Amidst yet another outage of Verizon’s data system across large portions of the US, a new radio image for the LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus has become available. This ZIP file contains revised code for the CDMA and 4G LTE radios within the device, and according to some of the responders in the XDA thread, allows for slightly better overall signal reception and much better stability. The phone locks on to a data signal faster and tends to keep it longer, with smoother handoffs between 4G and 3G. After testing out the radio myself, the speed and initial connection seem to be only slightly improved. Unfortunately, I can’t test the 4G at the moment.
Don’t get too excited just yet. Naturally, flashing the radios requires an unlocked phone with a custom recovery, and no small amount of risk on the part of the user. For most Galaxy Nexus owners, I’d recommend waiting for the Android 4.0.3 update, which has probably been delayed because of the signal and battery issues that many have been experiencing. This radio image, or an even newer and hopefully better one, will almost certainly be included as part of the forthcoming update. And it won’t require you to void your warranty.
All bets are off for this little nugget of leaked code. It’s probably a test radio originating from Verizon that got sent out to a public-spirited friend or colleague, but it could just as easily be a version revere engineered and tweaked from the stock radio. If you’re of an experimental mind (guilty!) and you know what you’re doing, go ahead – just remember to use ClockworkMod Recovery’s backup feature beforehand. And since the Galaxy Nexus has only internal storage, you might want to back up the backup, so to speak, to your computer’s hard drive before applying the updated ZIP file.
UPDATE: Looks like the new radios broke my wireless tether functionality. Whoops. Nandroid backup is your friend.