Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Review

The Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update is finally starting to make progress and Nexus 5 users around the world are now receiving prompts to download and install Google’s new firmware. With that in mind, we want to take a look at how the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update has been performing on Google’s aging former flagship. This is our Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 review.

In early March, Google announced its Android 5.1 Lollipop update, a follow up to its Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop updates. Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update wasn’t your standard bug fixer and it arrived with new features on top of a laundry list of bug fixes.

Android 5.1 also brought problems to owners of Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets and Nexus 5 users were particularly vocal about the problems plaguing their phone. I was one of them.

Google’s Android 5.1 update didn’t ruin my battery life or destroy my Wi-Fi connection but it did bring some annoying issues to a device that had been working fine on Android 5.0.1. Those issues? App crashes and random reboots, products of a Android 5.1 memory leak problem.

In April, to the relief of many Nexus 5 users, Google confirmed an Android 5.1.1 update. It took several weeks for Google to confirm a Nexus 5 roll out but the roll out is here and it’s finally hitting devices all over the United States and around the world.

Android 5.1.1 is a small bug fix update for the Nexus 5, around 15MB in size, but it comes with some important fixes including one for the device’s camera. It’s an important update and one that many Nexus 5 users have their eyes on as we push into the month of June.

I’ve spent several days with Google’s Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update and today I want to share some thoughts about the update at the one week mark. My goal here is to help you answer this question: Is the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update worth installing? Let’s take a look.

Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Review

Before getting into the review, I want to note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. I probably don’t have the same applications installed and there’s a chance that I use certain apps, games and my device’s home screen more than you do.

Nexus-5-Android-5-1-1

So you need to consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is worth installing on your Nexus 5. I’m one man with one Nexus 5 device. I encourage you to seek out feedback from other Nexus 5 users before making your final decision about whether to install it or not.

Apps

I’ve spent a full week with the Android 5.1.1 update and in the past seven days, I haven’t run into any major issues with the applications I have on board the Nexus 5.

While certain apps were crashing a lot in Android 5.1.1, Play Music for instance, I haven’t noticed any major problems with Android 5.1.1 on board. Play Music has been extremely stable and only Facebook has crashed in the past seven days. My other core apps like Google Chrome, Asana, Slack, Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Twitter are all holding up.

I have 50+ third-party apps installed on the Nexus 5 though my applications are probably not the same as the applications you have on your Nexus 5. That would be weird. So, all I can tell you is, make sure your apps are updated before installing Android 5.1.1 .

You’ll also want to make sure that you take a look at feedback from your fellow Nexus 5 owners, especially if the app is critical to your daily routine.

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Battery Life

I’ve been using the Nexus 5 a lot over the past week and I have yet to notice any major battery drain. As I’ve noted many times, the Nexus 5’s battery life has never been amazing but at least Google hasn’t killed my battery with its Android Lollipop updates. Its been par for the course since November. I’m still able to get close to a full day of use out of the Nexus 5 even during heavy use.

I’m seeing complaints about bad Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 battery life but the problems don’t appear to be widespread. In other words, there’s a good chance that your battery will remain stable after moving to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There’s always some risk involved so you’ll definitely want to dig if you’re at all concerned.

Nexus 5

Remember, it often takes battery life a few days to settle after an Android update. If it doesn’t settle, or if you’re concerned about potential battery life problems. you’ll want to consult our list of fixes for bad Android 5.1.1 battery life. Most of the time, it’s not the Android update causing the problems. Typically, it’s a rogue app or bad habits.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

Android 5.1 and Android 5.1.1 both have caused connectivity problems for some Nexus 5 owners, mainly problems with cellular data, but I didn’t see any after Android 5.1 and I haven’t encountered any issues after installing the Android 5.1.1 update.

Wi-Fi is still fast and stable, I’ve been able to pair the Nexus 5 with an assortment of Bluetooth devices including various speakers and headsets, and AT&T’s LTE network is still fast and reliable when I take the phone out of the house.

Updates like Android 5.1.1 aren’t supposed to break connectivity. So if it does, you’ll want to take a look at our list of fixes for connectivity problems. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to iron out the problem if something does go awry after getting Android 5.1.1 up and running.

Bugs & Issues

Android 5.1 was very unstable on my Nexus 5. Over the course of several weeks, I encountered numerous random reboots where the phone would restart itself for no apparent reason. I wasn’t alone. Android 5.1 has a serious memory leak problem but it appears that Android 5.1.1 has ironed those out, at least on my phone.

I haven’t seen a single random reboot in the seven days that I’ve been using the Nexus 5. That’s a far cry from the week before when I probably saw close to 10 random reboots. I’ve run into random reboots on all of my devices (iPhone, Galaxy S6, etc) but the problems were never that frequent. It was annoying but Android 5.1.1 appears to have fixed the problem on my phone.

Nexus 5 side

Nexus 5 owners were also complaining about an issue where the camera app would crash when trying to access it through a third party application like Facebook. I’ve been trying to replicate the problem in Android 5.1.1 but so far I’ve been unable to. Google outlined a fix for this issue in the Nexus 5’s Android 5.1.1 change log and it looks like the fix worked.

I’ve been using the phone extensively for a week and so far, the update is very stable. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bugs, it just means that I haven’t run into any. Yet. Bugs can pop up at any time and there’s a chance that something will jump out in the weeks down the road. So far so good though.

Speed

Android 5.1.1 is still fluid on the Nexus 5. Animations and transitions are fast and I haven’t noticed any general sluggishness or lag. While I’ve heard about performance problems on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, I haven’t seen many complaints about lag or freezing on the Nexus 5.

Is the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Update Worth Installing?

I can’t tell you how your Nexus 5 will react to the Android 5.1.1 update but I can tell you how mine has fared: The device has gone from nearly unusable to stable thanks to Android 5.1.1. I haven’t seen any random reboots, battery life is holding up, and apps are all behaving themselves after the move. There are Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 problems but I haven’t seen any yet and they all appear to be isolated.

Android 5.1.1 is probably worth a shot if you’re on Android 5.1 or below and you’re desperate. It comes with a number of bug fixes and it’s far better than Android 5.1, at least on my version of the device. If you’re not experiencing any problems on Android 5.1 or below, take your time.

Android 5.1.1 doesn’t come with any new features, just bug fixes, so there’s really no need to rush into things. Gather feedback and then make a call. Android 5.1.1 isn’t going anywhere.

15 Comments

  1. Andrew Scott

    06/01/2015 at 1:25 am

    I was optimistic and switched my “wifi always on” setting. Previously it was “just when plugged in”. I’m losing half my charge overnight. Pretty bad imho.

    Reply

  2. Robin

    06/01/2015 at 4:15 am

    I’m a keen recreational cyclist & I use my Nexus 5, attached to a 3000 mAh backup battery, as my instrument panel and logger, Strava being the main app. The phone is in “always on while charging” mode although the screen actually blanks after 5 minutes and I only consult it a few times on a ride. I left on a 3 hr ride yesterday with the backup fully charged and the phone at about 80℅ but it was down to 5% when I got back. Before the update I’d have had at least 50-70% left. I’ve also noticed very rapid drain in everyday use. This update is disastrous.

    Reply

  3. ciph3ro

    06/01/2015 at 7:35 am

    I have found 5.1.1 to be the first perfect Android version for my Nexus 5. I had serious issues with Wifi and apps crashing in 5.0.1 and 5.1.0 but the extra little features and bug fixes/stability of 5.1.1 made it the first Android version that I had absolutely nothing to complain about.

    I don’t know if you noticed but animations were more fluid and smoother in 5.1.1 as well. I loved the whole experience. Gave it to my dad and now I’m waiting on the next Nexus and keeping a OnePlus in the meantime.

    I want my next phone to have a premium construction however and 5.1-5.5″ screen.

    Note: 5.1.1 on my 2013 Nexus 7 still has Wifi issues so they only fixed it for the Nexus 5 it would seem.

    Reply

  4. Brian Waldler

    06/01/2015 at 9:40 am

    what a pointless article. goes on and on but there’s no real content here.

    Reply

  5. Jamie

    06/01/2015 at 10:07 am

    Its worth just for the comments Brian

    Reply

  6. Craig Peters

    06/01/2015 at 2:27 pm

    I got the OTA on my Nexus 5 for the OS 5.1.1 download a few days ago. I just got around to installing it today, without hesitation or scouring the web for other Nx5 owners reviews. I’ve found, through experience, most reviewers are nothing more than whiners who just love to complain about anything that’s less than perfect – look at Play store reviews as an example. The thing I did for sure was update all of my apps. I believe this to be prudent and crucial, IMO.

    Well, life’s not perfect and Lollipop 5.1 certainly was nowhere close to even acceptable. Recently, over the past few months, my stock camera became essentially useless. It wouldn’t start half the time and 3rd party apps couldn’t access it. The only way to re-set the camera was to reboot the phone. This became a daily occurrence and a major hassle since I use a lot of scanning apps.

    Aside from this hassle, my battery life dwindled to the lowest retention levels since I bought the phone. Even with the use of the app “Greenify” the battery would drain and die when not in use. If I went to bed at 80% I’d wake up with 8-10% left of juice. I gave up on all of the so called battery savers, they didn’t work – nothing worked.

    There was also the amorphous memory leak. We were told it was there, we knew it was there but, we couldn’t kill the bug. I was constantly juggling tasks, clearing caches and fc’g annoying apps that constantly run in the background. I went so far as to disable as many apps (Google) that I could and uninstall the others e.g. Chrome (I use beta – don’t need both) Docs & Sheets, Keep etc. There’s a lot of bloat in Google’s apps. With 2GB of ram & 32GB storage I didn’t think I’d have to worry about trimming that much fat but, OS 5.1 had a major memory leak issue.

    So far, I’ve got a lot of windows open and apps running in the background and the OS is managing the ram the way it’s supposed to – killing apps/tasks in order of least importance to free up memory as needed!

    In the short hours I’ve had 5.1.1 installed, I’ve been closely monitoring battery drain percentages, by app. Specifically, system apps have improved by 2-3% on average (drain) and in some cases as much as 5-7%.

    So far I’m very optimistic about the Lollipop 5.1.1 system upgrade. I hope Google finally got MOST of the bugs out of this upgrade before they released it. Obviously, time will tell. Googles’ track record hasn’t been good but, since the software is in my phone and I don’t have a choice given the alternatives – who am I kidding, what alternatives. It’s Android or go home cause Ios bites.

    So, I’ll be thinking positively that they got it right. 5.1.1 seems okay so far so if you were struggling with 5.1 like I was it’s worth the plunge. The alternative, go take a bite of an Apple and hope you don’t choke.

    Good luck …

    Reply

    • Feliks Vainik

      06/03/2015 at 5:28 am

      Speak for yourself and yourself only. Apps updated, who doesn’t??? Play Music not usable. Random reboot every 2-3 hours all day long. This is for sure my last Nexus…what a shitty device…

      Reply

    • joe

      07/15/2015 at 5:14 pm

      random reboot loops, with battery dropping from 65% to 24% in a particular hot reboot, phone heating up intermittently, no WiFi, no Bluetooth, wiped system cache, factory reset only to solve the rebooting problem, no WiFi as of now, and the worst part it, it didn’t ask me to go for the 5.1.1 system update, just like it didn’t ask me the last time for 5.0.2 update. only found it out when it got warm in my pants, checking to see the optimizing app # ** of *** apps. and later again to see optimizing it again , and then again,…and it got so damn hot i had to put it in front of the AC vent. If it had prompted me that a new update is available, i would have never opted for it….cause i remember how cheated i felt the first time i upgraded to lollipop. i don’t even like lollipops anymore thanks to google.
      and this all happens just 2 months after warranty. lollipop turned this beautiful device that i loved to something of an evil monstrosity i don’t even want to look at anymore.

      Reply

  7. Joe Tischer

    06/02/2015 at 12:13 pm

    I had a Nexus 5 before I traded it in for the iPhone 6. I didn’t understand for the life of me how horrible the Nexus could be at times. This is software straight from Google, yet it seemed like a half baked ROM from XDA. You can make fun of the iPhone and iOS 8 as much as you want, but Lollipop hasn’t been the treat it was supposed to be either.

    Reply

  8. Sandy

    06/02/2015 at 2:16 pm

    After upgrading to 5.1.1 on my nexus 5 , phone starts to reboot on its own and this is so annoying

    Reply

  9. Ramakrishna

    06/08/2015 at 7:55 am

    google photos is getting stuck with the update

    Reply

  10. Mojo

    06/12/2015 at 3:43 am

    My Nexus 5 is even worse. it does not reboot itself, but “only” crashes. And I cannot boot it again until i plug it to the power supply. Even if the battery is full loaded I need to plug it in to restart the device.
    This behavior started with the upgrade to 5.1 and now with 5.1.1 it is getting worse.

    Reply

  11. Jake

    06/12/2015 at 3:06 pm

    To all nexus 2013 users
    DONT UPGRADE to lollipop

    This 5.1.1 is better than the 5.1 but the battery drains faster
    Your tablet WONT last a day

    I got no choice but to upgrade since 5.1 made my tablet going brick

    STICK to Kitkat
    Your life would be happier

    LOLLIPOP sucks

    Dnt trust the reviewer

    Reply

  12. Steve

    06/19/2015 at 6:02 am

    Battery drain is a problem for me. I’m not a heavy user…I can charge to a full charge, reboot, leave it on the table and not touch it, and two hours later I’m down to 75%. After the previous update I would hold in the 90% range for the better part of a full day. I’ll charge it prior to going to bed, leave it be for 8 hours, then awake to 65% charge or less. If I look at what’s been pulling the battery, it’s useless…the chart shows 11 apps/services that have pulled 17%…where the rest?

    Reply

  13. Anubhav

    08/21/2015 at 2:51 am

    I am having the same problem with the “random reboots” to the extent that its making my phone unusable. Weirdly enough mine seem to have started after the 5.1.1 update. Probably best to wait on the update for now.

    PS: Is there any other solution besides a factory reset to fix the problem ?

    Reply

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