This is more a public service announcement than a post, but it will suffice as both. The Galaxy Nexus has been released in the UK, at first to cheers and then to jeers, as users discovered a potentially incapacitating bug that appears to randomly increase and decrease the device’s volume with no input from the user. Delving further into the problem it was discovered that the issue stems from interference being picked up by the phone’s baseband, specifically on the 900Mhz frequency, which is only used for the legacy 2G (EDGE) networks in the UK, Europe and parts of Asia and Africa.
While it is not yet known if the problem is with the device’s hardware itself, or if it can be fixed with a firmware update, to us in North America the problem is moot. Canadian and US carriers do not use 900Mhz frequencies at all. This means neither in 2G or 3G mode will any users be affected by this bug.
I have attempted to reproduce the bug with the 850Mhz setting on a Rogers SIM, forcing the phone into 2G EDGE mode. Though I was unsure whether the device was using the 850 or 1900Mhz spectrum, most likely the latter due to high availability of signal in my area, I noticed no adverse affects.
Moreover, the device is launching exclusively on Bell and Virgin which do not have any 2G capabilities at all. This means that even if this batch of phones is somehow affected, we in Canada won’t even notice it.
Certain British retailers have ceased shipments of the Galaxy Nexus until further notice, pending an investigation by Google and Samsung. Though there may be cause for alarm, don’t let it get in your way of purchasing this device when it is released on December 8th.
For more information on the bug, visit XDA-Developers.