Update: Things have gone from "Looks like a weird software bug" to "Damn, this could well be a serious hardware issue". As some users had been suggesting, the problem does indeed link to use of 2G. However, it turns out that the issue can be replicated by the use of 2G even on another, proximate phone. As you can see in the video demonstration by kongzs7 below, the volume rocker keys' sensors are set off even when the phone is only at the bootloader.

This absolves Android 4.0 from blame, and suggests either an issue with the internal hardware, or possibly the firmware of the device, both significantly more problematic to sort out. Testing shows that the interference is caused by use of 900 MHz 2G, a frequency found on many European networks. Update via @Nerdtalker. Original post follows.

Despite receiving significant praise from the review posted so far, not even the new  Galaxy Nexus is immune to the now-familiar phenomenon of bizarre early-adopter issues. Scores of recent buyers on the XDA-Developers forums are reporting an issue with the volume control rocker on their phones. The phone will mute itself, and then respond erratically to presses on the volume rocker, if it responds at all.

Through repeated testing, several users have come up with a theory that appears to link the issue to the phone's radio, specifically operation in 2G data mode. While it seems like a strange connection to make, the number of people corroborating it indicates strongly that such a link exists.

YouTube user Duddyroar posted this video demonstrating the strange behaviour he and others have been experiencing:

As you can see in the Galaxy Nexus's status bar, the phone is on a G[PRS] data connection, rather than the 3G or H[SDPA] indicators.

There are extensive threads on XDA regarding this issue, where owners are delving deeply into the issue, parsing through logs in an attempt to determine what exactly the cause of the issue is. Check 'em at the source, below, and star the issue at Google Code to help rectify this problem speedily.

Thanks for the tip, Dead Last!

Source: XDA-Developers [1] [2]

Brian O'Toole
Having learnt his writing techniques reading e-Books of Sherlock Holmes, Brian now spends his time /kicking, lurking, SSHing and encoding.
  • Devin

    At first I was pissed verizon didn't have the phone available yet, now I'm not so mad.

  • AppleFUD

    You guys are reporting it all wrong!

    The standard line is, 'there's nothing wrong with the device. . . it's user error'.

    Or. . . 'it's just the media blowing everything out of proportion'.

    Never ever admit that there is something actually wrong! The device is always perfect, just works, and is amazingly magical!

    Get it right!

    • http://androidpolice.com Brian O’Toole

      Well if it makes you feel any better, Duddyroar is experiencing the same fanboy apologist backlash on his youtube video as I did when I dared question the Sensation's touchscreen.

    • Than. Q

      Yeah whatever. Apple fanboys did the same with the connectivity issues on the iphone 4

    • Freak4Dell

      You're holding it wrong.

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    Talk about MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT WOW…I have to recollect myself and remeber why I switched from sprint to verizon and that was related to service issues with sprint as well as signal weakness. As far as that was concerned verizon has covered that problem 150% so I am extremely happy from a 4g LTE signal standpoint service is great. Now from a device standpoint I came to verizon DROOLING FOR THE GALAXY NEXUS even jumped on the double the data promotion 5gb for 50 dollars which was normal plan now I have 10gb for 50 dollars to me that is unlimited since I never went over 4gb when I had unlimited data on sprint. I came to verizon on November 11th with my 14days coming to a close on November 25th I took a gamble hoping the Galaxy Nexus would land between Nov 11 to Nov 25 rumor wise I was on course but reality wise looks like December 8th now. So what is a man to do I refuse to be stuck with the Lg Revolution as my main device when I had the EVO 3D when I was on sprint so what I will do is get the best HTC DEVICE on any carrier and yes that is the HTC REZOUND. So come this Monday since I know now there will be NO galaxy nexus before November 25th which ends my 14days I will trade in my current Lg Revolution for the Rezound and will be happy. The overall reviews of the rezound have been great and with 16gb of internal storage as well as 16gb sd card that can be expandable to 32gb I will have plenty of storage. Plus with all the current problems and issues with the Galaxy Nexus ie 16gb of internal storage INSTEAD of the 32gb, NO FLASH, and SOFTWARE issues I will ride it out until all these issues are resolved. The Galaxy Nexus will have to prove to me it’s worth adding a line to my current verizon account and based on what has been going on recently I seriously doubt the Galaxy Nexus can come strong regardless od ice cream sandwich. I will leave that possibility open but as of tomorrow I will be walking into a verizon store to exchange my Revolution for the Rezound and will continue being a happy verizon customer…..http://www.vzbuzz.com/2011/11/google-updates-galaxy-nexus-tech-specs-verizon-lte-variant-only-coming-in-16gb-flavor/……http://www.droid-life.com/2011/11/19/galaxy-nexus-roundup-only-16gb-version-in-the-u-s-no-flash-support-vodafone-still-testing-and-no-usb-mass-storage/

    • SarcasticOne

      rage much?
      your issues are with verizon,
      it's also your own fault for putting too much into the rumours, rather than waiting for the actual phone to be released, or confirmation of release date...

      and so far we have a single issue... big deal... there is always issues... QA can only do so much...

  • Slatkin

    Oh good. The cancer that is Dick Yarrell is hanging around this blog too. -_-

  • jim

    not too worried (assuming this is software based issue). the good thing about nexus' is that they can get updates fairly quick to fix such a thing

  • Matt

    Not too worried?!>?! If I was the owner of that phone I'd be p.o.'d big time...not gonna just casually brush it off and be like "well...good thing I might get a software update soon." What if it's a hardware issue? What if the phone's released was rushed? Most sought after phone in Android history my bum!

    • Freak4Dell

      I'll take a small issue that has a specific trigger and many, many workarounds (and alternates from buggy and working within seconds) over a problem that kept me from using the phone for its primary purpose that the manufacturer tried to deny existed.

      • Tristan

        Oh snap!

  • sbenson1189

    And everyone here is forgetting that the GN here in the states won't have that same antenna. Ergo; not an issue on the VZW version. Duh

  • Tristan

    Like Agent Kay said in MIB. Modified for effect =)

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew there was nothing wrong with the Galaxy Nexus. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

  • KevinN

    Great! now Verizon will delay it further lol

  • Dward2828

    Mine arrives tomorrow and I couldn't care less about the volume issue (first upgrade for me since OG Desire!). Once proven, I expect the radio to be patched within 14 days or so. It's down to us to flag it, so let's do it!

    • Dward2828

      Got mine today. Unlocked, rooted, just playing some games now. Beautiful phone, no sign of volume bug. Just get one!

  • Tyler Walles

    sounds like a usuall samsung phone to me... in my experience samsung phones have always had crap hardware

    • Nastybutler77

      Well speaking as a recent Android/Samsung convert, I'm happy with the build quality of my Galaxy S2 as compared to my last phone, a 3GS. And once I can update it to ICS, most of my (minor) gripes with the OS will be resolved.

  • jc

    I love seeing Apple and Android owners pointing fingers at each others OS quirks and flaws. Reminds me of how people point the fingers at each other for their own shortcomings. To me rumors are just that..rumors. I'm a Sprint customer on a Nexus S 4g but I have no doubt Verizon will be a hit with its recent lineup of phones. Its a win for Android as a whole. I also feel Verizon's upper echelon did the right thing...not set a definitive release date until quality control clears the Galaxy Nexus first. There are two types of consumer...those who want a product and are willing to deal with a few glitches to get it first...and those who are willing to wait to get the best product possible. That applies across all OS systems. I'll patiently wait for my Nexus S 4g Official ICS update and the patches and updates that fix whatever issues that come with it.

  • Laurynas

    I have galaxy nexus, havent experienced any problems. Screen is just amazing

  • yuriy

    Ehh I just ordered one from the UK today.. feelin rather iffy about it now. My NS often jumps to EDGE so this would def. Be a problem around where I live on T-Mobile. Might cancel my order.

    • yuriy

      After doing some reading looks like it won't be a problem in the states?

  • kevin

    all i can say is its a samsung

  • LUG

    Wow, This phone is so bad Virgin Mobile would sell it.

  • bestandroid

    the inevitable happened ..
    Unfortunate error from Google that choosing Samsung again ...

    • Freak4Dell

      While I don't really have a problem with Samsung, I do wish Google had stuck with HTC for the Nexus line. Their hardware just seems to be better (even though HTC has it's problems, too...all manufacturers do). I also wish they had kept the phone branding strictly a Nexus thing, instead of compromising with Samsung.

  • J-Man

    Ordered mine from Handtec (should get it tomorrow) and they said in their tests their batch didn't seem to be affected, and that it was also tested by Samsung prior to them.

    Might be just a specific batch issue, hopefully, and not all production units.

  • Dan

    RE: the bitching and moaning about Verizon Galaxy Nexus phone:

    900 MHz 2G. Hello. WTF does that have to do with your Verizon account or Verizon phone? Stick a poptart in your mouth, put your hands back in your pants, and stop bothering the adults.

    For everyone who lives in areas that DO use 900 MHz 2G, I sincerely hope this turns out to be a missing or poorly installed shield in the phone rather than a design problem. It could be worse. You could have gotten the Nexus after the US and then had this problem on top of having to wait.

    ...and +1 for spider pig.

  • Paul

    "There are extensive threads on XDA regarding this issue, where owners are delving deeply into the issue, parsing through logs in an attempt to determine what exactly the cause of the issue is. "

    I love this though. If the iPhone screws up, nothing you can do but wait until Apple Acknowledged the problem and posts a fix, if they do. But when a popular Android phone messes up, there are scores of people doing their own debugging and troubleshooting to get to the bottom of it. It shows the power of the community.

  • Raj

    After updating a international Samsung galaxy note to 2.36 you experience this problem on AT&T. It is problem with running the phone in GSM (edge) or 3G. The volume goes up and down on it's own and so does the ringer ! Will have to wait for ICS 4.0 ? any thoughts.