Nexus One 3G Problems?


Now that you’ve finally managed to get your hands on the HTC Nexus One “SuperPhone”, its time to put it through the various tests, at least that’s what I usually do when I get a new toy to play with. Word has it that a very large amount of users are experiencing problems with 3G connectivity. Specifically, the phone constantly switching between 3G and EDGE networks in areas that would normally have full 3G coverage, getting poor 3G coverage in general, or more often, both. Its a new device, and every piece of technology has some sort of problem. One user over at the Google Mobile Support Forums, compared the 3G reception of the HTC Nexus One and the T-Mobile G1, yielding results that favored the G1. If I could take a wild guess, I would assume that this is probably related to problems with the internal radio, a software related issue, or something totally different.

Are you experiencing 3G problems? Let us know in the comments!

Google Mobile Support Forums

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  • Keith

    My TP2 has been switching from 3g to edge for about a month. Sometimes I just force it to stay on 1 network in the Comm manager.

  • Jini

    No problems staying on 3G for me, although data speeds seem to be a bit slower than the G1. Was around 300 kbps yesterday, up to 660 kbps today.

  • newjaruz

    Nope, not at all. My Nexus seems to be performing like a super phone. With the exception of using the task killer. When I do use it.. and it kills all tasks it goes back to one of the previous tasks randomly. Which I find weird.

    • Rayen321

      What about all the apps running in the background?

  • J

    These types of issues are the reason why T-Mobile has phone delays. People give T-Mobile a hard time about delays, but the delays are generally to protect the customer from defects in products. Now customer care will likely be swamped for the next few days handling these complaints.

    • Trill

      I sure wish you checked your yahoo account more.

  • SteveGowski

    Definately waiting on HD2 now, lol. N1=FAIL

    • 9ooyan

      really…fail? what ever happened to the old fashioned A, B, C, D, F? binary thinking is so limited.

      • M

        I wouldn’t concern myself with what a person who can’t even spell “definitely” thinks.

  • batman26

    nexus one sucks! blackberry 9700 rules. Better 3g signal.

    • Bart

      Oh right, the blackberry bold thats only HSPA 3.6 compatible. Good luck on ya when the switch to 7.2 is full on.

  • Luke

    No problems on my N1. All I can say is Damn this phone rocks from the feel of it in your hand to that sexy display. I just cant put it down lol. I put it next to my buddies iCant and all I can say is it makes the iPhone look like a piece. After being a long time BB user I will now retire my recently purchased 9700 after 1 month of use lol.

  • Gsep

    This is not a T-Mobile connection problem.

    My 3G connection on my N1 is very poor when compared to that of my G1. All of what I’m about to say was tested using the same SIM card.

    Using a mobile speed test, my N1 clocks in about 600kbps and has never gone higher. My G1, in exactly the same place (down the the angle, height off the ground, etc) gets around 3000kbps, reliably.

    Also, there are spots where my N1 will drop from 3G down to EDGE where my G1 would have a very solid 3G connection. This includes using the phone while sitting at my dining room table.

  • ricky

    No issues for me. The Nexus one is better than I anticipated. I have owned almost every Android phone (except the milestone) and rooted each. The g1 has always been my favorite because of all the devs etc… The Nexus One is exceptional compared to the rest of the phones. I was worried not having a keyboard was going to suck but the onscreen keyboard is much better than it used to be. All the hype that has been given to the “droid” phone is still applicable to the Nexus One and more.

    The best part of the N1 isn’t what it currently does. It’s what it has the potential to do. Google has been pumping out MAJOR changes during minor updates to Android which gives big hope to the future of Android. When 3.0 comes out, it will be epic. To see their OS go from the first release of the g1 to now is like Win 3.x to XP. We will see the greatest changes and improvements when they step to the next level. Right now, I don’t think they are needed.

    Back to the topic. I have 3 phones on me in my truck pretty much at all times (I have the cliq, my wifes g1 and my nexus one currently). I consistently get identical 3g performance as the g1 (currently running a 2.0 rom) and the cliq gets the signal usually slightly before. The speed tests have varied but I usually get from 600kbs down to 1200kbs. I was really hoping TMO would have pushed hspa+ all the way to 7.2

  • Megabonix

    I’m having ZERO issues with 3G on my Nexus One here in Dallas. (Man this phone ROCKS!)

    My only complaints so are:

    You have to take the back cover off AND take the battery out to swap out the microSD card.

    Only on/off button is at the top of the unit. (you can hit the menu button on the MT3G)

    USB plug is not the standard USB mini that virtually all other USB devices I own use. (however I *think* this might be the new standard plug of the future) It was nice to be able to plug my MT3G into my BB charger here at work if I needed a top off. Not now. :-(

    Overall this phone ROOLZ! There is never any lag, the screen is amazingly HUGE and I cant believe how thin and light it is. WELL worth the $600 I spent on it. (oh, and I loved the free engraving on the back!) Anyone looking to buy a gently used MyTouch 3G? :-)

    • aggie99

      Run a speedtest. I assure you that your 3g is weak, you just don’t know it.

      I now know 4 others in dallas with the N1 and all have issues. I’m off 190/75 and my N900 doesn’t ever show EDGE yet my Nexus One bounces all over the place. And the 3g is weak when it’s connected. I’ll sh!t a golden Nexus One if you run a speedtest and get anything over 1mbps. I’m getting 1.5-2 mbps on my N900 while the Nexus One will average around 500 kbps. N900 sitting next to Nexus One on my desk, N900 shows 3g, Nexus one shows EDGE, although it shows 3g sometimes. The radio is either weak or the software needs some tweaks. I’m sure if it’s software it will be fixed soon.

      But yes this device is awesome. The weak RF is my main complaint, and the other, you hit the nail on the head. I posted about the microSD location in the forum. When will these manufacturers learn?

  • sashaohio

    hey guys check out for t-mobile G2 touch – out now in europe. ja!

    • NiiDiddy

      …G2 – touchscreen…no keyboard. I dont think it’ll be good for the USA G1 enthusiast, who enjoys their phones especially because of the physical keyboard..

      • youngmula303

        It’s just a European hero running on tmobile, nothing new

  • AP

    Zero issues with my N1. Stop complaining!

    • aggie99

      AP then good for you, as for the others there are issues and if issues aren’t reported then there is no motivation or incentive for the manufacturer to take action to fix it. It is obviously more than a handful of people having issues.

    • youngmula303

      People have all the right in the world to complain about a brand new product they purchased that isn’t working as promised.

  • Liam

    Anyone returning their N1s already (although more than entitled to do so) should have been better prepared than they were. Did you really expect a BRAND NEW consumer electronic device to work properly 24 hours after release? That’s part of being an “Early Adopter”. You get it before 90% of everyone else but you also get to deal with the initial problems. It’s extremely common with EVERY device, not just phones. I don’t understand how you can be in complete shock over this. Better this than the screen going black or a red ring of death.

    Just wait for a week and see if the problem is addressed.

    As for who’s fault? Probably the phone, I doubt it’s the network especially if other devices work fine. Firmware update could fix this no problem. Just pump the brakes, Sensitive Sallys.

    • rossi

      Yep, this is why I am waiting for some of the initial bugs to be taken care of… Well, I am also waiting until I sell my TP2. With the talk of Windows Mobile 7 and MWC I may also decide to wait for the HD2. What to do, what to do.

    • mmaxsooner

      For all the hype! And googles big brother attitude, setting things up
      On THEIR TERMS BULLSHIT! THIS THING SHOULD ROCK FROM THE BOX. Could not disagree more, fix it almighty GOOGLE. Just another money grab from google. Shame on the fools who jumped this good ship turdypop. I would have much more sympathy if google wasn’t ready and willing to throw tmobile under the bus. Get ready the google folks after. taking your money will. Say its a tmobile issue.

  • Dessert

    Sounds like no serious problems for the tmonews fans with Nexus One? I’m waiting to see if there’s any serious complaints before investing :)

  • Trill

    It could be the software and the update will probably fix it but I can’t believe how so many complain when mobile speed test isn’t even accurate.

    • aggie99

      couldn’t care less about the speedtests. It’s the fact that it can’t lock a 3g signal and keeps bouncing back and forth between EDGE and 3g and murdering my battery while my N900 is firmly locked on 3g.

  • Ian

    My N1 is having problems locking the 3G signal in some places where the MT3G did not.

    That said, return it? Are you NUTS? It is aweseom.

    An I rooted it, so warantee is DOA.

  • Bart

    @Ian, the beauty of Android is you can always downgrade back to un-root. (I guess ‘locking’ your unlocked phone if you want to think of it that way). Not that you really wanted to know that, but just saying.

    But as G1 owner, my 2G-3G signals have ALWAYS switched back and forth. I could have 3G then take 4 steps over and it goes to 2G, then I could sit down in that same spot and it goes back to 3G. I always just figured it was interference of some sort and never thought twice about it.

    That’s in Altamonte Springs, FL… which is really Orlando, FL to be honest with you all.

    • Ian

      According to the guide and thread on xda once you do the fastboot oem unlock there is (currently) no way to undo it. No biggie. The phone is working, I have tethering on it now (which I need) and I do get decent 3G most of the time. But it does drop down to edge WAY more than the mt3g and even plain old GSM, which I have never seen happen around here with the mt3g.

  • gmad

    My 3g reception has dropped off considerably this week in Connecticut. I have the My touch 3g and I am barely getting .5 down and .3 up.

  • mark

    This problem just keeps getting bigger with no response from google or HTC. I can tell you I tried to call google and was told they have no department to handle any issues related to the Nexus One. I have called HTC 3 times. The general customer service department first tried to say the phone didn’t support the T mobile 3g service. They backpeddled on that and logged my issue. The rep did say she was getting a few calls about the same issue. When I called back this morning was told the same thing. They were aware and would log the call. I then called the return number. He too was aware of the issue. When I think about how many of these phones are actually on the market this problem is a major issue. Wait till the end of the weekend when more are actually being used and this has all the signs of a disaster. My opinion is there is no point in returning for another one from the as it would be coming from the same initial batch. I am returning my phone for a credit.

  • IX

    No problems so far in Allentown PA, Had it a couple days and my N1 has dropped to edge once when i was in my basement. I got mine with a new sim card though, dont know if that makes a difference.

  • zenshadow

    My Nexus NEVER gets 3G, it’s always Edge (yuck!) Only connecting to WiFi here at home makes it serviceable. android application reports: 50 kbs on Edge and 4113 on WiFi. I’m on the road as a Salesman A LOT – and I definitely need 3G! Have NOT ever seen the 3G Icon, the E (Edge) Icon is all I ever see.
    I am hoping this is resolved SOON via a software patch. Wondering where to lodge a complaint (within the 14 days “free look” – so I’m not STUCK with this problem. Guess I’ll contact ALL CS (TMOB, HTC, GOOGLE). Ridiculous this “tell your mom, tell your dad” bounce around I’m reading between HTC and TMOB over “who’s responsible” and as far as I can tell Google is just happy to count their middle-man $$$ !!! Also going to post something to the fansites. This will not stand! Epic Fail? You betcha!

  • mrbill

    I have had my N1 since yesterday and 3G is dark burgundy (The best coverage) in my area. My prior phone was not 3G capable, so I don’t have a phone to compare signals with. That being said, I asked a neighbor and her My Touch is getting constant 3G. I did the “TEMPORARY” Any Cut trick and when I went to set it to WCDMA only I found that it was set on GSM only I tried WCDMA preferred…still only EDGE, set to WCDMA only and now I am on 3G. I will becalling HTC to Be sure that there is a record on my problem, but I will wait a few days to see if there is a software fix done.

  • martinbrook

    Just done a test of my nexus and t mobile Pulses along with O2 and tmobile SIMS

    What do the GSM hacks think is going on


  • rramsdell

    Same issue here. Gets stuck on 3G and all IT people around me using G1s are using 3G. The phone is flawed. I still can’t believe it, but it is true.

  • rramsdell

    Opps correction, I meant to write that is gets stuck on EGDE. :)

  • mark

    A google employee just posted a response in the google forum. Not much was said other then they are aware of the issue and will get back to us soon. My feeling is this. Unless google is willing to extend our 14 trial period until after the issue is resolved then these should all go back. I for one already called htc for my RA this afternoon. I wanted to wait but the higher number of people that came forward the more concerned I became. With such a large number of phones probably yet to be tested this problem could turn very bad very quick. With so many people being in the same 14 day window. Google has too much incentive in running out our clock and fixing at there own pace. By returning as defective they have a bit more urgency to address what is a major issue.

  • Ryan

    I am seeing the 3G/EDGE issue, as well as a few others. Often times a text will come in, and show it is from one person, but it is not from that person. Closing and reopening the message will correct it, but it is odd.

    Also, sometime when I click in a text box, it takes 5 or 6 times tapping it to get it to recognize that i’m touching it. Only happens in text boxes. It is otherwise very responsive.

    Overall, I am in love with the device, but I do hope to see a quick software maintenance sent out.

  • edward

    been tring to get my hands on this damn phone i have good credit and was an x tmoblie customer left my account in good standing and i keep getting this message on google web site “We have submitted your request, but T-Mobile cannot determine your eligibility at this time. Please contact T-Mobile Customer support with further questions.” WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jak2black

    damn.. im gonna wait till late feburary to see what goes on wit the sony ericcson X10.. i just dont wanna jump into another phone relationship like i did with the samsung behold, and the TP2 when they just came out.. ;(

  • Adrian

    i love my new nexus. it is all i expected and more. the only downside is t-mobile’s lousy coverage. nope, i don’t live in the boonies. i’m right here in manhattan. the phone can only be as good as the network it runs on. maybe better to wait and get the nexus on verizon.

  • Joe OpenSource

    Hey I too have the same problem under the Nexus, however it seems another HTC branded phone is experiencing the same problems. It very might very well be a hardware issue and if it is there will be no other recourse then to send the phone back. Who wants a $600 brick that makes calls at EDGE speeds?

    Here is the link:

    With a Touch Pro2, this is what I have observed so far:

    When a call is initiated within UMTS/HSDPA coverage area and, while maintaining the call, I travel to EDGE coverage, the phone switches to GPRS. When I hang up, the phone switches to EDGE.;jsessionid=1A8E1B27097E0CBB6658E48064C65DD2

  • Robert

    Mostly good, a few issues.
    1) Had a bug with Gmail (Fixed, with an article on Google’s Support Page)
    2) Have had problems sending SMS (they fail, and you have to try again– annoying and random- can receive SMS 100% of the time)
    3) 3G drops out often
    4) Overall reception seems considerably worse than my Blackberry 8700 and G1 it is replacing.
    5) Problems selecting text box with touch- have to do it 3 times (push roller ball is easier)
    6) Pressing Home key instead of spacebar when inputting text too often.
    7) Earpiece is hard to get tight against my ear, making calls not sound loud\clear… After some fussing it’s then too loud.. Something that I took for granted before I suppose.
    8) Wish I could wake it with another button besides the far up top button – makes one handed operation tedious.
    Those are the complains specific to the phone…
    Android Complaints:
    1) Copy and Paste is the worst. Hard to select text, not in Gmail, Browser, etc.. Unless in a text input field… Just dumb.
    2) Images – Almost never when you rotate the phone will an image go into landscape mode… Example, an MMS cannot be viewed in landscape, you just get black – what a waste of screen space.
    3) Calendar – Why can’t I have Monday is the first day of the week? Sorry, not religious, and Church doesn’t start my week off, Sunday is the weekend to me…
    4) Buggy text selection – I was using the roller ball, and trying to select from the first character of the line to some point.. I could only get the prior line or second character – and I tried and tried– it was clearly some sort of bug.

    Good Stuff:
    1) Voice Text Input is Amazing – it works so unbelievably well.
    2) The out of box experience is so so much better than iPhone – You open box, put in your SIM, type in gmail user\pass, and magically all your stuff works… No plug into computer, update iTunes, Update Carrier Settings, Update iPhone, Activate+Authorize, Sync, Backup, bla bla.. All over the air is nice, and who doesn’t use Gmail these days?
    3) Speedy, no complaints there
    4) Keyboard input is better than iPhone for me, especially with the text suggestions…
    5) Battery life seems good so far, not killed it yet.
    6) Facebook preloaded is a nice touch.

  • Willie Singleton

    I am here in Miami, Florida and im also seeing the issues with 3g switching from 3g to edge. Data transfers on 3g are slower than that of my g1. Also i see more dropped calls than my g1. I also noticed that when conntected to WIFI, im unable to send and receive mms. I contacted T-Mobile and HTC and it is a known issue. The HTC Tech guy informed me that its a software issue with radio and that we expect to be seeing an OTA Update soon. Between HTC, Google, and T-Mobile this needs to be resolved.

  • Yaseen

    I’ve been beside byself on purchasing this phone now. I’ve noticed that the Nexus info link on the main google homepage has been removed. Obviously someone noticed this problem on the google side. I was on a site earlier where they took apart an N1 and found that there is some new chipsets. Something about Nexus One Tear Down. I wonder if the problems we are having is because of that.

  • sage

    My n 1 is a great phone but service in Oakland ca. Is poor! Google maps only really works on wifi .

  • droidstory

    I love my N1, but 3G connectivity is definitely a problem. I noticed that the phone stays connected to 3G fine when sitting on my desk @home, but it drops to Edge as soon as I pick it up and hold it in my hand. See also:

  • http://tmonews carlos

    i can assure that this is not a T-mobile network problem because on my samsung memoir i have a solid 3G connection everywere i go in LA . and my sister with nexus phone always has edge in all the places i have 3G. both of our phones are running on t-mobile.. also my phone is faster at things like internet browsing n sending pictures because im running on 3G shes always on edge.. so hers is slower.

  • caesarcxiv

    I have a bb 9700 and my 3g service is awful with all bars. I get bursts of data… A 200k page will burst 40k… Wait 5-10 seconds… Burst 60k and so on. Makes browsing painful when in a hurry

  • olypdd

    The first 4 days with the Nexus One, 3g was fine. Sunday the 10th it started going out, and the thing that really bothers me is that it wouldn’t automatically switch to 2g. It would just say no service. I have would have to manually go into settings and manually switch on 2g. When I drove into the city, the 3g came back, and back here at home, it flickers on and then goes away for some time.

    And get this. I put the SIM in my G1, and NO 3G with that device either. There was never a problem with the G1 getting 3g here so I suspect something askew with TMO’s network.

  • olypdd

    …and yes, I dialed my way to the configuration page and the Nexus is set up with WCDMA preferred.

  • Agent Smith

    As a prospective buyer of Nexus One i was investigating the issue over the internet when i found this article:

    The comment after the article by Mr. “Wayne” says:
    “IT’S THE SOFTWARE!!!!!!!

    OK. I found “Phone Info” screen through “Any Cut” programs “activity” list. This looks like a screen not intended for average users. It clearly has settings that should not be messed with. However, it does have a pull down menu that was set to “WCDMA Preferred”. I changed this to “WCDMA Only”. The phone reset, and never again saw the f’ing “E” on the signal indicator- ALL 3G. After about 1/2 hour of speed tests (150k – 800kbps) and google satellite map downloads (all definitely faster), I switched back to “WCDMA Preferred”. Guess what? After a few minutes, I was back on EDGE, even with a good signal. Switched back to “WCDMA Only”, and 3G it remains.

    The PROBLEM with doing this is that you will have NO DATA COVERAGE if you slip into a weak area where only Edge will work. So Doing this means you have to create a shortcut and change this setting if you lose signal.

    WHAT THIS TELLS ME IS THAT THIS IS A SOFTWARE PROBLEM. The criteria for determining 3G vs. Edge selection in the SW is (as I suspected) weighted heavily to EDGE. TMOBILE probably did this to reduce their network loading. Do not be surprised if they remove the “Phone Info” screen in future updates so you cannot do my patch.”

    I don’t own one yet, so can’t test it myself. Hope this is the solution and it helps those who r in panic because of this :)

  • olypdd

    Good spoofing Agent Smith. I noticed that mine is getting steady 3g this morning. Not at first, but as the morning progressed, it’s been rock steady as it should be. I have it on WCDMA preferred as I don’t want to lose service if I go out of 3g coverage. I still wonder if TMO’s network upgrades are playing any roll here, and I tend to think it’s a combination of that an software. I say this because I had stellar 3g the first 4 days with the Nexus. I think we’ll all be happy campers in short order.

  • lnjryan

    I was so looking forward to this phone as a replacement for my G1(rooted and love it). I was ready to buy it on the first day of availability, but the lil voice in my head said WAIT! I’m really glad I didn’t become an early adopter like I did with my G1. I won’t buy this phone until the bugs are exterminated…

  • Mark

    Just installed Xtremelabs Speedtest on my N1 here in Las Vegas, NV. I am in a horrible signal area where my Iphone would practically never have a signal. T-Mobile consistently stays in 3G mode, while the Iphone would say searching 99% of the time.
    Download test 2237.5 Kbits/s while upload shows 431.8 Kbits/s. So much for those claiming how slow this puppy is. I have had zero problems since getting my phone a couple of days ago.

  • Tom

    HARDWARE, HARDWARE, HARDWARE!!! – if the 3G issues was a firmware issue then ALL the N11 phones would have all the same problem. I don’t trust these guys… I would not put it past them to put patches in the firmware that it would mask the hardware problem just to avoid having to replace defective phones.
    They claim that there are only “A FEW” phone having this problem. If this were the case then why don’t they just replace the FEW phones, test the replacements and then everyone will be happy.
    Google only responds with PHONE SPECS and doesn’t address the problem as you state in your support e-mail, now they are referring you to T-Mobile and HTC just elevates your call to a specialist who promises to call back but never does.

    RUN FOREST RUN!!! Too many firsts here and nothing is going right. Google has no intention in becoming a SUPPORT FRIENDLY company, they can’t even honor their first direct sale to the public.

    We need to stand up to these giants who think that they are above accountability!

  • Tony

    You have to go under settings–>wireless & networks–>mobile networks–> uncheck the option “use only 2G networks”, worked for me. Steady 3G. The only drawback is that unchecking the box will run down your battery faster, or so the phone claims. Oh, and unchecking he 2G box will sometimes give you a less stable signal, while I had the 2G box checked, I always had at least 3 bars of service. Hope that helps, I guess I can keep the 2G box checked until I need 3G, in which case I would just uncheck it.

  • lunatiq

    I too have a G1 that I bought as an early adopter, and loved it. When the Nexus One came out I bought that too, also as an early adopter. It wasn’t long until Froyo 2.2 was released, and of course I installed that promptly (no rooting necessary).

    I noticed from day one that the N1’s wireless signal was not quite as good as my G1’s. At my apt, the G1 had a fairly solid 3G connection; it rarely “downshifted” to EDGE. The same was not true of the N1; I found myself checking the “Only use 2G Networks” option to save from running down the battery because it was constantly switching.

    Now, my GF lives in a suburb. Her apt is in a valley and we both get very poor wireless signal strength (she’s on AT&T; I’m on T-Mobile). However, my N1 was constantly in a state of “no connection” or “emergency calls only” (aka very weak GPRS). If I placed it on a specific table it would get one bar of 3G for WiFi AP use but otherwise completely dead.

    Since I have started suffering frequent call drops and inability to even send text messages at home, I have started switching my SIM card to my G1 and I am no longer suffering call drops, but I am now suffering poor performance thanks to Android 1.6 (I think) and slow performance!

    It’s so bad that I plan to sell my N1 and wait for the fall 2010 lineup of high end Android phones. Currenly, T-Mobile’s offering that interests me is the HD2 but that runs WinMo. Meantime I will *maybe* run CyanogenMod6 on my G1 with my N1 as a backup in case I brick it, but it will still be slow (528mHz processor and limited RAM).

    I wish I knew why my N1 suddenly took a turn for the worse … I have no home phone, I need my mobile phone to work at 100% and the N1 just isn’t cutting it any more, at least not on T-Mobile.

  • Mobile Phone Accessories

    Mobile Phone Accessories
    i noticed from day one that the N1?s wireless signal was not quite as good as my G1?s. At my apt, the G1 had a fairly solid 3G connection; it rarely “downshifted” to EDGE. The same was not true of the N1; I found myself checking the “Only use 2G Networks” option to save from running down the battery because it was constantly switching.