I would use tin cans and a string before buying one of those.

  • Bionic

    Where the fuckk is my ICS update?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Brito/1718798421 Richard Brito

    To add my 2 cents; my first brand new out of the box Galaxy Nexus couldn’t hold a 4g signal for it’s life. It would attempt the handshake and immediately drop all signal, 3g included. I took the phone back to VZW and the second unit they provided thankfully didn’t share the same problem.

  • antinorm

    I’m a bit lucky in that it only took getting my GNex replaced once to fix the signal drop issue. It also helps that the replacement is new, not a CLNR (read: used), and that it’s a .09.

    What I don’t understand is this — My first GNex would drop signal constantly, even with four bars of signal. My new one has never had a random signal drop since I got it back in December. Even if a baseband update “fixes” this, I don’t see how this can’t still be a hardware issue. The update must just be a workaround for whatever the hardware issue is with the .10 devices. Something has to be physically wrong with certain .10 devices, or the same software that works on .09 devices (and some other .10 devices even) would work on them too.

  • Counsel Dew
  • jk

    trust me, if you have intermittent signal drops then you aren’t the target of this fix. i got one of these crap phones when I needed a replacement. I couldn’t hold a 4g signal for 10 seconds without cycling to no bars. this is in SoHo where the signal is great.

  • Diablo81588

    Pshhh… Title should read “All Galaxy Nexus devices considered defective”.

  • CJNex

    I got my nexus on day one and after about a month I had 4g connection issues and vzw sent me a new 4g card and I’ve been good ever since

  • jay_peter

    Samsung has a horrible track record with their phones. They’re just SLIGHTLY above LG in terms of reliability, and that isn’t saying much.

  • Min

    my replacement phone is having that problem now lol, trying to work this out

  • Carlos Martinez

    I went through 4 replacements this week before I gave up and flashed new radios and it fixed the issue

    • Trueblue711

      Out of curiousity, was each replacement a refurb? I hate having to receive refurbs for a device I just bought brand new.

      • rlwjr73

        No, I had a brand new one from Best Buy and it would not hold a signal for more than 5 minutes…they changed the sim twice in it and still the same thing so they swappped for another one and lucky no issues out of the new one…but shortly after I upgraded to jellybean

      • antinorm

        I’ve never understood this practice. If I pay for a new unit, and it’s a lemon, I had better get another new unit as a replacement. I paid for new, not used.

        • Trueblue711

          Agreed. I understand the idea for insurance replacements, but within the first month or two, it’s unacceptable.

  • cobjones

    . 9 and. 11 have been fine with me

    . 10 and. 12 were horrible.

  • fgclolz

    Never had any of the suddenly dropping connectivity issues described here, but either Sammy or Vz can look at why I can’t get any signal at Costco or Target for crying out loud!

  • dawn m. armfield

    I really hope this is true. I’ve been through 5 handsets and Verizon offered me a trade-in for a “like phone” that I would have to pay the difference for. A like phone? Really? There is no such thing. The SGIII isn’t even as nice (it has TouchWiz and a button, for crying out loud!).

    I’ve suffered through dropped calls and no data because I can’t find a comparable phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sjtilney Scott Tilney

      Demand an S3. They gave me one

      • dawn m. armfield

        I’m not really a fan of the S3. I don’t like the button on it and I really don’t like TouchWiz.

        I’ve been spoiled. I had the OG Droid then the Galaxy Nexus. They have both been clean phones without too many add-ons.

  • majormudafuckinhun

    I had one of these defective devices and I returned it with the swiftness! My Rezound works great! IPhone 5 is on its way! When the new Nexi come out I’ll definitely consider them!

  • staticx57

    I also went through this with my original galaxy nexus having a charging port problem. My replacement nexus wouldnt even hold a phone call let alone 4G. Went to a store and they attempted to order me a new replacement but ended up screwing my account up where I couldnt use any phone with my phone number. Went back a few days to ask what happened. They finally ordered my new one. It came and I sent it right back and just played with the charging port till it worked.

    Not to mention my original nexus overclocked like there was no tomorrow. 1.8Ghz CPU and 537+ Mhz GPU. Made in Korea baby.

  • Capt. Crunch

    My girlfriend bought the Galaxy Nexus because it was cheap and is Nexus device, but after having the 4G issue she traded it in for the SIII and Verizon still made her pay the $35 fee!

    • http://www.facebook.com/dan.keshler Dan Keshler

      The restocking fee is charged by the store, not Verizon.

      • Capt. Crunch

        Well it was a Verizon corporate store. I still think that’s insane. If you sell someone a defective product they should be able to return it for something else that works. You don’t see these fees applied at a lot of other retailers.

        • david

          Call customer service and complain. I was credited my money back on my bill

  • k_nivesout

    My hardware rev .10 made in China has been fine :shrugs:

    I think people have preconceived notions about anything made in China that tend to skew their perspectives. I’ve heard of plenty of people with rev .9 Korean made devices that experience data drops as well.

  • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

    My Gnex bought in January never had issues. I bought my wife a Gnex a month ago and immediately had connection probs. Tried a few things with no luck. Then the leaked new radios came out, so I unlocked/rooted her phone and flashed just the radios. BAM all good now. She has a stock ICS with the new radios and the phone is perfect. So anyone with this connection issue, just flash those or hold tight. It will be fixed with this update.

    • 4n1m4L

      The new radios were in a jellybean update. Jellybean works perfectly too

      • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

        Yuup. But just waiting on ota for jb.

        • 4n1m4L

          The leak was an ota. Flash it

          • http://www.vgchartz.com SuperChunk

            I know but don’t want to be her IT. I’ll let it remain stock.

          • 4n1m4L

            Ah I see. Loving it myself. Hope you enjoy it when it makes it

  • http://www.facebook.com/jess.gibson9 Jess Gibson

    I had pretty much no 4G and suffered dropped calls on 3G pretty regularly when I got my VZW GNex. I flashed the FF02/FG02 radios when they were released a little while back and it completely fixed my signal strength. I finally have a 4G phone, even out here in the mountains.

  • Daniel DeRosa

    *Looks at device ID” Wow.. this explains a lot.

  • DBK

    Man I must be one lucky guy. My Nexus has had none of these issues (and has had no issues in general). Actually, none of the Android phones I have owned have had issues (I’ve owned a few). :)

    • JoshGroff

      I’ve had quite a few problems with a few phones, but nothing a bit of modding didn’t fix.

  • CHRIS42060

    I had huge issues with multiple devices throughout Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Michigan. Unless I disabled LTE my phone would constantly drop data and voice signal (every 10 minutes or so). The Jelly Bean leaked radios have completely fixed the issue for me though. Haven’t dropped since.

    • lino

      Yep haven’t had one issue since the radios leaked

      • http://www.nclf.net/ Goldman60

        Same over here

      • Sloan Marion

        I couldn’t stay connected for longer than 5 seconds on 4G before the leaked radio’s, now connection is perfect.

        • ddevito

          Do you have the .10 hardware version? (As stated in the article)?

          • Greyhame

            I have the .10 hardware. My signal was fine before the latest radio leak, and it continues to work now. Can’t say I’ve seen any noticeable improvements, except maybe switching.. it seems to be more fluid.

          • abqnm

            I had this on a few i515.09 versions as well as a .10 version, so it isn’t limited to just the .10 version.

        • Lucky Armpit

          The issue for me was never holding 4G, but the mysterious “one-way audio” or “audio reboot” issue. I went through four phones and still had the problem. Both Samsung and Verizon were baffled at the issue and at one point, Sammy claimed, “There are no issues with the VZW GNex; we don’t know what you’re talking about”. I went through this problem for 6+ months and finally gave up, as Verizon offered to replace it with a Razr Maxx.
          I hope you Nexus users get your problems resolved, I really do. I just couldn’t wait any longer.

    • gpzbc

      Which bootloader are you using? I was on the ICS bootloader (PRIMELA03) when I flashed the new radios and it seemed to help a lot. But since then I have flashed the JB bootloader (PRIMELC03) and my radios seem crappy again.

      • http://twitter.com/oldblue910 Shawn

        The bootloader and radios have nothing to do with each other, so I’m not sure what your issue is with the radios…but I can assure you the bootloader has nothing to do with it. :)

        • gpzbc

          Thanks!

    • ddevito

      Is yours a replacement phone? Is it I515.10?

    • Scott

      Where is the best place for a flashable zip of the JB radios?

      • JoshGroff

        I always put mine on the root of my SD, but you could put them in a folder called radios or something if you want to be more organized.

      • KleenDroid

        Just go to Rootzwiki or XDA under the Nexus… you will quickly see what you need,.

    • Shaunwin

      The new radios (FF02 / FG02) didn’t change anything for my VZW GNex, except it was running really hot. I had to go back to FC04 / FC05 radios because of the heat. I really haven’t had to many problems with the FC04 / FC05 radios. I think that some of the problems are the geological areas. VZW is spreading the 4G to thin to save money and yet are able acknowledge it as a 4g area.

  • Casey Keller

    I have had so much trouble lately with my data signal. I had hoped the leak of Jelly Bean would fix it, but no luck. Not sure what to do at this point.

    • evulhotdog

      Call verizon, ask for a CLNR of another device, like a galaxy S3. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/becky.wiedlebrutcher Becky Wiedle-Brutcher

        what is a CLNR??? i have had 9 gnex’s and i’ve head it with these damn radios! no signal even after they sent us an extender!!

  • http://twitter.com/adamisbell Adam Isbell

    The first nexus I had did this, even after the 4.0.4 update. Luckily I dropped my phone in the ocean and went through asurion to get a replacement phone. Not only was it a brand new phone, but it has had no problems with signal yet…now jelly bean on the other hand…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

      Wait, if your first one had the issues, why didn’t you just simply have Verizon replace it?

      • http://twitter.com/adamisbell Adam Isbell

        I tried, but I was promised that android 4.0.4 would fix the problems. Once I got upgraded to 4.0.4 not soon after I ruined it so was stuck going through the insurance.

    • Trueblue711

      I’m surprised Asurion didn’t give you a refurb.

      • http://twitter.com/adamisbell Adam Isbell

        Me too! When I had opened the box I was in shock, I actually called them to make sure it was a new phone and the lady told me it was. No complaints here lol

        • Trueblue711

          The best way to tell is if your phone comes in all of its original boxes/packaging. If it comes in anything other than a retail box, it’s most likely a refurb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.porrata Joshua Porrata

    I went through 3 of these before I got one without the problem. The properly working device was made in korea and not china.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.aurin Mike Aurin

    I had some minor issues with radios in the past with my Gnex but flashing the new radios that came out a few weeks back did wonders. Haven’t dropped a signal since.

  • 4n1m4L

    I have hw .10 and had bad 4g, but the jelly bean leak fixed me

  • sc4fpse

    I’m fortunate enough to not have a Galaxy Nexus with issues like this, but I’m still unfortunate to have a Galaxy Nexus at all. Terrible radios. Samsung should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Trevor

      I don’t know who downvoted this, but they either don’t have a GNex or have the best luck ever! I’m on my 3rd Nexus and all of them have had crap reception/radios. Really makes you think before buying another Samsung phone.

      • tyguy829

        Get the leaked radios for god’s sake. they will fix it.

        • florious80

          The leaked radio does fix this problem. I did notice, however, that sometimes 3g/4g switch gets stuck in 3g. It could be just be my unit, or because during my commute there’s a 4g drop (actually many). Flash your radio Trevor, it does wonders. You can always flash back to an older radio if you’d like, but I don’t think you’ll want to once you do it.

        • Trevor

          I’ve been using them since the day they were leaked. I don’t have calls dropped, but my reception tends to be god-awful. The phone also gets stuck using 3G in areas I know are covered with 4G.

      • quiklives

        I live in a small town, have had my GNex since December, and have never had a problem, even traveling across FL through the northern edge of the Everglades and around Lake Okeechobee.

        It’s kind of incredible how people who have trouble with their initial devices seem to get replacements that are just as bad, while many people never have any trouble at all. I don’t really understand how that’s possible.

        • Trevor

          I don’t understand it either. It’s definitely strangely inconsistent.

      • KleenDroid

        I do have the GNex and I don’t have any issues. The only time I have a poor connection is when I’m in an area with no towers. Best phone I’ve ever had. I would buy another Nexus from Samsung no problem.

    • Lino

      The leaked radios are the fix i haven’t seen 3G on my nexus since