3G Issues Proving to be Super Phone’s Kryptonite

It seems that the 3G issues that the Nexus One continues to have may be hardware related.  According to an article at TmoNews, Nexus One users are able to change their 3G signal levels just by how they are holding the unit!  This is happening despite an OTA update which was supposed to have helped fix the issue. Check out this video that shows how the Nexus One switches from 3G to EDGE when the user changes his hand position.


What is disheartening is that others users are able to replicate the signal state change in the same way as the video above. The 3G issue may not be software related as originally thought, but rather a significant hardware issue. Here’s to hoping that they can get this issue taken care of, Google doesn’t need more problems with the Nexus One.

  • mrbond

    From what I've seen on the web, this problem doesn't appear affect every N1 owner. It seems to be either location-dependent T-Mobile problem or a hardware problem with a certain number of phones.

    Any news on when that leaked radio fix update comes out?

  • michael

    I can duplicate what they show on the video with my nexus one. but as long as I keep my hand off the bottom of the phone my 3g works fine.

  • Chad

    Yeah, I've been having this problem with my N1 too – in tons of places around Cleveland, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. Plus, the signal really drops whenever I'm
    in any sort of house or building. I keep my N1 exclusively in my car these days, since it's the only place where the phone works reliably.

  • laurie

    the only way I'd give up this phone is if they put another in my hand at the same time! 🙂

  • nathan

    Mine doesnt loose 3G, it just gets poor regular cell signal, it worse than my friends G1. I do like the phone but the signal has alot of room to improve. I think the antenna is just weak in general. Does anyone else have this weak signal issue

  • shocked!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh dear, now that's something they missed in the making the nexus one video, obviously didn't test that bit, this should be enough evidence for people to get a replacement. Its still hard to understand why these phones keep screwing up. How long do they test these things for, people report problems within a couple of days so the testing can't be that great. Maybe someone should tell them to test it outside the lab as well.

  • DroidDev

    This is nothing new to any hardware manufacturer or device for that matter. Remember when the iPoo battery was overheating and blowing up in peoples pockets?? That 3G issue doesnt sound so bad now does it. Consumer electronics, especially brand new devices, always have these kind of issues. Once Google and HTC are able to determine root cause, they will fix the issue. Whether is by replacing effected handsets, or via a software update is still to be determined.

  • Graham

    I haven't notice any negative change with my new N1 compared to the MyTouch I previously had. If anything reception is slightly better. I have had a few lock ups / needing to restart. But that seems to be common across all the android phones I've had.

  • Martin

    It's not just 3G. It drops signal generally if held like a normal phone should be held.

    My only gripe with the handset.

  • Peadar

    I managed to repeat these issues both with my nexus 1 and with a friend's iphone. The same videos we're seeing now for the n1 were all on youtube a year ago for the iphone. Here's the proof:


  • Ryan

    For what it's worth, this is not exclusive to the Nexus One. I have the problem with my G1.
    I will say that it also happens in a building where I have spotty 3G any way, but if I'm at my desk, near a clear view to the window, this happens even when I'm just picking the phone up to check on activity.

  • Joe Cruz

    This is really weird. I haven't had any 3g problems at all. You would think google would recall the device if so many were defective.

  • branon

    T-mobile is stuck with poor bands – 1700 and 2100. Unlike AT&T and others who have lower bands for 3G, higher bands have problems indoors. This is well known at this point.

    For what its worth my blackberry bold has GPRS in one of my rooms and 3G in the other. And I live in a single family home bang in the center of my city.

  • rolly

    Mine works fine…..dont' get that when I try to mimick what the video guys was doing. Maybe it's location. I'm in Chicago….works fine.

  • phil

    My wife has a HTC Magic, it has never reliably connected to 3G, despite software updates. None of the HTC phones in the shop could connect at 3G either, Nokia phones right next to them would have full bars. There definitely seems to be a radio fault with 3G connectivity with HTC phones. It is back at the service department again.

  • Ethan

    I don't think it's just the N1. It's either T-mobile's 3G or just HTC phones in general. It's kind of the same way with my myTouch. It's weird cause when I lay it on its back most of the time I can get a 3G signal, but once I pick it up it switches to EDGE. It can also make a difference if I were to hold it 1 foot to the left instead of right in front of me.

  • Clay

    I can replicate this issue without exception on my N1. I'm in Philadelphia. If it's a hardware issue, I'd really like a replacement. $530 is too much to pay for a faulty device.

  • I was about to purchase an N! but this hardware issue is a deal-breaker. I do not want worry all the time about how I am holding my phone. I'll just have to wait for another android phone with a 1Ghz+ processor (nothing less than 1 GHz will do if I am committing to a smartphone for two years).

  • ontheFritz

    It happens to me too… But it's nothing Google doesn't know about. I was flipping through the booklet that came with my N1 and it specifically says not to cover the bottom portion of the phone or it will block the antenna. The way I hold my phone doesn't really affect it, but it's still dumb.

  • John

    Have duplicated this issue myself. Hand in the way or other obstacles vs. clear antenna exposure affects cell and data signal reception.

  • ken

    I can't duplicate this with my Nexus one but, I have full Signal 3G.

  • ken

    Kinda simple really, block antenna loose signal… if your stronger signal is EDGE you get EDGE HTC Google & HTC probaly know this its just sensitivity choice.

  • kp

    Incase anyone wants to try this; get the app "anycut" then use it to create a shortcut to "activity" testing, down towards the bottom from dropdown instead of WCDMAPreferred choose WCDMA Only…

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  • Great! Thank for information, I'm looking for it for a long time,

  • yeah there's still some issue..

  • nice post. thank you so much for sharing. i like it :p

  • isn’t it ?

  • Welcome

  • Lisa

    Its not super phone until it has xray vision and can shoot lasers! Why doesn’t a company just focus on making something that works right and is practical instead of trying to make every phone a cyborg. I miss the phone I had in the 90s. mutualmobile.com

  • Clarice

    Ya I know what you mean. My first phone had like 2 options but I never had any problems with it and it was simple and easy to use. I would buy a phone that was marketed as a phone for simpletons. mutualmobile.com

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