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Nexus 5 battery tips: 6 to make your charge last longer

Scott Adam Gordon

The Nexus 5 has never been known for the quality of its battery, and it's seen its fair share of problems in the past. As the device is well over a year old now, a few battery life issues may have started creeping up on it. If you've ever asked yourself "why does my Nexus 5 run out of battery so quickly?" then you have come to the right place. Here you'll find our top Nexus 5 battery tips to keep your device performing at its best. 

androidpit nexus 5 usb 353
Check out our Nexus 5 battery tips to help you get the most out of your handset. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. Turn off "adaptive brightness"

It should come as no surprise that the display is the biggest source of battery drain on the Nexus 5 - a quick look in Settings > Battery should tell you this. You might think that a solution is to have your battery constantly adjust for optimal brightness, but the reality is that the Nexus 5's light sensor is nowhere near sophisticated enough to adapt effectively. Instead, it is far better to use the lowest brightness setting that is comfortable for you. This will often be lower than what the Nexus 5 adjusts to automatically. 

androidpit nexus 5 battery tips adaptive brightness
Go to settings > display > untick "adaptive brightness" and set the brightness level yourself. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Set "sleep" to the lowest number possible

As your phone display is often the biggest battery drainer, switching your screen off will certainly improve battery life. Ideally your phone display would turn off whenever you aren't looking at it, but this is yet to be a properly functioning reality. Instead of leaving your screen on for 5 minutes after you stop playing with your handset, make sure it's awake for the shortest amount of time possible. Try setting it to 15 seconds for maximum benefit - your battery will thank you for it later.  

androidpit nexus 5 battery tips sleep
Go to settings > display > tap "sleep" and then set it to the lowest number you are comfortable with. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Turn on Battery Saver

The Nexus 5 Battery Saver function is a one-stop-shop for saving juice. Unlike the battery-saving features on Samsung's TouchWiz or Sony's Xperia UI – the stock Android one-tap solution provides an instant improvement to battery life. The cost of this, however, is that a number of functions are limited, such as the ability for the Nexus 5 to vibrate, or sync your accounts effectively. Having to open your email manually to check your email might be a small price to pay for a longer-lasting handset.

androidpit nexus 5 battery tips battery saver
Go to settings > battery > tap the 3 dots (options) button at the top right of the page > battery saver > tap "on". / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Keep your Nexus up to date

With the exception of the odd battery-nerfing bug, Android updates usually mean better battery life. By just having Android 5.0 Lollipop on your device, Google says that you extend your device's battery life by an additional 10 percent, so it's worth checking regularly for the big L update if you haven't got it yet. Go to Settings, 'About phone', and finally to 'System updates'; if there's an update available, your Nexus 5 will let you know. 

androidpit nexus 5 battery tips update
Go to settings > about phone > system updates > tap "check of update". / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Turn off Bluetooth and Location

All of the above features can have an adverse effect on your overall battery life. Bluetooth especially should never be kept running when you're not directly using it. Location is a little trickier because it is used for a number of apps and services. Turn it off, and if you are rarely/never asked to switch it back on, you will know you have made the right choice. 

androidpit nexus 5 battery tips nfc bluetooth location
Go to your quick settings and tap Bluetooth and Location so that they are no longer highlighted. You can also enable Airplane mode for extended battery life when you aren't worried about calling, messaging or internet. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Choose a static wallpaper, and limit your number of widgets

Animated wallpapers may look sexy, but they're not energy-efficient. Choose a dark static wallpaper for best results. While you're at it, make sure the number widgets in operation is as low as possible. Each widget you use will be updated in the background and this is something that will silently take the life out of your handset. Limit your widgets, people. 

What's your favorite tip for saving battery life on the Nexus 5? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • Vitor 2 months ago Link

    I suggest using greenify (app) to hibernate apps once the screen is off.
    It helps me save some juice and get thru the day.

  • humulos 2 months ago Link

    Please so not spread misinformation. Disabling NFC does not have any noticeable effect on battery life, and would only make the phone less useful. The only time it has an effect is when you actually use it, which you are never actively using NFC, it is a quick tap function.

    • Gavin Ayling 2 months ago Link

      Surely it has some minor effect and if people have no NFC devices or needs it's better off?

    • Stinky 2 months ago Link

      It would be great to hear the basis for your claim that enabling NFC comes at negligible energy cost. My Nexus 5, when NFC is enabled, offers me a choice of tag-reading applications when it comes in proximity with a tag. To me, that says that the phone is creating a field and continuously monitoring, and that can't be free, though I don't know the magnitude of the cost. What part of that is wrong?

  • Adam Fairhurst 2 months ago Link

    Why bother buying a smartphone if you don't use its smart features?

    • Scott Adam Gordon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 months ago Link

      Yeah true, I don't want to give up a fancy background - it's one of my favorite things. It's just some ideas. Do you have any suggestions for people who don't want to try any of the solutions above? :D

      • 2WYCE 2 months ago Link

        Turn the phone off when you're not using it. Turn it back on if you need to do anything and respond to the people who left/sent messages (if you feel like it). Then turn it back off.

      • Mike Terry 2 months ago Link

        I wrote a live wallpaper a WHILE back (based on the ICS boot animation), that doesn't really drain your battery at all. (I just did it at home, and submitted it to xda, to show that live wallpapers don't have to be big, bloated, or connected to any spyware at all.) So it's VERY simply coded, with a VERY simple interface.
        If you'd like a link to a page that demonstrates it, where there's a download link there for it, just send me a message to 832 - 724 - 4567 , or email me at, and I'll send you a link to a review page of it, where there's a download link. (Android PIT won't allow new members to post url's for some reason.)

      • Mike Terry 2 months ago Link

        I'm gonna try and get around that rule by using spaces: ht tp : // goo . gl / Sgui9H

  • Czacha234 2 months ago Link

    7. Switch off all the smartphone features and let it be just the "phone" and battery will last for 2days.