Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Update: Impressions and Performance

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update is currently rolling out to owners of the former flagship and today we want to take a initial look at how the update is performing on the Nexus 5. This is our early Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop review.

Back in April, Google confirmed a new Android 5.1.1 update release for its stable of Nexus smartphones and tablets. The update followed in the footsteps of Android 5.1, an update that delivered new features, bug fixes and problems to owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and others.

The Android 5.1.1 update isn’t as big as Android 5.1 but it’s still important because of the critical bug fixes it has on board. It fixes a number of problems including a pesky issue with the Nexus 5’s camera application.

Google’s Android 5.1.1 roll out has been extremely slow but it’s finally starting to pick up speed as we push deeper into May towards June and the summer. Last week, the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update finally arrived and the update is currently rolling out to Nexus 5 users all over the world including here in the United States.


The Nexus 5 Android 5.1 update was problematic for many Nexus 5 users, myself included. In the weeks after the Android 5.1 update, I outlined the problems that I was having with the software (random reboots, app crashes) and my experience was a mirror image of the experience many other Nexus 5 users were having. And that’s precisely why I was extremely excited to finally get Android 5.1.1 up and running on my version of the Nexus 5.

I’ve spent some time with Google’s Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update and today I want to share my initial feedback with fellow Nexus 5 users. These are my first impressions of Google’s Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update, an incremental update but one that comes with potential to both help, and hurt, performance on Google’s former flagship.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Installation

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 roll out has been extremely slow. While it started pushing out last week, I’ve only seen a handful of people claim to have actually seen the OTA update. Normally, I like to wait for the OTA update to emerge so that I can relay feedback about the process but this time I went ahead and installed the factory images using our detailed instructions.

It took me a little bit to get the software up and running because as I said, I normally wait for the OTA to arrive before installing. That said, the instructions worked to perfection and I was able to get the update on board within an hour. The Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update is extremely small so if you have a fast connection and some knowledge about sideloading, it probably won’t take you a long time either.

I only recommend this route if you’re patient. It’s far more involved than clicking download and install. That said, if you were dealing with the same problems I was dealing with in Android 5.1, skipping the OTA is probably going to be worth it. It could be several days or even a week or more before Google gets this update rolled out to everyone.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Performance

I’ve spent a few days with the official version of the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update. Before getting into my initial impressions of Android 5.1.1, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do.

So, consider this your general guide as you try to decide whether Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is worth installing on your Nexus 5 right now. Remember, you don’t need to install it the second it pops up on your phone and there are some valid reasons why you might want to hold off on day one. I took my unusual approach because of the reboots and crashes I was having on Android 5.1.


When I first got Android 5.1 on board, my apps were working fine. As the days went on though, some of my more memory intensive applications including Play Music started to crash pretty often. And that’s precisely when I discovered the Android 5.1 memory leak problem that plagued many Nexus users, not just owners of the Nexus 5. I also saw the usual handful of crashes in Facebook, Twitter and Chrome but that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Nexus 5-Best-Cheap-Phone-June 2014

I’ve been using Android 5.1.1 for a few days now and so far, I haven’t run into any problems with my applications, Play Music included. Essential applications like YouTube, Twitter and others are all behaving with Android 5.1.1 on board though again, my luck could change today, tomorrow or the next day, With apps, you can never tell.

If you are dealing with app problems on Android 5.1.1 or below, here’s some advice. Keep your applications updated. If you’re still noticing issues after the latest update, try reinstalling the application. That’s worked for me in the past. You can also try clearing the data and cache in the apps that are giving you problems. If none of that works, get in contact with the developer and pass the issue along.

Battery Life

Android 5.1, like all Android updates, caused battery life problems for Nexus 5 users. And while Nexus 5 owners complained about abnormal battery drain and charging issues in the weeks after the Android 5.1 release, I never saw any of those problems on my version of the Nexus 5. Nexus 5 battery life has never been amazing but it held up after Android 5.1.

Thus far, I haven’t noticed anything out of ordinary. I’ve been using my Nexus 5 more than usual in an effort to test Android 5.1.1 and it’s performing as well as it was with Android 5.1 on board. It’s able to hold a good charge during heavy use and I haven’t noticed any problems when it’s sitting in standby mode.



Also interesting is the fact that I haven’t seen the usual smattering of Nexus 5 battery life complaints after Android 5.1.1. There are a few but they’re nowhere near as loud as they were after Android 5.1. That could be a product of Android 5.1.1 or it might simply be because of the Nexus 5’s slow Android 5.1.1 deployment. A lot of people are still waiting for the update which means that there is a whole lot of potential for problems.

I’ve been pretty proactive in the weeks since Android 5.1.1’s release and I recently put together a list of tips that could help those of you suffering from bad Nexus 5 battery life after installing Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Like all fixes, these aren’t guaranteed to work, but they are a great starting point for those of you that are noticing some oddities after making the switch to Google’s latest update.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

I never had any problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or LTE with Android 5.1 on the Nexus 5 though I did hear about problems with Wi-Fi, cellular data and Bluetooth. These are common problems after Android updates and I guess I should consider myself lucky.

So far, I haven’t seen any of those problems on my Nexus 5. It connects to AT&T’s LTE network when it should and that came in handy over the long weekend when I needed a backup phone.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both fine. I’ve connected to several different Bluetooth speakers and a headset without any problems. I’ve also been able to pair the device with several different Wi-Fi networks/routers without any problems. In other words, par for the course.

Like app issues, connectivity issues can pop up at any time. So if you do happen to encounter problems with connectivity, and I have no doubt that some of you will, take a look at our list of fixes. They will be a great starting point though I definitely recommend pulling in fixes from other sites and Nexus 5 users as well.

Bugs & Issues

With Android 5.1 on board, I saw an uptick in random reboots. I noticed a few on Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.0 Lollipop but they weren’t as frequent. I wasn’t alone. This was a big problem for Nexus 5 users and for Google and that’s why I’m so pleased with how Android 5.1.1 has turned out. At least thus far.

I haven’t had a single random reboot with Android 5.1.1 on board. It’s a small sample of a few days, I know, but it’s a good sign nonetheless. It’s also worth mentioning that I haven’t seen any widespread complaints about random reboots in the days since the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 roll out began. So, maybe Google finally got this right. Only time will tell.


There are Android 5.1.1 problems but I haven’t seen any. At least not yet. Smaller issues are extremely hard to track down in the early goings so there’s a chance that I run into something as the days go on. Larger issues are typically a lot easier to spot and so far I haven’t seen anything jump off the page.

Android 5.1.1 feels very stable on my Nexus 5 and that’s really all I was hoping for. Android 5.1 was a disaster on my device.

If you’re concerned about Android 5.1.1 Lollipop bugs and problems, head to Google’s Nexus Help Forum. That’s where Nexus 5 users will go to complain if they encounter a serious problem or one that’s isolated to their device. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to dig.

You’ll also want to consult our list of common Android 5.1.1 problems. I’ve listed a number of potential fixes there that I think you’ll want to take a look, especially if you haven’t installed Android 5.1.1 yet. This way, you’ll be prepared for any bugs or issues that come your way.

You always assume some risk installing new Android software and Android 5.1.1 is no different. Prepare yourself, and your device, and you might come out of it unscathed.


The Nexus 5 is still fast with Android 5.1.1 on board. I haven’t seen any problems with lag or sluggishness and I haven’t seen animations or transitions hang. The UI feels fluid and snappy and I’m hopeful that it stays this way.

Should You Install the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Update?

Android 5.1.1 has worked out well for me though that’s after only a few days. Bugs and issues can pop up at any time. That said, if you’re experiencing major issues on Android 5.1, I think it’s probably worth a shot at this point. I haven’t seen any reboots and it appears to be very stable.

Nexus 5

If you aren’t having any problems on Android 5.1 or below, my advice is to wait a few more days. Google’s roll out should pick up steam soon which means that you’ll be able to gather more feedback from Nexus 5 users. Appearances can certainly be deceiving when it comes to Android updates so take your time.