Nexus S 4G

The Nexus S 4G has been available from Sprint for about two weeks, and like all new phones it seems users are seeing a few bugs.  With this one they seem to be centered around the radios.  Reports of Wifi, 3G and Wimax signal issues are springing up and we figure it's time to try to get to the bottom of the issue and get a little input from you guys.  Hopefully the right people are reading and can turn the data into results.

I was a bit concerned with the Wifi signal on the original Nexus S myself when it was first released.  The lower power radio didn't hold the same signal strength as I was used to on my Nexus One, and it took me several weeks to accept that three bars on the signal meter didn't mean the end of the world.  And anyone with an Evo or an Epic 4G will remember the radio issues when they were new.  A few OTA updates later and everything seems to be working well for them, and we imagine the same thing will happen here.  Since a quick read of the forums show people that are having issues as well as people who aren't, lets try to get some numbers.

Source: Android Central forums


Reader comments

Are you having radio issues with your Nexus S 4G? [poll]


Mine shows a little lower signal strength on 3G and Voice (don't have 4G here in San Diego, but used it yesterday in Orange County and it was fine). I know the OS displays bars differently than my previous EVO. I will tell you that my 3G speeds are significantly lower than that of my EVO, 4G didn't neem affected.

My radios are terrible compared to my Evo. I work in Detroit and 4g is available here. On my Evo I was getting around 6.6 mbps on the speed net test. On the NS4G I can only get 3mbps tops. There is definitely a radio issue.

Interesting... a friend of mine told me she wanted to get the NS because its.... "cute" . . . she currently has an EVO.... I then yelled at her.

Where do you work in Detroit that 4g is available??? I thought the only Sprint 4g city in Michigan was Grand Rapids?

I am consistently getting 1 x speeds about 5 feet away from my Airave. I am also getting very low signal strength in 3g areas. the wifi signal strength is terrible and sometimes disconnects me from my service. Sprint better fix this in the next couple of weeks or I will have to return this device.

Umm, proximity to the Airave has nothing to do with your data connection speeds... The airrave is voice only.

Actually, you're both wrong. The new air rave does 3g data and voice call signal strength boost. I always have full bars on my evo but I can barely get 1 with the nexus s. Even when not making a phone call my signal is showing 1 x r t t.

My cell signal looks lower from not displaying 5 bars. However it performs as normal.

My wifi is definitely in the drain though.

I love my phone, but definitely have noticed the radio is relatively weak....has difficulty keeping a cell signal (often times shows zero bars and still can make and receive calls, though) as well as data. Especially indoors.

Not a deal breaker because my experience hasn't been impacted too heavily so far and because I hope that Sprint will work some update magic to make the radios work better.

The NS4G was the phone I chose when I switched to Sprint. I had issues with all radios including wifi. Running Speedtest on wifi the Nexus was at around 6Mbps while the laptop, iPad and iPhone 4 were showing 19Mbps down which is the usual speed of that wifi.
My friends don't have Sprint so I swapped out for a white Evo to see if it's the Nexus or Sprint causing my signal issues. In my house I get 4 bars of service and my wifi connects at full strength. WIth the Nexus I was sometimes showing 1 bar of wifi when I'm only 5ft away from my router and the Evo is full throughout my house. Pages load faster on the Evo for me on 3G and wifi vs the Nexus.
I'm hoping the Evo 3D releases by June 10th so I can be within my 30 days. I actually really like the Evo, but I'd rather not start out a contract with yr old tech, although I'm sure I'd replace it within 6mo anyway.

The Sprint Store tech that I talked to last night said that there was a known problem with the radio software for the Nexus S 4G and that they were working on a fix to come out in a few weeks -- until then, he told me to turn the 4G off... Wonder if I can get a $10 refund per month of no 4G?

Thanks for making this front page Android Central! I'm experiencing issues with all of my radios. I tested a Nexus and Evo side-by-side and found that the Evo was performing 3x as fast as the Nexus on 4G. Inside my home I can not get full wifi even with my phone 5 feet from the router. I have an airave and am lucky to have full bars on that as well. Hoping and OTA comes out soon, otherwise its back to the drawing board for my phone upgrade...

I second the indoor concerns.....outside, no problems. Go inside and the radio just loses contact with the world. I can stand right next to a wifi router or Airave and the meter just jumps all the place. Trying to surf on the phone yields the expected "connection lost" error.
Hopefully a future fix is forthcoming....

I've noticed that although the wireless signal never reaches full strength no matter how close to the router I sit, it never drops out either. 3g speeds are as consistent as they ever were. My ohone signal strength seldom reaches full strength at home, despite being connected to the Airave, even if I sit next to it. Not sure if it's a software issue or a hardware design problem, but in an urban workplace environment where I work, I have no more issues than any other phone I've had over the years...

And of course, I get home and now I notice that my voice strength sitting next to my Airave is no bars. However, as soon as I make or receive a call, the signal immediately goes to 4 bars and I get the boo-boop of the Airave taking the call every time... I wonder why that could be??

Mine has a lot of problems with constantly disconnecting from WiFi and 4G. 4G signal is all over the place. It'll be great one minute and gone the next. I figured it was just because I was in Stockton, which is an awful place, but then I read the article yesterday and everything suddenly made sense.

I'm having trouble in all areas, 3G, 4G, WiFi, but also holding a call indoors. So many people have mentioned zero bars but still holding a call. That has happened to me also, but most times, zero bars means zero bars or it means that I am just about to see the dreaded "X" over the bars. This phone is a complete mess on the basic features. I love it otherwise, but if it isn't resolved by early June, I have to return it before I get to 30 days.

I am really interested to know why so many people are having no trouble at all. Did we just get bad phones, are they in unusual coverage areas, or do they have lower expectations?

Jerry, the last option on the poll needs to be removed, its skewing the result percentages of people with issues.

Agreed. While it's a cute fourth option, it detracts from the impact of the other options when viewing the bar graph.

This phone has worse battery life than my evo. Its due to the phone constantly pulling for a signal. If you go under network settings it shows either unknown or wcdma when it should show cdma auto prl. I called sprint and best buy and they will allow me to exhange the nexus for a brand new evo or other device within my 30 days. Ill give them till sat to acknowledge this or find a fix before i do a swap. I love the nexus but if i miss calls and txts it isnt worth keeping it. This is a radio or network error. This needs to be fixed asap before mass people start returning them.

I saw the poll, theses no way this only affects some of the phones. Its all or nothing. Unless this is an issue with the 2.3.4 and some didnt upgrade to i t yet.

Give it sometime radio updates will be coming soon. I just wish they hadn't blocked editing the wimax settings that would have helped with some of the signal issues.

Also, should be mentioned that there is a speakerphone echoing issue as well because of the battery cover. Doesn't echoe without it, so something is up with the speaker hole.

I've been checking my speed pretty much everyday. All of a sudden today (5/24), my test download speeds are up to 3 MBs, way up from just about 500 KBs just a few days ago... This is in Columbus, Ohio -- anyone else notice a sudden improvement?

Has anyone sent their NS4G into Samsung for repair of the issue? I talked with them on the phone and they said to send it in for repair under the 1 year warranty but I did not receive an answer whether or not that would fix the problem. Samsung is keeping us in the dark on this matter. By law they are required to fix the defect in their NS4G's especially when it's all of them (even if the year is up with a court order).

The biggest problem with the Nexus S 4G (all of them) is the reception issues of 3G, 4G, & bad cellular signal. I think it is how the phone is engineered which may be a hardware issue i.e. the radio transmitter within the phone. Other phones don't have this issue in my experience and studies. I own the Nexus S 4G with Sprint and am frustrated too. I'm hoping it is a software issue where problem can be fixed hopefully in the near future, but I doubt it. Take legal action...