Problems With Nexus One 3G Connection?


Reports from across the web have been pouring in about the Nexus One and its 3G woes – a frustratingly simple problem for an otherwise capable device. We’ve seen members on AndroidForums, T-Mobile support forums, and Google Forums all complaining. Here is the G1 versus N1 – the former getting 3G while the latter is stuck on EDGE:


T-Mobile and Google have made a short but official statement essentially saying “we’re on it”:

Google and T-Mobile are investigating this issue and hope to have more information for you soon. We understand your concern and appreciate your patience.

But we want to know how deep the problem runs. We’ve started a poll on AndroidForums where we’re asking Nexus One owners to tell us whether or not they’re experiencing 3G connectivity issues. If you own a Nexus One GO AND VOTE.

I hope this is just a firmware problem they can fix with an OTA and not a hardware issue because I can see that making a JOKE of this whole “Google Phone” launch thing.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. oh craps

  2. Don’t know about all the others problems, but in this pic the Nexus seems to have a low battery.. perhaps at a certain power level it it designed to connect with less juice using edge ?

  3. i think it might be the phones that go through tmobile, because i bought it unlocked and have had no 3g issues. in fact, i’m connected to 3g right now.

  4. No its a real problem even when fully charged. I got mine Saturday and its been going in and out when my G1 was always 2 3G bars or higher. Then switched my sim card back to G1 and there was no problem.

  5. lol well t mobile is not a good signal phone but…if this phones screwing up on 3g then I am glad Verizons has not got there’s yet. But to be fare most phones have issues r a issue when they first come out of some kind

  6. Works fine for me on t-mobile UK!

  7. I was just pondering (sittings army cubicle )
    The nexus one looks just like the droid Eris am I right ?

  8. I’ve one on order, not shipped yet.

    I’m very tempted to cancel, until I know if it’s a hardware issue or not. I don’t want stuck with a dog.

    What’s the story on returns, when ordered from the UK?

    I do not want to get into one of those grey areas when it sort of works, and you can’t return it as faulty?

  9. @Envy
    So at full charge you get the same results as this picture, in that you are connecting Edge on the Nexus when in the same area you get 3G on your G1 ? .. I ask, because on my phone (myTouch) I get brief 3G bars, it is never on consistently unless I am actually downloading or surfing the web.. If for example I wake up the phone, it goes to he home screen, I get 2 or 3 bars briefly to show me that 3G is available, and then there are no bars.. this doesn’t mean that 3G is not there, because as soon as I start a browser or download, it’s there.

  10. My CLIQ does this all the time (Portland, OR area). Depending on which has a stronger signal, it’ll switch back and forth between the EDGE and the 3G network. If you do an “Operator Selection” from the Mobile Network Settings, you’ll most likely get two T-Mobile networks pop up. One 3G, the other EDGE. You can manually select between the two.

  11. My Nexus one has this issue as well.

    I used AnyCut and a launch to the ‘Testing’ Activity to forcefully set my connection to 3G (HSDPA). This workaround works well for me (3G is quite OK around Boston).

    But i think it’s a real issue. It needs to get fixed. It’s very annoying…

    I have a feeling it might be an issue caused by both the phone and the switch of T-Mobile to the faster HSDPA a little while ago.

  12. From the Electronista website:

    Google admits Nexus One hit by flaky 3G issues


  13. Sorry to be OT, but is the verizon version of the Nexus going to be the HTC Bravo? This would be in line with the leaked HTC information regarding this year’s releases.

  14. What amazes me with this whole Google phone is that they did so little apparent beta testing…Gmail was in Beta for years, whilst all their other services have long Beta programs. But the Nexus One – a Google branded product, gets a two week Beta testing period over Christmas, by their own staff, amounting to nothing more than a marketing campaign.

    I am sure they did some internal testing, but to me, they released the phone far too quickly….

    On a side note, I use a Hero, and it’s 3G reception sucks compared to my old Nokia N82 – it is mostly stuck on a H connection for data, seemingly only using a 3G connection for voice calls. I’m on Orange UK btw.

  15. Mine isn’t having this problem, I get a better signal than my old G1 and Google Ion. I did a side by side with my Google Ion the day I sold it and my Nexus always had one or two more bars than the Ion. So I bought another Nexus :)

  16. @Prupert,
    Lol that “H” stands for HSPA/HSDPA….3G just means its on raw UMTS, HSPA/HSDPA are both faster standards so you’ll WANT that “H” for data usage. Take a look at the manuel it should have a detailed description of the icons next to the bars, I found it on phandroid forums. Usually it goes
    Nothing there = raw GSM no GPRS availabe
    G/° = GPRS
    E = Enhanced GPRS or EDGE (same thing but you Euros call it EGPRS us Americans call it EDGE mostly so I’m led to believe)
    3G = UMTS (most phones display this even if its UMTS with HSDPA/HSPA)
    H/3G+ = HSDPA/HSPA (I haven’t seen this on too many phones but the Hero and some nokias do it)

  17. Just to clear something up, I’m the one that took that picture at the top of the page. It was the same behavior regardless of battery charge.

  18. Shoulda bought/stayed with a DROID. I did, and my 3G is excellent.

  19. My 3G is Ok in France with N1.

  20. Been having same issues with 3g in boston with Nexus. In middle of downtown on 15th floor of bldg and can’t get 3g and stuck on the Edge. Called t-mobile and htc re problem. HTC very understanding but tmoble feigned ignorance and claimed must just be cell tower issue.

  21. for what is worth, I was also facing the same problem: no 3G

    I discovered though that if I allow the “data roaming” option, 3G becomes active.

    The “data roaming” option is under: Setting -> Wireless&network settings -> Data roaming.

    It doesn’t make much sense why, even though I’m on T-Mobile, I have to have “data roaming” enabled. But at least flip this setting seems to do the trick for me.


  22. forgot to mention that even if you do get 3G, the data network access seems to be very flaky at times.

    When it is “up” I’m getting decent up/down speeds:
    940kbps up/330kps down

  23. Mine is only working at EDGE, never at 3G. I’m using Claro, Dominican Republic. My Iphone works 3G 90% of the time used. The Nexus One it’s a piece of work, but this flaw makes it a piece of junk.

  24. The nexus is based on a HTC phone, I would never ever buy a HTC phone again I had a lot of problems where the screen refuses to light up making it virtually impossible to call someone or even see the screen, the support from HTC was pathetic, so having google and HTC together makes problems almost impossible to be resolved.

  25. HSDPA is a high level description of connection protocols including EDGE and 3G. So this post is nonsense and most of the comments read like a dumb-ass Apple forum.

  26. I recently received my nexus one. I live in the UK and ordered an unlocked phone from Google. Even though I have the latest OTA update (multitouch and friends), I still have pretty bad 3G.

    On my previous phone (nokia 5800), I was pretty much always on hsdpa (3.5G), but the phone constantly drops to edge or just standard umts 3g. Rarely do I see it jump into hsdpa speeds.

    My provider is o2, but I really believe it’s a hardware issue, considering I didn’t have this problem with my nokia.

  27. I’m in the UK, on Orange, and just received my Nexus One. I have the ‘3G’ icon, but I have not yet seen the ‘H’ symbol to indicate HSPA/HSDPA. Switching the SIM back to the HTC Hero I used previously and this shows that HSDPA is available and in use.

    Using the phone at home last night, ‘3G’ dropped back to ‘G’ several times, giving me a much worse network speed. I’m inclined to believe this is hardware/software and not provider.

  28. I can second and expand on LK’s comments. I’ve had no data connectivity at times. The N1 thinks it’s roaming even though it’s not. The R symbol appears in the signal strength icon to indicate Roaming. If I go into the settings and enable Data Roaming suddenly I get data connectivity.

    Alternatively I can leave Data Roaming disabled and go into Network Operators in the settings and select my network (which I’m already connected to). It then stops thinking I’m roaming and magically I get full 3G access!

    So there’s a bug causing it to mistake it’s roaming status, or fail to match up the SIM network with the one it’s connected to. Leaving Data Roaming disabled (the default) will then kill your data connectivity.

    Or maybe this is just an issue with my network: 3.

  29. @Max.. Claro in DR uses 850/1900 for 3G.. at that time you bought the 900/2100 based one. That is why it didn’t work at that time. From March 16 on, you can buy they version you want and it should work ok.

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