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Old April 29th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Location: Belleair Bluffs, FL
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Originally Posted by JamesSJ View Post
At this point I do not know what to do. The options seem to be:

1) Wait for the software update and see if it resolves the issue.
2) Get a refurbished one from Verizon.
3) Send it to Samsung for repair.

Originally Posted by JamesSJ View Post
When I read the forums, and talk with Verizon tech support (some who own this phone), this is a very common problem that is not solved by exchanging the phone. I am glad yours works well. If you are in a strong signal strength area, there seems to be no problem. The problem occurs in fringe areas.
I'm no expert so I can't speak to the technical aspects of signal strength, PRL, rooting, flashing, roming, etc. However I can speak about my user experience and how it's affected me.

I live in Largo, Florida which is in the Tampa Bay area (near Clearwater). When looking at Verizon's 4G map, it is solid maroon suggesting strong 4G coverage. However I get horrible LTE reception indoors at my home and at my office near the county courthouse in downtown Clearwater. When the 4G signal drops it takes a while before the 3G kicks in. Often I get no data connection at all. Standing outside in front of my house and next to my office building I get killer 4G signal, but once I step inside it goes way down. Both of these buildings are 1-story buildings.

I exchanged my launch-day GNex for a replacement after a month of this. Since many Android Forums users were stating they were not experiencing this problem, I thought perhaps I had a bad device. As others who were having similar issues as mine were advised, I exchanged my first GNex in the hope of getting a better performing device. The replacement device, which I still use, was no different whatsoever. It performs EXACTLY like my first device did in every way. I never had some of the problems others had with crackling audio or dropped calls. Mostly the phone works as a phone. I've had the one-way audio thing happen a couple of times and the random reboot a half dozen times...but my reception, indoors, is pretty bad.

My personal belief is that neither one of my phones were "bad" units. It is my suspicion that, compared to the devices that folks are having no problems with, my phone(s) is no different. I believe the problem is a combination of: hardware that may not be that great (which from what I've read is Samsung's reputation with radios) and Verizon's coverage map not being all that accurate.

My reasoning? Since so many report NOT having reception issues, it's my guess they live in TRULY STRONG SIGNAL AREAS. Living in a strong signal area could potentially "mask" the fact the the radio in the GNex is really sub-par. I have been assuming since VZW's coverage map shows that I am in a strong signal area that I AM in a strong signal area. But the fact of the matter is that I live out towards the beaches and I'm more likely in a fringe area at work and at home, even though the map shows I'm in a strong area. My Speedtest results have never been anywhere near what many report. I'm almost always between 4-9 Mbps on LTE.

The thing is, I was using an HTC Thunderbolt before I bought the GNex and I NEVER had a problem with 4G reception in either my home or my office. I also work with someone who bought a GNex and he was having the same issue with reception in our building that I have. It was a deal killer for him (and it really is for me to), so he returned it for a RAZR. He does not have the reception problem in our building on his RAZR that he had with his GNex. So what does this tell me? Well, I had a TB that worked. He has a RAZR that works. Three GNex's that were in that building all had the same problem. To me, that tells me it is the GNex hardware combined with, perhaps, week 4G signal in our area.

Now, is it really hardware or could it be software? I don't know. I have been dealing with poor reception for over 4 months hoping beyond hope that an OTA will come soon and will fix my reception issue. Truth is no one here knows when that OTA will come. Facetiously I have stated it'll never come, but that's the bad red66charger in me talking. I am quite frustrated that my indoor reception stinks. I'm equally frustrated at the delay of an OTA update from VZW. I've also come to realize that complaining about it is getting old for everyone in here. I'd like to sincerely apologize to them for that.

So I am at a crossroads myself. I don't believe exchanging for a third device will "fix" my problem. I'm not even sure 4.5 will fix the problem, and I think that could have something to do with the delay of the update. However the those who have flashed AOKP or AOSP (again, I have NO idea what any of that means) seem to feel it does address the issue. So I'm holding steady waiting for the OTA. At the same time, I am waffling between attempting to hack my phone (which I think I just proved would probably be a bad decision) or reactivate my Thunderbolt until the OTA update comes. I'm also looking at rumors for releases later this year with an eye towards replacing this GNex. One thing is for sure...I LOVE ICS! I also really, really like many of the features of the GNex (except the meh camera). But the poor data connectivity really negates a lot of the good about the device...for me.

I'm starting to wonder if Android is really for me. I really just want a device that works WELL out of the box. I've got enough "toys" in the toy box to play with and flashing custom roms to prevent boredom or to push the technology isn't my thing. I just don't think owning a smartphone should be this much trouble lol.

I'm sure much of what I've said can be debated and most likely proven wrong. I'm only going off of my USER experience. To answer your question...I don't believe Option 2 or 3 will do you much good. Your best bet is Option 1 or possibly hacking your phone. Or purchase a completely different device. I think that's what I'm ultimately going to have to do, which is a shame because I like most things about this device, and oh yeah, I paid $300 for it.
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The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to red66charger For This Useful Post:
JamesSJ (April 29th, 2012), jroc (April 29th, 2012), Lucky Armpit (April 30th, 2012), trophynuts (April 29th, 2012)