Are there Nexus quality control issues or are problems simply more scrutinized?

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I remember starting a thread here a few years ago rallying for us to get a Nexus on Verizon. Now that I have owned a few Nexus devices, I have noticed a trend of quality control issue(s) that have become an annoying pattern. I was in line waiting for the Galaxy Nexus a few years ago and finally got a Verizon Nexus in my hands only to run into a batch of issues. Some I overlooked because the dev community produced fixes (ie volume). I went through 5 Nexus devices because of radio issues being unbearable. I finally gave up and bought an HTC Rezound (much better radios) but ended buying the Galaxy Nexus again.

    As much as I loved my Galaxy Nexus, it was frustrating to see my signal drop constantly; I even swore off Samsung because of the radios only to buy a Note 2 which has been solid for me in every category. Still, even though I was disappointed in the Galaxy Nexus, I was more on the side of blaming Verizon and Samsung than Google so when I had the chance to get a Nexus 7, I jumped on it only to find out it had sleep of death and charging issues (charging issues was from the battery cable not being plugged in and sleep of death from powering off the device while still plugged into the computer).

    We go to the Nexus 7 2013 and there are issues with the multitouch panel. Here we are with the Nexus 5 and I was so excited about it that I put in my order through Google via play store on day 1. If it was not for my gut telling me to cancel and make sure the first batch on Nexus 5s do not turn out to be plagued with issues I would have my Nexus 5 now. My eyes have been glued on various forums waiting to see every one say "this is the best Nexus ever I have no issues", sadly I saw issues (Nexus 5: Common Problems Users Have and How to Fix Them | Digital Trends) that ranged from dead pixels, vibration motor, and low speaker volume and on XDA a member believed the issue to be a result of glue. (How to Fix the Low Speaker Volume on Your Google Nexus 5 ? xda-developers)

    So this brings me to the title question: Because the Nexus devices are being sold for cheap, have manufacturers given up on providing proper quality control?

    I understand that nexus devices are sold at a cheaper price but $400 is not pocket change (at least not for me) and if I spend my hard earned money on a product I expect the build to be up to standard. Now I am ok with Google deciding to go with cheaper parts but cheaper should not mean poorly assembled.

    Am I scrutinizing Google too heavily or is this a fair assessment?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  2. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Personally I love the idea of nexus devices, pure android the way google designed it that is free of bloat and open for development and hope Google continues to put out nexus devices. I personally would rather pay more (or have an option ) for a Google high end device that specs and quality is up there with the other manufacturer's high end devices on the market. (Knock on wood) the Galaxy Note 2 has been the best overall device I have ever owned, everything from quality, camera, sound, and screen is just awesome. My only complaint is the plastic but a good case masks that other than that it is has been solid for me through and through put vanilla android software on it (which I have with an AOSP Rom) and get updates straight from google (like nexus devices) and I would not have a need to upgrade until it fell apart from use. This is sort of why I have been intrigued my google edition and develop edition devices though I am concerned if Google and the manufacturers will continue to push on time updates.
  3. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    I had two 2012 Nexus 7 tablets and one 2013 Nexus 7 tablet (first 2012 N7 got dropped). None of them had flaws so they are all perfect.

    I bought a 2013 Nexus 7 tablet and it has multitouch issues and screen bleed. All of them are defective and Asus/Google needs to do something about it.

    ^^^Thats all you hear these days. When things work you don't search out any threads about the issues they may have and you don't know about how many are actually affected. But when something is defective or low quality, you are looking for it and you find it. What if out of the millions of 2013 Nexus 7 devices, 500 are defective. Asus may quality check the devices every 500 units and never find a defective one. Every one of those 500 defective units are posted about somewhere on the internet, sometimes more than ones per user. The problem looks to be much bigger than it actually is. Are there defective units, yes. Is it an all out epidemic, no.

    One of the biggest complaints is that people don't like that Asus doesn't pay the shipping to send in the device for repair and they call Google that tells them to contact Asus. Free shipping is nice for warranty but you can't expect it.
  4. AECRADIO
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    AECRADIO Member

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    As I already own a phone, there was no need for more phone-related devices in my stable, so I opted for the WiFi N7, which has been a flawless performer.
    It has a solid feel, does not bend or feel cheap, in fact, the tablet has a far more solid feel than cheaper tablets put out by the likes of Polaroid and others.
    The keyboard works perfectly and has never given me troubles with activation of pressed keys actually forming the wrong numeric or alpha. The WiFi is smooth and fast, in fact, it is faster than my Netgear or Belkin, Cisco routers I use!
    I never drop signals, never fail to connect either.
    Screen shots are also easy and fast, and stores the pics in the proper file locations.
    The screen is always clear, bright and provides a great aspect ratio, no dead pixels or dark spots. My hatred for this tablet is only for the lack of a much-needed Micro-SD card slot.
    I have had the tablet for a couple of months, using it daily, and it has been performing flawlessly, I am buying one for my wife as well.
    Downloads and streaming is fast, and never cogs while watching Youtube or Netflix videos.
    Overall build quality for a sub-$200.00 device is excellent. The back is your typical 'snap-tite' design as most are, but it fits snugly and firmly, with no rattling.
    There are specific spots on the case that show increased heat buildup, but this has yet to be an issue.
    Since the Nexus 7 is a WiFi only device, the radio issues are non existent for me.
    My wife and I love the Nexus 7, the battery lasts a full day, and then some. And even in the standby state, the battery will last for FOUR days, at least for us, this is the case.
    I regularly get more than a full day's use with WiFi active.
    I did have one problem a few weeks ago, and this was due to the USB charger. It died on the third charge, so I was using my own design battery charger made for high-capacity Lithium batteries. I was able to call Asus, and obtain an RMA for this adaptor, and in the span of two weeks, I had a new replacement in my hands. Thanks, Asus!

    In closing, I think the Nexus 7 WiFi is worth every penny of the sale price, and I am not going to hesitate to buy a second one.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  5. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    I agree that nexus devices are awesome devices and that is why I cringe when I see some of the quality issues. Now I know with every new device you have a percentage that are bad from stock but to me it seems like the percentage of nexus devices are higher. My point is that the quality issues get in the way. Nexus devices are mainly for geeks but lately they are trying to be more for avg customers as well who may not be as patient. I just think it is an issue that Google needs to get a handle on. I will admit I may be more critical on google as I believe they have the potential to do more. With that said I must admit my chromecast and chomebook quality control wise have been great.

    Good to hear your n7 have been good for you. What model do you have the 2012 or 2013?
  6. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure they have a higher percentage of defective ones. Nexus devices (talking about the N7 now since its the one we're hearing a lot about lately) tend to be for the more technically inclined. In my school district, we have about 200 iPads. We've had quite a few fail on us. Luckily there is an Apple Store about 25 minutes away so we can take it in and get it swapped pretty easily. But they do fail too. If someone who isnt' too tech savvy buys a Samsung tablet or any tablet, they are less likely to post online about it on Android forums/tech forums about their problems. They will call the company and get it fixed. Nexus devices are kind of like specialty devices. Go to BestBuy and look at their tablet selection. You'll see one nexus device vs a dozen other devices. I think Nexus devices get more press online because the majority of people who buy one are tech savvy people and know what avenues to take to report/talk about the problem.
  7. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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    This is a great question. Unfortunately, given the normal biases in human perception and judgment, it's pretty much impossible to know whether there's a serious problem with a device, or if the failure rate is normal for the industry, and other factors are at play. Case in point: the iPhone antenna-gate. It was first identified by tech-blogs, and then trumpeted by media. The reason it got as much attention as it did was simply because it was an Apple GOTCHA! If the issue had plagued Acer or Lenovo or Toshiba nobody would have cared. But when you're the top device-maker, everyone wants to knock you off the peak. So it was very, very newsworthy and the popular perception was that it was EVERY DEVICE. Maybe so. But without really exhaustive testing, we'll never know. Same thing is true for pretty much any other device -- you sadly can't count on the blogs or the tech forums to be a representative sample.

    How cool it would be if the government mandated that companies post the number of defective devices returned. Of course the industry response would be that it's "anti-competitive," and that it would raise costs for consumers. I pretty much don't give a rat's butt about the first issue, and I'd gladly pay $2 or $3 more per device knowing that the company posts yearly reports on how many of their units stay in the wild vs. fly home with a broken wing. They have those (failure) stats already. It's just a matter of putting them on a website!

    Oh yeah, almost forgot. The Nexus 7 FHD is my first Nexus device and it's a strong 1-for-1. No issues whatsoever.

    -Matt
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  8. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention, this is my experience so far. Three tablets, two being first gen and no issues. Sure, its only 3 but still. My wife had a Galaxy Nexus with no issues and several of my coworkers have Nexus 7 tablets because of my suggestion to get one and no issues for them too.
  9. Caesars
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    Caesars Well-Known Member

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    My nexus 5 has personally been amazing so far, but if I had as many issues as you I'd probably stay clear of the entire line. Luckily my experience has been good :). It could never replace my note 3, but I don't know of any phone that could.

    Note 3 + Nexus 5
  10. Asgard
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    Asgard New Member

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    My nexus experience has been a 4 to 1 right now.
    I get a GNex and it had some issues with audio, but I RMA'd it and the replacement was ok.
    Then I bought an N7 2012 for my sister, and so far it's working without problems.
    After that I get an N4 for my sister-in-law, and is still working without problems, even without cracking the back giving the fact that a little kid sometimes get a hold of it.
    Recently I bought an N5 for my brother and he says that so far it shows no issues.

    So 1 negative and 3 positives so far, 4 if you count the replacement GNex
  11. AECRADIO
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    AECRADIO Member

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    View attachment 67905
    From the information on the tablet, I must have the 2013 version.
    The build date states such info. at least.
  12. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Im not staying away just waiting.

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2
  13. djspy
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    djspy Member

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    i had to return 2 Nexus 7 until i got lucky with the third one (third time's the charm HA!) The first one wouldn't want to update the software for some reason. As soon as Google foiund out i bought it from walmart they gave me an FU and told me contact the manufacturer. I just returned it to walmart and got a replacement. the second unit's sound volume was abysmally low. lower than the 2012 Nexus 7. Finally, with the third one I've had no issues. almost afraid to update it to KitKat lol I think the problem is with Google. just look at all the defects the Droid line and Moto X are shipping with. Google is probably too cheap to pay for quality quality control.
  14. AECRADIO
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    AECRADIO Member

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    So far, living in my 'world', I do not have the pleasure of receiving updates from buyers of the 'X' or anything reasonably 'new', so I have to rely on DF and other sites for my insider news.
    Tonight, my wife and I were discussing the possibility of finally upgrading to the Moto G, so I printed the usual propaganda supporting it.
    Since the wife has not jumped, I think it safe to assume the jury is still out for the mean time, so nothing new for us at this point in time *sigh*

    *Edited for fast typing and lazy eyesight*
  15. akhenax
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    akhenax Well-Known Member

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    My GNex has been plagued with problems.

    1. Signal issues
    - I can't maintain a descent 4G LTE connection, unless I'm standing next to a 4G tower.
    2. Wifi connectivity is OK, not bad, but just so so.
    3. The AMOLED screen has lines in it, making it look like a Granite display from the Flintstones.

    ...but it's all I got.

    Even with all the issues with the Nexus 5, here's hoping someone can get it to work on Verizon. I need an upgrade I can afford.
  16. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    I want to chime in here and share my perspective. If there are quality control issues with Nexus devices, I don't really think they can be attributed to Google. Although ultimately it is Google's responsibility to work with their channel partners to get QC issues resolved, we can't forget that Google has worked with several different manufacturers for Nexus devices. If we are talking about hardware issues, then it is the manufacturer's onus to make sure their product is up to a certain standard.

    As far as Google selling the devices cheaper, thus potentially using cheaper parts, I don't think that is really the issue either. Google isn't selling the devices at a profit (or at least very much of one). Considering they are basically selling the Nexus devices for about the same cost (or a tiny bit more) as it took to manufacture them, we can't really blame cheap components. If you take a gander at the different parts-pricing teardowns for devices, the Nexus stuff isn't filled with parts that are really cheaper or different than what we see in other manufacturer's Android products (in fact, the stuff in them isn't that much cheaper than Apple products either). The only difference is Google sells their Nexus devices at basically cost.

    From analyzing patterns in Nexus issues, it seems to me that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus had the most problems, the first edition Asus-made Nexus 7 had the second most problems, and the LG-made Nexus 4 had the least problems. Shouldn't we be blaming Samsung, Asus and LG for these issues? Also, as folks have suggested previously in this thread, it's hard to nail down if the volume of issues experienced is any more or less than is typical than for any piece of advanced technology. If you held my feet to the fire, I would probably say the Galaxy Nexus had some QC issues that exceeded the nominal threshold, but the other devices were fairly typical.

    I will lastly add that I have the new Nexus 5 and am happy with it, and am growing to really love it. I will be sharing a quick review sometime this week.
  17. akhenax
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    akhenax Well-Known Member

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    I look forward to your review, especially your analysis of the LCD display light bleeding I've heard about.
  18. pc747
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    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

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    Good point and yes that was my point in questioning whether those manufacturers are slacking on quality control because it is not their high end brand but making it for google. The galaxy nexus was probably the worst nexus device and though it was Google's first LTE device it was not Samsungs.

    I will say that the post above about manufacturers not posting return % does make it hard to determine because I did not take into account (like a member said) that majority of people with problems post it on the forums so with out having a benchmark to go off of it is hard whether to know if there is a real problem or if the people posting are a part of the small percent of a bad batch. 10 our of 10 posting they have an issue does not mean every device coming out of the warehouses are bad those 10 could be 10 out of 1000.
  19. Garemlin
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    Garemlin Developer Relations

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    My Nexus ownership has been pretty limited. My experiences:

    Galaxy Nexus: Went through three before finally giving up completely on it. Every one was plagued with miserable data and wifi reception. I lay fault on Samsung. Because I did give the SIII a go and had the same issues.

    Nexus 7 (2012): Bought two near launch. One had the creaking screen and the other had major edge bleed. Took both back for an exchange. Next two were solid. Both had very minor edge bleed but it was nothing too distracting. Other than that they both ran strong for over a year before I sold them.

    Nexus 7 (2013): Bought one but took it back a few days later because I didn't think I really wanted another tablet. Didn't have any issues i the short time I had it. Discovered I missed having one so I bought it again. Haven't had this one for very long so can't give long term judgement. But so far I have had a few instances of random reboots and the touch screen can be finicky at times. Especially doing functions that require long press. I'm debating on taking it back and trying another.

    I currently have an LG G2 on VZW and am considering leaving VZW in Feburary when my contract is up. My first choice was gonna be grab a Nexus 5 and go with Straight Talk. So I will be watching the quality issues very closely.
  20. AECRADIO
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