Galaxy Nexus: To return or roll the dice on an update? The issues had by many, the Q's we all have.
BobbyDigi
Enthusiast - Level 2

Hey all,

I'm in a bit of a pickle and was curious what other nexus owners would have to offer. First of all, Im not just trolling the boards, Ive been doing a lot of extensive research on these problems and have found that Im not the only one experiencing them and, at least until this fabled 4.0.3 update comes along, there is no real "fix" except perhaps to swap out the phone and hope it doesnt act the same way, or continue going around with a phone you paid 5 bills for, knowing that it works worse than your treo 750 of yore. So let me explain the deal...

 

I got the GNex on the 15th, one of the first in line. I love the phone (screen quality, ICS, camera, etc) but have since had a fair number of issues. The battery problem, well, its a 4G phone with a huge display so I can live with the fact that I have 2 batteries for it and one extended. Im not complaining about it being a juice hog (it is), I can live with that. Furthermore, theres a lot of speculation that the juice problem is a correlation of the 4G "lock on signal issue" that myself and many others are having, and that if verizon/google does release this next update, it should eliviate both issues. The main issue with my signal is the fact that I cant lock on to a good 4G or 3G signal. After turning on the screen, the phone searches for 4G, eventually aquires a signal but will also eventually lose it and be in "data limbo" where its unable to get to a stable 3G signal and hovers below 1X, being effectively useless for a phone or mobile data device. The area I live in has fine 4G and even better 3G, yet when I've tried to set the phone to 3G as the preffered network, it has an even tougher time aquiring a 3G signal than it does a 4G one. It just seems to always be looking for 4G, which is a possible reason for the battery woes myself and a great deal of us are going through. Im upset that Verizon did acknowlege there was an issue with the phones signal and that it would be addressed via update, but then 2 days later, pulled a 360 and said that "there is no performance issues with the phone whatsover and the update 4.0.3 will address a problem with the signal reading of the phone". This is upsetting. I was in my local verizon store, where, god bless em, they didnt even know how to look up the signal strength on the phone, let alone how to interpret the numbers. I showed the "tech support" woman my signal strength of -75dbm in contrast to a driod razors of 55db, and she immedietly said "Oh, see! You have a stronger signal. Thats good." I then told her that 75 is a horrible signal compared to 55 and she managed to wipe the egg of her face, looking fine in her verizon skirt but not knowing anything when it comes to the questions I had at hand.

 

Recently my phone has been having the random reboots that a great deal of us have had aswell. Once while driving and listening to music via bluetooth and last night after shutting the phone down, it immedietly rebooted. (Google nexus auto reboot and youll see what im talking about). Its happened a few more times than this, but these times are the ones I remember exactly what I was doing with it, and, lets face it, 1 reboot for a new GNex is one too many; this phone is too hardcore and beefy to suffer from reboots. My phone is not rooted and I have minimal apps installed from my HTC incredible, most of which are news reading apps like CNN or google currents, which arent running in the background and only use data when I open the app. I havent even been executing any apps with regular frequency except google music which I use on the regular. Im about to do another hard reset and install no apps at all and see how it fairs. The signal issue is one thing, and I am hopeful that it will be addressed in this next update, but the fact that I dont have a lot of apps (especially any that I would see causing a hardware conflict needing a reboot) and Im still getting this occasional reboot, is troubling, to say the least. Again: I absolutely love this phone. Im a gadget freak, have had many a smartphone and I really like the formfacter, OS and screensize/density of this device. Its also my first nexus device, which I've waited for since the nexus one came out on Tmobile and I was still loyal to big red. I like the nexus line because its to be the hackers phone, a phone for developers, freakers, pirates, what have you. Ive always loved that idea, as I wear a few of those hats but...my confidence is sorely shaken.

 

I have until the 15th to take the phone back and am toying with the idea of swapping out one for a "newer" one, as Ive read that people with compaints similar to mine have done so and had great success with their "newer" replacement phones, but theres also the possibility that this is just a problem with the GNex as a whole, or a large batch of em so that I could switch out again and again and I'll always get one with a defect of some kind, that wont be able to be fixed with an update, and I'll be stuck with my super expensive, super awesome phone that works poorer than a cheap prepaid moto flip phone.

 

Im wondering if anyone else is having these issues and how they plan about going about it. In my mind, if I swap out this phone and am stuck with another "lemon"(if thats even the problem, a QC issue) then Im stuck with that one indefenetly. I talked to the verizon rep in the store and asked that if I wanted to bring it back for a refund, to wait until the bugs are officially sorted out, would I have to pay the restock fee? The answer was an absolute and cold "yes". Im cool with restock fees, but not if the device I bought has any many issues as this phone I have, and many of you out there as well. Im very torn. I've had a taste of ICS and dont wanna go back to anything else. Its possible to wait till ICS comes to the Droid Razer, which had a nice screen, better battery life and a signal stronger by 20dbm then the GNex. Also, I havent seen nearly as many problems with reboots, forceclosing and droped signals as with the GNex. But still...I just want the GNex to be "the one".

 

Anyone have any experience swapping out their phones for "newer ones"? The woman at verizon did a hard reset and noted it in my account but would not yet do a sim card swap or reactivation, as (Im guessing) she just wants to take away as much time from me as possible before the 15th comes. A hard reset does nothing. I still get the reboots and signal issues with a clean slate. Do we think, for sure that the issues myself and a lot of you are in fact software related, eble to be fixed via updates? Or is it still possible that this device is mechanically flawed? And that if we stick with out GNex's, even though we love how they feel in our hands, the screen, the OS, the google branding, that we will be stuck with something of inferior performance/stability? I know my question is kinda broad and not too specific. Im asking a lot, from any direction, any input from someone not wearing a verizon badge will help. The clock is ticking. I love this phone, I just want it or the replacement I get to work and be stable and it scares me, pinning my hopes on a replacement device or an update that has yet to surface, whose original purpose was to "fix signal issues with regards to the GNex" but now, it seems, is meerly out there to "better visualize an accurate signal strength" of a device that supposedly "doesnt suffer from any perfomance issues at all". Im guessing big red has never had their brand new top of the line GNex reboot on them while shutting down or simply doing its job: to serve as a mobile device.

 

Thanks for any and all input on what to do. Its like asking a buddy if the girl your seeing is right for you. All I want is some honest input as I am head over heels, less the fact that she doesnt work all the time and is so unstable she needs meds of some kind.

 

Cheers.

46 Replies
RandyinWV
Newbie

Well, here is is August 2012 and the Nexus STILL has the 4G issue.  At least the one I bought (and returned) a couple weeks ago had it.  IMHO, if a company cannot fix something in 9 months, don't get it.  If it cannot be fixed in 9 months, it cannot be fixed, period. 

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attman68
Newbie

Fellow Droid Users,

These are good posts and I am glad to have found this forum and this thread.  I echo most problems stated here but my main issue is the camera.  Put simply, it stinks.   It never really focuses.  I  have held down the button for long and short times, still photos and moving, and most photos are very, very blurry.  Even my beat up Storm2 was able to focus.  With this camera, I press the button and wait a beat for it to focus but it doesn't and all of my photos are mediocre.  The shutter speed is interesting, as are the other camera features, but all I want is a clear picture, in focus.  Any tips?

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Droiddudeaz
Enthusiast - Level 2

Yep, it has a touch focus feature, when I discovered that and you tap the part of the screen where you want the camera to focus, it does it quickly and takes nice pics. Mine also takes nice pics in darker rooms. The flash works well. Try that.

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fadec
Enthusiast - Level 2

They swapped my phone out for a "newer one" It didnt work, I still had terrible call reception with the phone, no issues in the same place with the Droid X.

Im seeing the same issues with the battery, but i was willing to work around that.

bassislife
Enthusiast - Level 3

My nexus rebooted within the first 24 hours I had the phone. After that I started experiencing problems with the keyboard. Since I already had a phone with the random reboot feature (my droid x), I took it back and got on the waiting list for the new iPhone. $300 is too much to pay for a phone that doesn't work properly.

austineddie
Enthusiast - Level 1

I haven't had any problems with it auto-rebooting but the signal problems are driving me up the wall. It simply loses data connectivity even though I have plenty of bars and good dbms. What happens to me is that the 3g and bars gray out (instead of the usual ICS blue) - losing data connectivity. I open up SpeedTest when this happens and the app tells me there are connectivity issues. I open up Spotify and it says I'm offline. I'm actually experiencing this issue RIGHT NOW as I type this review...putting the phone on airplane mode doesn't help and have to reboot - VERY annoying.

Other friends who purchased the Galaxy Nexus are experiencing the exact same problem. A particular friend confirmed he's going to return the phone, end his new account with VZW (he left his Evo on Sprint for this phone) and simply purchase the unlocked device from Google and use it on T-Mo.

What's an uber stinker is that my device is a company phone, which I also use as my personal phone, so I can't call VZW to get anything done and have to go through my CFO who's the main account holder. Had I known I was going to have these issues, I wouldn't have requested this device. I'll probably end up going back to T-Mobile if not Sprint considering I'm a heavy data user. (yeah, it was free but it does me no good if I can't use it)

Since I'm not paying for my phone right now, VZW won't lose a customer, but they won't gain one either.

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Tidbits
Legend
You don't need to keep the background apps closed... that uses more battery than leaving them alone.
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BobbyDigi
Enthusiast - Level 2

Just a quick update: I finally got around to exchanging my erroneous Nexus tonight for a brand new one. One I was told came from an entirely newer batch then those that dropped on launch day. I get home tonight with my new GNex and what do ya know? It cant pick up a 3G signal. AT ALL. I've decided that until the tech gets better as well as 4g coverage in my area, its better to just leave it in 3g mode, unless im watching a movie online or something. Theres just no need. My prior nexus had issues with 3G signals as well, in that it would drop them, go down to 1X and eventually come back to 3G, but at least it could lock on to a signal from time to time. This new phone is incapable of getting a 3G signal. Not a "good" 3g signal, but any 3g signal at all. Its just disgusting. I'll be taking it back tomorrow and will give it one more go but my confidence in this seemingly "POS" device is less than steller. I know people have ones that dont have any issues and they love em, but there does seem to be a great number of ones floating around that seemed to have been built very poorly, with almost no QC testing at all. You think they wouldnt let this new one off the assembly line, seeing that it cant get a 3G signal of any kind, but it seems like they just went with the "quantity over quality" MO. I saw a rezound while waiting for help at the store today and I suppose thats the next viable phone to get if the next nexus doesnt work. Its pathetic though: Im in no way a fan of the rezound (beats by dre branding is just that: branding, its horrible tech, though I used to think Samsung was good, so...). Its got an amazing screen but I still like the size of the nexus' over the rezounds brightness. The most important thing though is that HTC makes great radios and saying that Samsung isnt up to par with their radios is a gross, gross understatement. I just want my Nexus...you know...to work...the way a top tier phone should work. We shall see.

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Droiddudeaz
Enthusiast - Level 2

BobbyDigi, I'm having nearly identical signal issues. Whenever I turn off wi-fi, it rarely locks onto a 4G or 3G signal. I have reboot the phone about 90 percent of the time to get it to lock on a  signal. I went in at 15 days and Verizon exchanged it for one that was manufactured in 12.11. Got it home and same signal strength and signal issues. My signal varies from -76 inside a Verizon store with a 4G hotspot running to -105 to -115 at work (3 blocks away from the Verizon store). When I reboot the signal is around -93 for the first 5 - 10 minutes then back at -100 +. I live in Scottsdale AZ which has excellent 3G and 4G coverage. The replacement unit has rebooted itself twice right after I activated it, but hasn't since. I'm really tempted by the Razr Maxx as I had the chance to use a friends Droid Razr for 3 weeks before I got the Nexus. I liked it a lot and there were NO signal issues. I have to decide soon....should I keep it and hope a software update does the trick cuz I love ICS, or get the more reliable Razr Maxx...which will get ICS in about 5 months? I'll probably keep the Nexus, I would get frustrated if I had a Maxx and had to wait for months and months for software updates and I'm not a big fan of Blur. Any input is welcome.

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Tidbits
Legend

Bobby it isnt the hardware... It never was... It's the authentification scheme of the new network, mixed trying to use the old scheme.

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BobbyDigi
Enthusiast - Level 2

Tidbits, I see what your saying and totally agree. It makes things that much more complicated when you have a hybrid 3G/4G radio, thats always switching. With my limited LTE experience up to this point, it seems like itd be better to have only ONE radio per device, like a 4G phone with only a 4G radio. Yet that obviously cant happen as the tech and network is just too new. This is why the newest and "greatest" iphones are still only HSPA+, I believe; apple knows its just not yet established/stable enough. When I said hardware, I was more along the lines of QC. Im just totally tripped out that one nexus could establish a 3G connection alright (less the other issues with the device) while the newer one cant establish a 3G connection at all. Furthermore theres a thread on here regarding nexus owners getting speeds like 30Mbs+ in places like Mechanicsville, Virginia and Lawrance KS (that one kills me. no one in Kansas should be getting those speeds, though if theres only one guy on it, it makes sense that such speeds are possible). My 4G area is fairly new but its decent and now with the 2nd go, I cant establish a 4G connection or a 3G to save my life (still havent raised a 3G since 8 last night & 4G craps out within seconds; the 1st phone's radio seemed better, less the reboots and still horribly unacceptable radio). Just confusing. Im beginning to think that the only place you should buy this phone is if you live in Lawrance Kansas or the backwoods of Virgina, etc. That or if your just incredibly lucky. Two phones and both defective, to some extent, I thought much more of google. If I lived where there wasnt any type of signal thatd be one thing but my incredible destroys this thing, per signal reliability and even in the store itself, there was the difference of about 20-30Dbm between the GNex's and all other LTE phones. 

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Tidbits
Legend

BobbyDigi wrote:

Tidbits, I see what your saying and totally agree. It makes things that much more complicated when you have a hybrid 3G/4G radio, thats always switching. With my limited LTE experience up to this point, it seems like itd be better to have only ONE radio per device, like a 4G phone with only a 4G radio. Yet that obviously cant happen as the tech and network is just too new. This is why the newest and "greatest" iphones are still only HSPA+, I believe; apple knows its just not yet established/stable enough. When I said hardware, I was more along the lines of QC. Im just totally tripped out that one nexus could establish a 3G connection alright (less the other issues with the device) while the newer one cant establish a 3G connection at all. Furthermore theres a thread on here regarding nexus owners getting speeds like 30Mbs+ in places like Mechanicsville, Virginia and Lawrance KS (that one kills me. no one in Kansas should be getting those speeds, though if theres only one guy on it, it makes sense that such speeds are possible). My 4G area is fairly new but its decent and now with the 2nd go, I cant establish a 4G connection or a 3G to save my life (still havent raised a 3G since 8 last night & 4G craps out within seconds; the 1st phone's radio seemed better, less the reboots and still horribly unacceptable radio). Just confusing. Im beginning to think that the only place you should buy this phone is if you live in Lawrance Kansas or the backwoods of Virgina, etc. That or if your just incredibly lucky. Two phones and both defective, to some extent, I thought much more of google. If I lived where there wasnt any type of signal thatd be one thing but my incredible destroys this thing, per signal reliability and even in the store itself, there was the difference of about 20-30Dbm between the GNex's and all other LTE phones. 

Some people when they look at their Charge for example they see -80db, and on their Nexus -110db.  They think something is wrong...  Charge is showing 3G while the Nexus  is showing 4G.  If you use Samsung utility took the Charge has a 4G signal str of around -110db give or take a few.  Same goes for any 4G device other than the Nexus.

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BobbyDigi
Enthusiast - Level 2

Would this be true, if the Nexus was still operating strictly on 3G, as the preferred network, as per you setting it that way in the settings though? I've recently been using it strictly on 3G, as you can squeeze a whole day outta the battery life this way, especially if you live in a spotty 4G area. The only real time I continually rock the 4G and compare signals is in the verizon store, which still showed a good discrepancy between phones while all were on 4G. Im currently at 120db 99 asu and Im only in "3G mode". Yet it is unable to find a 3G signal, it went down to 1X/no signal to load up anything. Whereas the phone from last night, same location, same setting at least got a 3G signal. It showed 83db then and the network type was eHRPD:13. Today, new phone: not so much luck. Its so weird. The Nexus reads a signal better and shows a truer idea of the signal strength, but if you cant even get a signal as I am unable to right now, whats the point? On Open Maps I would go from getting a 3G signal of 42% to not being able to connect at home, with my first Nexus. Now, I have yet to make a connection (on 3G) with the replacement via open maps. Ive been referencing 3G because I believe its just more stable, more established coverage (where Im at least) so if you cant get a signal off that, something must be up, especially after getting one off the prior Nexus. The same cant be said of my ancient Dinc1, either. Full bars off 3G here, no problem. Nor with my buddies Droid X. Etc. I mean, Ive heard that samsung radios arent up to par sometimes, but this is ridiculous. I really dont want a rezound, but man...this is frustrating.

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Tidbits
Legend

As I said before Smiley Happy the reason why you are having trouble to connecting to 3G is due to the hybrid authentication scheme. There's a catch with this system and all devices are different going about this.

HTC device will try and auto reconnect(Which drains battery if you have a lot of disconnects per day) every time it fails. This is the one thing I notice and sometimes you won't even see the disconnect and reconnect.  Some devices you have to force to reconnect once it fails or it will check again much later.  The Nexus falls in the latter category.  Sometimes you get lucky and it connects without a hitch, and sometimes it'll take a few tries. When the network went down for the 3rd time this month it took me 6 flips(1 minute intervals) of airplane mode to connect to anything whether 3G or 4G.

You can't compare 3G devices only because they still use the old scheme and always connects.  The new scheme is what giving them trouble.  When Verizon phases out the 3G network and roll out complete 3G/4G network with the new scheme then problems will more than likely be completely gone in that regards.

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BobbyDigi
Enthusiast - Level 2

Ok. Im starting to see it. So even the fact that I am dictating in settings to use the 3G network as the preferred one, it will still have problems because it is still a dual band radio? I do get you man, I really wanna learn more and appreciate you helping me out with all this stuff. In essence, the radio on my Dinc will get better 3G reception than that of a LTE radio, even if the LTE is set to "ignore" the 4G network and focus only on the 3G CDMA side of things, because the Dinc radio is more simplified, with only one band to play with? Is this what your getting at? If so, it makes sense why I am unhappy with the reception of the device. To me, if I tell it to go 3G, it should have no qualms about it and should just go to 3G, but at heart its still a hybrid radio, so its starting to make sense and I realize that I shouldnt throw around words like defective or POS, when its just really quite different and super new (still disappointing though, in the scheme of things). I still would label this a signal problem but maybe not so much a hardware flaw as just living with an LTE phone in a less than steller LTE area.

I just swapped out my extended batt, threw in the original cause its low on juice and I wanna charge it and what do ya know? I finally got a 3G signal. First one of the new year! 83db 2 asu (better than 99, no) on ehrpd:13. If Im reading you right about it not being a hardware issue as much as the way it goes about doing the authentication protocols and what not, maybe there is hope with software fixes. Sorry again tidbits, I tend to be more of a hardware guy and neglect the software side of things. A friend of mine tried the  leaked 4.0.3 radios on his GNex and it seemed to hold onto a signal better as well as made the handoff from 4G to 3G much more quicker and stable but the phone had other issues so he took his back as well. I guess...we just gotta hope that Google does right by us. It really does make sense, it being a problem of how they work, not just some flawed chip in so many devices. I tend to trust google and really love a lot about the phone, less the fact that its a bit of a skitzo (sp) with regards to picking a band/network type and staying on it.

Thanks for the clarification man. You have patience beyond your years.

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budmonster
Newbie

Has anyone returned the GNEX for a differnet phone? If so, what did you get and have your "signal" problems been fixed?

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leverlock
Newbie

I can tell you that our iPhones 4s have 3 bars of 3G in the same room of the house where the nexus would only show 1 bar of 3G and that was only about 10% of the time. It was usually indicating no signal even though it was probably picking up the 1x but you can't apparently see that on the meter. And no, I'm not an apple fan. They really messed up my older iPhones with their update to iOS5. Wish I could roll the update back. Anyway the overall "signal" on the iPhone for the locations I've had it compared to the GNex is noticeably better.

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Tidbits
Legend

Did you guys read the article? Bars differciate between manufacturer. Just because you see 3bars on one device doesn't mean it is 3 bars for another device. -db levels is what matters.

For example if I force my Nexus to 3G i see 2 bars with -109 db and my wifes phone shows 3 bars with -112 db. She hits full bars sooner than I do when we are at home though my db levels are lower than hers.

If you have 4G devices you can't compare the bars at all. The older 4G devices show 3G signal stregnth for the bars while the Nexus shows 4G signal unless forced to 3G.

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leverlock
Newbie

Well... I scanned it. I'm too tired to take it all in probably but definitely hope to come back and study it. I enjoy learning about tech and radio was a hobby of mine years ago that I hope to have time for again some day. But either way... signal strength/type/authentication and whatever else is being misinterpreted by the layman here... the phone either opens a webpage in a data session or it doesn't. I can sit on the couch next to my wife and she can have a browser working on the iPhone and with the GNex I could not. So I had to make a choice. Hope that it would get worked out with a software update and not too far down the road or wind up finding out that its in the hardware and then face getting a new phone. I travel way too much to be stuck with a device that has issues. So I appreciate the information you provided above and hope that I can understand the pro's and con's of 4G going forward. I don't expect anything to be perfect but think that this and these other conversations show how much we have all come to count on these little gadget wonders to go with us in our daily lives. And for something that gets (probably) too much attention we all just want it to be as good as it can be.

Oh, and for a laugh... my wife pretty much despises my passion for tech so I was looking for a cell phone with a rotary dial if anyone has one. She probably knows nothing like that exists but maybe with enough scrap parts I could put something together for a laugh next time she's up for phone upgrade.

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Tidbits
Legend

There's a phone reciever that plugs into the 3mm jack and heard it works pretty good. I am unsure the price of that one but I thought about getting one for giggles.

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