16
Dec
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After a rollercoaster of emotions and months of waiting, the back-from-mythical Galaxy Nexus was finally released on Verizon yesterday, but were the main reasons for the delays, in fact, related to unstable and poor connectivity? I've had endless problems with connectivity on the Thunderbolt (even with the latest firmware), and plenty of you had similar issues with pretty much all other LTE devices.

Can the Galaxy Nexus be no different? I assumed loss of data (even 3G, I'm not even talking about 4G here) and voice was a thing of the past with the Nexus, but having run into this Reddit post with multiple confirmations, I decided to do a quick poll using our social media accounts. The results were less than encouraging. Within minutes, I started getting replies from frustrated customers. Here are just some of them:

"@AndroidPolice YES! Huge data connectivity issues with this phone" - @mneighbo2

"@AndroidPolice I do" - @packruler

"@AndroidPolice Yes. Yes. Yes. :/" - @raygun01

"@AndroidPolice Yes and was happening on my Rezound as well, toggling airplane mode gets it back." - @FSRBIKER

"@AndroidPolice Heck yea, the service on my Nexus is horrible.. I was just having great service on my Droid Charge before the Nexus.. BAD!" - @Scotty_Braun

"@AndroidPolice yes here too" - @Kwamepoku2

"thought it was just me" - Nick Rains

"I've had some issues. Sometimes it just doesn't connect to Mobile Data for 10 minutes, and others it'll run fine." - Sahil Mehrotra

"Yes! It's honestly making me appreciate my Bionic more. I've never had so many No Connection Retry moments as I have since I upgraded to the Nexus." - Marci Neighbors

... and so on. Having determined that the issue is not limited to only a couple of users, I'd like to now get some numbers - please fill out this poll only if you are using a Verizon Galaxy Nexus:

Do your Verizon Galaxy Nexus data and/or voice experience frequent dropouts?

View Results

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There was a reason I didn't switch to Verizon when my contract with Sprint ran out earlier this year - the loss of data on the Thunderbolt was driving me nuts. Sprint is pretty bad here in the Bay Area as well, but at least the signal doesn't just disappear for minutes on end. Is something wrong with a lot of Verizon's LTE phones that makes them so unreliable? Could it be the network's fault? I don't know [yet], but I sure hope we'll get to the bottom of this.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Dan

    NO! Please don't tell me this. I just sent the request to IT this afternoon to get a Galaxy Nexus as my new company mobile. I'm going to go cry now. And drink. And cry.

    • billkilpatrick

      It is much ado about nothing.

  • sgtguthrie

    I have no data issues with thunderbolt. It's not the whole network...

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It's not the whole network, I didn't say it was, but it does affect many people.

  • RandomDude

    This may be an issue with phones trying to use best available technology (LTE) when LTE signal is too weak. I see the same problem when my wifi signal is just at the limit of its range, but 3G signal should be available. This is not strictly a Galaxy Nexus issue, though - it is common to many vendors, with slightly different characteristics from device to device. For someone moving from 3G only to 3G/4G, you're going to see it more often, since there's one more network to bounce back and forth to (from a radio perspective, CDMA/EV-DO and LTE won't co-ordinate handup/handdown between each other - this is handled higher in the network). There are plenty of places where my 4G device reports no data but my 3G device was happy to stream whatever I asked it to.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      My Tbolt didn't work just using 3G with LTE turned off in the settings. The same thing would happen and it would lose 3G and start cycling it back and forth every few seconds.

  • Cbajd5

    I've been having problems with the 4G, after using it for a few minutes (3 at most) it'll lose the signal, along with voice, and then have to reconnect, which takes forever. Then the process reapeats, and no combination of full reboots, battery pulls, airplane mode toggles or anything gets it working again. 3G works fine when it doesn't try to connect to 4G, voice works fine with 3G or wi-fi or even 4G if I'm not using any data.

    I'd have to say it's a problem with my 4G micro-SIM or radio since it's constant in how it cuts out. My mother's Thunderbolt and my brother's Rezound work fine here on 4G, so I'm probably going to Verizon tomorrow to see if there's anything they can do about it.

  • Fabulas

    I an constantly getting 1x instead of 3g. I often have to reset to regain connectivity. Not good!

  • amygdala

    i have yet to see more than 2 bars on my phone at any time (in dallas-fort worth area). This is my first LTE phone so i thought maybe the LTE signals may normally be this low in this area. But then i switched to CDMA only and noticed that places where i usually get full bars with my OG droid im getting zero to one bar of 3G. I can place calls and load data without a whole of issue most of the time but i do notice considerable battery drain from the phone constantly switching from 3G and LTE.
    Im thinking about returning the phone tomorrow for a replacement. Its a bit troubling to see others having similar issues. I thought it was only me!

    • Austin G

      I live in the dallas-fort worth area also and I have been experiencing the same exact problems that you are! When I have it on CDMA only I get extremely poor reception.. =/

      • Markus673

        I live in northern indiana, but ive only ever had 3 bars once whereas my x would have full all the time. Ive no 4G around so i just turned it off.

        Is it actually bad signal? Or, just a different scale of good signal?

  • Austin G

    I've been having a lot of problems with either extremely poor and completely no 3G connectivity on my VZW Nexus.. I had a Thunderbolt and I had absolutely no problems in these areas with my TB...

  • ZaChYmO

    I own a thunderbolt with no issues at all, b4 Vicious MIUI happened I planed on getting Razr which my bro now owns and apparantly has issues as well. I think ill keep my TB a while more until better things come.

  • 360Razir

    I had two bars of 4G on my Galaxy Nexus and so I thought I would try to enable/disable Airplane mode and see if that would improve the bars.
    When 4G re-engaged, it was down to one bar. Not encouraging...until I ran SpeedTest:
    13695kbps Download
    4727kbps Upload
    So, while the bars are not reporting high marks, the speed is pretty damn good for me. Very happy with the 4G speed in my area (nice to not have YouTube keep buffering with HQ videos).
    I am one of the votes for no drops in either voice/data. If lucky, hope it continues.

  • Marco Duran

    Picked up my Nexus yesterday, happy to report no issues so far while commuting in the southern Phoenix area.

    Have a friend with a T-bolt in the same area who's constantly having problems, so naturally I rubbed it in a little when I didn't experience the same thing.

    Whatever the problem is, I hope it gets fixed quickly for y'all.

  • Fabulas

    I am also getting only like 2 bars of service. This is not good for such an anticipated product launch. I'm in the Memphis TN area. Glad I havent sold my thunderbolt yet!

    • critter42

      M-town here as well - I'm getting almost full bar 4g coverage east of the 240 loop and in G'town and Collierville, not so much in North Memphis/Raleigh area (go figure...look where the $$ is...) and north of Sam Cooper.

  • Rob

    I think it's the network's fault. Like most of the national carriers here in the U.S. it's a bunch of big hyped-up promises and not much else. Every carrier is the biggest, best, fastest, most reliable, most dependable, blah, blah, blah. My opinion? Just STFU and put the money into your networks rather than the marketing. Stop trying to outdo each other and let the power of your (functional) network speak for itself. We customers will know what works versus what's smoke & mirrors.

    • Intheknow

      I got the phone yesterday and have been having issues with the data cutting out. I am running only 3G and never had any of these kinds of issues with my old phone, so I don't think it is the network.

      I have never had an android phone before, but the weather app built in has been unavailable for half the day, and the voice feature can't connect half of the time. For me it only happens in 1 minute spurts.

      I still need to use the phone for a few days to evaluate the battery, but so far it seems pretty sad. I am not a power user by any means and it took 3 charges to get me through the day, charged at night, Once late morning after talking for a while, and once in the evening. The screen used 47%. I may return this phone if it does not get better.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Guys, bars of service don't mean much - they could be calibrated differently on different devices. As long as your service works, it's not what this post is about. This is about losing data or voice altogether. As in 1x or nothing at all.

    • 360Razir

      What else do we have to visually gauge to understand what is going on with our connectivity? They put the bars there for us, not for the techs. So yes, the bars matter in terms of trying to figure out what the coverage is in a particular area. Agree this post is about losing signal (v or d), but the bars issue is relevant. If bars mean nothing for 4G, then I would just prefer a "4G" symbol and nothing else. But, the bars seem ingrained into the mobile industry at the moment.

  • Adam L

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the "bars" for voice and voice alone? The data connection is either on or off.

    • 360Razir

      Do we need 4G for voice? Seems like that worked on 1x...oh and analog.

    • Rob

      Isn't that what LTE is supposed to be? Voice + Data like VoIP? In other words, using an I.P. based architecture similar that to the present-day internet services? If that's true, it might explain why voice + data suffer simultaneously on an LTE device like the G Nexus. Personally, it seems like VZW has been having far too many issues with its LTE network to support such a product launch right now, but nevertheless they went ahead with it.

      • 360Razir

        They had issues with 3G when it launched as well...we suffered through and it got better as time went along. 4G will be no different. Just glad they aren't charging more for 4G.

        • Rob

          I suppose all carriers have their "adjustment periods" where technology is concerned.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          I wish I could say the same but my Bolt was horrible even in 3G-only mode. Constant data drops.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        You're thinking VoLTE, which is I think on like one phone right now.

      • Intheknow

        Currently voice does not go over the LTE. Still a year or two away for that.

  • mike

    I have had some problems to. I live in fort wayne, In some times its fast other times says checkbfor service. Very random.

  • jnt

    I hate to say it, but it's both the network AND the phones. The combination of LTE with 3G (evdo rev. a on Verizon) is beyond what the phones can handle *easily*, so they use a clunky workaround called eHRPD to handle the handoff between the two. 9 times out of 10 eHRPD is the problem. It's also the reason LTE phones lose 3G when LTE goes down, while 3G only phones hold strong. Owners of the Thunderbolt and now the Rezound can go deep into the modem settings (##778#) and, essentially, disable eHRPD and go 100% evdo rev a - do this the next time LTE goes down, and you'll have solid 3G again. These are the only LTE phones that have this capability, and I believe it's due to HTC's chipset - the same one that uses the SVDO chip, allowing those phones to do simultaneous voice and data over 3G alone. Longer story short, it's an immature technology that VZW is pushing out because it is just good enough to get by, while they market the heck out of it. But in all honesty, it takes away the #1 reason most people pay for Verizon - reliability. The sooner people get educated on this stuff, the sooner VZW can be persuaded to stop pushing a subpar tech down our throats... As I type this from my LTE Gnex. :) Though I had to toggle airplane mode once to submit.

  • jnt

    Oh if you do ##778# on the Bolt or Rezound, you WILL be able to get 4G, but the handoff will be VERY slow. But at least you'll have a more reliable connection - and obviously you can switch it back as well.

  • Tim

    No issues here. I've used 4G all day yesterday & 3G today...haven't noticed a thing with fairly heavy usage

  • Steve

    Havent had an issue at all with this phone yet... My thunderbolt was famous for it though so it seems as this is more of a network then a hardware issue.

  • mike

    Three bars 3g will not load and when it does only loads half the page. Starting to piss me off.

  • mike

    Three bars 3g will not load and when it does only loads half the page. Starting to piss me off.trying three times to post this

  • john

    This is the reason why I returned my Bionic, and ordered a Nexus, I guess I am just destined to not have data anymore lol

    • Jacques

      Don't worry until you get yours. Mine has never had less than two bars of 4G and has never had any slowdown whatsoever. It has been consistently much faster than my home internet. I make a ton of voice calls, and I've had only one call take longer than a few seconds to connect, and no dropped calls whatsoever.

      I'm in one of Verizon's first LTE markets too, so I would think it would be relatively crowded with users...though they may have also built out more infrastructure.

  • Chris

    Coming from Sprint. I checked for coverage where I work and it stated that I worked in a 4G LTE coverage area.
    Went to Verizon to buy the Galaxy Nexus, came back to work and I could not make one phone call. In most areas I got an error message "No Mobile Data Connection". In one area I was able to get one 3G bar and make a phone call that was about as worse as an Edge call made back in the late 90's.
    Mind you that every where I tested the Galaxy Nexus phone and got awful reception, Sprint was covered perfectly.
    I called Verizon to find out why I couldn't make any calls in an area that should be perfectly covered and they stated that because people are using Facebook and Twitter so much on 4G phones is the direct reason why I couldn't make a phone call on their network.
    I couldn't believe the line of BS that I was just told, I proceeded to return the Galaxy Nexus phone and will be staying with Sprint where I can actually make a phone call.

  • Zac

    My 4G is iffy. I'm in a well covered 4G LTE area yet I'm on 3G 85% of the time and 4G sometimes randomly kicks on. Don't think I've ever had full bars 4G, two at most.

  • BigDee

    I have already returned my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. I was able to get 4 hours of battery life after medium usage on LTE. Yesterday after charging all night, I left it on 3G(CDMA) all day with no usage and my battery had 25% left by 6 p.m. Until battery technology improves, these 4G phones suck. Great phone if you have it plugged in all of the time!

    • Jacques

      Dude...what were you doing to get only 4 hours? My GNex ran on its battery from 3 PM on Friday until 7 PM on Saturday before I got a low battery warning. It was plugged into my car for about 10 minutes at like 11 PM on Friday.

      Used LTE the entire time. I used the phone a *lot* on Saturday too.

      • Intheknow

        I dont know, maybe they have issues with the phone. Mine is running on 3G only and lost about 13% of its battery sitting on my nightstand without any use in about 3 hours. This means that with no usage at all, my phone will last about 24 hours (I do have 2 email accounts setup with push).

        I am considering returning this phone due to the awfull battery life. I would have thought they would try to get it right with this phone. laptopmag.com did a test which put the Verizon version of the Nexus as the worst battery life of any of the 4G phones they have tested. It only lasted 3 hours and 40 minutes with web use over 4G.

        I really want to like this phone, but when I have to worry about having to plug it in 1-2 times through the day with light to moderate usage, I really have to think about returning it.

        • Joe

          sounds like my wifes iphone 4s...

  • boe

    Maybe it is the LOS issue Samsung is having with their ET4G which is also a CDMA phone

  • dlr

    My Galaxy Nexus would not connect any data via 3G or 4G the first day. Voice was fine. I pulled the battery and the SIM card and restarted. No problems with data at all after that. I don't know if this will work for everyone but it sure worked for me.

  • Windward65

    Eh gads, I'm so happy that the UK isn't getting "4G" or LTE anytime soon, it sounds like a total waste of time. I get fast enough speeds on HSDPA to do any amount of browsing and a fair amount of app downloading, the only problem is that it's very hard to get any HSDPA signals outside towns.

    The coverage in the USA seems to be even more difficult, and results in total service monopolies, but instead of making the existing service work everywhere, they're investing in a completely new service with mostly unnecessary speed that will be available in even fewer places? Who needs a faster data connection when 'fair use policies' cap you at an absurd amount anyway? And since the technology for it is crap, your battery lasts two minutes and you get constant disconnections?

    All I want is a nationwide HSDPA service with a large capacity, when we have that then lets talk about 'LTE'.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    This is karma for everyone demanding Verizon rush the phone! lol

    I would still rather it wasn't happening though.

  • Deltaechoe

    It just seems to be a baseband issue, it will be fixed. The same thing has happened with many phones on release (eg thunderbolt, bionic, ect)

    • boe

      People with the LOS issues with the Samsung ET4G have had the issue now for 3 months - no sign of a fix yet even though they have released an update in the android to 2.3.6 on the phone.

  • Chris

    I think there is a reception problem with it. Sitting side by side with my Thunderbolt (CM7) the Galaxy is showing anywhere from 10 to 25 dBm less signal strength. The Thunderbolt ALWAYS has a better signal.

  • Lars

    In Akron Oh, on Galaxy Nexus, and getting good data speeds, even our local newspaper loads quick and they don't have a page optimized for mobile.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

    Would not surprise me if it is affecting those in either 850 or 1900 MHz areas, but not both since there some issues and some fine.

  • A7

    My issues are always only with handoffs. Going from 4G area to 3G the data will cut out for minutes at a time. Helps to go into airplane mode and then turn the radios back on

    • Jay

      I am finding the opposite issue. When I come out of airplane mode, I get no data on 3G. VZW told me to turn on roaming data to fix the issue because I am in a strong 4G area. Let's see if that works.

  • Jack

    I generally turn off 4G to save battery, but in either case I top out at about -93dBm.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      That is about the same as my Incredible 2 before the last two radio upgrades. Now it is great. I am sure they will get it resolved in software.