Monday, 11 May 2015

Nexus 6 Woes:

UPDATED: 12th May 2015 with Pop, volume sound issues: 

Why I’m not enjoying the Nexus 6.

A little background:
The Nexus 4, a phone I bought at launch and had served me well all this time, until I upgraded to a Nexus 6 back in February.

Before picking the Nexus 6 I looked at what else was on offer, the Samsung S6/S6 Edge and the HTC M9 were both due out near the time but what swung me were the Google/Nexus brand and that pure Android experience, something that made the Nexus 4 so great.
So I thought ‘what could go wrong?’ I’m getting the newer, bigger more powerful Nexus 6, a behemoth of a phone, big screen, top specs and Android 5.0 (to be updated to 5.1).

The day came and the phone arrived and once over the shock of how big this thing was (the screen alone was bigger than the whole of the Nexus 4), the signs started to show straight away that this might not have been the best choice.

Running hot:
Only a few minutes into using the new Nexus 6, I noticed that it gets hot, super hot. Now all phones get hot every now and then, but what made this different was the phone was just sitting idle not doing anything.
Another hot issue was when using the charger that came with the device. It would get very hot to the point that I could only hold the phone for a few minutes before noticing the heat and slight burn in my hand.
Now I know that the Nexus 6 uses quick charge 2.0 or Motorola Turbo, as they like to call it but is this doing more damage to the phone than good? Yes it may charge quicker but at what effect will this have on the battery over time?
Its got to the point now that I’m using my LG Nexus 4 charger to charge the Nexus 6. It may take a little longer to charge but the phone stays nice a cool.

Some info on quick charge 2.0/Motorola Turbo

Melting logo:
One of the side affects of the Nexus 6 running hot is that the glue holding the Nexus logo on the back of the phone becomes loose and results in bits of the logo coming off, either completely coming off or half sliding off leaving a gluey mess on the back of the device.  

The back of my Nexus 6 is a bit of a mess with part of the logo missing and the rest peeling off.

A quick Google and it’s pretty clear that I’m not the only one having this issue, but it seems some people are having a lot worse a time with the melting glue causing the whole back of the Nexus 6 to come apart.

On the upside I seem to have escaped the warped battery issue for the time being.

I’m not willing to replace the whole back of my device just for the sake of a logo, so for the time being I’ll leave the logo as a mishmash of the silver stickers and holes where bits have come off and if it comes to it I'll just remove all of the logo.

At this point you might be thinking that these are just cosmetic problems so stop moaning. I’d say no, it’s not just the cosmetic/design issues that’s a problem so let me continue.

L      A      G:
Yup, lag. Something you’d expect maybe with an entry-level phone but not with a high end and expensive phone. The Nexus 6 boasts a Snapdragon 805 (quad core 2700 MHz) and 3GB ram and before you say that it’s just Android and not the phone I've had no lag issues using the same version of Android (5.1) on the Nexus 4.

So what is lagging then? The main culprit seems to be when closing an app. Most of the time the Nexus 6 will close apps fine, but then there are times it won’t. There is a delay as you swipe the app off the screen, it sticks (leaving a bit of the apps sticking out of the side of the screen) and takes a little time to close.  It’s the same with opening an app when you already have a few apps open and switching between running apps. Now I’m not talking about intensive processing power memory hogging apps, I’m on about switching between Twitter to Chrome, Chrome to Gmail with occasionally the app completely freezing and crashing the phone.

Which brings me onto the next issue:

White screen of death (or should that be off grey screen of death):
Okay so not really a death in the ways of the blue screen of death on a Windows device but still enough that you have to close the app and reopen it.
This only tends to happen when your screen is locked and you get a notification come through. You double tap on the notification, the app opens and then…… just a white screen, nothing.

                                                        Hangouts white screen of death

You have to close the app and launch it again to see the notification. Is it just the app that is the issue or Android itself? Hard to tell as it seems to happen with most of the stock Android apps; Hangouts, Gmail, Messages.  Could it be Android again? Once again I say that I've had no issues with the Nexus 4 running the same version of Android. So is it the phone then? With all the other issues I’m saying yes it might just be the phone.

Phone signal/Not receiving phone calls:
An odd one this and not one I’m putting down to my carrier (O2).  You can see on the Nexus 6 that the signal keeps dropping out. I can sit and watch the little signal bars go up and down all the time.  Nothing out of the ordinary you might think but then I’ll get a text message saying I’d missed a call (a service O2 provides when you miss a call), even though the phone hasn't rang or even acknowledged a phone call.  This has happened quite a lot and even testing it myself the last time this happened using my work phone to call my Nexus 6, I’d get an engaged tone even though the Nexus 6 is sitting right next to me. Now to fix this issue (it’s not really a fix) I just have to restart the device so I find myself restarting a few times a day just in case.  Once again I don’t think this is an O2 issue as putting my sim card in my work phone (a Blackberry 9000) there are no issue, the signal bar stays at full, no drop outs and the phone rings fine.
Out of all the issues this has been the worst for me as I've been recovering from two operations and my mobile is my main point of contact. Luckily I haven’t missed any calls from the hospital or my Doctors.

Pop, volume sound issues: 
One that I forgot to add to the original post is that when you have the volume turned up on the device, if you lock or unlock the screen using the power button, the speakers making a pop noise. 

Android Wear:
I have an LG G watch. It hates the Nexus 6, or does the Nexus 6 hate the watch?  Maybe the Nexus 6 is secretly trying to get me to change the G watch to a Motorola 360 watch? Who knows, but what I do know is that syncing the two devices together causes the G watch to loose connection to the phone sporadically and when it does connected, any notification that is received causes the watch to go into meltdown to the point that it totally locks up.
I've reset the G watch and it works somewhat better now but there are still issues here. Once I again I have to mention that there were no issues when the watch was paired with the Nexus 4.

Round up:
So there we go, these are the issues that I've had and still having with the Nexus 6. What can I do about it? I’m not sure. 
Even though I didn't want too (and really shouldn't have had to for a new phone out of the box) I've reset the Nexus 6 and started from scratch, still no difference.

As much as I loved the Nexus 4, this has been a huge let down to the point that I probably won’t get another Nexus phone (if there is to be one) and may opt for another brand, dare I say even maybe an iPhone*.
For a supposed premium and expensive phone it just feels like Google didn't really put much care and love into this one and just chased the money of the back of the Nexus brand.

*Will probably never happen.

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