Careful with custom Android ROMs, you could be the problem

Summary:One of the reasons many smartphone enthusiasts pick up an Android smartphone is to tweak it with custom ROMs. However, you should also be careful or you could make things worse like I did.

I purchased a GSM Galaxy Nexus back in December and quickly decided it was the best Android smartphone I have ever owned. A couple weeks after owning it I decided to root it and install custom ROMs so I could use Google Wallet and optimize the phone for my particular needs. Over the past month I went back to using Windows Phone as my primary mainly because the Galaxy Nexus just wasn't able to perform reliably as a mobile phone with call not going through or dropping constantly. It turns out that it was MY fault for this and the Galaxy Nexus is back in my pocket.

In our last MobileTechRoundup podcast I mentioned to Kevin that my Galaxy Nexus kept dropping the cellular connection so I had to take my SIM out to make some critical calls in January. He has been extremely pleased with his Nexus and also using it on T-Mobile, but he is using a data only SIM and making calls via VoIP. He questioned me on what version of the radio software I was running and it turns out I had an older version loaded with the ROM I was running. I never paid attention to the radio version of the ROM and did not select the updated version (the number scheme is not obvious) when I had the ROM baked with Paul O'Brien's MoDaCo Custom ROM.

After our podcast this weekend, I went back in and selected a later version of the radio software and installed the new ROM to my Galaxy Nexus. I am pleased to say this updated radio did indeed solve my flaky cellular connection and I am now very satisfied with my $740+ purchase. I actually almost sold off my Galaxy Nexus in pure frustration and feel a bit like an idiot for not thinking about the radio version in the ROM. Using custom ROMs is a great benefit of the Android platform for those who like to tweak their devices, but it turns out you also should pay attention to the details and use caution when messing around with the software and firmware of your devices.

I also wanted to say sorry to Samsung for some of my Tweets posted in frustration since my cellular connection issues were all my fault and not Samsung's. The Galaxy Nexus is a gorgeous device and my T-Mobile SIM is now back sharing duties with it and the HTC Radar 4G.

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Topics: Samsung, Android, Google, Mobile OS, Smartphones

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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