Nexus 5 Lollipop Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

Last week, Google started rolling out its initial batch of Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop updates including the long awaited Nexus 5 Lollipop update. This is the first major Android update for the Nexus 5, a device that serves as a budget alternative to Google’s Nexus 6. With Google’s Nexus 5 Lollipop release picking up steam, we want to take a look at some of the important things you need to know about the release and the update itself.

Back in October, Google announced a number of new products including a Nexus 6 smartphone from Motorola, a Nexus 9 tablet from HTC, and an Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 5. It also confirmed Android 5.0 Lollipop for its stable of Google Play Edition devices. At the time, the company said that the updates would begin rolling out in the “coming weeks” without elaboration.

Nexus 5 Problem

Earlier this month, Google’s Nexus Android 5.0 Lollipop release date finally arrived for select Nexus users including owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7. The update, one of the biggest in the history of the Android operating system, takes Nexus users from Android 4.4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop and it delivers a number of new features including the update’s new Material Design.

It’s an exciting time to be a Nexus user and more specifically, a Nexus 5 user. Android 5.0 Lollipop represents the first major Android update for the Nexus 5 and it’s a big one. I’ve been using the Nexus 5 for more than a year now, I bought it when it first came out to replace my Galaxy Nexus, and it remains one of my all time favorite smartphones.

Yesterday, after a bit of a wait, Android 5.0 Lollipop showed up in my notifications. After some prep work, I downloaded and installed Google’s brand new Android update, making the big move from Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the first time. With that in mind, I want to take a look at five things I think my fellow Nexus 5 users need to know about the Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update and its release.

Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Rolling Out

The first thing that Nexus 5 users need to know is that the Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update appears to be rolling out in full force. My update appeared at the tail end of the afternoon yesterday and I’ve heard from several other Nexus 5 owners who say that they too got their update yesterday. The timing makes a lot of sense given that it’s been nearly a week since Google started pushing its updates out.


If you haven’t gotten a notification yet, you should go into your Nexus 5’s settings and manually check for the update. Do this a couple of times a day and you should get a prompt in the near future. It’s clear that the update is making a strong push right now and my guess is that if you haven’t received the Android 5.0 update yet, you’ll probably get it soon.

Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop Installation

Apple’s major iOS updates are always a pain to download and install. That’s because the company pushes all of its updates out at the same time, clogging up its servers. Google’s staggered approach might be a lot slower but it’s something I’ve come to appreciate because it typically doesn’t come with the same installation issues.


The Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop file is nearly 500MB in size though the download and installation process was quick and painless. It took just about 19 minutes or so to get the update on board. Now, keep in mind, that was over an extremely fast Wi-Fi connection. I also didn’t have to delete or move any files to free up the 500MB on space it needs to successfully install.

If I were you, I’d wait for the OTA. Many of the Android 5.0 problems we’re seeing come from Nexus users who decided to try and manually install the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Sideloading is great if you know what you’re doing. Problem is, many people don’t. The OTA installation process is fast and straightforward and you’ll get the update on board your Nexus 5 in no time. Just remain patient.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Performance

After using Android 4.4 KitKat for close to a year, I became used to a few things from a performance standpoint. I got very used to the Nexus 5’s speed and reliability. The Nexus 5 has always been a very fast phone and it’s always delivered high quality connectivity. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth especially have always been extremely solid. I also had a pretty good run with applications. I’ve had far more problems on my iPhones. Apps have been very stable on my Nexus 5.

Nexus 5 battery life has always been mediocre. I’ve said it from the beginning and I’ve had a lot of people agree with me. It could have been much better. So, my hope has always been that whatever was next (Android 5.0 Lollipop) would deliver some battery enhancements to shore up one of my biggest complaints about one of the my favorite smartphones ever made.


I’ve had Lollipop on my Nexus 5 for less than 24 hours but so far, the software is treating my Nexus 5 very well. Connectivity is still very strong and reliable (I was able to connect to my Moto 360 with ease, right off the bat), all of my core applications are working properly, and above all, my Nexus 5 is still extremely fast. In fact, Android 5.0 Lollipop feels lighter and faster than Android 4.4 KitKat. It’s smooth and I’ve yet to encounter any sluggishness. That’s huge for an update of this magnitude.

It’s hard to put my finger on battery life right now. It seems good, I’ve been using my Nexus 5 extensively over the past two hours and I’ve dropped down to about 85%, but it’s tough to make a call after a few hours of use. One thing I will say is that I immediately flipped Battery Saver on after getting Android 5.0 Lollipop on board. So far, so good. We’ll see where we’re at in a week though.

Android 5.0 Lollipop Features

Android 5.0 Lollipop delivers a number of new features (battery saver is one of them) to Nexus 5 users and the biggest is probably Google’s new Material Design that changes the look and feel of the Android operating system. Settings, the navigation buttons, Google Now cards, just about everything has a new look to it. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to which is why, in the build up to the Android 5.0 release, I told you to start looking into these changes. A little research has made the transition much easier.

The new lock screen also looks like it’s going to be extremely useful. I’ve definitely toned down the notifications that appear on the home screen (also known as Priority Mode) and I also immediately started responding to messages directly from the screen itself. These are nice little touches that are already growing on me. The new Quick Settings is going to be another feature that I use constantly.


While I haven’t been able to put it through any serious paces yet, the Nexus 5’s camera does seem to get better with all of the new tweaks and features that Google’s delivered with Android 5.0 Lollipop. The camera was one of my least favorite features but Android 5.0 Lollipop and its improvements have filled me with hope.

Android 5.0’s biggest change, for me, has been the design. And while it’s going to take some getting used to, I’ve already started using many of its new features, a testament to Google who clearly focused on features people actually care about: Easy access to heavily used features, battery life, and notifications.

Should You Install Android 5.0 Right Now?

If you’re dealing with major issues on Android 4.4 KitKat, I would consider downloading Android 5.0 Lollipop. In addition to these new features, Android 5.0 Lollipop also comes with a number of bug fixes aimed at shoring up the Android operating system. I didn’t notice a ton of bugs on Android 4.4 but what I can say is that Android 5.0 Lollipop is extremely stable at the moment.

Nexus 5 side

If you’re on Android 4.4 and not experiencing any issues, I would wait a few days to let the smoke settle. Bugs and issues typically crawl out in the days and weeks after an update’s release and if you’re at all nervous, be patient and wait until Friday or so. Android 5.0’s features are great but they aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Remember, you don’t need to install this update right now. In fact, some of you probably shouldn’t install the Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 5. At least not right now.