Earlier this week, Verizon took to Twitter to comment on an issue we had heard new users of the Galaxy Nexus bring up. Regarding claims of poor signal strength on the handset, the carrier posted that it was aware of the “signal strength issue” and a software update to correct it was in the works. Some further analysis of the problem has been independently undertaken since then, suggesting there really wasn’t any problem with the phone’s reception after all. Verizon has now confirmed this interpretation of the issue.
Basically, it’s not that the Galaxy Nexus is receiving a low-quality signal, but that the phone is trying to compare LTE signal strength directly against EV-DO. Because they’re such distinct means of transferring data, you can’t interchange the relationship between signal intensity and signal quality between the two. The way things are now, your LTE signal may be just fine, but the phone is evaluating it as if it were a 3G signal, and displaying fewer bars than perhaps it should. When the update for the Galaxy Nexus finally arrives, it will adjust that scale so 4G reception quality is shown to change at a more appropriate rate.