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Poor cell phone signal on Nexus 5 out of the box - Solved?
Equipment: Nexus 5
Version tested: 4.4.4
Service plan: T-Mobile - Pay as you go no data.
Mobile network setting: Data enabled UNCHECKED.
Has strong cell phone signal at a New England location on other phones but can barely connect or stay connected on a 7 months old Nexus 5 as well as on a brand new Nexus 5 which arrived from Google 2 days ago. We experience either one tiny bar or no signal.
The cell tower is located less than half a mile away with some trees in-between.
Also I would miss calls (no service) at the cell phone parking lot at Logan Airport, Boston.
I noticed the older Nexus 5 had slightly better signal strength than the new one. The only difference I could find in the settings were that the older phone had the "preferred network type" set to 3G and the new one to LTE.
Changing it from LTE to 2G resulted in an increase in signal from one or no bars* to 4 bars** signal strength. The same occurred on the older phone.
Now we are talking!
* LTE: -111 dBm, 29asu - one tiny bar (jumping to 0 dbm, NO SIGNAL)
** 2G: -87 dBm, 13asu - four bars
I am not an expert in mobile phones but this is what I observed and have been able to repeat. I have no clue why changing the preferred network type for data LTE -> 2G would affect the voice communication/signals. Perhaps someone has an explanation.
For other newbies...
To change between LTE, 3G and 2G: Go to Settings -> More -> Mobile networks -> Preferred network type (and make your selection).
I hope this works for you.
PS. If you switch from 2G to LTE give the phone time to loose its signal (automatically switching from GPRS to LTE).
PPS. Perhaps the Nexus/Android team can fix the problem in the next update.