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General Poor Signal Strength & Dropped Calls - Galaxy Nexus

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by JamesSJ, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. chrisinsocalif

    chrisinsocalif Well-Known Member
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    Not sure if this applies to the CDMA phones, but people have been switching out different radios for more current builds. It maybe something to research and see if this could help your problem.
     

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  2. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Android Expert
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    I didn't believe this at all before. But now I'm beginning to wonder if VZW ruined or delays CDMA Gnex radio to help sell their bloated phones first. Unlocked GSM nexus seems just fine or great on reception. Hopefully that's not true, but taking this long to release first OTA is very frustrating.
     
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  3. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    Using the app "Network Signal Info", I found something odd:

    The app shows my 4G signal as -85 dbm.

    My phone itself shows a signal of -107 dbm.


    What is going on?
     
  4. dhinez

    dhinez Well-Known Member
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    I had the same issue you are having. I first thought it was my phone. So after talking to tech support for about an hour, they decide to replace my phone. After receiving the replacement, I realized that I was having the same issues as before and I decide to call tech support again. They recommend that I replace my SIM card. So they sent me to the local Verizon store. When I get there, I compare my signal with the GNex model that they have and it has outstanding 3G/4G signal. The CSR replaced my SIM, and the signal on my phone is still horrible. I had everyone at the store puzzled with my phone. The CSR then went to the back to get the network tech to examine my phone. He compares my phone with the display model and notices that my PRL version was different. He decides to push a new PRL package update to my phone. After doing a power cycle by removing the battery, I receive the new PRL and the signal on my phone was great! I would have never thought a small thing like a PRL update would have made a big difference.

    On a side note, don't let Verizon tech or CSR tell you that they can't do a PRL update. I am a witness to it happening. They will tell you that you won't be able to do it because you have a 4G device. They push the PRL update to your phone via network from a PC. The network tech also told that the network info is stored on the 4G sim. This includes your profile and PRL.

    You can also do a manual PRL update from your phone.

    Create a contact on your phone with a name of your choice. I used "PRL Update". Store the number *22899 under that contact. After you are done doing this, dial the number. It will bring up a screen that says it's activating. Once the elevator music is done playing, it will restart the network on your phone. I would power cycle your phone by pulling the battery. You should have a new PRL update on your phone.

    For reference:

    Old PRL: 13072
    PRL pushed to phone by tech: 15109
    PRL pushed after *22899: 52686
    I'm stock ICS on 4.0.2

    I hope this helps you out some.
     
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  5. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the post. I checked the PRL on my phone and it was: 15109. I followed your procedure:

    Old PRL: 15109
    PRL pushed after *22899: 52686
    I'm stock ICS on 4.0.2
    Signal strength: -109 dBm - 1 blue bar, grey 4G icon

    I still have the same problem with poor signal strength.
     
  6. bassjo

    bassjo Newbie
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    I'm actually on my 4th device. The first 3 were swapped out due to horrible signal strength and loss of data connection while the phone was still under the Christmas holiday/ January 15th deadline. The fourth came about as I was driving home from work, leaving a 4G area the signal dropped and never came back. I never was able to regain any data connectivity, except through WI-FI. My fourth device has worked okay until recently when it seems every time I need the stinking thing to have a data connection, it doesn't and either I toggle the airplane setting or completely reboot to get it back. So as of right now my GN is in a shoe box, (I'm back to my trusty iPhone 4), awaiting news that Google and or Verizon have released and OTA update that addresses connectivity and signal strength. It really sucks to purchase a device that's supposed to "just work" and find out that it's really hit or miss!
     
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  7. SlaveUnit

    SlaveUnit Member
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    Yeah I did the PRL update a few weeks ago. Did nothing for me.
     
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  8. kcs7272

    kcs7272 Android Expert
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    I just switched back to the Gnex. I left Vzw for 2 months and had the Galaxy Note :( Should have kept it. I have found no phone I like as much. Anyway I came back to VZW and got the razr Maxx. that phone is a winner in battery life build quality call quality and other areas but the way Moto makes it's screen so narrow kills me. That being said I love the Gnex minus the horrible reception. Galaxy Note 3 or 4 bars out of 5, Razr Maxx full bars, Gnex, I struggle to hold one bar WHY!?!?!?!?!? WHY!?!?!??! WHY!?!?!?!??!
     
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  9. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Android Expert
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    Glad to see you back here though I thought you are happy after switching to G Note on at&t. Just curious, what made you switch back to verizon? So you have both Maxx and Gnex now?
     
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  10. kcs7272

    kcs7272 Android Expert
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    No, I returned the Max for the Nexus. I thought I was missing ICS and to be honest there were some things about it I did miss.

    That being said I do not miss this horrible reception. I thought that newer Nexi may have been fixed. WRONG.

    Also after that huge screen on the Note, I feel like the GNex is an iPhone.
     
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  11. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    It seems to me that there is a severe problem with signal strength on the GNex. I do not know if it is hardware or software. I am beginning to think it is hardware but they do not want to replace bad phones with an updated new phone. Instead they just keep recycling old bad phones for your current phone.

    I really think Samsung and Verizon know what the problem is but do not want to pay to replace all the bad phones.
     
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  12. bassjo

    bassjo Newbie
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    You're correct, it's not just the GN either. I spoke to a VZW rep in the store whenever the Razr Maxx came out and asked what the difference was and why come out with one so early seeing as the Razr had just come out. (I already knew why) He admitted that better battery life was the major difference and I commented that I had seen post in numerous forums about how sucky the battery life on the Razr was. Again he admitted that VZW was aware of the problem. I asked if VZW was going to offer customers, who had very recently purchased the Razr, an early upgrade to the Maxx because of faulty equipment and he almost laughed me out of the store. I know that they wouldn't but I think it's pretty darn sorry of Motorola and VZW to sell substandard equipment knowingly without any concern for the customer. Customer service used to be priority one, now it's the bottom line!
     
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  13. kcs7272

    kcs7272 Android Expert
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    Well I picked up my Nexus yesterday after I returned the Maxx. This is the second time I've had one. Let me put it like this. I am about ready to return the Nexus and buy another Galaxy Note full retail and put it back on Straight Talk. The reception issue with the Nexus makes it almost unusable. I think the fact that this is a known issue and nothing has been even mentioned about a fix is ridiculous.
     
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  14. jroc

    jroc Android Expert
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    I wouldn't necessarily say the RAZR has a faulty battery. It's just the Maxx has a massive one.

    The RAZR battery life is comparable to other lte phones except the Maxx. In some cases it's better. Talk time battery life being one.

    Its just that you can't put an extended battery in it. That doesn't make it faulty. And I believe Smart Actions might hurt instead of help in some cases.
     
  15. kcs7272

    kcs7272 Android Expert
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    I just bought a brand new Galaxy Note on Ebay for $550. I am taking my Galaxy Nexus back to Verizon as soon as it comes. I will be re activating the Note on Straight Talk. $45 a month for unlimited everything, can't beat it.

    I came back to the Nexus because of ICS and I wanted to love it again but here is why I cannot.

    Screen size, after the note everything looks miniscule almost intolerable. I am sure I could have re adapted to the size if it were not for the other issues.

    SIGNAL SIGNAL SIGNAL! I had full bars at home with the Razr Maxx, my girlfriend has 3 out of four with her Verizon iPhone, I get 3 to 4 out of four on 4g lte with my Note. On the Nexus I struggle to hold 2 and sometimes lose all calling ability and data. i had the same issues the first time I had the GNex when it released.(-100 dbm to -93 dbm)

    Battery, it may be better if I wasn't always struggling for a signal but as it stands YUCK!

    Not to mention on this and my former Nexus I get kicked out of processes randomly and frequently.

    I want to love the Nexus but I cannot lie to myself :(
     
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  16. Sandroidfan

    Sandroidfan Android Expert
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    My Gnex gets similar dBm level to yours at my home but I have yet to experience dropped calls or loss of data connection. I live in a little spotty signal area between hills. So 4G here is not so great and I can hold 4G only near window or outside though. An important thing is we can't tell signal drop on Gnex just by low signal bars, at least for now with current stock ICS, radios. Are you sure you really lost calling/data connection?

    Too bad that your second attempt at Gnex doesn't work out any better. But I can see why you are spoiled with G Note. It seems samsung got that phablet right. Unfortunately verizon didn't get it.
     
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  17. kcs7272

    kcs7272 Android Expert
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    Unfortunately I drop calls on my GNex like a fat guy drops a salad. :eek:

    In all seriousness I drop at least 3 calls a day. For the cost of a Verizon plan and the fact i paid $640 & tax for the phone I feel that is unacceptable. Also I get crappy battery life due to the fact I am struggling to maintain a signal and that is on 3G!

    Yeah I am spoiled by the Note and on straight talk for $45 a month it is a no brainer! My suggestion is stay far away from the Note or you too will be blinded by that huge screen lol.

    When it gets ICS look out, maybe I will grow some nerve and root it so I can run stock ICS on it. That would be AMAZING!!!!!!!!

    I wish VZW would quit releasing different RAZRs every week and pick up the Note/ Journal but they seem to have no interest. I do like the Gnex, but the reasons I gave make it an unusable device for me. I hope the next Nexus device released (or any device for that matter) does not suffer from these issues.

    I don't understand how it was released with such a poor antenna even after ALL of the delays. Do they not test these things prior to release? lol
     
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  18. kalaster

    kalaster Android Enthusiast
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    PFFFFT! They take a single phone out of the bunch, and check to see they get 4G next to a verizon repeater, just so they can slap 4G on the box to make it sell. they dont care, 1 out of 3 people will buy the nexus out of the other 2 flag ship phones. that 2/3's of the people who wont experience any signal issues, and thats good enough for them -_- thats just my theory, and a reasonable one at that.
     
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  19. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    Update: I spoke with Verizon support today. They acknowledged that there is a known signal strength issue with some GNex phones. They also said that it is a software issue. They are expecting the update to be released this month or early May.
     
  20. AntimonyER

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    For whatever reason, my signal has improved slightly the past few days, and I am actually getting whiffs of 4G at my desk where I had none before. I'm actually kind of optimistic about this next update, at least for my own personal experience.
     
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  21. crackers8199

    crackers8199 Android Enthusiast
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    i've got weird stuff happening, not sure if it's related to this...

    when i sit in one spot in my house, i will (even though i have 2-3 bars of signal) frequently drop calls. it usually only happens when first making the call...i will press send, put the phone up to my ear, and hear nothing. i'll look at the phone, and it says "signal lost" and then as soon as i back out of that i jump back to 2-3 bars of signal again.

    i'm in a 3g only area, running the 4.0.4 radios (and 4.0.4 leaked rom).

    PRL: 15109
    service as i hold it right where i just dropped a call: eHRPD -85dbm
     
  22. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    How low can the signal strength go? I get readings of -117 dbm to -120 dbm.
     
  23. crackers8199

    crackers8199 Android Enthusiast
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    i'm usually -100 for 1 bar, -120 for 0 bars. i've run data tests though and gotten 1.5mbps down with 0 bars and -120dbm...
     
  24. JamesSJ

    JamesSJ Well-Known Member
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    I talked with Verizon again today. They had a second technician come to my house to check the signal strength. The Verizon map is inaccurate (as stated on the map) and the signal strength at and near my home is a borderline reception area. It is interesting because I am less than 1 mile from their tower. There are some hills here so I suppose it is a terrain effect.

    They are sending me a network extender for my house. As this was explained to me, it plugs into my router and sends CDMA voice and 3G signals from my phone, over the internet, to their network. This should work fine since I am already using my wireless home network for data.

    Will keep you posted.
     
  25. japostol

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    Hi everyone. This is NOT a Verizon issue, rather poor design! I'm in Canada On TELUS and just picked this phone up. This phone is absolutely the best I've seen, ICS is terrific BUT reception sucks. If you are in the city and have full strength it's ok but in fringy areas where I normally get 1-2 bars, this phone gets nothing and when it does, it is very slow in getting signal. Also get dropped calls frequently. This really makes the phone useless so It's going back to the trusty Iphone 4s sadly but at least it works!
     
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