Poor Signal Strength & Dropped Calls - Galaxy NexusGeneral

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  1. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    Let me first reference this related thread:


    I am having very poor signal strength with my Galaxy Nexus. At home I get only 1 bar even if I go outside. I am not far from a tower. Downtown, if I go into a building, I get no signal. My calls are often dropped to the extent that I cannot even make a phone call. I Googled this and there are many others with the same complaint.

    I finally called Verizon support and after numerous tests, they sent me a new sim card. It made no difference.

    I have discovered that in order to see 4G I have to turn off Wi-Fi.

    One person said this phone has known problems with its poor radio and to insist Verizon exchange it for a RAZR Max.

    Any thoughts or help?

  2. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Well first of all, there have been a few lemons out there, I wouldn't be so quick to change phone models, as perhaps you just need a different GNex. I don't have any problem with signal myself, and live in the same area of the country, which I think is Verizon's stronghold. If you like the GNex I would just stay on VZW CS to get you a replacement, and see if that helps. If you are not within 14 days, you will have to exchange phones at least 3 times before they will let you consider a different model anyways...

    Personally I get decent voice signal no matter where I go, and GA/SC is a pretty strong Verizon area. Steel/Concrete buildings ARE a problem for me however, I don't get 4G, and barely get 3G data in them. I am not sure if that will ever change. They had to install cell boosters for voice inside my office, so I get good voice reception.
    trophynuts and JamesSJ like this.
  3. Tim K

    Tim K Well-Known Member Contributor

    Sounds like you might have a bad phone. I agree that you should have Verizon switch out the phone itself.
    trophynuts and JamesSJ like this.
  4. Imparatus

    Imparatus Member

    I have had 3 different Gnex's, each with new SIM cards, each new out of the box, and I made sure the verizon store rep gave me phones widely separated in serial number. I live in a non-4G area, and the coverage is SOLID, SOLID RED on the map. NO weak spots. My Droid X, sitting right beside my Nexus, gets -77dbm signal while my GNex gets -96dbm. Insides several stores, and in some parts of my house, I get -120dbm where my Droid X gets -89dbm. At work, wher my X gets -77dbm, I'm at -93dbm on the GNex. My first phone missed calls (went straight to voicemail) even though I had 2 bars (a strong signal at my house). My second phone froze and dropped into repeated bootloops that only pulling the battery solved. This third one has the EXACT same reception problem, flashing the 4.04 radios and Rooting and Installing the Franco Kernal and Axiom Crossbreed does seemed to have stabilized the signal minutely. I really don't think this is a bad individual phone. I believe there is a firmware or hardware issue here. I am set at CDMA only since I don't have 4G. My data connection virtually never drops....it's VOICE, and getting the phone to RING in areas of "low signal" that's the problem.

    My calls are always VERY clear, and I've not had much issue with dropped calls at all, certainly no more than with my Droid X.

    I'm not sure if my dbm reading is the 3G signal or the CDMA signal, but I can tell you that I LOVE this phone, I'm in the last third of my 14 day period, and I'm working hard to decide if I'm going to keep it or if I'm going to the Razer Maxx, which is currently backordered until after my 14 days is over, but which gets -77dbm here at work where I get -97dbm. Reception by my wife's *cough* iPhone is comparable to the Razr and Droid X.

    I haven't heard whether 4.05 will address the CDMA signal strength or not.....all I hear is LTE discussions. I'd hope it would, but you never can tell.........
    kcs7272 and JamesSJ like this.
  5. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    I just got off the phone with Verizon. One thing I did learn is that when the 4G symbol is grey it means I am only getting 3G. I am in an area that shows full 4G coverage. I think it is the signal strength issue.

    They are going to send a technician here to test the signal strength. Will update this after that.
  6. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    I have read this same story many times on the net. It seems that there is a problem with the radio in the GNex. With all that I have read, I wish I had not bought this phone. I would consider the RAZR Max but the screen is not as good as the GNex. I think if I could do it all over again I would just wait for a better phone to come out.
  7. dguy

    dguy Well-Known Member

    That's wrong. Grey means it isn't connected to Google services, blue means it is connected to Google services. 4G means 4G and 3G means 3G. You do generally get a grey color when it is either just connecting or the connection is really weak however.
    milrtime83 and JamesSJ like this.
  8. Tim K

    Tim K Well-Known Member Contributor

    My understanding based on only my own observations... is that grey means connected but that there is no data transfer ability. Kind of like when you are connected to your wireless router but your internet service is down and you can't get online.
    kcs7272 likes this.
  9. dguy

    dguy Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying I think I know what it is, I'm saying I know what it is, it's not a guess :p
  10. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    That's very interesting. Most reception issues on Gnex were with data signal, like not holding 4G connection well, slow 3G/4G hand off or dropping data connection entirely in the worst case. But I saw very few complains on the voice call signal. And my experience also supports this. Anyway glad that flashing 4.04 fixed voice signal problem for you.

    As for dbm difference you saw on Gnex and other phones, Gnex is known to report data signal strength (3G or LTE) as opposed to reporting 1X voice like other phones and usually 1X is a lot stronger than data.
  11. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    Tim, when I was on the phone with Verizon we tested my ability to connect to the net and I could. I just went to Speed Test .net Results:

    Ping Download Upload
    phone 61 10833kbps 1166kbps
    computer (cable) 46 9.80mbps 0.96mbps

    It does seem that I am connected to 4G and it is faster than my computer connected to a cable modem.
  12. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    That's interesting because when I get Grey bars it means no data, voice only.
  13. Imparatus

    Imparatus Member


    Thanks for the reply. I wish I could say that the 4.04 radios fixed the voice issue. It hasn't at all. My signal is bad, and I'm still missing calls direct to voicemail, where my X is reporting -77dbm signal. Today I had issues of 3g dropping, requiring a reboot to reestablish contact with the market. The 3gi indicator came and went during this time til reboot.

    Really don't know if I'm going to be able to keep this phone, but I REALLY REALLY want to.......think .05 will fix it?
  14. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    How do you connect to Google services? Two of my Google apps updated today.
  15. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    The bars are not grey, the 4G symbol is grey.
  16. milrtime83

    milrtime83 Well-Known Member

    I set my phone to 3g only for the whole day today and I've stayed connected to google services the whole time. When I have it set to 4g, I have problems all the time with staying connected. It will range from sporadic blue and gray bars, to a complete loss of signal (which drains my battery really fast until I notice it) and then I have to turn my phone off and on.

    It should do it automatically.

    The bars can be gray.
  17. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    Signal bars can go gray with or without 3G/4G icon on it. Fron what I see, it still has connection to data except Google service if it has 3G/4G icon. If it's only gray bars without icon on it, all internet connection is down and this usually happens during slow 3G/4G hand off for me.
  18. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    I am not having a problem with grey bars. I usually have 1 blue bar. I called Verizon support back again about the grey 4G icon. Although the support person was not sure, they thought this indicated a weak signal.
  19. aneftp

    aneftp Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, there is something wrong with the CDMA Galaxy Nexus antenna. I ended up selling my Verizon Gnex a couple of days ago (had it since Day 1). What I have noticed is if you are in a fringe LTE/CDMA area or just CDMA area, the antenna just can't hold the signal for voice or data. Yes I understand Verizon's explanation of the antenna calculations for the LTE data being processed. That's fine. But real world performance is another issue. That's what matters most. My Gnex was barely functional at home (had 10-15% no signal percentage while at home) and had an incredible 40% no signal percentage at work. My friend's Razr got at least 2 bars LTE at my house. My Verizon LTE ipad gets 2-3 bars of LTE at my home. And my GNex either got 2-3 bars CDMA or 0 bars LTE. That says something about the antenna design. While I was in Chattanooga TN, a strong Verizon area, I had excellent coverage through most of the weekend. Same for Downtown DC. But in fringe areas where you need your phone to work (and I live right outside of Orlando in a major suburb), Verizon signal on the Gnex just sucked. I was blaming it on Verizon but in fact it's the phone cause my friend and Verizon iPad got good signals in fringe areas.
    jroc and JamesSJ like this.
  20. AntimonyER

    AntimonyER AF Addict VIP Member

    Well my coworker just got a Rezound, and he gets 4G at his desk, which is right next to mine, and I don't get it... So its not entirely the building's fault.
    JamesSJ likes this.
  21. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Well-Known Member

    Yeah, this weak 4G reception indoors and slow 3G/4G hand off is quite annoying. But I don't have much issues with other parts of reception. WiFi, bluetooth performance is pretty strong and GPS works fairly well too. Unlike above poster, I don't have problem holding voice, 3G signals even in CDMA only areas. I wonder if his phone was one of the bad ones. At work building, its strong WiFi more than makes up for lack of 4G reception for me.

    So if there is antenna issue in Gnex, it's likely on the LTE antenna part. Nexus has LTE antenna on top side and CDMA antenna on the bottom side. I'm still reserving final judgement on 4G reception until official OTA comes. If 4G issues don't get resolved with updates, it's gong to be very disappointing but I will be looking for next phone in coming Fall anyway.
    JamesSJ likes this.
  22. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    UPDATE: I just spoke with Verizon. They said their network is fine and they want to exchange the phone. I asked them about the update that is supposed to be released soon and they had no information on this. They did say that I could wait 1-2 weeks to see if the update arrives and if not, then exchange the phone.
  23. SlaveUnit

    SlaveUnit Well-Known Member

    I got my replacement from Verizon this week....it did the same thing as my original. The signal just sucks on this phone.
  24. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member

    I have read so many reports of the same thing. People get 3 phones and the signal strength is so poor. I am beginning to think it is just a bad phone. I love ICS and the display but if the signal strength is poor, what good is it?
  25. kylecummins

    kylecummins Well-Known Member

    Happy to say my GSM nexus gets great reception

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