Verizon States No LTE Performance Issue with the Galaxy Nexus, Will Adjust Status Bar to Better Match Other Devices


Verizon has made a statement regarding a planned update to handle Galaxy Nexus 4G issues, and it doesn’t involve tweaking the phone’s radio firmware. As was reported yesterday after independent testing, the Galaxy Nexus is privy to the same signal strength as other 4G devices on Verizon’s network, the difference is the way it reports its status. To adjust for this, Verizon will be updating the phone’s software to translate signal strength to status bars in a similar way to other currently available LTE devices. The fix seems counter-intuitive by merely masking a potentially weak 4G signal with an exaggerated representation of service strength, but it will be enough to please more than a few customers worried that they aren’t getting the most out of Verizon’s network. Here is the full statement:

There is no issue with the performance of the device. There is a difference in the way the signal is translated into bars on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus compared to other smart phones. A future software update will adjust the signal strength indicator to more closely match other Verizon Wireless devices.

[via The Verge]

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  1. Until 4G drops again…

  2. now if only the network was as reliable as it used to be….

  3. I call BS, My Rezound gets a faster signal / DL speed than the Gnext sitting right next to each other.

    1. I second this.

      I’m feeling like I’m either going to have to choose between a better quality phone (Rezound) or one that lets me do what I want with it (Nexus).

      1. I’ve played with the Rezound and the Razr and I can’t stand either of them. To me the only choice is the Nexus but this signal issue is rediculous. My fascinate gets better signal AND DL speeds unless I have 3-4 bars of 4g.

  4. I doubt that. Gnex demo in Verizon store was constantly dropping 4G.
    Verizon doesn’t know this issue or pretend like it’s not there?
    Do they think customers will just forget about it and get adjusted to it….?
    I was going to move to Verizon from Sprint, but this is big disappointment.

    1. They just realized that it’ll help with people using to much data LOL, their trying to cover up a problem instead fixing it.

  5. I can tell when my speed drops to 3G even when it claims 4G.  Somehow, I have a hard time believing LTE really delivers speeds of about 150K/sec.  Of course, 3G does and it’s consistent with that …

  6. Am I the only one who doesn’t want this?  I would rather know that its crappy.  It almost feels to me like Verizon adding in more of their junk to take it away from a pure image.  

  7. Sounds like Apple’s response to the “Death Grip”

    1. Except apple lowered their signal strength claims to better reflect what the phone was seeing NOT raising the the signal strength claims to hide low signals.

  8. Sounds like the same excuse Sprint have for the Epic 4G Touch. I was waiting to see if the Nexus came with the same issue. My Epic 4G has terrible reception but I love the phone other than that.

  9. Seems like the sudden 3G > 4G influx is causing issues IMO. I trust Vzw to figure it out; they want our moneyz.

  10. That’s funny when my 4g reads 0 bars I can’t access data. Same with 3g. I call BS on Verizon’s part. My Nexus displays signal accurately and that signal sucks.

  11. Looks like many do not understand the problem. For me I am not looking at bars or DB numbers. I am comparing if I even get a signal. OD had 3G access all the time when at home and work. Rezound good 3 & 4 G home and work. Nexus 3 comes and goes at home and work. 4 G drops to 3g too often or no data at all home and work. Also notice lag while keying this. Can’t keep up and I type slow.

    1. I read somewhere in relation I think to the GSM/HSPA+ Nexus that HSPA+ phones are designed to drop from 4G to 3G when 4G is not needed just to save power.

      Sounds like everyone here is complaining of a real problem (NO DATA) they can observe, but I wonder if you might be seeeing something like that.  I have no reason to believe LTE drops to 3G CDMA in the same manner for the same reason, but maybe?

      1. LoL!! What if that is true? And that is why I lyk HSPA+ phones. 4G speeds at 3G power. I mean, why would I need 30Mb download speeds on a phone? -_- 

        I barely get 10Mb speeds at home on WiFi. o.O
        Or maybe these people are reading the numbers wrong?

        1. “I barely get 10Mb speeds at home on WiFi. o.O
          Or maybe these people are reading the numbers wrong?”

          I am thus embarrassed to admit I just bought a Samsung Galaxy S II off of ebay because tonight in a TMO store I saw the Galaxy S II, which supports HSPA+42 pulling down data at 23 Mbps while the HSPA+21 phones could only pull down at 6 Mbps.

    2. I’ve noticed that the rezound is extremely reliable with 3g/4g reception too, including in comparison to the razr

  12. I don’t care if they turn it up to 11 bars (a spinal tap 11). I am still showing very low dBm signal strenght, in the -120 to -130 dBm range.

  13. Has anyone done a side by side with a Droid Razor or Bionic?  Wondering if there are differences.

  14. I haven’t had any issues with dropped data or any issues switching between 3G and 4G. I feel like there will be an update to the Gnex to correct any issues but so far, I’m in love with my device although I wish battery life was better

  15. If multiple other Verizon 4G devices report the same DB signal number, then how is it a bs fix? It’s simply bringing the simplistic reporting that you see in the number of bars in line with the rest of their devices, This is just to pacify the more ignorant users who don’t understand that the number of bars, naturally varies from phone to phone or brand to brand, as it’s up to the manufacturer to decide what db number equals 1 bar, 2 bars, 3 bars or 4 bars.

    I usally get about one less bar on my thunderbolt in CM7 than I do on the stock ROM, but the connection is the same either way and I think CM7 is a little too harsh on the bars I can have a 68 db connection which is really good, and still only have 3 bars, it almost never goes to 4. I’d say a good 90% of the time it never goes above 2 even with ratings near 75 db

    1. What I think you are not understanding is that it’s not just a reporting or “bars” issue.  The actual dB is lower on the GNex than a similar device like the Bionic sitting right next to it and the subsequent download speeds are significantly impacted as a result.  Also, the GNex often fails to connect to 4G or sometimes even 3G when the Bionic, or even the OD, is able to do so flawlessly.  As such, simply “fixing” the arbitrary bars does not solve the fundamental issue of the GNex failing to receive signal.  It sometimes feels like my GNex is encased in a lead box.

      1. Please disregard my note above.  Just saw your post below, and you clearly do understand ;-)

  16. “A future software update will adjust the signal strength indicator to more closely match other Verizon Wireless devices.”

    Read: “A future software update will adjust the signal strength indicator to give you a false sense of high signal like other Verizon Wireless devices.”

  17. I’m as big an Android fan as the next guy, but this just sounds like Antennagate all over again…

    “It’s not REALLY that bad.  It just LOOKS bad.”  The only part missing is the ever so slight admission “it’s only a LITTLE worse than it’s supposed to be…”

  18. are you kidding me… ive had nothing but problems…. with the reception. I live in the middle of a damn 4g covered area and it wont connect in any of it…

  19. http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController?requesttype=NEWREQUEST&zip=77304&city=Conroe&state=TX

    It wont let me connect to 4g anywhere you see Red or the extended  4G either.. since ive had it.

  20. Verizon is going to get sued by Apple, changing the bars to make it look better on screen is something they patented last year.

    1. Probably not.  I think Apple wants Verizon to sell their iPhones…

      1. Yeah, tell that to Samsung who builds a lot of Apples internal components.

  21. This is incredibly stupid of Verizon!! I would much rather have a accurate representation of the signal strength, rather than appeasing the idiots by blowing smoke up every ones asses! This is just plain ignorant! Just another reason to root/ROM this thing.

  22. When I can connect to 4G, my GNex offers the fastest
    downloads I’ve ever seen, sometimes to the tune of over 30 megs a second. 
    Unfortunately, the areas where I can connect to 4G are severely limited
    compared to my Bionic.  For example, in my office, my Bionic can pull down
    about 6 megs a second, but my GNex can’t even find a 4G signal.  Worse,
    the GNex will often attempt to switch to 3G, but ends up in a “loop”
    where it eventually dumps the data signal altogether for 5 to 10 minutes at a
    time before recovering to a slow version of 3G.  Even my OD gets better 3G
    signal and speeds.  If arbitrarily “right sizing” the signal
    indicator is Verizon’s only viable solution for this issue, then I will have to
    go with another phone.   It’s too bad though since I absolutely love
    everything else about the GNex.

  23. This is bull**** as there was a 4.0.3 radio leak posted on XDA LAST NIGHT and after flashing it to my 4.0.2 stock GN … the dBm went from -93 in my house to a consistant -80 to -83 dBm and everything from Speedtest to just downloading on the Market is faster .. visibly FASTER. That is until 30 or so minutes later when VZW had a 4+ hour LTE outage that took out 3G/4G for the GN as 3G auths through the damn simcard. :D

  24. Blame it on all the people who would rather see more bars on a screen than bother to understand what signal strength actually is. I would prefer the dBm reading to be shown on the screen instead of some stupid bars. 

  25. This is a load of BS. Even if what they’re saying is true, it’s BS to change an accurate meter to an inaccurate meter on purpose.

  26. I’m just a caveman…my primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts.  But, what I do know is that there are certain areas of my cave where I had reception with my previous demon-filled handheld device, that I no longer have reception with my new demon-filled handheld device (Nexus)….just sayin.

  27. Several others have already tossed the BS card, and they are right. This is marketing spin. Verizon knows it, we all know it. It is hard to say the issues with “fewer bars” really matters. What
    matters is a flagship phone on the leading national 4G LTE network
    dropping off that LTE signal into 3G and staying there for prolonged
    periods of time. I don’t give a damn about the indicator light with more
    bars. Make it look like Andy himself for all I care…but what does
    AT LEAST HALF THE TIME IT IS ON! When comparing my employees’ GN to my
    Rezound with Spreedtest, the Rezound has 4G and true LTE down/up load
    speed. The GN says it is in 3G and it performs as such. Yes, the phone
    is in CDMA/LTE. Hello, are you journalists hearing the consumers talk
    about this?! Is Verizon listening?! The problem is real, it’s not gone
    away. Don’t hide behind the “bars.” Verizon is starting to sound like

  28. I completely disagree with the assertion that this is an issue with the signal strength display only. I’ve used the Droid RAZR at my home (not a lot of 3G users in my home area) and constantly got 1.5mbps or better and showed 4 bars at all times. With my Galaxy Nexus, I show 2 bars most of the time and am lucky to get 900kbps. There is definitely something wonky with this radio. I’ll know more after this weekend in Reno, where the RAZR was getting 14+mbps regularly (although the battery would barely last 5 hours) on LTE. I’ll report after the weekend.

  29. The issue is 2 fold.

    1) inconsistent signal strength on 3g and 4g where it bounces up and down, or will lose connection and will not reconnect. Toggling airplane mod on and off helps.

    2) when in a weaker 4g area, the phone will grab 4g signals then lose it. It the. Goes to no data, while trying to reconnect to 3g. Turning off LTE fixes that.

    I haveseen this on more than 1 phone. Also, the 3gsignal does not match other verizon phones and devices in the same area.

  30. What -dBm and asu is being reported by peoples gnex?  That is really what matters, not how many signal bars you see.  If the phone displays -85 dBm and shows 1 bar, it’s a translation issue, if they have -110 dBm and show 3 bars then it’s completely fabricated to make you feel better.  Personally I change the signal strength to show -dBm instead of bars on any device/rom that supports that.

    1. -120 Yes, nearly “NO service” on a long stretch that my X consistently got in the -80s. I took the phone back. Said I would not accept the $35 restocking fee and they agreed. Verizon…..”YOU LIE” I’m finding new appreciation for my X for the time being.

      1. I’m with you! I’m finding new appreciation in my Thunderbolt. This isn’t the Nexus it was supposed to be.

  31. Google should use the company that they bought for the next Nexus.

    HTC uses the weakest hardware
    Samsung has the worst radios
    Motorola has the best of both worlds

    1. moto has the ugliest phones

  32. Or in other words. If the dBm is -100 and you have 3 bars showing you will “feel” better than if your dBm is -100 and have no bars showing. 
    For some reason this makes me think that Verizon considers us fools. Sorry. My foolish phone is now on some shelf in your store.

  33. just activated my GN… 4G cover my area but no 4g inside my room….

  34. I wonder if the same code that controls the signal bar display, controls the 4g to 3g drop down. If it isn’t calibrated correctly, maybe that is the cause of the issues. The phone thinks it has a crapy signal, and drops the 4g.

  35. Bye Bye Nexus.  If VZW is publicly stating that there is no issue with my Nexus device, then I either have a defect in my individual phone or the phone’s radios suck. 

    1. The phone’s radios suck. I’m on my second one. Oh, and we won’t even discuss battery life.

      1. I think you’re right.  I have a Samsung Epic 4G Touch (Galaxy S II) and my brother has and EVO 4G.  His EVO always gets solid signal, where I’m in and out of coverage. We just went on a 3 day skiing trip and were together for 3 days straight, so I know its not Sprints network.. its Samsung’s phones. My Epic had a hard time with signal.. and his EVO had great reception.  My next phone will be HTC’s next LTE EVO on Sprint.  I love how Samsung’s look on paper, but they do not perform where it counts.

        1. Thank you. I knew there was something wrong with my phone. On one side of the freeway, I get full 3G and 4G, but literally on the other side, like a 10 minute walk from the previous point, I have horrible 3G… I’m sorry, it’s 1X. I get no 4G. I’m lyk are you serious!? I just had full bars on the other side of the freeway. To add insult, my house is the one on the bad side and the Sprint store in conveniently located in the good side. -_-

          I hope HTC makes the next Nexus. Samsung is starting to get disappointing. All there phones look alike. I had the Nexus 1 and thought that was the coolest looking phone ever. Now the Gnex mirrors the Nexus S. *sigh*

          Hmm… might trade my Epic 4G Touch for the Evo 3D.

          1. Why are you talking about Sprint? This article is about Verizon Gnex and its radio.

          2. well, its kind of related because both VZ and Sprint are CDMA, and both phones are made by Samsung and both phones have reception issues.  Therefore, I am led to believe that Samsung does not make the best cell phone radios.  

          3. “Hmm… might trade my Epic 4G Touch for the Evo 3D.”
            As nice as the Epic Touch is, Thats what I’m thinking too. Or the Photon.. I hear it has Amazing reception.

  36. Though it says its not displaying right, ive still pulled in 3 bars out of 4. Ive never pulled in 4 bars. I rarely lose signal, except for the outage. Thats in Dakkas, TX.

    1. Dallas, TX

  37. I stand corrected, sounds like it may be a real issue, hope they can fix it with a software patch, I know my thunderbolt had problems with the radio and switching between 4G and 3G as well as dropping data connections, when I got it on launch day, but after a few upgrades of the radio, it’s rock solid on 4G or 3G and switching between them, I never lose service any more.
    Sometimes I think the pace of Android phone releases has just gotten too fast, I don’t think they do enough real world testing a lot of the time.

    Also while I really love my thunderbolt now that it’s stabilized and we’ve got a good aosp build that makes battery life pretty good, I’ve learned my lesson, no more release day phones for me, I’ll wait a few weeks so I know of any issues that come up before I buy , because great software and features of a smartphone really don’t mean anything if you’ve got no signal :)

  38. I’m taking mine back. My friends razr has 4g and I have none with phones side by side. Verizon can suck it

  39. This just goes to show how pointless those “bars” on our phones really are.  And thinking about ATT’s “More Bars in More Places” advertisements sounds even more gimmicky now. lol 

  40. ok, i did a speed app test when i 3 bars and got 15-17 down and 7-9 up. But wheb i went to a full bar area i got 55-57 down and 13-17 up. If somethings wrong, i cant tell

  41. People are idiots and Verizon is completely justified in doing this if what they say is true.

    A ‘bar’ is a unit of measure for pressure, beyond that it’s completely up to any developer what a bar represents, and for that matter that representation doesn’t have to even be linear, so one ‘bar’ of strength may not be half of that represented by two.

    I’m assuming Verizon doesn’t even have a standard as to what dB range a ‘bar’ should represent between dissimilar devices as radios today are probably able to pick up more signal and do more with less than devices on their network a year ago

    So if a GNEX gets -50dB of signal and represents it as two bars, though other devices on average would report this as three it makes some sense to change it.

    However in the end ‘bars’, are a small piece of what makes your wireless connection work, my guess would be that correalation between a ‘good’ connection and signal strength are subjective between different networks, radios (cell phones) and possibly even between towers.

  42. BS Verizon!! I am showing horrible -dmb and asu where I had great readings on other devices.

    Just man up for once and either fix it or let us replace the device even if it is past the return date if it is proven to be a defect.

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