The Nexus 5 was released on October 31 in a surprise Halloween launch. Since then the first batch of the new Google device has shipped to consumers. User reception of the Nexus 5 has been largely positive, but like any newly released device there are hardware and software issues related to the new smartphone. The 5 main problems being reported are related to the Nexus 5 battery life and rapid battery drain, Nexus 5 tethering problems for T-Mobile, Nexus 5 wi-fi connection problems, Nexus 5 overheating problems and a problem with the Nexus 5 speaker and microphone. We have compiled these issues along with how they can be fixed, if fixes are available.
Nexus 5 Battery Problem
The Nexus 5 unfortunately has an underpowered 2,300mAh battery which drains fairly quickly from just regular to moderate usage. The biggest culprit of the rapid battery drain is the screen, the auto-brightness settings on the Nexus 5 make the screen very bright resulting in the screen taking 60% or more of the battery life. Many users have reported having to charge the Nexus 5 twice just to get a full day of usage out of it. Oddly there have been a large number of divergent claims about the Nexus 5 battery life. Some users have reported managing to handily coax 6 hours of heavy usage and 12 hours of light usage out of the Nexus 5.
Other users have reported being quite satisfied with the Nexus 5 battery. PhonesArena reported 4 hours and 50 minutes of battery life for the Nexus 5 in their standardized test. That's not even a full work day and is 15% less than the HTC One which has the same sized battery as the Nexus 5. It's notably smaller than the 3,000mAh battery on the LG G2 and on par with devices like the iPhone 5s, Sony Xperia Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The Nexus 5 Battery Fix:
There are a number of methods to extend the Nexus 5 battery life. The easiest method for the average user is modifying auto-brightness manually. A lower brightness setting will cut down on the power the screen consumes. Another option for people that want to retain the auto-brightness setting is Lux, an app on the Google Play Store. On top of that the Xdadevelopers forum has a screen dimmer module available.
The Nexus 5 battery life problems can also be reduced by using the GPS in battery saving mode. Go to settingsàLocationàMode and use battery saver for GPS rather than high accuracy. Naturally the consequence is that the GPS accuracy will be slightly diminished but it's generally still fairly accurate even though it minimizes the reference points used to ascertain location. Aside from that naturally turn off things like mobile data when you're on the subway and don't want to use it since it can be a big power hog. Set it so updates are only done with Wi-Fi. Turn off Wi-Fi when you are in a place where you see your phone is constantly searching for Wi-Fi networks. Turn off Bluetooth, NFC and Android Beam when you're not using them under SettingsàMoreàWireless Networks.
Several further Nexus 5 features you can disable to help conserve battery life is you can turn off the always-listening "Ok Google" feature. Go to Google NowàSettingsàVoice and disable Hotword Detection. This should result in a significant improvement for battery life. The same goes for auto-syncing. Whenever you take a picture and you have auto-back up and are logged into Google Now your photos will automatically be uploaded. Many users have noticed that using the Nexus 5 camera can seriously drain the battery. One possible fix for this is to go to the Gallery appàSettings and disable Google Photo sync.
For Nexus 5 users who know what they are doing there is a potential solution by a new beta Kernel that has been released by Paul Reioux which Reddit users claim saves battery life to a large degree, "You can request access to become a beta tester at the Faux Kernel Beta Testing G+ Community or wait until it comes out as stable. The current beta is rock solid and I've only encountered 1 problem with Facebook freezing which may or may not be kernel related."
Nexus 5 Tethering Problem (T-Mobile)
Some users have reported that the Nexus 5 has problems when it comes to tethering when using T-Mobile. A Reddit user reported that all the methods used for tethering a Nexus 4 have been blocked when using the Nexus 5 on the T-Mobile 100 minute/5GB $30/month pre-paid plan:
-Wifi Hotspot with VPN on tethered device
-Bluetooth Tethering with VPN on tethered device
All blocked...tried both Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 as tethered device.
Other users went on to confirm that when attempting to tether while on the $30 pre-paid plan they were re-directed to the T-Mobile login page. It seems that this problem may be specific to the T-Mobile $30 prepaid plan, another user said that he didn't have a problem tethering his Nexus 5 unrooted on a $60/month T-Mobile plan. The same is true for the T-Mobile $70/month plan. The cause of these problems seem to be related to a T-Mobile policy,"Top of Form T-Mobile recently added some data roaming and tethering to all plans $50 and higher so you're fine (I think on the $60 plan you get like 200mb of data roaming and 2.5 gigs of tethering). People on the $30 plan will have to add $15 per month for tethering, however."Bottom of Form
The Nexus 5 Tethering Fix:
I have the T-mobile $30 unlimited prepaid plan and I ran into the tethering block after getting my Nexus 5.
I was able to work around the issue by modifying the following sqlite database (you'll need root):
You need to add a new entry to the global table called "tether_dun_required" with a value of 0.
It looks like you need to do this because some configuration data was added to Android for T-mobile that forwards tethered data to this APN: pcweb.tmobile.com
T-mobile is probably checking to see if your account has tethering enabled when you go through this APN.
After I made this change I also needed to change my APN settings so that it uses ipv4 instead of ipv6. It seems like tethering with ipv6 does not work 100% yet.
I hope this helps.
Nexus 5 Wi-Fi Connection Problem
The Nexus 5 Wi-Fi Fi connection problem has been widely reported in the Google products forum. Several users have reported trouble with connecting to thinks like Facebook and Hangouts. A video has also been posted on YouTube depicting the problem:
Hi, I received yesterday my nexus 5, and i regularly experience a problem: when I leave a wifi network and reach a place when another one (already known to the system) is available, the phone fails to connect.
Even worse, if I force a connection, it tries (stays in "connecting"), and then puts back the network to "inactive" (it is "disattivata" in italian, don't know the precise word you would get in english).
Solution is to to go airplane mode and back, and then everything works automatically.
Is it a known problem? Any solution?
The official Google response has been the following for the Nexus 5 Wi-Fi problem:
Try starting your device in safe mode (instructions and info here) and not running any apps, and then moving between wifi networks, you've installed to test if one of them is causing the problem. If you don't experience the problem while in safe mode that's a good indication that an app you've installed is the source of your issue.
I love the community sleuthing here -- great stuff!
It sounds like a few of you have had success resetting your phones, then not restoring from backup when you set up again.
If you're still experiencing this problem, try going to Settings > Wifi > your network name and select Forget. Then re-add the network, and check and see if it stays connected as you would expect it to.
I also recommend, if you have access to the wifi router where you're having trouble connecting, consulting its manual and double-check that you have its security settings set up correctly. Also, I suggest that you follow the manufacturer's instructions for updating the wifi router's firmware (the software that the wifi station uses to run itself) to the most up-to-date version.
Nexus 5 Wi-Fi Connection Fix:
Aside from the airplane mode solution, other users suggested several fixes that worked for them:
Called google and within 2 min of explaining issue they said to either do factory restore or just return it, I chose to return it. I'm very disappointed that Google didn't even acknowledge the issues, hopefully for everyone else they will fix this at some point but I just couldn't wait.
One other potential solution reported on the Google products forum has been the following:
The problem has been solved on my device and now the phone connects normally to any WIFI network.
The steps followed:
- deleted any unnecessary stored WIFI settings (i.e. wifi networks for hostels, restaurants, etc.)
- deleted data from Google Search app (go to Settings/Apps/ALL/Google Search then click "Clear Data" - be careful, all your short-cuts/icons/widget on your home screen will reset to default)
Would be good to find out if it works for you :)
Nexus 5 Overheating Problem
Several users have found that the Nexus 5 has a problem where it overheats rapidly particularly when playing RAM intensive games like Dead Trigger. Of course a certain degree of heating is to be expected with any device, particularly when using it for intensive tasks. For most users the heating is natural but some users in the Google product forums have reported a dangerous level of heating for their devices:
had a problem this morning, when i woke up i noticed that my Nexus 5 was freakishly overheated(left on charge overnight), over 50C easily, i quickly took it off charging and switched off so it could cool off. when i switched it back on after few minutes the battery was showing just 30% charge. Any ideas on what caused the overheat? How bad is it? How to avoid it? Is it fixable? Is it a defect?
Another user reported an even worse situation with the Nexus 5:
Now I have some screen shots to highlight the problem.
The battery is definately overheating. Mine peaked around 60 degrees centigrade before I disconnected. The screen shot shows it at 54.
When Waze and Daily Roads were turned off, all was well some 15 minutes later.
If Google are tracking this - this drain was with a 2500ma 12V USB powersource connected.
The second screen shows the discharge occurred while still on charge.
These get so hot, surely phones in flames are a real risk.
My phone peaked at 60 degress centigrade.
This is a dangerous temperature.
The contact time to cause a burn on a child at this level is 5 seconds.
Date Sourced here
Secondly, it is connected to a 2000ma external power supply.
The battery simply shouldn't be discharging.
The Nexus 5 Overheating Fix:
There is currently no known fix for them. Some level of heating up of the Nexus 5 when playing games, taking pictures and other intensive tasks should be expected. If the device is becoming hot enough to burn people without it being used for intensive tasks then it is likely a hardware defect with the battery. Some Nexus 5's in any production batch will be defective, in that case Google should be contacted for a replacement Nexus 5.
Nexus 5 Speaker/Microphone Problem
The Nexus 5 speaker problem was first reported at Android Central. It has been found that the Nexus 5 with only one speaker can vary from good quality to very bad quality. PhonesReview explained the wide degree of variation found, "Certain things can sound like its coming from within a cave with the sound bouncing around sounding like it's trying to escape. Spoken word audio highlights the problem as well as local file playback also being bad causing echo and distortion."
The Android Central user reported:
Hey guys, I just got my nexus 5 yesterday. Everything is fantastic besides one thing, the most important thing, making phone calls. When I'm talking on the phone others tell me they cannot hear me. This is odd as I know the nexus 5 is supposed to have a decent mic. Has anyone else had this issue? I even tried to looking for the mic because I thought something was blocking it. I'm guessing the microphone is inside the right speaker grill. Am I wrong.? Can anyone help me with this please? Thank you. Is anyone having the same issue?
The Nexus 5 Speaker/Microphone Fix:
Fortunately Google has officially acknowledged the Nexus 5 speaker problem and promised a fix thought a software update which suggests that the problem is related to some of the audio tweaks made by Android 4.4 KitKat. The good news is that it can probably be fixed without too much difficulty. If the problem persists after that then it is likely a hardware issue.
Some songs can be fine along with phone calls and none of these problems have been recreated on the LG G2, and after emailing Google the website received a reply confirming that the company is aware of the issue and is currently working on a fix for the problem.
The new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system has been treated to a number of new features to the audio system so it's not surprising that there are some small issues to begin with, but at least Google is aware of the problem and is already working on a fix.
Check out our other Nexus 5 articles here: