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Nexus 5: common Lollipop problems and how to fix them

Kris Carlon
12

Though the Nexus 5 continues to be the pocket rocket for many Android fans, it's not without its fair share of bugs, Gremlins and peccadilloes. So we've rounded up the major Android 5.0 and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop problems and their solutions to help you get back on track. And if you simply hate Lolipop, we've added the most common KitKat problems and solutions at the bottom.

nexus 5 back dbrand skin carbon
We love the Nexus 5, but its far from perfect. © ANDROIDPIT

How to fix Nexus 5 Android 5.0.1 Lollipop problems

The solutions below are generally geared towards the latest Android version bugs, but some of them will be perisstant bugs from a slightly older version of Android, like Android 5.0 Lollipop. Generally speaking, the solutions will work no matter which version the problems appear in. But keep in mind that some bugs have been patched in later Android releases, so always make sure you have the latest firmware available for your device. To check, go to Settings > About phone > Software update.

AndroidPIT Android 5 0 Lollipop Wi Fi toggle forget network
Toggling Wi-Fi or airplane mode and forgetting network connections are all potential solutions. © ANDROIDPIT

Wi-Fi and Connectivity issues

This tends to occur on every single Android update ever. For every phone. Every time. The solutions are just as slap-dash and temporary as always too: toggle airplane mode on and off, forget and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network, toggle mobile data on and off, reboot your phone and play around with your Wi-Fi router.

You can also manually switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands, contact your cellular provider for assistance with Access Point Names or back up your whole device, clear the cache partition and then factory reset your Nexus 5 as a last resort. Some third-party apps have been blamed for this issue, and updates to include Lollipop compatibility have apparently solved the issues. But sadly, Wi-Fi connectivity issues are generally a modem problem that only Google can fix properly.

AndroidPIT Android 5 0 Lollipop Wi Fi band
You can also try toggling between Wi-Fi frequencies. © ANDROIDPIT

Random app crashing

Following the Nexus 5 Lollipop update, several readers reported random app crashes on their their device. The main culprit for app issues following an update is the app or system cache. If there's one app in particular causing issues, just go to Settings > Apps and find the app in question. You can now clear that individual app's cache.

If the problem persists, you can go one step further and uninstall and re-install the app, or restart your Nexus 5 in Fastboot Mode (turn it off, then press and hold Power and Volume Down, then use the volume rockers to highlight Recovery Mode) and clear the cache partition before rebooting.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Android 5 0 Lollipop clear app cache
Clearing app cache's (or the system cache) is always a good idea.© ANDROIDPIT

Factory reset bug

Now this one sucked. This particular nastie meant that if you weren't lucky you could get an unexpected factory reset simply because you tapped around on the lock screen of your Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Fortunately this bug has been corrected in Android 5.0.1.

Battery drain issues

What do you know? A battery drain issue following an Android update! Whoever would have thunk it? This problem follows each Android update like day follows night. The simplest solution? Back up your apps and data, install the update and do a factory reset (or vice versa). Then restore your apps and data and enjoy a bug-free Lollipop experience.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Android 5 0 Lollipop battery
Battery drain issues frequently follow Android updates, and just as quickly clear up. © ANDROIDPIT

If the battery sucking persists you can always disable certain power hungry apps or install a battery-monitoring app like Battery Doctor or Juice Defender to see where the problems lie. Sometimes you just need to update to the latest version of Google Play Services, do a quick reboot or factory reset to clear up the problems.

High RAM usage

Another performance bug that is relatively easy to fix is high RAM usage or sluggishness following the update. Again, like the random app crashes, the simplest solution to this problem is to go to Fastboot (turn your Nexus 5 off, then press and hold Power and Volume Down until you see the Fastboot menu, then use the volume buttons to highlight Recovery Mode and press Power to select it) and then wipe the cache partition.

nexus 5 back camera close up
Fancy that...a camera-related bug after an update on the Nexus 5. © ANDROIDPIT

Flashlight bug

Another one to be corrected in the Android 5.0.1 update, this little annoyance meant that if you kept the flashlight on until it timed out, both the flashlight and the camera app wouldn't work until you did a reboot. I wish I could say that Google got on top of this one quickly, but it was around way back in the developer preview.

AndroidPIT Nexcus 5 Android 5 Lollipop silent mode toggle
The simple silent mode app toggles silent mode even in Android Lollipop. © ANDROIDPIT

No silent mode

There's not much you can do about this lack-of-a-feature on the Lollipop side, but as promised previously, one of our awesome community members from AndroidPIT.it has made a nice little silent mode toggle for your Nexus 5 called Silent Mode Lollipop. It's simple and it works right from your notifications shade. 

Decided to stick with Android 4.4 KitKat? Still have problems? Here are those solutions too.


How to fix Nexus 5 problems on Android KitKat

Wi-Fi Connection Problems

This problem doesn’t just plague the Nexus 5, but almost every smartphone after their initial market launch. In order to fix the Wi-Fi connection from dropping or not working at all, we’ve got a few solutions for those users who connect with a router or have reported on slow or laggy connections.

Solutions

Activate airplane mode or deactivate Wi-Fi on your Android, wait a few seconds and then deactivate airplane mode or turn the WiFi back on. You can also reboot your device.

androidpit nexus 5 solutions 1
© AndroidPIT

Other things you can try include:

  • Restart your router
  • In the settings under Android, choose Wireless and Networks and then choose Wi-Fi. Select the connection that is being problematic and remove it from the list. Afterward, connect it again.
  • Change the network frequency, either by changing the settings on your router or Android device. To do this, choose WiFi from in the settings. In the overflow menu, select ‘Advanced’ and then Wi-Fi frequency band. The standard here is automatic, however the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHZ settings could help as well.
androidpit nexus 5 solutions 2
© AndroidPIT

In certain circumstances, your network channel is full which means that too many other networks are connecting to the same one. The app Wi-Fi Analyzer will help you see which channels are available.

Problems with the speakers

The Nexus 5’s speakers are built on the bottom left side, while the microphone is on the right; it doesn’t have stereo speakers. Unfortunately, the audio quality leaves us wanting more, especially when listening to music, watching videos and even playing games. In many cases, the sound is quite muffled or simply just too quiet.

Nexus 5 unboxing microUSB speakers
© AndroidPIT

Solutions

  • The Nexus 5 was delivered with Android 4.4 KitKat and a few sound and speaker problems were resolved with the update to 4.4.1 or 4.4.2. In the settings, you can verify which version of KitKat is currently running your device under About Phone, then System Updates.
  • When using Google Play Music, you might be able to solve the problem by activating the equalizer settings. This could help you to improve the sound quality. According to some users, activating Surround sound also enhances the overall quality.
androidpit nexus 5 solutions 3
 © AndroidPIT
  • This may sound dumb, but when watching movies or playing games on your Nexus 5 in horizontal mode, it often happens that the speaker gets covered. Watch the positioning of your hand and rotate the device 180 degrees.
  • It also might help to try another app in order to see if this improves sound.

Battery and Endurance

BatteryNexus5
© AndroidPIT

The fact is that the Nexus 5 packs a 2,300 mAh battery and though this won’t suffice for many users, there are some problems which can be resolved or improved when tweaking the appropriate settings.

Solutions

  • Make sure you monitor WiFi, Brightness, (live-) wallpapers and display standby settings. With our list of general battery tips, this should help your Nexus 5 last longer.
  • Some apps will often help you manage your battery life better than you can. A good one to try is Battery Doctor, but there are many more out there.
androidpit nexus 5 solutions 4
© AndroidPIT
  • Activate Battery saving mode for Location. To do this, go into your settings and choose Location from the menu. Select Battery saving mode.
  • Problems charging: should your charging cable buzz or vibrate, overheat or not even charge your phone, then it is probably defective. You can also charge your Nexus 5 by connecting it via USB cord to your PC, while defective or damaged chargers should be replaced. 

Overheating

Many users have reported that their Nexus 5 gets warm quite quickly and when playing music or using apps with hi-res graphics, it really heats up.

Solutions

  • After playing a demanding game for quite some time, it might help if you close the app and start your device again, which reduces the strain on your smartphone.
  • Avoid leaving or using your smartphone in direct light from the sun and a lamp as well as heaters. You might not want to leave it in a hot area either, like a car sitting in the sun.
  • While the phone charges, it’s best to not run any apps to keep overheating at bay.
  • If you find that your Nexus 5 also overheats while in sleep mode, there could be a defect. For safety’s sake, try exchanging the device or at least get it checked out by a specialist.

Camera Problems

The Nexus 5 camera has suffered from a whole host of problems, from the dreaded "mm-qcamera-daemon" battery drain issue, to nondescript stutters, lags and crashes. Some of them can be fixed by a quick software update in your settings > about device > software update page. Otherwise, check out our Nexus 5 camera problems and how to fix them article for all of the solutions you may need.

Nexus 5 camera sensor
© AndroidPIT

Rattling buttons and weak vibration

The speaker and power buttons are relatively loose on the Nexus 5, while a little bit of room for movement is completely normal. That being said, a few devices have been delivered with looser than normal buttons. There have also been reports on weak or defective motors which are either too loud or vibrate too softly.

Solutions

  • A case or cover can significantly help fix this problem, since the room for the buttons to move has been significantly reduced.
  • Vibration strength is a matter of taste, however when your Nexus 5 vibrates too much or too little, this could be caused by a faulty processor.
  • In the case of obvious defects, you can try contacting customer service for Google Devices.

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Comments

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  • Sander Schaeffer Jan 22, 2014 Link

    I'm missing the category Gps hardware failures.. Which plague alooooottt of Nexus owners

    1
    • Nathan Yang 11 months ago Link

      Yep. The rattling power button and GPS issues were common in the first batch of Nexus 5's released (mainly those ordered on the first day). Anyone seeing those problems should've RMA'ed their device.

      0
      • Jack Smith 1 week ago Link

        I have (had,now N6) first batch Nexus 5. recived mine a day after release and didn't had ANY problem expect the Google Play Services Battery Drain bug. Only when gps on and this is on all devices i tested!

        0
  • Clive Jan 23, 2014 Link

    And other failures like my Nexus 5 (4.4.2) Bluetooth won't pair with any other devices (hands free car kit, Sony Smartwatch). When is Google going to fix it's failures?

    0
  • Dakota Simpson Jan 25, 2014 Link

    I recently got a N5 from a GNex. Its interesting as I keep reading about battery issues and Ive found my battery life is miles ahead of the old phone. My GNex and my Android phone before that was horrible. Even with minimal use, I could never even get past 2 or 3pm before it died. While the speakers on this phone still aren't great, they are substantially better than the GNex…and Ive found the screen so bright that when Im at home, I have to put it on 3% so it doesnt hurt my eyes. The location battery saver settings seem to work too and I don't find that affecting any apps
    I do keep having problems with the camera and gallery…and I hate Hangouts and the forcing of Google Plus on everything when I don't use it. And don't want people being suggested to me to text when I don't know any of them.
    I also wish they would let GOOGLE NOW work with more than 1 Google account. I have one personal/casual and one professional and thus don't get information with both

    0
  • Dhruv Kumar 10 months ago Link

    Hi,
    I did it , what you told to do for wifi ? still wifi is not working.......can u give me some other tips
    Which should work on Nexus 5 mobile.

    Thanks In Advance
    Dhruv Kumar

    0
  • Vinay8484 10 months ago Link

    I bought it when google started N5 distribution in india. Problem increasing day by day now.
    1- battery drain
    2- Heating issue
    3- speaker less sound
    4- Heating issue
    5- Camera issue . its shows cant open camera app

    I think google should start working on replacement of initial launch devices.

    0
    • Jack Smith 1 week ago Link

      Maybe not all initial devices! My "day after release" Nexus 5 didn't had any hardware problems, my Nexus 6 also :) maybe im lucky or the initial devices in switzerland aren't that buggy?!

      0
  • IShop BD 1 week ago Link

    Very nice post. More discuss this matter welcome to our www.ourschat.blogspot.com

    0
  • Gowdham K 5 days ago Link

    I bought Nexus 5 last month. Right now i am facing issues in cellular network getting dropped frequently. I have choosen LTE (Recommended) in Preffered network option followed my switching off and On my device. But its of no luck. I dont have the APN settings. During the availability of network i have seen the APN settings.

    Is the problem is with my handset or network ? Please advise as i bought it recently only :)

    0
  • Rafael Lucas 5 days ago Link

    And to fix lollipop touch screen issues, which doesn't reponse correctly when is charging?

    0
  • Kim Johansen 18 hours ago Link

    I have this problem that my battery sometimes won't charge fully, even though it is charging all night. Apparently this is only when my original cover is closed. It appears that I when I don't shut my cover during the night it does charge fully. Does anyone else have this issue? What can I do to try and fix it?

    0