Google Admits Verizon Galaxy Nexus Wasn’t A Good Experience

In comments made today explaining why the new Nexus 4 doesn’t have 4G LTE, Google’s Andy Rubin admitted that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus LTE, which includes the Sprint Galaxy Nexus and Verizon Galaxy Nexus, wasn’t a good experience for users.

Rubin, Google’s Android head, made the comments to The Verge when explaining why the Nexus 4 is without 4G LTE connectivity this time around and will only feature HSPA+ speeds. According to Rubin, there are several reasons why the Nexus 4 doesn’t have 4G LTE. Very plainly, they consist of battery life issues, something that was prevalent with the Galaxy Nexus, and cost.

Because Google wants full control of the software process on the Nexus, releasing a 4G LTE Nexus 4 was out of the question as it would require Sprint and Verizon, both CDMA carriers, which is a network type that is not friendly to unlocked phone. So, as Google points out, it would have had to build a custom GSM LTE phone for AT&T’s 77 markets which would have been an extremely expensive endeavor and one that didn’t fit into Google’s business model.

Read: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean: Everything You Need to Know.


Google says the Galaxy Nexus LTE was a poor experience for consumers.


Rubin takes it a bit further though saying that the experiences on the Galaxy Nexus LTE, which again includes the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and Sprint Galaxy Nexus, were sub par for customers. They weren’t “great experiences,” he said.

This admission comes almost a year after the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was first released on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the first Nexus device to feature both 4G LTE and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

From the very beginning, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus caused problems for Google. First, Verizon delayed the launch of the device until December to promote the Motorola Droid RAZR. Then, it took five months to issue a bug fix update for the phone which was plagued by software issues. In July, Google released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Verizon was the last carrier to release the software to its users.

Read: Nexus 4, HTC 8X & Lumia 810 Hitting T-Mobile on November 14th.

For Google, that just wasn’t the type of experience it wanted from its Nexus devices and ultimately, those mishaps played into the company’s decision to limit the Nexus 4 to HSPA+ and GSM.

Does this mean that we’ll never see another pure vanilla LTE-enabled Nexus? No. But what it does mean is that those looking to get one will likely have to wait at least another year before one arrives.



  1. Steve says

    Personally, I think Google ought to launch their own network, and tell Verizon along with Sprint to kiss ass!

    • Rodrick Scott (@SkahtiDuali) says

      That’d be an awesome idea but do you have any idea of the margins it would take to do that nationwide! It’s also possible that all other carriers would drop android phones just because of that reason. However if Google did then phones and service fee’s will be extremely cheep!

    • Yeah Right says

      Two words. “No Spectrum” Plus Google would have to have a customer service center with phones and a fleet of technicians spread throughout the country to maintain the network. I don’t see either of those two happening.

    • Noyfb says

      They could of bought T-mo, they certainly had the money to do so, or even sprint with all the new true lte they’re adding. I think after Fiber is in place after a few years they probably will.

    • Sean says

      Actually google is becoming their own carrier provider, they partnered up with dish network the phones will be data enabled only. And will use google voice as the voice and texting plans they intend to keep it free and only charge for strait up data plans period.

  2. duhdonutman (@duhdonutman) says

    Carriers couldn’t drop Android phones as they make up nearly 50% of their sales and in Q3 it was over 50%. Even at 25% that’s too big a market share to give up to bank on WIndows and iPhone sales. Verizon formed when GTE was struggling, Google could do something similar with a struggling carrier or smaller carriers, hello T-Mobile, Metro PCI and US Cellular

  3. Al says

    Just a quick clarification. Verizon might have been last US carrier to deploy 4.1 but all the Australian carriers are still on 4.0.4

  4. greenlatin says

    I think they will most definitely cook up an lte variant or maybe a different kind of nexus at I/o. Moto nexus anyone?

  5. Charles says

    Well perhaps then I can send Mr Rubin my Verizon Nexus and he can send me a GSM model as a replacement, since he’s now admitted that he and his company blew it.

  6. Kevin says

    My biggest issue with the Verizon GN was never the battery life. It was that you couldn’t use it as a phone (literally)….an issue that wasn’t fully fixed until the update to Jelly Bean, almost a full year after it was known to be a problem.

  7. Ferrydust says

    Yet I have loved and continue to love my Verizon Galaxy Nexus. It has not been bug free, but everything has worked. And I’ve not really experienced trouble with phone calls.
    I’m looking forward to an eventual MotoNexus.

  8. Brian says

    Don’t forget about Verizon blocking (not cooperating with Google and/or submitting a formal request to prevent users on their network from downloading via the Play Store) Google Wallet in favor of Isis, violating C-Block rules, and charging much more for the phone than a GSM model when VoLTE is currently usable.

  9. Edward says

    I agree, most people shouldn’t blame Google, as they have been on our side (the consumers) for the benefits that Google released for us, including updates bug fixes etc. It was/is Verizon’s fault as too why Galaxy Nexus users didn’t receive the improvements upon completed developmental release for consumers! Robin’s testimonial was in favor of consumers, and since Verizon prioritized other companies products over Googles (Samsung), well Google has every rite too repel from Verizon.
    The Galaxy Nexus is a.great phone, with a whole lot of features that require users too gradually develop with as getting used too, were the phone seems to be almost as a test product of consumers use for business related product development. The Gal. Nexus is a very good phone for people willing to consume and develop learning each feature gradually. Then when progressivally developed with this device, you’ll oversee what others negativally say about the Galaxy Nexus isn’t accurate, except for the battery. Samsung or Googles only mistake, was too not originally release the phone with a high MAh. capacity battery, so that people wouldn’t run their negative comments of Samsunsg developed product. Other than that, ‘blame Verizon’!

  10. Edward says

    Further more, after purchasing an aftermarket, high capacity battery, oooohhhh, read the comments of others whom revealed their perspectives on shopandroids site, many like the Galaxy Nexus especially now alleviating their past battery concern!

  11. Quintel Pettus says

    if apple can do an iphone with one chip with lte cdma gsm hspda and all then why cant google use the same thing? lazyness? and apple updates their phones all the time with the latest os.

  12. Chris Smith says

    I agree with quientel, apple is doing these things with a dedicated chip. I bet next year, it’ll probably support all of the different radio types when its cheap to produce these chips. Google needs to play more hard ball with Verizon. Apple seems to get their way, why not Google?

    The gnex battery does suck. I love the phone but the battery is horrible. They should have done what moto did with with 3300 milliamp battery in the Droid Razr max HD.

  13. RH says

    I love mine. Then again I have never seen an official Verizon rom on it, so I never experienced any of the bugs some of you are speaking of. I’ve been flashing the latest updates manually since I took it out of the box. I love having the GNex with LTE. Screw battery life, buy a backup and call it a day. I also have Wallet…and it works. And tethering. Without paying VZ 30 bucks a month.

    It’s an Android….don’t like the OS as-delivered? Change it! That’s the idea!

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