Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

Summary: Google and Sprint recently rolled out the Nexus S, but it seems that the device currently has fairly poor connectivity with both the 3G and 4G networks.


I posted my Nexus S first impressions last week and after several more days of usage I have to say I don't see anything in this device that would ever have me buying it over other Sprint Android devices. Actually, I have not seen very good battery life and signal strength has been very questionable.

A few readers sent me emails after my first impressions article stating that they purchased the Nexus S and had nothing but problems with the 4G and 3G signals, even after trying out several Nexus S devices. I found many comments on the Sprint and Android Central forums, as well as on other Android enthusiast websites. I know most of the time people with issues are the ones who post on forums, but the number of comments is quite high for a device just one week old.

I had a Sprint HTC EVO 4G for about 7 months and experienced excellent signal strength and connectivity in Seattle and other areas. In these same areas, I am seeing quite poor connectivity with the Nexus S and finding that WiMAX is barely a usable feature in the device. I don't know if this is a Gingerbread issue or a Samsung hardware issue, but I have read that the T-Mobile Nexus S is not the strongest at maintaining a signal either.

While it is nice to have a device with pure Google, unless you need to have a full featured Exchange experience, signal strength is much more important than this experience. I would personally consider waiting for the EVO 3D or getting something like the Epic 4G if you are looking for a Sprint 4G device at this time.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Telcos, Wi-Fi

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  • Battery Life & Signal Strength

    I've had mediocre signal strength, but still, it's weakened from what I've seen from other phones we've reviewed in the same area. Another issue I'm having is the battery. It doesn't seem to ever charge past 95%. Are you having this issue too, Matt?
    • Yes, I've seen the same thing and it takes forever

      @AGeleff Since I have a poor Sprint signal at home it dies every single night. Then it takes hours to charge up in the morning :( Definitely not a device I would ever get.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

      @AGeleff - My battery seems to charge to 100% - not sure what might be wrong. I've logged my performance over a week now, and have a chart in my review. It seems that once the battery "learns" your habits, and you learn how to conserve power, it works fine. I've been using the Nexus S over a week now. So far, so good. Here's my review:
  • It will be funny ....

    ... when they discover that it is an issue with the antenna.
    • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

      @wackoae Yeah, I was thinking where is all the antennagate talk in the article or talk backs ;-)
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    Same here. Only charge to 96% and last half day.
  • Also experiencing terrible signal quality

    What's aggravating is that this phone doesn't seem to have a radio that works - 3G, 4G, and Wifi are all similarly terrible. Add to that the insanely short battery life, and this device is not much more than an expensive tamagotchi. I'm returning mine to the Sprint store today.
  • How is Signal Quality Defined?

    Are we sayin':
    - Poor sound quality
    - Dropped calls
    - Fewer "bars"
    - Slow downloads
    - etc.
    I can't believe they would all be related, unless, the hardware is crap...
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    My wife and I have T-Mo Nexus S's since their launch and the wifi signal is the only one that is a bit weak in this phone. The 2g & 3g is about average based on previous phones I've had. The phone only charging to 96% is a feature that doesn't allow the phone's battery to overcharge. If it has already hit max charge a few hours after you plugged it in at night, but it's many hours later that you wake up and unplug your phone, it will seem it didn't charge all the way, when in actuality it already did hours before and has kept it from staying maxed out to preserve the life of the battery. This was explained many times on the T-Mo Nexus S site. I bet this is the same thing happening to the Sprint version. The battey life on these phones is excellent, lasting a full 2 days in normal usage. I would be surprised if the Sprint version had dramatically worse battery life. You do know that battery life generally improves within the first 2 weeks of usage, right? BTW, other than the "weaker than I would like" WiFi issue, the T-Mo Nexus S phones we have been using have been brilliant.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    Yes! 4G and WiFi are particularly worthless and 3G is mediocre. My pre(-) had much better connectivity. I'm glad that this issue is finally getting some press outside of the Sprint and Android forums. Hopefully Sprint, Samsung, and Google put their heads together and fix this ASAP or there will be a boatload of returns over the next 30 days.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    My wife and I both got our Nexus S phones the day they were released. We've had no problems at all with any of the signals. I've been very impressed with the signal quality. Even with only one bar or none, I can still make and receive calls. Wifi has been excellent also. I will say that I use up the battery and recharge at various times throughout the day but I've been playing on the phone much of the time. My wife will go through the entire day and come home from work with around 65% remaining battery life most days. Today her battery went down to 39%, but she played a game for almost an hour at her lunch break. All land all, we are very pleased, and I'm really surprised that others have been having problems. This is the best phone I've ever owned!
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    I just got the nexus S 4G today, owned it maybe 6hours. I live in Hawaii and have had an EVO for a year now. This phone has extremely poor signal. Sitting in my house right now near North Shore where I have always gotten full bars with my Evo, this Nexus S is going from one bar to two bars and they also claim it's fast yet it deffinately takes a lot longer to pull up an Internet page than my trusty old Evo even though it's been bogged down from a years worth of usage. 1-10 I give this Nexus S a 4 at best and that's being polite.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    Well.. a timely article for sure. I called Sprint a couple of hours ago to complain about the poor signal of the two Nexus S 4G I recently purchased. I too had an Evo 4G before and never had a signal problem where I live. The Nexus S goes from 3 bars to zero most of the time and my calls are dropping like never before. Actually, when I was with the Sprint rep the call dropped and she had to leave me a voice male because of the weak signal. No problem with the battery though. I like the phone but I don't think I could live with the poor signal.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    I had an Evo for 11 months and have switched to the Nexus. I have noticed the lower number of bars, but I don't think that necessarily translates to worse reception. I did side-by-side tests with my Evo and Nexus on 3G and wireless, on different days, and the Nexus won almost every speed test. I also haven't had any dropped calls in 10 days. The 4g is spotty, but it was on my Evo, too.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    Returned it after 10 days due to connection issues. Battery life was ok though ... for a smartphone.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    I also have poor reception but the phone is great.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    My phone no longer has reception issues (ie. Dropped calls, slow downloads etc)
    I took my Nexus S back and got an Evo 4G
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    I was very excited to own this phone and I am happy also with the experience it provides but I tell you it has been 3 days, I am using this phone and there has not been even a single call, I could complete.Every time call drops, network keeps switching from 0 bar to 4 bar, 3g signal reception is very less, mostly I get only 2g signals...and I am hell irritated that I can not talk to anyone on this, is is worthy to spend that much money on this phone just for google while you can not even call......why did i buy this phone...I feel ditched....!!!!..don't know what to do, I am stuck with this phone.............
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    yes! and its frusturating. Its been over 6 months went through 3 ota fixes and still nothing. Im currently running android 2.3.7 and still suffer from excessive poor signal quality. GOOGLE/SAMSUNG/SPRINT HELP PLEASE NO BS! Awesome phone but worthless with no signal. SAD but I have to go back to my HTC EVO.
  • RE: Does your Nexus S 4G have poor signal quality too?

    My Samsung has poor reception quality as well. Both in 4g and 3g. The sound quality is poor and the speaker volume is very low. I also have a problem with the email app. The from text on the page where all emails are listed is large, bold, and overlaps the body of the text. This is only in the list page and not when you click on and view the email by itself.