16 of the most annoying issues with the Nexus 5, and how to fix them

Google Nexus 5 review front android home

The Nexus 5 may be Google’s super affordable ($350 to own!) flagship phone, but it’s not without some problems. Here are the most common Nexus 5 bugs, glitches, malfunctions, annoyances, and issues we’ve seen cropping up, with advice on how to tackle them.

Glitch: Camera not working

It’s fairly common to have the camera crash accompanied by the useless message “Unfortunately, Camera has stopped.” There doesn’t seem to be an obvious cause for this one, but it’s easy enough to temporarily fix.

Workarounds:

  • Turn the Nexus 5 off and on again by holding down the Power button and tapping Power off. Now press it again and your phone will restart with a working camera.
  • Go to Settings > Apps > All > Camera and then tap Clear cache. If you’re using an alternative camera app then do the same there and it can also help to clear the cache in the Gallery

Problem: Compass is wonky

Sometimes you may notice that your Nexus 5 compass is incorrect. People report it showing North as West in various apps, like Google Maps, and other errors are common. It may correct itself if you leave it, but you can also recalibrate it yourself.

Potential solution:

  • The most popular way to fix this is the figure of eight trick. This is one of those things that’s an awful lot easier to show than explain, so check out this YouTube video or this YouTube video for two methods that should get your compass back on track.

Issue: Bluetooth not working

A lot of people have experienced Bluetooth problems with the Nexus 5. There are reports of issues getting it to see other devices in the vicinity, problems getting it to connect or maintain the connection, and failure to auto-connect with previously paired devices.

Potential solutions:

  • Start by turning both devices off and on again.
  • Try turning the Wi-Fi on your Nexus 5 off or change the band you’re using, sometimes it can interfere with Bluetooth.
  • Make sure that you are using the pairing button or placing the device into pairing mode correctly.
  • You may have exceeded the number of devices your Bluetooth system or accessory can connect to. Try deleting the existing the profiles and reconnect.
  • Try doing the same on your Nexus 5 via Settings > Bluetooth then choose the device and tap Unpair.
  • Try out the free Bluetooth Auto Connect

Problem: Microphone low volumeGoogle Nexus 5 review bottom

A lot of Nexus 5 owners have run into a problem where the person they are speaking to on a call complains that they sound very quiet or distant. Sometimes they can’t be heard at all, sometimes it just sounds muffled.

Workarounds:

  • Most people have found that speakerphone works correctly, so you can switch to speakerphone for calls and be heard. Some report that switching to speakerphone and then back again seems to resolve it.
  • You could use a headset with a microphone for calls.
  • Some people have had success by covering the second noise-canceling microphone which is at the top of the Nexus 5.

Potential solutions:

  • It’s worth making sure that there’s nothing blocking the microphone. If you use a case then try removing it and see if it makes a difference. The microphone is the right grill at the bottom of the phone, try blasting some compressed air in there to remove any fluff.
  • Google is aware of this issue and mentioned a fix a while back so make sure your Nexus 5 is fully up to date via Settings > About phone > System updates.

Glitch: Can’t answer calls

Some Nexus 5 owners have found that they are unable to answer incoming calls. For some people, the screen simply doesn’t come to life. For others, dragging the green or red icons to answer or ignore has no effect and the phone keeps ringing.

Workarounds:

  • Rebooting the phone will temporarily solve the issue.
  • Some people found that changing off LTE to 3G or 2G resolved the problem. You can check your settings in Settings > More > Mobile networks > Preferred network type.
  • Some people report success after going to Settings > Storage and then tapping on Cached data and tapping OK to clear it. This may only work temporarily.

Potential solutions:

  • It’s possible that an alternative SMS app could be causing some kind of issue. Try switching back to Hangouts and see if it is resolved.
  • You could also boot into safe mode to check if a third-party app is the culprit. Hold down the Power button and then tap and hold on Power off and tap OK. If the problem is gone then you know an app is causing it. You can get out of safe mode by restarting your Nexus 5 and then uninstall apps and test one by one, or do a factory reset and selectively reinstall.
  • Look out for an update in Settings > About phone > System updates.

Problem: OK Google not workingGoogle-Nexus-5-press-moment

A few people have found that the “OK Google” voice command has stopped working for them. It either does nothing at all or it just makes a sound, but doesn’t load up Google Now like it should.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure you have it switched on in Settings > Google > Search > Voice > “OK Google” hotword detection.
  • Try holding down the Power button to reboot the device.
  • Try going to Settings > Google > Search > Voice > Language and make sure it’s set to English (US).
  • Make sure your files are backed up and wipe the cache partition. Press and hold the Volume up, Volume down, and Power buttons together for ten seconds and then after the Android screen comes up press Volume down twice to find Recovery mode and then press Power to select it. When you see the Android with the red triangle hold down the Power key and tap the Volume up key to get the Android System Recovery screen. Let go of everything and use the volume key to highlight wipe data cache partition and then press Power to select it.
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