Galaxy Nexus LTE Bug Is a Figment of Your Imagination


Since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, many a user has noticed fewer 4G LTE status bars than they are used to, leading to the idea that the phone must be suffering from some sort of radio bug. The one or two bars of service were accompanied by reports of dropped calls and low signal strength when measured at the dBm level. The reality, as per an investigation by AnandTech, is that the Galaxy Nexus may actually be reporting LTE signal strength more accurately than its Verizon predecessors.

Compared head-to-head with the LTE Droid Charge, nearly identical dBm readings resulted in two drastically different sets of status bars. For the Droid Charge, four bars. For the Galaxy Nexus, a mere one bar. It is important to note that the Charge and Galaxy Nexus use identical LTE radio chips, so the difference in signal strength opinion must operate at the software level. Ice Cream Sandwich seems to be reporting signal strength more precisely than previous versions of Android. The Galaxy Nexus theoretically should be receiving the same quality of signal as any other 4G LTE device operating on Verizon’s network within the same vicinity, regardless of a discrepancy in status bars. The strength of signal will likely grow as Verizon continues to improve their LTE network, and when it gets firing on all cylinders it will be a hard beast to slow down.

[via DroidLife]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

Myriad Alien Vue Gives Access to Google TV Apps without the Google TV Hardware

Previous article

Disney Updates Where’s My Water with 20 New Levels, Launches Free Version

Next article

You may also like


    1. Epic phone is epic.

  1. Yet again, dissapointed…

  2. Nope..

  3. damn you’re fast

  4. anandtech mentioned that the GN has a pretty accurat signal

  5. this will be a real test for Phandroid.com web servers and their throughput capabilities.

    1. What will be a real test? Btw, you don’t happen to live in Missouri?

  6. So in other words, the signal on the Verizon GN isn’t bad at all. Just other phones are lying about theirs…
    Sounds like how the iPhone used to be. Telling people their signal is better then it really is.

  7. Just don’t make this a “you’re holding it wrong” situation

  8. I pulled 38.5 down today….but then I never got anywhere near that afterwards. Was only getting around 18 average

    1. Lol i got 40 never again tho

      1. And the funny thing is I found out afterwards there was a Verizon tower across the street from me at the time

        1. Yeah there lte is fast but its a battery killer when I go out I take off lte. So my ish can last all day. Only use it when Its plugged in

  9. I’m sorry, but this proves very little. I purchased two GN devices from verizon for company employees. Since those phones have been in use, the frequency of these devices saying they are running in 3G mode is very, very high. This is not case of phones or providers mixing up signal strength qualifiers. This is a real problem with the GN…as is poor battery life, as is poor response time on the virtual keyboards (i.e. text not following the speed at which it is entered), as is the slowness of the system to go from portrait to landscape mode. These are real issues and they should not be given a pass just so some blogger can try and help Verizon pass the buck. Do not be a fan-boy, use your influence to help get these issues addressed quickly.

    1. Why are you calling anyone a fanboy? It was people like you so blinded by the thought of a new Nexus that you thought this phone would be perfect. In fact, it has more problems than most other newly released phones. It’s the fanboys who are now paying the price for this piece of junk

      1. You sound like an iPhone owner.

        1. Own a Rezound, actually. I think it is very good. I agree, all phones have issues especially when they are new. I have never, though, owned an LTE phone that had as much inconsistency with the connection and switching back and forth from 4G to 3G. Verizon is a great provider and I know this issue will be resolved. My comments are a reflection of the consumer making sure product is delivered or fixed to an “as-promised” condition. This process has seemingly taken longer for some handsets over others…I am thinking about the HTC Thunderbolt and its updates after its release and the Samsung Galaxy phone that I forget the name of that never seemed to be upgraded from 2.1 to 2.2. Anyway, the point is that we, the consumers and those with whom we have placed some trust in their ability to present situations to the providers, such as Phandroid, should not excuse or ignore these shortcomings. There are problems with the phone, and I like to think we have more power and influence to see these problems fixed if we are vocal and pushing for a resolution. The idea about the “figment of your imagination” may have been tongue-in-cheek, but it was also somewhat insulting that we are expected to accept that this issue can simply be explained away with a simple answer. I have two GN units…both are right now in 3G and they are set for 4G. This is not a figment of our imagination.

          1. Tl;dr… Can’t be bothered.

    2. I’ve been leaving 4g turned off on mine (I don’t really need it) and just turning it on occasionally and have been getting pretty decent battery life, about the same I got on my D2.  Also, I love the virtual keyboard, I thought the response time was VERY fast, the fastest I’ve ever used.  It did seem to lag at first but then I realized it was just the haptic feedback that was lagging, not the key entry, once I disabled the haptic feedback my keyboard feels super fast and is working phenomenally well, I love it, and have no plans for installing swype or swiftkey.

      There does seem to be a lag between portrait and landscape, all phones have one, but this is more than usual.  My biggest complaint is the speaker volume being too low.

      1. Download volume+ in the app market….works great!

        1. Thanks for the tip!

        2. I down loaded this app and it does nothing. Please enlighten me on how it INCREASES the volume more than stock volume toggle???!!!

      2. Yes, Volume+ works great!

    3. I agree with almost all of your points.  However, the portrait to landscape lag has been fixed in the 4.0.3 update.  But yes, there is a definite problem with this phone.  In places my Thunderbolt had great 4G signal, my nexus constantly drops down to 3G.  I dont care if the -dbm is displayed wrong, but that has nothing to do with the lack of 4G in areas that used to be just fine (and still are as my girlfriend now has my Thunderbolt and has perfect 4G speeds)  

      1. Thanks for the info about 4.0.3. Is this an update that has already been pushed to the phones? I will have to verify if our units have been updated.

        1. It should be pushed in the coming weeks. It also adds more support for adding things like facebook contacts to the address book. I believe it also fixes the large and pixelated contact photos while on a call. Verizon has issued a statement that they are aware of the problem and a fix is in the works.

  10. This is ridiculous. My Gnex drops to 3G ALL THE TIME.  Where my Thunderbolt would have solid 4G signal, my Nexus simply does not. I dont care what this dude at anandtech has to say about his data. In the real world, there is definitely an issue. To be quite honest, its very frustrating and needs to be addressed. 

    1. U have a limon, mine is fine

      1. I’m not the only one.  Just look at the comments.  Glad yours is fine. 

      2. What’s a limon?

        1. Lol lemon*

    2. you do know what when you’re not using data the phone automaticaly drops to 3G to save power right? Atleast the HSPA+ phones do. Did you consider that?

      1. LTE version does not do that.

    3. These are not the bars you are looking for *waves hand*

  11. Important public service announcement for all Galaxy Nexus owners: You have 30 days to return this buggy mess in exchange for a device that actually works!

    1. sounds like someone is mad they are stuck with their iphone

      so sad

      1. Nope, I bought a RAZR, you know, the phone that works and isn’t plastic.

        1. oh, the one that wont get ICS forever, has no google wallet and sucks balls compared to the nexus? That blows man, im sorry

          1. In the real world where people use their phones, not mod them, people don’t give a crap about ICS or Google wallet. How’s that ICS working with your dead battery? 

          2. being that after 10 hours on lte and after buying 2 Mcdoubles and a sweet tea with google wallet, i sitll have 14% left  pretty good

          3. Battery life isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.  It lasts me anywhere from 10-12 hours with reasonably heavy use to 20+.  Currently at 44% battery with 27 hours uptime, half of that was with 4g off because I was working all day and had a PC beside me the whole time.

            TLDR – Shut the fuck up.

          4. Damn Soho, you’re a little touchy eh? Maybe you’re the lucky one with a perfect battery, decent 4G signal, loud volume and on and on. But I doubt it. You sound like a pitiful fanboy desperately trying to defend his decision to buy an over hyped piece of junk. All you could see was Nexus and ICS and you blindly purchased this phone only to find it blows compared to the competition. Well, good news for you. At least ICS works even if nothing else does.

          5. I’m the pitiful fanboy?  Coming from some faggot trolling various Galaxy Nexus threads, I doubt it. 

            Phone works fine for me.  I’m happy.  Whatever they happen to patch and improve is just sprinkles on the ice cream.

          6. Soho, “faggot”??? I wasnt the one wacking off to photos of the GN before it was released. You are blinded by your love of an inanimate object and one that doesn’t work at that. I think this desription fits you perfectly:

            Object sexuality or objectum sexuality, in German objektophil (OS), [1] is a pronounced emotional and often romantic desire towards developing significant relationships with particular inanimate objects. Those individuals with this expressed preference may feel strong feelings of attraction, love, and commitment to certain items or structures of their fixation. For some, sexual or even close emotional relationships with humans are incomprehensible. Object-sexual individuals also often believe in animism, and sense reciprocation based on the belief that objects have souls, intelligence, feelings, and are able to communicate.[2] Contrary to sexual fetishism, the object to an OS person is viewed as their partner and not as a means to an end to enhance a human sexual relationship.

    2. You say you don’t care about ICS? Those must be some sour grapes. 
      You don’t even know how good the phone is, you don’t have one, therefor your opinion on this entire post is invalid. Go post on some razor threads, if anyone cares to discuss mediocrity over there with you.

  12. Then why is there scores like this? With the Nexus always scoring lowest and presenting obvious connection issues by dropping and trying to cling to it’s connection.


    1. Wow fantastic point….the signal strength was higher on the Nexus but was getting crappier speeds and lower bars. Yeah there is something wrong

  13. So the jist of this guys article is saying that the signal strength meter is F’ed up?……. Why can’t I delete the image attached?

  14. Side by side, my wife’s Bionic consistently get’s a better signal (judge by BOTH bars and dBm).  It’s clearly a Sammy issue.  Hopefully it can possibly be fixed with a software update.
    Either way, I haven’t noticed any drop calls or complete loss of data (which the Bionic excelled in).

    1. Except thatbthe Bionic will be reporting the dBm from the 3g or 1g, not the LTE.

      1. So my phone reports LTE signal status when in CDMA only mode?

        1. I’m talking about LTE here. It’s in the name of the article…

          Do yourself a favor and read the actual source from anandtech. 

          1. My LTE Galaxy Nexus is set to CDMA mode only. There is no way my signal is reporting the LTE strength when I have the LTE disabled.
            I don’t need to read any articles, I’m living it.

          2. Good to hear. Thanks.

          3. “I don’t need to read any articles, I’m living it.”

            The mark of a true idiot.  With an anecdote by his side, he laughs in the face of measurement and observation.  SCIENCE BEGONE!

          4. The only measurement and observation I need is to have my friends in my apt with their droid charges pull 20 Mpbs down on 4G with my GN dropping 3G service. And I’m sure that Google is releasing new radios with 4.0.3 just for the fun of it.

  15. LOLOL that is their explanation?

  16. Had it since day 1. I live in a non 4G area. Had BB before. The only problem I have is learning how to navigate the phone and the volume problem. I still have no idea how to do a lot of things but I will learn. As for signal strength no diference at all maybe better than before,speed of the device compared to anything I have seen from friends is amazing. All the lovers and haters have their reasons.I will make the phone work,learn the phone and use it. And probably have 2 before its over as I use my cell phone more than most.I admit it is complicated but that is not a hardware or software problem. I have a few things I would prefer different but so what. Here is the solution to your problem. If you like it keep it. If you do not like it take it back. Simple They make lots of phones.

  17. What a stupid headline. The problem is very real as evidenced by the many reports of people getting no 4G signal at all where they had great 4G service on their previous phone. My Nexus also struggles to even stay on 3G where my Thunderbolt had a solid 4G connection before, I’m barely on 3G and it drops connection to no signal at all sometimes.

  18. I have excellent 4G coverage (Southern California) and love it.  But I’ve seen a complete loss of connectivity more than once (i.e., inbound calls go straight to voicemail, no internet, pinging in terminal fails).  I’ve currently switched the 4G off to see if it cures the problem, but have too little time in this mode to determine if it is corrected.

  19. i agree that is bullshit… i live smack dab in the middle of a 4G covered area and even still when i drive around in it, it wont even connect…

  20. Yet more bad reporting. There is a difference between low signal bars and not being able to make calls and connect to the network. The real issue is the latter.

  21. Early birds problems…ahhh the smartness in waiting never fells.. .neverever…

    1. *never fails. When criticizing others it might serve you well to actually know what you’re talking about.

      Thanks. ;)

      1. For a guy who knows how to spell so well-you sure dont seem to understand  the meaning of *Criticizing. And, also as someone who has been buying smartphones for years…I (just as most should and do like me) you learn NOT to rush out and buy a phone until you see(waiting) its problems worked out.Thats, simply common sense-without *Criticinzing in anyway. But, as always there is alwayssss the guy (like you) waiting to jump on someone…on a post…it *never fel-fails….alol. And, so in closing…does my comment still ring to you as I dont know what Im taling about?

        1. Yes.

  22. Took the GN back to Verizon today and got a HTC REzound…..best move I’ve made all week

  23. This is really strange. I live in the hills (LA) where reception, even on my Droid X, is spotty at best. But I never drop to 3G and I’m consistently getting download speeds of 8+mbps (1 bar). I’m not saying the problem isn’t real as clearly, people are affected, but it seems like I would be a prime candidate for this issue and I haven’t seen it yet. I guess I’ll keep a lookout when I’m roaming around the city.

  24. Hahahaha so Verizon devices are lying about their signal strength? i didn’t know that was possible but does make sense considering its Verizon, so the galaxy nexus just outs the network for what it is… crappy sorry in this case its not “you get what you pay for” you just pay for a pos network that is verizon.

  25. I’ve not had any complaints about my 4G signal on my phone. Works well at home and work. If I’m outside I normally have full bars. The same goes for the wife and her Razr. 
    The stock battery may be a different story. That thing will run down just by having it in the phone. 90% battery before going to sleep 20% when I wake up. I bet the battery could discharge by 50% overnight with the phone off (just kidding). 
    I received the extended battery today, I will see how it works out. 

  26. I was 100% sure that there was a signal strength issue because at home in Cleveland I was fighting to get 1 bar in 3G or 4G with signal strength at about -160dmb and something like 99au (or whatever it is).  I’ve recently been traveling and have been in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key Biscayne.  In all of these cities I averaged 4 bars with roughly 25mbs down and 13 up.  

  27. Uh…no. The tests above might be true, but there is definitely something wrong with some of the Gnex phones. My GF and I both picked one up on launch day. Multiple times when we were together and in different locations, I would have full 4g coverage and she wouldn’t have a signal at all. During the day, her phone was constantly searching for a signal and draining the battery within 5 hours without even touching it. Cell Standby was consuming about 65% of her battery with 70% of the time without a signal.  

    I haven’t had any issues with signals and am getting anywhere from 10-14 hours on the extended battery with average to heavy use (Cell Standby consumes only 6-7% of my battery). We took hers to the Verizon store today and they swapped out the sim card to see if that helps. Seems to already be working better, but if the issue continues she will definitely be replacing it with something else before Jan 15th. 

  28. Bullshit.  My neighbor has a GNex as well.  There is something FUBAR’d with it.  He is on 4.0.1 (not sure how) and I am on 4.0.2,  Side by side, he gets better speeds than I do.

  29. For all those out there really pissed about this. I understand your frustrations but you needn’t worry. The advantage of being a nexus owner is that we will see an update. Google will fix the problem if one exists. We don’t have to worry about never seeing an update that fixes things like this. I just got my nexus yesterday and it is awesome. I don’t live in a 4G area so you should all be happy that at least you have that, for many of us are still hoping for some 4G love. It will be fixed, until Google issues an update don’t get upset over what articles have to say because they are just trying to inform as best they can with the knowledge they have. Enjoy your Nexus, and be patient, an update is coming.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets