Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update: Impressions & Performance

The Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update isn’t new, but it finally arrived on our Nexus 4 after months of waiting and trying to figure out why the device would not find the update. In the end we didn’t need to manually install the Android 5.0.1 update on this aging device, but we did have to go out of our way to make it show up.

After an unpleasant experience with the Nexus 7 2012 Android 5.0.2 update, we are testing this update to see how it handles. This is our early Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 review, with further updates to come as we use this update more in-depth.

During the long wait I tested the Android 5.0.2 update on the Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 and the Nexus 5, but this weekend was the first time I could try the Android 5.0.1 update on the Nexus 4. There is no Nexus 4 Android 5.0.2 update at this time.

Here is what you need to know about the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update.

Here is what you need to know about the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update.

Coming from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop is a major change on the Nexus 4. The new Material Design changes the look of the Nexus 4 software dramatically, offering a new look and feel to an old device. There is more to the update than just looks, including new notifications, support for a guest mode and many other changes.

This early Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 review takes a closer look at the performance of this update on this device specifically. The goal is to help you decide if you should install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 on your device. Thankfully you can also downgrade from Android 5.0 if you don’t like the update.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Installation

The Nexus 4 could not find the Android 5.0.1 update for months. The check for update screen repeatedly showed an old date, possibly due to a trick we tried long ago to force a check for updates. Eventually we had to perform a factory reset before the Nexus 4 discovered the update. If that failed we were prepared to manually update.

Once the Nexus 4 finally discovered the Android 5.0.1 update we still had to wait a long time to install due to a very slow charge, that took close to three days to fully charge the device. If you don’t have either of these problems the Nexus 4 installation should be smooth.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Performance

Major updates can take a toll on the performance of older devices, but so far Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 performance is promising. The apps, services, accessories and networks we connect to will cause some variations in performance, so your experience may vary slightly.

After updating the Nexus 4 to Android 5.0.1 I spent the weekend using the device to see how it handles the new software. Here is what you need to know about the important areas of performance after the update.

Apps

Apps work well on the Nexus 4 with Android 5.0.1 installed.

Apps work well on the Nexus 4 with Android 5.0.1 installed.

The stock Android apps all work fine after installing this update. I linked a Gmail account and signed into the Facebook app without any problems. I don’t normally use Netflix on a small device like this, but it is installed and works without any problems.

Users who experience an app problem on the Nexus 4 after upgrading from Android 4.4 to Android 5.0.1 should update all apps and pay attention to any prompts to approve Google Play Services.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Battery Life

After installing the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update the battery life seems about on par with Android 4.4 KitKat. It’s not clear if there is still a slow charging problem, as that was a sporadic problem before the update. I will test this out over the next week. The Android 5.0.1 battery life estimation only estimates about 20 hours of use on a charge and so far while using mainly WiFi and web browsing the battery dropped 10% in about an hour and a half.

WiFi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

The Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update performance is good.

The Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update connectivity is good.

WiFi and Bluetooth work great after installing the update. I am able to connect to home WiFi and to a personal hotspot on another device. Bluetooth headphones pair easily to the Nexus 4 without any problems.

This is not a device I normally use with a cellular network so I had to switch an AT&T SIM to the device to test this. It took longer than expected, and two restarts to get connected to T&T 3G networks, but this may be due to swapping SIM cards and might not happen if you use this device daily.

Bugs & Issues

The biggest bug I experienced was the problem finding the Android 5.0.1 update with the device. This may not be an issue for every user, but if you run into it you may need to manually upgrade or perform a factory reset. The only other issue was stubbornness connecting to AT&T networks. After two restarts the device started working. If you run into issues, here is a list of 10 common Nexus Android 5.0.1 problems and how to fix them.

Speed

The speed of the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update is surprisingly good. This is an old smartphone, but it feels almost as fast as on the Nexus 5. It is a far cry from the slow Nexus 7 2012 performance. Opening multitasking is just a little slower than the Nexus 5, and if I did not have the devices next to each other I would have trouble telling that it was slower. The Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 performance is snappy, especially for such an old device.

Should You Install the Android 5.0.1 Update on the Nexus 4?

Most users can go ahead and install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update.

Most users can go ahead and install the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update.

Over the next week I will test the Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 update further, but after a promising weekend of use it is shaping up to deliver good performance. If you are hesitant, you can wait for our final review, but with an option to downgrade many users can go ahead and install the Android 5.0.1 update on the Nexus 4 today.

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 Walkthrough: What’s New in Lollipop

Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

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Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 - Lockscreen

 With Android 5.0 Lollipop Google has slightly improved the lockscreen. There's now a shortcut to the dialer by swiping left to right, and notifications are more useful and interactive. Shown right on the lockscreen they can be swiped away, slide down to expand, or double tap to instantly unlock right into that app or notification. Everything is simple and smooth, and we still have full-screen album artwork on the lockscreen while playing music.

The quick shortcuts and improved notifications will come in handy for all users.

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