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Nexus 5: common problems and how to fix them

Loie Favre

Though the Nexus 5 is Google’s flagship and a great smartphone, users are still running into a few problems. Today, we’ll discuss what these are and offer some suitable solutions to get you out of your Nexus rut.

nexus5 camila
 © androidPIT

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.


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.

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© 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.
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© 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


  • 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.
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 © 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

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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.


  • 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.
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© 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. 


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Related Topics

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Write new comment:
  • Sander Schaeffer 10 months ago Link

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

    • Nathan Yang 10 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.

  • Clive 10 months ago 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?

  • Dakota Simpson 10 months ago 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

  • Dhruv Kumar 9 months ago Link

    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

  • Vinay8484 9 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.