Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

Last week, Google started rolling out a Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update to replace the device’s Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update. Android 5.1 Lollipop is a substantial upgrade for Nexus smartphones and tablets and today, we want to take a look at five things you need to know about Google’s Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update.

In November, Google pushed out an Android 5.0 Lollipop update that brought new features, enhancements and fixes to Nexus smartphone and tablet users. Unfortunately, Android 5.0 Lollipop was also riddled with problems and Nexus users started to complain almost immediately after the start of the initial Lollipop roll out.


Slowly but surely, Google’s started to fix some of these Lollipop problems. First, the company rolled out an Android 5.0.1 update to select Nexus devices. Then, it rolled out an Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to some Nexus devices. Google’s former flagship, the Nexus 5, remained on Android 5.0.1 Lollipop until last week when Google rolled out a massive bug fix update for Nexus devices.


Android 5.1 Lollipop is here to replace the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop updates. The update was first posted last Monday shortly after Apple’s iOS 8.2 roll out for iPhone and it’s rolling out to select Nexus devices including the Nexus 5.


The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update is the biggest update since Android 5.0 Lollipop’s arrival and it could be the update that serves as the bridge between Lollipop and whatever Google is cooking up next. That, and its bug fixes for Nexus 5 problems, make it an extremely important update for Google’s aging smartphone.


Today, we want to take a look at what we think Nexus 5 users need to know about their Android 5.1 Lollipop update. This will cover some brief initial impressions, Android 5.1 Lollipop problems and some of the features that Nexus 5 users can expect from their OTA update. Here’s what you Nexus 5 users need to know about your latest upgrade from Google.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update Rolling Out Slow

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update started rolling out last week and from what we can tell, it’s moving out extremely slowly to Google’s Nexus 5 variants all over the world. We still haven’t seen the OTA roll out for one of our Nexus 5 variants and we’ve spoken to several other Nexus 5 users who are still trapped on Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Google’s slow roll out doesn’t come as too much of a surprise.

This is how Google OTAs work. If you’ve owned the Nexus 5 for a year or more, or if you’ve owned a Nexus device before, you should know that. If you’re new to the game, note that Google’s roll outs can take up to two weeks to complete. Google’s monitoring the update for issues and if everything is good, we should see the pace start to pick up this week.  The roll outs are also unpredictable and random so there’s no telling when it might land for your version of the Nexus 5.

The only thing you can do as a Nexus 5 user is sit back, check a couple of times a day and wait for the prompt. Well that is if you don’t want to install the update yourself.


You Can Get the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update Right Now

If you want to, you can install the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update right now. The proper file has been found lurking on Google’s servers which means that those who are familiar with the sideloading process can now upgrade the Nexus 5 ahead of the OTA.

If you are familiar with the process, the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update file can be found here. If you are not familiar with the process, note that link and take a look at our detailed step-by-step instructions.


Again, only seasoned Nexus users should attempt to do this. Sideloading has been known to cause issues on the Nexus 5 and other Nexus smartphones and tablets if the process isn’t done correctly.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update Features

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update comes with a number of fixes for Lollipop problems. It also comes with a number of enhancements for Android features.


Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop features include new animations, the new Bluetooth and Wi-Fi quick settings in the pull down menu, separate media and volume controls, and more. This Android 5.1 Lollipop change log, unearthed by Al Sutton and Android Police, will give you some idea about the Android 5.1 Lollipop update and its size.

The point is, this is more than your standard bug fix update for the Nexus 5 and it’s going to deliver some significant changes. Dig into these changes before you install the software so that these changes are foreign to you after the OTA arrives for your phone.

Quick Impressions

Nexus 5 users that have already downloaded the Android 5.1 Lollipop update and OTA are posting their impressions to the Nexus Help Forum. The thread is rather lengthy but it’s a great place to start if you’re not familiar with the Android 5.1 update for Nexus 5 or Google’s other Nexus smartphones and tablets. Many of the comments are negative but there are some users reporting a solid experience after the jump.



We’ve gotten the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update on a few of our models as well and thus far, the experience has actually been very solid. Battery life is holding up nicely, connectivity (LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) is stable, the Nexus 5 is very fast and smooth, and we haven’t encountered any major issues. At least not yet. We’ve only had the software on board for a few hours.

We’re going to spend a little more time with the software before we offer our initial first impressions but so far, the update is looking good. That doesn’t mean that you should install it right now though.

Android 5.1 Problems

Android 5.1 Lollipop comes with fixes for Android Lollipop problems but it appears that Android 5.1 is causing some problems of its own. Nexus 5 users are complaining about several different Android 5.1 Lollipop problems including battery drain, cellular connectivity issues, Bluetooth problems, random reboots, and more.

It’s worth noting that an Android 5.1 Lollipop memory leak problem, the one that’s causing some of these crashes, has been fixed by Google. Problem is, it’s not clear when the company is planning to roll the fix out.

Nexus 5 users will want to proceed to the Android 5.1 Lollipop update and OTA with caution and gather as much feedback as humanly possible before making the jump from Android 5.0.1 or below. Especially if the Nexus 5 is working fine on older software. Android 5.1 Lollipop comes with a ton of benefits for the Nexus 5 but there’s also the potential for trouble.

Prepare your device for its arrival and have a look at these tips before installing.