Does the Nexus 4 have an overheating problem?

February 17, 2013

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A Reddit post tells us that the Nexus 4 automatically shuts down when reaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s precisely 60 degress Celsius (see image below) – which is not a bad thing actually, considering that it’s a measure that would prevent bad things from happening to your phone’s battery.

But it’s a bad thing if you find yourself in a situation where it shuts down because of increased heat multiple times a day, without an actual reason to explain the increased temperatures.

So does the Nexus 4 have an overheating problem?

On further investigation, you’ll find “Issue 40334: Nexus Overheating” on Google Code, a problem raised in late November 2012 that has 37 people interested in an answer, with more adding their experiences. Comparatively, the more-viral Reddit thread has 176 comments to date, some more serious than others.

From what we can tell so far by looking at Issue 40334, there isn’t a general cause for any overheating problems, although some of the reports detail similar experiences, and there’s no official answer from Google either.

Here are some instances in which the Nexus 4 overheated: increased heat around the camera, when using 3G, GPS, Google Earth, Facebook or Google Chrome, doing a benchmark, browsing the Play Store, using certain apps, talking on the phone/Skype and when playing intense video games. According to one Nexus 4 owner, pretty much doing anything, “this damn phone gets really hot.”

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Some users have complained of not being able to actually talk on the phone because of its temperature, hurting their ears and/or hands in the process.

The reports kept coming in even after the Android 4.2.2 update, with the most recent ones dated a few days ago. Some of the disgruntled Nexus 4 owners put the blame on LG, with overheating being rather a manufacturing problem than a software one – apparently the Optimus G, the Nexus 4’s twin, also overheats.

Of those that kept adding updates to Issue 40334, some have already replaced their overheating Nexus 4 units, but the problem did not go away for all of them, with some users still experiencing increased heat on the device.

This wouldn’t be the first or last device that gets overheated during use, not that this is an excuse or anything, but is this a widespread problem for the Nexus 4 or does it affect only a number of devices? Have you experienced it?

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/matter37 Matthew

    I have noticed nothing any different than other devices heating on my N4.

    • PSW

      Same here, no overheating issues, even when playing NFS MW or NOVA 3, it does get a bit warm with navigation, but that was the case even with my iPhone 4, and it also had a glass back, so i guess not very good heat dissipation by the glass backs.

  • jack

    Dang that sucks well my nexus 4 never had that problem and when I over use it the phone just gets warm like my note 2 did must just be certain processors acting up in the nexus 4s and how it’s built.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001273643049 Stencil John

    I have not had any issues with my Nexus 4, other than my first ones camera didn’t work. My second has had no issue with overheating.

  • focustesting

    Nexus 4 does overheat during the specific instances that you had pointed out. The overheating issue is predominant especially after the 4.2.2 update. Now sure if this is a hardware or a software issue.

  • Marco Mendoza

    yeah im getting mine replaced hopefully it gets fixed with the new one

  • http://profiles.google.com/ijaywu EJ Wu

    Mine doesn’t overheat, but there are other issues.

  • park kyokeun

    I never noticed any over heating problem but probably because I came from Galaxy nexus, which had terrible heating problem.

  • markbratanov

    My sister just experienced this problem yesterday (for the second time). It happened while she was jogging with Endomodo — wearing an armband to fasten the phone to her arm. The phone turned off unexpectedly and unfortunately has some problems restarting. Seems like faulty design, imo.

    On the other hand, I bought the Galaxy Nexus and it works great. ;)

  • Emil

    it never shut down for me and it only hits 60C if i am playing serious gaming like need for speed or something like that in normal game like in one hour sticks to 46C i never experience the soutdown

  • Asakura

    no problem with mine, work pretty well

  • Christopher Di Biase

    I do notice the phone getting hot when playing games or watching videos, however for phone and general internet use there’s not much of a heat problem. The hottest I’ve had the phone get was near the end of a long drive where Google Navigation, Pandora and the screen were all running for the whole trip. Still didn’t cause the phone to shutdown for thermal problems.

    I’d guess that there is not much tolerance in the design for chips that run somewhat hotter than average. Thus, due to normal variance in the manufacturing process, some phones run hotter and hot enough to cause thermal shutdown problems. In short I’d chalk it up to manufacturing defects.

    That said, it’ll be interesting to see how things change in the summer (for the north). I wonder if the summer sun will cause more thermal problems for north american and european units.

  • odraude

    Mine did it all, overheated, bad earpiece, bad screen sensitivity and long charging times.

  • Tarek Assaf

    No problem whatsoever with my N4, it just warms a bit after some serious time.

  • kascollet
  • rvichar

    Used mine in the bright sun and it was really hot. The phone worked just fine. It did throttle a lot with 4.2.1 but now seems much better with 4.2.2

  • Teppo Kinttula

    So far no problems. My previous phone (HTC Desire) heated way more than this. My unit is made: 12/2012 @ Korea

  • yanahum

    Hello, when i’m using the GPS the phone become very hot, it’s not sexy as you may think.

  • jm_e960

    Chris, we should define clearly at what temperature is overheating. I suggest battery temp found in *#*#4636#*#*.

  • Dee

    When i use Navigation my becomes too hot on upper back side.

  • Richieboy

    This is how rumors are started. A blogger takes a post and then acts like it is fact.

    Complete garbage..

    • girish

      its not rumour man… I am facing the same issue, nexus 4 gets hot near its speaker(top part). faces this issues while talking, using internet,bluetooth etc.

  • mickrussom

    I have a gnex4 on 4.2.1 and now 4.2.2 and tried to cause thermal shutdown. Couldnt do it.

  • ~peters

    LG is notorius for overheating devices. Mine sucks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1593169740 Chris Amaya

      I had the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and that thing overheated like crazy too. I have a Nexus 4 and it’s not too bad.

  • 9449water

    Just today after 4.2.2 update and four days of use…it was getting hot on the back camera area that I have to shutdown and restart…weird…

  • Rambir

    This is still better than the problems that my nexus s after the 4.0.3 update. As for the overheating, it gets warm, but not unbearably warm like the article suggests.

  • BankMan

    I have had the phone less than a week and mine has overheated – it has been getting hot in my hand. So much so, that the glass back cracked & shattered last night. It was about 5 minutes after I had put it down on a cabinet. The heat obviously continued to build and it’s blown the glass. Google been really good and are sending a replacement without quibble.

  • sayego

    I own a nexus4 and it does get hot specially while playing some videogames… but it hasn’t turned off so far

  • Giltintur

    My Nexus 4 gets pretty hot after an hour of playing GTA:VC, however, I have yet to experience it switching off. But truth be told, it does get a bit too hot for continuing.

  • private k

    It actually true about the overheating. I just got mine couple weeks ago man that device get hot for no freaking reason.I have to mention that it have not shutdown on me yet but it get so hot sometimes I have to stop everything I am doing

  • Kevin Guinn

    I’ve had mine almost a month now and it just started overheating today. Now when I charge it with it’s official charger, I can hear a clicking coming from the charger. I wonder if it’s a faulty charger?

  • http://www.facebook.com/abg.epul Abg Epul

    My too..after update to 4.2.2 it getting hot when using facebook or chrome

  • Hutch

    It gets worse.
    I had the phone for two days before the patch 4.2.2 landed. Immediately after update to 4.2.2 i plugged my brand new N4 in to charge and within 60 secs i could smell burning plastic. I unplugged the phone and removed the cable to find scorch marks on the metal connection and melting plastic around the end of the charging cable. Glad i didn’t walk away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iwan.ng Iwan Ng

    most of LG Phone do overheating / heating around camera …

  • http://www.facebook.com/MidniteMissy Tasha McCarter Quinn

    Staring a a black screen for last two hours and will not turn back on…does feel pretty warm to the touch and I was on FB just before it went dark…not happy

  • a

    YES! Mine overheats badd. Just texting and using wifi it overheats.

    • KAT

      i just got one and find that does not overheat while on speaker phone but i am now paying attn and have noticed, 3 minutes in of texting, its hot- the top front and back hot :(

  • Adrian

    out of nowhere the phone is HOT!!! not even in use, was very exicted about my new Nexus 4… and now disappointment!!!!

    • ikoy

      That’s what I feel about my new nexus 4 disappointed I know why the price became lower and lower

  • Richard

    I presume my Nexus 4 overheats and shuts down when charging. I have woken up to find the phone off and of course alarm hasn’t gone off! This predominantly happens when charging with my wireless charger ( I have tried two wireless chargers with same result. Including official Orb) but it has also happened once with standard phone charger. Very annoying when you can’t trust your phone to wake you up. I don’t have any overheating issues during the daytime use but then I don’t extend it much either. Really want to get this issue sorted but don’t know where to start

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1593169740 Chris Amaya

      I’ve heard it’s not a good idea to leave your phone plugged in overnight.

  • Vijay Gupta

    My nexus had overheating problem. I got it changed but the new device still has the same problem.

  • Ayman Kouzayha

    Mine is overheating

  • ikoy

    I have the nexus 4 here in Bahrain Im just playing the arcane legend 1-3 minutes it became 48.4°c I wanted to report this

  • nish

    yes i am experiencing heating problems . when i use the phone without the internet and while making calls the phone gets so hot that i cant hold it against my ear

  • Tony Williams

    My Nexus 4 did not have any real issues with overheating until today. Noticed it felt a bit warm when I made a phone call and now it seems it won’t cool down even when the device is left idle. A little concerning as you you hear stories that phones overheat then “conk out” for good. Hasn’t shut down so guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Senthil

    Hi, I recently bought Nexus 4 on June 07th and found the device is really overheating and battery drained in the half day, when I spoke to the customer care, they told they asked me to replace the phone, now I would like to know how a replaed device would work fine.. Really disappointed… I would like to go for a refund, they ask me that 15% would be restocking fee, kindly advice me why I need to pay restocking fee when the device is at fault?

    • Vijay

      Hi Senthil, I bought Nexus 4 2 days back, I felt the phone was getting hot when in pocket itself. I had not enabled internet too. Initially I thought it was due to hot climate i chennai, but later even if I speak in the phone for 5 mins it becomes unbearable. I toook the phone back the very next day and returned it. (in less than 24 hrs) They initially said they will check and send the phone to the company checking. I did not agree and demanded replacement. After a prolonged argument they agreed to replace with a phone of a different brand. Thank god I did not have to shell out anything extra.

  • Simon Nicholls

    My Nexus overheats (and turns off) simply while it is sitting in my pocket, first thing I notice is my leg suddenly getting really REALLY hot…. the fact that I’m not using it of course doesn’t mean it’s doing nothing, with Android’s penchant for incessantly downloading app updates it may well be doing that sort of thing.

  • david

    Yes after getting the 4.3 update o had it in the sun for maybe15 minutes and as soon as I woke screen up it porewed down, I then put it in the freezer for 2 minutes and it porewed on fine

  • Daniel

    My Nexus 4 also gets really hot in summer, so I created an app to warn be if it gets too hot :) Check out https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=src.schimi.temperatureguardfree
    The app was really usefull during my summer vacation in france :)

  • One of the firsts!

    It keeps overheating when even left to itself… you pick it up and its turned off… it does so at random and all the time!! Its getting frustrating now… and soon by holding down the power button to turn it on, that also becomes less responsive.. bad phone to bank on!

  • Mhy

    Yes it does over heat I even replaced my phone 4 times but nothing changed I really love my phone but this heat thing is killing me and no I don’t play games on it I once a while use it for Facebook I hope google or LG find out what is making nexus 4 overheat

  • Richie

    not sure what is considered overheating but getting hot is not overheating.

  • mbkarki

    It heats like crazy. Yesterday I was talking to a friend and in less than 10 minutes It literally burned my ears and hand, I had to cut off The talk, switch off the phone and let it cool down for 15 minutes before I could use it again.

  • jeanas

    My daughter has this phone and hates it T-mobile has already replaced one because it randomly shuts off and the new one is worse and today we were just standing here talking and she was texting a friend and the back just shattered in her hand.

  • Vijay

    I bought Nexus 4 2 days back, I felt the phone was getting hot when in
    pocket itself. I had not enabled internet too. Initially I thought it
    was due to hot climate i chennai, but later even if I speak in the phone
    for 5 mins it becomes unbearable. I toook the phone back the very next
    day and returned it. (in less than 24 hrs) They initially said they will
    check and send the phone to the company checking. I did not agree and
    demanded replacement. After a prolonged argument they agreed to replace
    with a phone of a different brand. Thank god I did not have to shell out
    anything extra.