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Old December 18th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default LTE Signal issue explained

Here is my take on the signal issue. In an LTE area, The Galaxy Nexus is reporting the RSSI (dBm) of the LTE signal for the FIRST time on a VZW LTE phone. That is why we are seeing such different signal readings compared to previous LTE phones.

ALL other LTE phones are reporting the RSSI of the 1X signal in android 2.3, NOT the LTE signal. My understanding is that Android 2.3 was not capable of reporting the RSSI of the LTE signal and support was added for it in ICS.

This is why a Bionic or Thunderbolt will show -70 dBm in the same spot a GNex will display -110 dBm. It is confusing and understandably so. Enough to cause people to return their phones. If there is a software fix, it will be to switch back to displaying the 1X RSSI instead of the LTE.

Remember the VZW Phones that used to have the dual signal indicators, 1X and EV? We need that here, a voice (1X) and a data (EVDO or LTE) signal indicator. I think it would eliminate a whole lot of confusion.

My experience is, coming from a Thunderbolt, the performance is quite similar, if not better with the GNex. I get LTE in all areas I previously did. There are certainly some performance and stability issues that can be improved. But, I think the bars and RSSI signal strength are unnecessarily confusing everyone into thinking the radios are subpar.

Just my humble 2 cents.

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Old December 18th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So my weaker signal that actually drops to 3G when every other 4g holds signal is because its reading a different signal?

It cant hold on to 4g in buildings...
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Old December 18th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by civicsisedan View Post
So my weaker signal that actually drops to 3G when every other 4g holds signal is because its reading a different signal?

It cant hold on to 4g in buildings...
With my thunderbolt, I've experienced many times when it displayed 4G, but the data was unusable. Basically hanging on to a weak 4G signal for too long. Perhaps the GNex is switching back to 3G before the LTE signal gets too weak.

That said, I'm not saying that there aren't issues to be fixed or lemons, but just that we are actually seeing how strong or weak the LTE signal really is.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had a rezound for 4 weeks before I picked up the nexus. The rezound displayed lower dbm reading no matter where I’ve been (been checking the nexus pretty much everywhere I’ve been with the rezound). When doing a speed test my nexus is getting consistently half of the rezound was. Surprisingly ping on the nexus has been 5 ms faster.

I've noticed real life applications (i.e. market downloads), the nexus is much slower. The rezound was just as fast on LTE as my wifi at home, the nexus has no comparison. At home it’s about half the speed (2X longer for downloads).

Although this is disappointing, I still love the nexus and despite the "lower that rezound" speeds, my nexus is still around 5mb/s so I can't complain too much since it's still much faster that the D1 I had for nearly 2 years. So for now, I'll just wait on an OTA update.

Has anyone else been experiencing something similar?
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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How are you guys displaying the decibels? Where is the setting?
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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I posted this in another thread:

For what it's worth, when I was at Best Buy Mobile the salesman was talking up the Rezound's antenna design as the best out there. Said it had better connection strength than any other phone. So could be hardware related, at least partly.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Shockwave78 View Post
How are you guys displaying the decibels? Where is the setting?
settings > About Phone > Status > Signal Strength (4th one down)

Sitting in my living room I'm currently getting -109 dBm, the rezound I had was around -99 to -100.
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Old December 18th, 2011, 12:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How are you guys displaying the decibels? Where is the setting?

Settings > About Phone > Status

It's listed as "Signal Strength"

Curses, ninja'd
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Old December 18th, 2011, 01:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks! -87 here. The tower is about 1/4 mile from my house
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Old December 19th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quaff1976 View Post
Here is my take on the signal issue. In an LTE area, The Galaxy Nexus is reporting the RSSI (dBm) of the LTE signal for the FIRST time on a VZW LTE phone. That is why we are seeing such different signal readings compared to previous LTE phones.

ALL other LTE phones are reporting the RSSI of the 1X signal in android 2.3, NOT the LTE signal. My understanding is that Android 2.3 was not capable of reporting the RSSI of the LTE signal and support was added for it in ICS.

This is why a Bionic or Thunderbolt will show -70 dBm in the same spot a GNex will display -110 dBm. It is confusing and understandably so. Enough to cause people to return their phones. If there is a software fix, it will be to switch back to displaying the 1X RSSI instead of the LTE.

Remember the VZW Phones that used to have the dual signal indicators, 1X and EV? We need that here, a voice (1X) and a data (EVDO or LTE) signal indicator. I think it would eliminate a whole lot of confusion.

My experience is, coming from a Thunderbolt, the performance is quite similar, if not better with the GNex. I get LTE in all areas I previously did. There are certainly some performance and stability issues that can be improved. But, I think the bars and RSSI signal strength are unnecessarily confusing everyone into thinking the radios are subpar.

Just my humble 2 cents.
Well thought out, but I'm not buying. Speed tests when 4G the signal is at -100 db are not the speeds you should get from LTE. A rezound at same location with -79 db is much faster at downloads
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Old December 19th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Guys this Signal issue isn't related only to LTE. It's affecting 4g and 3G independently. Turn off your 4G and you will get crappy 3G signal as well. I was showing about a 30db difference the other day when forcing to 3G only between my G Nex and my fiance's Dinc standing in the exact same spot.....pitiful
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdubl View Post
I posted this in another thread:

For what it's worth, when I was at Best Buy Mobile the salesman was talking up the Rezound's antenna design as the best out there. Said it had better connection strength than any other phone. So could be hardware related, at least partly.
This just in: Salespeople are wrong when they say almost anything, except for when they say what we want to hear and/or already believe.

Just razzin' you a bit - nothing personal...
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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and its not only LTE Model ,

same thing happens on GSM version
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trophynuts View Post
Guys this Signal issue isn't related only to LTE. It's affecting 4g and 3G independently. Turn off your 4G and you will get crappy 3G signal as well. I was showing about a 30db difference the other day when forcing to 3G only between my G Nex and my fiance's Dinc standing in the exact same spot.....pitiful
Truth. I don't think the OP's theory is correct.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aimetti View Post
and its not only LTE Model ,

same thing happens on GSM version
If it's affecting LTE, CDMA, wifi, and GSM in two different models, could it be the internal chassis that is acting as some sort of faraday cage or blocking the RF? Or does Samsung just use craptastic radios for ALL their rf needs?
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I still don't think the Nexus is displaying the actual LTE signal. I think it's still 1xRTT, and I think there are software issues causing the signal to at least be indicated as being significantly weaker than other devices.

If anyone gets a chance to run to Verizon later today (I already went there across town earlier, so I'm not going to make a second trip), take a look at the Revolution (they still have working demos of that phone, right?) and open up that menu that displays 1X and LTE signal strength. Compare the LTE signal strength to the signal strength from the Nexus. If they're the same, then the OP is right. But I'd bet 20:1 that the signal strength indicated is still 1XRTT.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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^ Still doesn't explain weak signal in 3g and wifi. Maybe this is a seperate issue on TOP of a bad radio.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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As someone who owned a Samsung Vibrant, believe me, this will get fixed.

I know, I know...LTE and HSPA are different. You gotta remember though, with the Nexus, not only is the hardware new, but the software is also new.

My Vibrant had awful HSPA speeds when I first got it, in an area where signal strength should have been very high. After a couple of patches, it was fixed.

Give them time to start rolling out updates.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My Nexus is showing signal in my apartment of -75 to -83 (16 asu? no idea what that means). This is on 3G. Have my Blackberry Bold (work issue on VZW) right next to it displaying -80.

Not sure what all that means, but both are showing me full strength signal in every part of my place. Wifi is getting full strength signal from the router as well.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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sitting on my couch ...shouldn't be hard to figure out which is the Gnex. The other is a droid incredible. I have 4G turned off on my G nex to force 3G.

that is cray






what does the ASU mean in the signal strength area?
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Old December 19th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Everyone should read the anandtech article, funny how the OP called that haha.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 09:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocool79346 View Post
Everyone should read the anandtech article, funny how the OP called that haha.
If it wasn't posted here before, here it is:

AnandTech - Investigating the Galaxy Nexus LTE Signal Issue


Almost required reading at this point. Good stuff.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Everyone is ignoring the issue, its a bit absurd.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:10 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn58 View Post
that was a bit unnecessary...
Maybe, but truth,many of us not even in a 4G area getting crappy signal,if any..... Sorry,has nothing to do with 4G or incorrect readings.I don't know if it's a Hardware or Software problem but it is a reception problem across the board....
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Old December 20th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x25064 View Post
Everyone is ignoring the issue, its a bit absurd.
People are not ignoring it, those who have it are speaking out about it. Fewer people are experiencing what you've described. Every new device has issues and they usually are addressed and solved..some seperately others together.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I still feel as though this is more of a software issue. Even with zero to one bars of 3G my call quality is still really good. I have yet to drop a phone call as well.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Was just in a strong 4G signal area last night near Okemos, MI and had -75 on the 4G with all bars displaying. Got 25 down, 20 up.

I agree with other posters. Despite the signal strength being displayed as abysmal in many cases, especially in low signal areas I have yet to drop a call or data connection. Everything works fine. Battery life seems to be the only thing to be concerned about with this issue.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:08 AM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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Except again, that doesnt explain the 3g and wifi issue

Are you people dense?!
Because most arent having that issue like you. Are you dense or just think because you have a problem everyone does?
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #29 (permalink)
 
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To thosr complaining about issues did anyone try getting a new sim? Remember micro sims were causing issues with droid razr i wonder if they still have some of the old micro sims going out causing the problem?
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Old December 20th, 2011, 09:02 AM   #30 (permalink)
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-82 in my office, but that's 15 floors up in Times Square, I only display about half bars in my apartment which is on the 5th floor out of 6....I will have to check the db level there later to see the difference.
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