Verizon Galaxy Nexus Update: Final Impressions and Performance

After spending a little more than a week with the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus update, I can comfortably say that the update has improved the device enough to the point where I am using it every single day.

Earlier this month, Verizon finally got around to updating the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the Android 4.0.4 that owners like myself had been waiting for for over five months. Before I downloaded the software, I was a little apprehensive because the changelog didn’t list all the issues I had had

However, after extensively using the device over the past week or so, the issues that plagued my experience for months on end have finally dissipated and I have been left with the device that I envisioned having from the start.

Here is a list of the issues that I was having prior to the update, just to recap:

  • Random reboots
  • Microphone cut out often
  • Crashes
  • Horrid battery life
  • Connection problems
  • Overall sluggishness

I can’t even imagine what the outcry would have been like if Apple let those issues linger on the iPhone for five months like Verizon did with the Galaxy Nexus.

Anyway, when I first got the software, those issues seemingly had been taken care of. On day one, I didn’t experience a single random reboot. The microphone issue did not interrupt any phone calls. The sluggishness of the UI seemingly vanished. The trade-off issues between 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi were no longer an issue. Apps didn’t crash and the phone didn’t randomly lock up. And, surprisingly, my battery life improved.

I thought I was dreaming but I remained skeptical. After all, this was the first day that I had the update and there was still time for stuff to go wrong.

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Since then, I have waited for chaos. I have waited for a meltdown. I’ve been waiting to stick my Galaxy Nexus back into my drawer.

None of that has happened though. Instead, I have been left with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that I thought I had received back in December of 2011.

In the past week, my phone has not randomly rebooted. I have had the microphone issue happen once but I am still not convinced it was a software issue. The sluggishness of the operating system has dissipated. I have had no issues with my 4G, 3G, and Wi-Fi connections and no issues trading off between them. My device hasn’t locked up and apps still haven’t crashed. And, remarkably, my battery life has been tolerable.

Read: Five Months With The Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

Better yet, it seems as though, as our own Xavier Lanier pointed out, the mobile hotspot that had been shaky before is much improved as well.I used it in Las Vegas over the weekend and it worked like an absolute charm.

It’s all a bit crazy, especially after what I endured over the last five months with the Galaxy Nexus. Like I said, it’s almost like a dream. So, now that Verizon has seemingly ironed out these issues, here is my hope for the future.

  1. Verizon releases timely bug fixes for the Galaxy Nexus in the future.
  2. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon is one of, if not the first, to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when it arrives later this year. If there was a way to make it up to owners who went through five months of Android hardship and silence on Verizon’s part, getting Jelly Bean 4.1 to owners is it.

That being said, as always, I’d love to hear how your experience with Android 4.0.4 for the Galaxy Nexus has been. Has it been as good as mine or are you experiencing issues?

Comments

  1. Stefan Puryear says

    I have to admit that my Nexus is indeed working better since I got the update. The bluetooth is one issue that seems to have been fixed and the wireless works better. I also have noticed better signal reception and the phone is operating faster. The keyboard switches faster when I turn it sideways to text but I wish it was faster still. Overall I am satisfied. For now.

  2. Ralph Bretz says

    I gave up on VZW and unlocked and rooted my GNEX. Phone has been running great. Went 10 hours and phone still had 40% battery left. Plus the amount of ROM’s and Kernels out there.

  3. Evo says

    I have had the same issues as before, unfortunately. In fact, I notice more of the “gray bars” problem than in the past, i.e. when the bars are almost full but gray-shaded instead of blue, meaning that there’s no connectivity. I have also had the infuriating microphone drop-out problem one time since I got the update about a week ago.

    Also, weren’t they saying that changing from portrait to landscape (and vice versa) was supposed to be sped up? I still see the same 2-3 second delay as 4.02.

    Hate to sound whiny, it’s just that I had high hopes for this update.

  4. Mike Sherwood says

    My Nexus Galaxy is now running 4.04 and I still have signal strength issues. Even in downtown Portland, Ore. I get a lot of gray bars and no Internet access. Half the time in Portland I get low to no signal. I can make phone calls but no data access.

  5. Tack says

    Prompt volume on voice dialing via Bluetooth headphone has always been too low and remains so.

  6. james says

    All of the issues were fixed EXCEPT for the gray bars signal issue ONLY when connected to 4G, which was not happening with 4.0.2, which is very odd. If you are having problems back up your stuff and do a factory data reset as it is ALWAYS RECOMMENDED after an OS update no matter how small the update.

  7. Rob says

    For me it fixed the portrait to landscape lag issue but, it did not fix the signal indicator issue. However, for me I never had a poor signal the indicator just said I did. The only other issue I’ve had with the phone is the rare failure of data connection when waking up the device, and it can always be solved with a reboot. Not that this is an acceptable solution mind you, it’s really a PITA when you are trying to run navigation. But with my phone it rarely happens thank goodness.

  8. David says

    Unfortunately still have poor battery life. Wish it was true otherwise. Phone locked up a few times but seems to be better now. Lousy battery life is my only substantial complaint about the phone. Life is complicated enough. Who wants to walk around all day worrying that the phone will run out of juice or with chargers or an extra battery.

  9. Tom Antram says

    I just purchased the Galaxy Nexus last week. I don’t seem to have any of the problems you have mentioned other than what I percieve as terrible battery life. I usually have to turn everything in the background off just to make it through the day. I haven’t had any crashes other then when I let the battery discharge completely. My WiFi access seems to work ok – but that is more to due with my location – I am 25miles south of Dallas. I can get 3G but no 4G signals – but typically I connect through WiFi at home or work. This is my first “smart” phone – so it is all new to me.

  10. helen says

    It is sad to hear things are good with this phone since I am switching out to my third one in less than ten-weeks. Every single issue I have is on your lists.

    After using cell phones since the mid-70′s I am greatly disappointed with this model or brand. I have used Blackberry’s and iPhones since they were first released with NO issues!

    Now this phone. It is horrible

  11. Ben says

    I just got this phone yesterday and think it is gorgeous! Tragically, I am having the oft-mentioned gray bar issue, of course having the android 4.0.4 loaded when I picked up the phone. I live in the heart of denver and have never imagined having such signal issues in an urban clime. It’s making my phone virtually worthless. Does anybody know what I can do to fix this issue?

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