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Sprint Galaxy Nexus 4.2.1 Update Available for Download, Verizon Owners Left Behind Again

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Hey, look, more bad news for owners of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, the forever stepchild of the “Nexus” franchise. The Sprint version of the same exact phone, has an official Android 4.2.1 update that can be downloaded and installed this very moment. It’s not being pushed to devices, as far as we know, but the file has been found on Google’s servers and is about as official as it gets. At this point, we’re just waiting for Sprint to mention it and then for it to appear as an OTA update on phones. 

So that leaves the Verizon G-Nex behind, as usual. Back in November, I wrote up the fact that the device was a full three updates behind the GSM Galaxy Nexus and the rest of the Nexus family. Since the last official update of 4.1.1 came to it in September, Google has released updates of 4.1.2, 4.2, and now 4.2.1 with 4.2.2 potentially on the way. So before long, it could be a full four updates behind. So much for it being a Nexus? Well, that depends on your definitely of a “Nexus.”

I don’t think I need to mention it for the 100th time, but will anyway – Verizon’s system for updating phones is the worst in the business. This is a Nexus, which means the version of Android is as stock as it gets and should take no time to approve. Yet here we are, bitching again about the lack of updates to a phone that should be the easiest of all to update. Look Verizon, if you aren’t going to give this phone attention, then at least cut the cord between you and Google so that they can give us timely updates, something you have failed to do from day 1.

For Sprint owners, feel free to grab the 98MB file below and get to flashing.

Download Link

Via:  XDA

  • Benmartin1974

    I’d been pondering getting a galaxy nexus for some time. I read dozens of reviews and this one was great http://search4reviews.net/ , I got my order last week and am very happy. I Would highly recommend to anyone still unsure,

  • 4654654

    why is it so buggy

  • Pinhead Larry

    I have a question if anybody can help me. I had a galaxy s 4g. it had to be replaced by this stupid samsung epic 4g. i hate this phone sooooooooo bad! I bought a brand new galaxy nexus on ebay with a clean esn. will i be able to get all the latest updates?? let me remind you a i’m not a savvy tech person like you guys i just need to know that i will get all the latest updates. BTW i’m on sprint network

  • I’m still waiting for (Probably in vain) a Nexus Note! Get on it Samsung!!!!!

  • qbking77

    How to manually install this update:

  • Enrique Garcia

    It’s the same reason they haven’t updated the HTC Thunderbird. The best way to renew a contract with VZN is to not update older phones. The subscriber will eventually resign the contract with a new one. I have had the worse of luck. I had the thunderbird. VZN promise to update and never did. So I bought the Galaxie Nexus and still haven’t updated.

  • droidlifehero

    The original post is here… http://benjaminkerensa.com/2013/01/15/sprint-to-start-rolling-out-android-4-2-1-to-galaxy-nexus
    Sad that droid life didn’t even link to it

  • trophynuts

    huh….what a shame. Apple pushes updates to my VZW Iphone any time they get ready with no VZW involvement. Google get your nuts out of the jar, spend some money and make a damn deal with VZW to do the same as Apple.

  • therealwaynebrady

    Been on Straight Talk att.mvno for almost a year now. Good stuff. Can believe the hundreds of dollars I use to was on Verizon every year.

  • Michael Quinlan
  • DanWazz

    My 4.2.1 update went well. Thanks developers!

    VZW is too busy counting all that “shared data” money.

  • dbam987

    Still awaiting Jelly Bean for the Droid RAZR…
    Still awaiting Portico for HTC 8X as well…
    I can switch to T-Mobile on a dime with the 8X since its ‘unlocked’. Verizon, can you hear me now?

  • Markuz

    My Experience with Verizon was the worst!! I work for the Gov. and inside the Bldg s i never get any signal. Other people got AT&T, Sprint, T Mobil and have good signal Verizon customers. VERY BAD COMPANY!!!

    • therealwaynebrady

      Yes I agree. Verizon sucks big time.

  • Markuz

    Yeah!!! F*** Verizon!!!! My contract is up and I’m OUT!

  • SeanBello

    “cut the cord”…that’s REAL, son!

  • Bewara2009

    The last time I’ve heard that Google has the right to push updates on all nexus devices.. Why the hell is carriers having control of the updates..

  • WhatWillisWasTalkinBout

    Shiny OTA

  • Bionicman

    i LOVED my VZW Galaxy Nexus…so much that I passed it along to my brother who now loves it (though he dislikes the crummy battery life and doesnt want to get an extended battery :P). i enjoyed many aspects of it but i cant deny the small bugs that plagued it including reception issues, bluetooth problems and so forth. and while stock android is great, i actually like the little enhancements and addons that an interface like touchwiz come with. saves me from having to download lots of 3rd party apps. now with my new Note 2, i know to expect long update times and i’m ok with that.

  • thedonxr
  • YARDIE87

    If you just follow TEAM BAMF and throw Paradigm ROM on your GNEX … you;ll have nothing to worry about. say it with my “truly bugless! and STABLE”

  • I think once you reach the prospect of Verizon’s Nexus being four updates behind, the topic has moved from being bitch-worthy to merely an eye-roller.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think rooting your phone should the litmus test for determining if you’re a true fan Android. I’ve owned four Android devices over the last three years, and only rooted one of them — a Droid X. I reverted back to “stock” when it was time to upgrade to Gingerbread. There are a lot of people (I include myself in this bunch) who appreciate/love tech, but aren’t all that interested in tinkering under the hood. That’s why I’ve always cheered on the improvements to the base Android OS made by Google.

  • Scott

    I’m curious. Are Sprint GNex owners dealing with the reception issues that are plaguing some? My Vzw has suffered greatly with dropped calls, no data, and multiple replacements and new radios haven’t solved the problem. It’s finally past my warranty and I’m stuck with a phone that still has these problems. At least everything else works best. Is this a Google not demanding better hardware problem or a carrier’s network problem?

  • Havoc70

    Contract is FINALLY up with VZ and i WILL Not be renewing. Going month to month until i figure out where i am going.

    • KleenDroid

      I have 5 lines and all are up for renewal except my Nexus. I love my phone but I am preparing to possibly leave by letting all my contracts expire. I am not happy about having to pay full price for all my phones if I want to keep unlimited data. I am keeping my options open and will begin looking at other carriers.

      Heck I would even consider prepaid if it was a good deal.

      I go way back to my Motorola bag phone on Cellular One.

  • ddevito


  • Bobby Cornwell

    This is why once my contract is up, I will be switching to T-Mobile where I’m not dependent on any carrier to push the newest versions of Android to me. Verizon can keep their overpriced plans and horridly slow or even non-existent updates. Luckily, the work of some awesome devs in the Android community have done Verizon’s dirty work and compiled reliable and stable builds of 4.2.1

    • lol the only reason i have verizon is because i get a discount on my plan through my job…if i didnt i would have gotten the sprint version of the nexus

  • Michael Beck

    Does this update work with Galaxy Player?

    • fixxmyhead

      sure does . go right ahead and flash it its safe

  • I’m fairly certain this comment will be downvoted, but here goes…

    Verizon (well, really, any carrier) has an obligation to make sure every device they sell works as intended, to their satisfaction. The key thing to remember is Verizon is the first line of technical support for this device. Not Google and not Samsung. If you’re having an issue with the phone, you pop into a Verizon store, or contact support online. They are the ones who are doing the tech support, and the ones responsible for providing you a CLNR if there is a hardware issue; they are the ones who honor the warranty terms. This all makes perfect sense since you didn’t buy the phone direct from Google, or direct from Samsung.

    That being said, 4.2/4.2.1 isn’t a sunny ray of awesomeness. It’s littered with bugs at the OS level. Both my Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 share the exact same issues, and from reading online, the Nexus 4 and GSM Galaxy Nexus also suffer from those same exact issues. Random reboots caused by what is thought to be apps that utilize location services, intermittent WiFi connection issues depending on your router setup, Bluetooth connection and streaming quality issues, lock screen widgets acting slow and wonky on the GNex, etc.

    Why would Verizon approve that? An update that causes so many issues would see them being hammered with customer support inquiries of issues Verizon has no control of. It’s the same reason why they pulled the RAZR 4.1 update as folks were having major issues with it. In this case, Verizon is acting as a second round of quality control.

    This is what you should have known you were signing up for when buying a Verizon phone from Verizon. Yes, it’s still a Nexus by definition, because Google refers to it as such. It’s just as AOSP-compliant as the GSM model, and if you would like to build your own 4.2.1 ROM for it, all of the instructions and resources are provided for you, just as they are on the GSM model. If you’re not comfortable with doing that, you have other options: the development community for this device is HUGE, and it takes roughly 12 hours or so for someone post a ROM based on a new Android version after it drops. Besides that, you have LTE and 32 GB of storage.

    I own the Verizon model, and have since the day it was released, and I love it just as much as I did when I got it. In fact, I feel as though I own the superior Galaxy Nexus. So many good things about this device, but people want to see it as a failure to the Nexus line because of a few months of a delay between OTAs.

    • AxemRed

      Thank you, my feelings exactly.

    • Hunter

      At the end of the day, Verizon should have known what expectations come along with the “Nexus” name. Bugs or not, we expect to be on the latest. If they want to delay other non-nexus devices, more power to them.

      FYI, I have had the VZW Galaxy Nexus since day one. I think its an amazing device. I dabble around from factory images, to ROMs, to building my own AOSP. I still think Verizon has no excuse for the poor handling of updates.

      “people want to see it as a failure to the Nexus line” – it would be the biggest failure to the Nexus line if left to Verizon. Thankfully we have devs, who continue to work tirelessly towards the vision of what this device was always supposed to be.

      You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t cut Verizon any slack.

    • BigMixxx

      When folks say — oh it’s bugs or lean on its’s bugs —

      In comparison, apple releases it’s new os’s and they are riddled with issues. That blame is squarely on apple’s head.

      You can chose NOT to accept the update.

    • schoat333

      You make very good points. I think Verizon just completely dropped the ball with their Gnex tho, and that’s why so many are mad. It was never really advertised, has not been updated timely for the entire life of the phone, and it was the only nexus device that came with bloat. They don’t even do that to Apple. That all adds up.

      • Pretty sure mine only came with the “My Verizon Mobile” stuff. Which is also present on the iPhone “out of the box”.

    • Anoneyemou5e

      For the record, Razr 4.1 update is solid!

      • RAZR 4.1 update isn’t even out yet. That OTA they pushed accidentally is not even close to complete. It’s still running an ICS kernel (3.0.8). If it were complete, it would be on a 3.0.31 kernel like JB is supposed to be.

    • That’s the whole point. It’s a Nexus. It’s not SUPPOSED to be up to Verizon to decide whether or not the software is “good enough” for their devices. Verizon is supposed to take what Google gives them and be happy with it. The point of a Nexus device is that the CARRIER is not supposed to be allowed to interfere with the update process.

      If Verizon wanted to handle it differently, they should have marketed it under a different name as a “Google Experience Device” and NOT a “Nexus”.

  • derek connolly

    While Im disappointed to be left behind on Verizon. I do get really reliable service in my area so i will be sticking with Verizon. I also have no problems with unlocking my phone and loading up a different rom on it. So I am on 4.2.1 on Verizon so this news doesn’t really bother me to much.

  • Keith0606

    I’m definitely disappointed with how this phone has panned out. I bought it day one (naively perhaps) thinking I would have the perfect set of circumstances.
    1. pure android
    2. timely updates
    3. Good hardware (at the time).
    4. Verizon’s 4G coverage

    I figured with all of those things I could having to get my pure android without root/rom’ing. I think that you can do it is great, but I was looking to avoid having to do that.

    One could argue that I got none of those things. Though, I definitely haven’t had the hardware/reception issues that many users have had. The “pure” android is at least close aside from those few apps.

    Right now i’m just planning on letting my contract run out so i can get an unlocked Nexus 4 ( or “Nexus 5” by the time that happens) on another carrier.

  • bull3946

    Verizon is doing its customers a favor this time. AOSP 4.2.1 is a step backwards (I own both a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10 and honestly would rather be on 4.1.2 for both of them.)

    • mgamerz

      I find 4.2 usable in a nexus 7. On my GSM Gnex though I find 4.2 annoying. The lock screen is stupid (why does it light up every time you unlock).. Users on the tablet is kinda neat.

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah, I second that. I actually flashed BACK to Android 4.1.2 on my Nexus 7.

      Keeping my fingers crossed that Google fixes the issues in Android 4.2.2. Until then, stock 4.1.2 for me.

    • capecodcarl

      So what’s stopping you from downgrading? There are ROM images out there you can just flash back to.

  • Kyle Miller

    Listen. I know only one other person who has a vzw gnex and she doesn’t know about rooting, unlocking, ROMS, etc.She is happy with the phone just as it is. So this news and site as well as other similar sites only pertain to the good folks like us; The well informed and knowledgeable community. So it only shocks us, well some of us. So if you read this site. I EXPECT you to know how to root and unlock and customized your phone and not wait on phone companies to update it for you.

    • Nicolas Fuentes

      Your statement overlooks the fact that Verizon is being dick about the Nexus Program.

      Verizon should help promote Nexus devices and explain to ‘uninformed’ users that this phone (when buying it) is a part of a special program that they won’t ufck up like all their other phones they sell.

      Just another Verizon Poke at an angry sleeping dog, we all know what happens when you keep playing with a sleeping dog.

      • michael arazan

        My sleeping dog roles over expecting a tummy rub when i poke her when she sleeps.

        I too have a Gnex and love plain old stck android and don’t care about roms, cause there aren’t any stock ones that basically is a plain jane update or i’d do it then. But this is horrible.

        Verizon took 2 monthe to release the 4.1 JB and was the last carrier to update the Gnex on the planet to JB. And yet 2 months was the Fastest Verizon ever put out an OS update to any phone on their carrier, excluding security patches.

    • xanaxdroid

      I just want updated basebands

    • Manny Subia

      ” I EXPECT you to know how to root and unlock and customized your phone and not wait on phone companies to update it for you.”

      …….And you are?? lol

    • Fair enough. But when I buy the Nexus name, I EXPECT timely updates direct from Google without Verizon f’ing with the approval process. To remain passive about the whole thing is an invitation to Verizon to keep up the same s^&t they always pull. Just because a person may not be savvy to updates like we are doesn’t mean they should not expect to be updated to a current, secure OS.

  • 4n1m4L


  • Nate Myers

    i cant wait till another carrier gets decent service in my area so i can say byebye to overpriced verizon. They are the Apple of cellphone companies.

  • Dave

    First world problems…

    • Corey Faulkerson

      white people problems

  • vincet3

    Preach it brotha’!

  • coolsilver

    Verizon is betting that people will stay with them because of their network alone. Well you are right I am one of them. Sadly they will continue to rape me with my Thunderbolt like they do for the Galaxy Nexus. If I had a better solution I’d pay MORE for a carrier to have the same service with unlimited data and to provide timely updates. I mean it I WOULD PAY MORE if I had the same network but better updates, support, and reasonable unlimited plans.

    • Radgatt
      • coolsilver

        ETF doesn’t apply now. I am within my upgrade period. Even so you couldn’t pay me to add another line for 2 years just to keep unlimited data. I’ll pay for my phone outright and purchased from Google or Amazon. If they screw me I’ll be out of contract and can tell them to expect the port request.

  • ksat

    I would recommend we TWEET this, email this, facebook this to #VERIZON every chance we get! 🙂 Verizon has completely dropped the ball with this Nexus device and I’d be surprised if they get any future Nexus-labeled device!!

    • This would do no good. They don’t care.

    • coolsilver


  • nightscout13

    Watch VzW GS3 owners get 4.2 before VzW G-Nex onwers 😀

  • Jeff Tycz

    Judging by how the past updates have gone, the verizon version is about 3 weeks away

    • 3 weeks away from 2014 maybe

  • AKOP 4.2 here…Completely given up on VZW releasing stuff on time.

    • nightscout13

      Do you mean AOKP or is there a new kid on the block

      • Yes, AOKP…sorry. I’ve got tabs open, emails flying, and people a’bitchin’

        • nightscout13


  • Chris


  • Newbie

    I with Verizon, what’s a Nexus?

  • alphanu22

    If you own a Nexus and you are waiting for a OTA… SMH

    • alphanu22

      To: 1 vote down, you mad you don’t know how to root?

      • coolsilver

        I can root. I just think you are missing the point. We root to have more capabilities but when LTE doesn’t work with correct RIL which is closed source (See HTC Phones) you are quite screwed.

    • Bryan

      That’s fine if you don’t want to get any new radios or binaries that only Verizon can release.

  • I’m a Verizon customer, and I’m running 4.2.1. 😉

    • brando56894

      I was about to say I’ve been rocking 4.2.1 for a few weeks now. JBSourcery 4.3 FTW

    • Me, too. Thank you, CM! But my next Nexus won’t be on Verizon, all the same.

    • Booyah


    • 4.2.1 on a CM10.1 nightly :). who waits for VZW anymore?

      • Corey Faulkerson

        So am i and i received the OTA update months ago.

    • AOKP! But I’m with the rest of you. Unless Verizon magically gets the next Nexus (the lack of OTA updates doesn’t bother me as long as it’s completely supported by AOSP) as well as gets an unlimited data plan that doesn’t break the bank -fat chance- I’ll be going to another carrier as well.

      • The chances of Verizon EVER getting another Nexus device are very slim. Verizon saw sure to that with the way they are handling the GNex. Nexus devices are not a good fit for Verizon, and Verizon is most definitely NOT a good fit for the Nexus program.

    • Scott


      • yup i have muzzy too

        • djjsin

          I’ve finally started using mmuzzy, but i’d prefer a official stock rom from verizon.

          • Most of the custom ROMs like mmuzzy’s actually have MORE features in them than the stock Verizon ROM will. Verizon’s ROM will be pure AOSP, which is the base for all of the custom ROMs. All of the custom ROMs basically take that base and add onto it, plus bugs are fixed.

  • Hunter

    Same sh*t, different day! …for us Verizon customers 🙂

  • Greg Morgan

    I said this yesterday, i’ll say it again…Adios Verizon!!

    • schoat333

      Same here. March can’t get here fast enough.

    • Shaggy723

      I just ditched my GNEX and its service with Verizon this week, purchased a gsm GNEX (due to the shortage of the Nexus 4), and got on the $30 prepaid T-Mobile plan (100 minutes, unlimited everything else). It is such a relief to know that I don’t have to worry about a being tied to a 2-year contract any longer, especially with a company that I almost hate as much as Comcast.

      After a few days of having the The gsm GNEX, I think that it is by far the superior version of this phone. The first thing that I’ve noticed is that my battery life has quadrupled. Don’t believe all the negative stuff you hear about 4.2.1. Aside from an ugly clock on the lock screen, I haven’t had a single issue with the OS on both my GNex and Nexus 7.

      At first I was a bit concerned that T-Mobile’s service would suck because I live in rural area. But that could not be further from the truth. T-Mobile’s service where I live is just as good as Verizon’s. Data speeds have been great so far in most places that I go.

      Anyway, if you do drop Verizon, know that you are making a wise decision.

      • Jimneezy

        I did the same last June and it was the best move I’ve done. I used to pay $110 with verizon and now i just pay $30 and will never go back to that effn’ bull$hit company. I might not have a GNEX but I do have an S3 with CM10 stable with soft keys so its almost like a GNEX

  • Michael Phillips

    Hold on, let me find my shocked face…

    • hfoster52

      :O Found it.

      • feztheforeigner