+ Thursday November 14th, 2019

sans_battery
WARNING: The following instructions should not be followed without careful consideration. Opening your Nexus 5 will most likely void your warranty at best and break it at worst. Neither Ausdroid nor myself will be held responsible if anything adverse should occur to your Nexus 5. Follow the instructions below at your own risk.

I reviewed a Sony Xperia T2 Ultra recently and as a Nexus user found something extremely novel while using it. No matter how much I used it the battery lasted the entire day. I say novel because Nexus phones have never been known for decent battery life. The Galaxy Nexus was average at best, the Nexus 4 a slight improvement on that and the Nexus 5 another step up. The fact that it still doesn’t last a day for me is an indictment on Nexuses past. The Nexus 5 when I first received it lasted a day for me, just. Now it is lucky to last half a day. Sure I really push the battery life with double tap to wake and Peek running continuously but it would be nice for the battery to last like it did when I first got the phone.

For some reason I got the wild idea that I should have a go at replacing the battery myself. Some YouTube videos helped with this misplaced confidence. After some Google-fu I was able to locate a site in NSW who sold a standard LG Nexus 5 battery, along with the required tools to perform the operation. Easyphix also sell their batteries on eBay it seems for about the same price. For me going with an LG battery was a much better choice than the unknown variable that an after market version would be.
IMG_2220
Of the tools Easyphix sent me, the only ones I needed was the small blue plastic lifter and the small screwdriver. They included a couple of other tools as well, but I am not game enough to find out what they are for. My advice to you then is to watch the video below, watch it again, and watch it yet again until it is ingrained in your mind. I will add my instructions below, as I found there were a few things missed on the video.

1. When removing the back cover of the Nexus 5 do not lever it up. All you need to do is slide the blue tool under the lip and it will lift the clips off.

2. My Nexus 5 had small strips of extremely sticky tape/glue located at the bottom of the cover. Use one of the small screw drivers to reach in and separate the cover from the phone in these places. Do not try and lever the cover off in this position, the glue is extremely sticky. The video doesn’t show that and I tried to lever my cover up. Now there are small marks at the bottom of the cover.

3. Don’t forget about the clip in the centre of the back cover. Reach in with a screw driver and carefully pull it apart there.

4. Carefully lift the black plastic cover off after unscrewing the six small screws.

5. Gently, slowly and of course carefully pry off the battery connector and the ribbon.

6. I used my own small screwdriver to pry the battery lose from it’s compartment. It is stuck down pretty well. Be careful with the surrounding circuitry when prying it out.

7. Keep all connectors free of dust etc and carefully reattach them after new battery has gone in.

8. Screw the black plastic section back on. Be careful to make sure it clicks into place before screwing it in.

8. After reattaching the cover make sure that you gently push the centre clip back in. The Qi charging will not work until you have done this.

9. Boot up the phone with your fingers crossed. I am sure this is what helped mine boot up okay.

If you would like a good laugh check out my attempt at creating an install video myself. No swearing I don’t think but there is a lot of “what the hell?!” moments:

After it is done the battery seems to last longer, although everyone knows it takes a while for a battery to reach its full capacity. How much extra am I getting? After only using it for a few days I’d estimate I’m currently getting around 25-30% more, although I do not have any concrete data to back that up.

The Nexus 5 is basically a battery hog, there’s not much way around that unfortunately. Unless your battery is really bad I don’t recommend doing this as the gain is not massive considering the risk. In saying that, if your battery is really bad, AND you cannot afford a new phone, AND you consider yourself a bit of a tech handyman/woman (or know someone who is), give it a shot. If I could do it, then I have no doubt that most of you could too. It is relatively easy as far as tech handy work goes. My main advice, except for the above nine points, is to watch the video above, watch it again, and have it running while going through the process yourself.

The LG battery is available from Easyphix for $23.99 plus a couple of dollars shipping. All required tools are included.

Have you done this to your Nexus 5 or any other phone with a removable battery? Would you consider doing it yourself? Or should Google just put in a bigger battery next time?

Scott Plowman   Editor

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Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

10 comments

  1. Avatar

    I find Battery Guru from Qualcom significantly improves my time between charges. And it’s free. And won’t void any warranties. Only works with Snapdragon CPUs though. (Interested to know what works well on other phones)

  2. Avatar

    A good article,However, the Nexus 5 wasn’t out long enough for its battery to degrade by
    20~30% no matter how hard the OP pushed it. Either he had a bad battery to
    begin-with or its a placebo.

  3. Avatar

    Getting Superman down on all fours to replace your battery: Priceless.

  4. Avatar

    Having to nuke your warranty, just to replace the battery, shows a stupidity of the design of the N5.

    • Avatar

      Almost every flagship phone, bar Galaxy’s have inbuilt batteries. There’s nothing wrong with it. Your phone is more than likely due for an upgrade long before the battery gives out. This article is insanity. There’s no way anyone’s Nexus 5 battery should be dying yet, unless it was defective to begin with. Also, my Nexus 5 battery life is huge (consistently 6hrs+ screen on time). I get 1.5 more hours screen on time with my N5 than my old Galaxy S4 i9505 (which I also considered to have good battery life) with the same workload.

    • Avatar

      Jeni I have to agree with you on this. What I think makes this more frustrating is that it looks similar to any removable battery and battery bay. Typically the argument from manufacturers has been that they can fit larger batteries in non standard configurations around hardware to increase usage.
      To me this is just built in obsolescence. Considering the cost of a flagship phone these days its ridiculous.

  5. Avatar

    Wait, the Nexus 4 is only a slight improvement over a Galaxy Nexus? Not sure I’d agree with that statement. Also, the Nexus 5 has not been out for a year, so if your battery isn’t up to scratch you are well in your rights to get it replaced under warranty.

    • Avatar

      Making battery-life affecting mods to the rom and expecting battery life not to be affected is surely some definition of insanity.

      • Avatar

        The article indicates the battery performance degraded, and its was a replacement with factory lg battery not an upgrade.

        • Avatar

          He meant software upgrades such as double tap to wake mentioned in article that are likely to accelerate battery degredation

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