6 common problems with the Nexus 5X and how to fix them

by: Darcy LaCouveeJanuary 6, 2016

Along with the high-end Nexus 6P, Google also launched the spiritual successor of the Nexus 5, manufactured once again by LG. The aptly named Nexus 5X brought with it everything that made the original so popular, of course with updated specifications, new features, including a fingerprint scanner, and a far superior camera, all while retaining a budget-friendly price tag. If the higher price point or the larger size of the premium Nexus smartphone is a problem, the Nexus 5X is a fantastic alternate to enjoy the best of what Google has to offer.

That said, as is the case with most smartphones and tablets out there, the Nexus 5X is not without its issues. Which is why, we’ve rounded up some of the common problems that plague Nexus 5X owners, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them!

Disclaimer: Not every Nexus 5X owner will face these issues, and it is actually more than likely that you won’t come across any of the problems listed below.

Problem #1 – No SIM detected

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Some users have found their Nexus 5X having difficulty recognizing a SIM card. Often, network connectivity is available for a while before it turns off, but in a few cases, the phone fails to recognize a SIM card right from the beginning.

Potential solutions:

  • More often than not, the issue seems to be related to a faulty SIM card. You can find out if this is the case by testing the SIM card with another device. If the issue persists, you will need to contact your mobile carrier to pick up a new nano SIM card. Also, keep in mind that if you have cut an older microSIM card to fit the nano SIM slot of the Nexus 5X, that might not work either.
  • In other cases where the SIM card seems to be fine, a soft reset seems to fix the problem, albeit temporarily.
  • If the SIM reader is faulty, the only option you have is to pick up a replacement.

Problem #2 – Sensor calibration

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Many users have found the calibration of the compass to be off by several degrees, while testing it across various applications.

Potential solutions:

  • Use an app like GPS Status & Toolbox that is available on the Google Play Store to re-calibrate the sensors of the device. This seems to have fixed the issue for some users, but in a few cases, the fix seems to be only temporary, with everything returning to its old behavior after a reboot.
  • If there is an hardware issue with regard to the sensors, the only option will be to pick up a replacement. There is a very useful guide available to test for faulty sensors, which you can find here.
  •  In some cases, this seems to have been a software issue, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow seems to have resolved this problem. Make sure you have updated to the latest version of Android and test the device once again.

Problem #3 – Camera issues

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A lot of users have reported issues with the camera of the Nexus 5X. While some find it slow to load, or to freeze often, others have found the camera to not load at all, with only a blank screen appearing when launching the camera application.

Potential solutions:

  • The camera issues with the Nexus 5X are quite common and is being investigated by Google. While a fix will hopefully be available in a future software update, and temporary workaround that seems to work is to go to Settings – Security and disable “Power button instantly locks.”
  • You can also try booting the device into Safe Mode (you can find the instructions below) and see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, a rogue app is to blame. Remove any applications you may have installed just before the problem occurred, and see if that fixes things.
samsung galaxy s7 review aa (7 of 20)See also: Best Android phones (January 2016)630

Problem #4 – Phone screen not waking after calls

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Many users have found the device display to remain turned off after a call, making it difficult to end a call, and requires multiple presses of the power button before it turns on again.

Potential solutions:

  • This seems to be a problem with the proximity sensor, and is generally faced by users that use generic screen guards, especially of the tempered glass variety. Screen guards made specifically for the Nexus 5X come with an L shaped cut at the top that keep the proximity sensor uncovered, and using this helps avoid the problem.
  • You can also check if there is a problem with the proximity sensor itself. Download an app like Aida64 from the Google Play Store. Go to the Sensors section and look for the Proximity sensor. Hold your hand over the sensor, and the value should switch between 5 cm and 0 cm for far and near respectively.
  • A temporary workaround to help end calls, if neither of the above two solutions work, is to Settings – Accessibility, and enable “Power button ends call.”
  • A rogue app may also be the cause of concern. Boot the device into Safe Mode and see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, uninstall any apps that you may have downloaded before the problem started, and see if that fixes it.

Problem #5 – Performance issues

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The Nexus 5X comes with a solid processing package which is seen even with a few flagship smartphones out there, but a few users have faced some issues with performance, finding the experience to become sluggish and very laggy after some time.

Potential solutions:

  • If these performance issues have suddenly occurred, a rogue app may be the cause of the problem. Boot the device into Safe Mode and see if the poor performance continues. If it doesn’t, a rogue third-party app is the issue. Uninstall any apps that have been added just before this issue came up, and that should fix it.
  • Some users have found that wiping the cache partition helps restore the performance device to normal. You can find the instructions on how to do so below.

Problem #6 – Connectivity issues

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As is the case with any new device, you may find yourself facing some connectivity issues with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Bluetooth issues seem to be especially prominent with the Nexus 5X, with problems connecting to Bluetooth speakers, the car, and smartwatches.

Potential solutions:

Wi-Fi issues

  • Turn the device and the router off for at least ten seconds, then turn them back and retry the connection.
  • Go to Settings – Power saving and ensure that this option is turned off.
  • Use the Wi-Fi Analyzer to check how crowded your channel is, and switch to a better option.
  • Forget the Wi-Fi connection by going to Settings – Wi-Fi and long tapping the connection you want, then selecting “Forget”. Re-enter the details and try again.
  • Make sure the router firmware is up to date.
  • Make sure the applications and software on the device are up to date.
  • Go into Wi-Fi – Settings – Advanced and make a note of your device MAC address, then make sure that it is allowed access in the router’s MAC filter.

Bluetooth issues

  • With issues when connecting to the car, check the manufacturer’s manual for the device and the car and reset your connections.
  • Ensure that you are not missing a vital part of the connection process.
  • Go to Settings – Bluetooth and ensure nothing needs changing
  • Go into Settings – Bluetooth delete all prior pairings and try setting them up again from scratch.
  • When it comes to issues with multiple device connection, only a future update will be able to address this problem.

Guides: Hard Reset, Safe Mode, Wipe cache partition

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Hard reset:

  • Turn off the phone
  • Hold the volume down button and Power button simultaneously until the device switches on.
  • You should see “Start” with an arrow
  • Tap volume down twice and the power button to enter Recovery Mode
  • Hold the power button then press and release the volume up button
  • Use the volume buttons to select wipe data/factory reset
  • Choose “Yes – erase all data” with the power button

Safe Mode:

  • Hold the power button after ensuring the screen is on.
  • Tap and hold the Power off selection in the menu
  • Tap OK to initiate Safe Mode

Wipe cache partition:

  • Turn off the phone
  • Hold the volume down button and Power button simultaneously until the device switches on.
  • You should see “Start” with an arrow
  • Tap volume down twice and the power button to enter Recovery Mode
  • Use the volume buttons to select Wipe cache partition

So, there you have it for this roundup of some of the issues faced by Nexus 5X owners. We will continue to update this list as more problems and solutions come up, and if you have faced any beyond what is seen on this list, do let us know in the comments section below. For more Nexus 5X discussions, don’t forget to check out our official forums as well.

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At this point, it is also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t let these issues put you off if you are considering picking up the Nexus 5X. As mentioned, it is very likely that you won’t come across any of these problems at all, and the Nexus 5X remains a great choice for those looking for the best of Android with a budget-friendly price tag.

  • samster11

    I love my N5x and wouldn’t change it for any other device but you missed one common issue… The keyboard is erratic if one tries to use it whilst charging.

    Here I am lying in bed and I had to unplug the charger just to type this!

    But…an excellent phone regardless!

    • Aric Radzin

      Same issue here.


      Gosh! That’s 7 problems. Wtf! I love nexus devices and Android (OS). Over the year’s which has been every year since Android beginning’s. Every device I’ve owned I had to learn to tinker and work out the kinks and technical dysfunction. But this is just to many issues. But I know it will get fixed .

      • samster11

        Every device has issues, no device is 100% perfect.


          True I understand

      • Daggett Beaver

        “But I know it will get fixed”

        That’s a statement of faith from a true Nexus fanboy.

      • Owais

        The browsing performance is terrible on Nexus 5x. At times the phone just grounds to a halt and the web page doesn’t scroll at all no matter what you do. Then after odd 20 seconds or so it resumes. Also the touch screen doesn’t work properly when the phone is connected to charger. There are so many other issues.

        Very disappointed with Google really. What a waste of money. Thinking of buying a Windows phone.


          Well before you go windows you should know that . Long time window phone enthusiasts are not receiveing long awaited updates right now. It’s sad to hear what you are going through with your nexus5x. You should notify google about what you are experiencing. Or just resett your n5x.

          • Owais

            Well my work colleague has a Lumia 950 and it’s an amazing phone. Beautiful build quality, micro SD card extension, 32 gb for a base version, smooth browser performance, direct updates to windows 10 from Microsoft. Continuum is an amazing feature. The only problem for me now is there are no Google apps such Google maps, drive, YouTube etc. But he showed me a YouTube video on edge browser and it worked fine. The performance on it so much smooth and silky.

            “I should report to Google” lol, what’s gonna happen after that? And as far as I know I am not the only one suffering with N5x, if you check some unbiased reviews you will come across many people complaining about performance. Google really did a terrible job this time. Too many Android fanboys around, they don’t care anymore. They are already making billions of you read about their revenue leaked by oracle in a law suit. I checked our iPhone that my cousin has, again very smooth and fast performance. Hell, typing a commonest here on Nexus phone is a nightmare. Page keeps on jumping, can’t get the cursor in the right place. What an awful experience. There’s a reason why Apple sells so many iPhone even though they are a rip off company.

    • Paul_Werner

      Had the same issue with my N5, glad I upgraded to the 6P instead of the 5X

    • Stephenie

      Nexus Phones and Tablets are now available online only below

    • seancaldwell

      I had the same thing happen years ago on a different phone and found that a different charger and a different cable made it go away. Try it at a different location as well and see if it makes it go away. It seem to be related to some bad power or interference coming through the charging combination.

    • whilst, lol

    • Wesley Backbypopulardemand Beg

      Yeah be careful, this is a sign of bad electricity coming to the phone. Either through a bad 3rd party wall adapter, cable, or both. Experienced this with multiple phones and it would be fixed by using the manufacturer’s cables and adapters. Within weeks of experiencing the keyboard issue while charging, the phone’s battery became so swollen it broke my phone screen. Very dangerous, be careful what chargers you are using.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Problem #7: It’s crap.
    Potential solution: Ditch it and get a better phone.

    • Francisco Franco


    • Owais

      True that! I am thinking of ditching not only Nexus device but Android platform all together and considering a windows phone, hell even an iPhone (highly unlikely will go for an apple product though). Android has too many problems now. Nexus device in smaller size is not good enough and if you go for Samsung or any other manufacturer, you are not sure of updates. Never got Android update on my Samsung tablets.

    • Buzzard _

      It’s not bad, you just don’t know how to use it. Bunch of people on AA now are whining-“considering iPhone” type of folks. Not like early AA days. Sorry AA. :*

  • Karly Johnston

    I got the Mi4c instead to replace the N5 and i don’t experience any of those problems.

  • Tsepz

    Sounds to me like it is truly a rubbish device. The lag you may blame on the poor Snapdragon 808 SoC.

    • Owais

      You got it right. It really is a rubbish device. It’s a shame since it’s predecessor Nexus 5 was an amazing device and very good value for money. 5x has a lot of performance issues and the lag is because of encryption, processor not powerful enough, processor throttling and not enough RAM for an android device.

      • Naroxas44

        The Nexus 6 is the same way now as well; started out very smooth and nice, and now apps I consistently use, like Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter, crash constantly. The camera just cuts out 99% of the time as well, just presenting a black screen and simply not working. Device itself has system app wakelocks as well (from Google Play Services and whatnot) that cannot be fixed and the battery only lasts 1.5 – 2 hours of usage (about 5 hours on standby) after 2 years.

        I will say I like the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 feature and the QHD amolled display, but that’s about it on the plus side. The negatives really outweigh the positives, and I’ll probably be switching back to an iPhone (some apps don’t even work on the most recent version of android either, which the Nexus brand has; they will instantly crash upon trying to run them) that has much better performance benchmarks and reliability, even if I can’t customize things as well as I can on Android.


    Still using this trusty ole good power horse 2014 version nexus 5 updated to 6.0.1 right now as I type this. And Everything running fast smoothly and better than it did in the past. This is why I have held fast on buying the n5X. Just been observing how others feel about their n5X. Right now it’s not right.

    • samster11

      If it makes you feel better I’ve not had the other 6 problems described in this article!!


        Well it’s good to hear you not having any of those 7 issues. I love pure stock android it’s a better Android experience.

        • samster11


          I swore in 2013 never to touch Samsung again after they took stock Android and made it butt-ugly and slow!

  • Glenn Gore

    Goodness, these are not insignificant issues that no one would ever see in normal use, they are show-stopper-level problems. Makes me wonder why anyone would bother to use this particular phone.

    • Daggett Beaver

      Nexus fanboys will use it no matter what’s wrong with it.

    • seancaldwell

      If you compiled an article of all the issues Lexus or Mercedes Benz vehicles had, it might make you say the same thing. My 5x exhibits none of these issues.

      • Owais

        @Seancaldwell why don’t you just shut the eff up and stop justifying this crappy device. I am already regretting my purchase. I was expecting that it would be much better than my N5 but performance is worse than N5 in many areas. Really bad for a 2015 phone. I might actually go back to my N5 until I buy a windows phone.

  • David Bowline

    Gad zooks! Some of you are over the top reactionaries! I bought my gf the 32gb N5X after she complained about not enough space on her 16gb N5 and then her screen cracked.

    She loves her new N5x, hasn’t experience any of these so called problems (most of these are app related). She’s had to reboot her phone once in over a month.

  • john

    Totally forget about the phone won’t wake up after calls. And I can’t end the call because of it. It is not nexus issue, its LG issue, since I had same problem with several of my LG phones. I like LG, but I am not going to buy another one if they don’t fix it.

  • jeem28

    pleaaaseeee someone has a solution for decrypt, i hate encryption, my nexus 5 2014 is more fast to my nexus 5x :'(

  • satsmine2k4

    Reason why after Nexus 5 i will not get another LG device. To LG making cost effective devices is integrating a few top of the line components with cheap supporting parts, they will always have issues like this.

  • Abe

    Something’s going wrong with the Nexus 5x. When I received it a week ago and moved all my apps to it and everything it was super fast with really long battery life. But just over the course of the last 24 hours or so it has become maddeningly slow and has constant and significant stuttering…and the battery life is in the crapper. Whereas it used to last easily 20 hours (with about 3.5-4 hours on screen) now it’s dying in less than 12 hours with 2 hours on-screen time. Sigh. I’m gonna try the reboot and wipe cache idea and hope that fixes it.

    • Owais

      I am suffering from a severe performance lag and very bad battery life now. Let’s face it, it’s just not a very good device.

      • Abe

        Me too…even after the vaunted March update the performance is still horrible. Older phones running older versions of Android run better than this phone running Marshmallow.

    • Buzzard _

      It happens with every s smartphone if you install more than few power hungry apps.. Use wakelock detector app + greenify to put those apps to sleep = battery life back to normal

  • M

    I could never figure out why opening the actual phone app (the in-built app one uses to make calls) would take so long to load. I gave the tips a shot, booting in safe mode did nothing so it wasn’t a 3rd party app issue.
    Finally when I cleared the cache memory from the settings>storage menu, the phone app becomes responsive again.
    And all these while I was wondering how could anyone stand the 15 sec phone app load time.

  • Vinod Kalathil

    DO NOT buy this phone. It actually works great for the first few weeks. The interface feels like butter. However, it completely starts slowing down, lagging and freezing. Especially the camera is starts showing up as a black screen and the only way to recover from that is to reboot the phone. Another issue with the camera is that sometimes the photos you take never end up being saved. This issue has been acknowledged by Google and the message boards are full of complaints. However, no solution even after 4 months.

  • Raul Andrei

    My Nexus 5x is awesome. I’ve rooted it since day one and I’m very happy with it. A couple of weeks ago after it felt on the floor from 1m (I was lying on bed and it slipped from my chest) the vibrating motor stopped. Absolutely no vibration. I’ve opened it, and I tried to move the vibrating motor. After I put it together still no vibration. I will look for a replacement vibrating motor.

  • Kelly Spongberg

    I was hopeful this N5x would be as good as my old N5, but it is not. Battery life is terrible compared to other smartphones. My wife has the N6P and it’s battery life is fantastic, two days on a charge, and it charges in one hour! I can barely make it through the workday before it hits 15%. and charging takes forever. Camera goes nuts often, to the point the phone needs a reboot just to function. Camera focus is hit and miss depending on the situation. Rebooting takes an incredible amount of time compared to other modern devices. From off to home screen takes 1 minute and 34 seconds. That is after a cache clean, latest android 6.0.1 version update, and only 50% of the storage capacity used. Bluetooth is erratic, sometimes failing to connect to the car. Thank god I don’t own a smart watch, I can only imagine how annoying that connection constantly failing would be! Steaming audio does work well, if you use chromecast devices. Audio volume output is pathetic, as many smartphones’ volume are. To use the AUX input in the car volume has to be 100% on the phone, and the radio has to be double what you normally set the volume to. I can see why this phone keeps getting discounted, it is really a poor example of what I expect the hardware to be for pure Android.

  • Marius Muntean

    the only things that bugs me is the forced encryption that slows the phone down! other things…this device is great. I wish Google would stop enforcing things like Apple does…

  • Anand.V

    My Nexus 5 is not detecting sim card network after upgrading in to Android 6.0.1 . I have done all the above given steps. But it is not working. Please help me……

  • NexusPerplexUs

    I’m currently having an issue where my 5x will reboot itself and then enter a boot loop for a while. Sometime between 5 and 30 minutes later it will boot up.

    I can’t enter recovery mode because it just reboots after I select recovery mode. I’m working on it and will let you know the outcome.

    • Parthiban Dhananjeyan

      any luck on this? i have the same issue with my 5x after i upgraded it to Nexus 7 today

  • Missed a critical step in wiping the cache partition:
    To wipe the cache partition, follow these steps:

    Turn off the device.
    Press and hold the Volume Down and Power keys at the same time for about 10 seconds.
    An image of an Android lying on its back will appear.
    Press the Volume Down key twice until “Recovery mode” appears on the screen.
    Press the Power key to restart in “Recovery mode.”
    An image of an Android with a red triangle will appear.
    Press the Power key and Volume Up keys simultaneously.
    Use the Volume keys to scroll to “wipe data cache partition” and press the Power key to select.

  • Krystabella3410

    I got a system update and my facebook chat heads isn’t opening.. Does anybody else have this problem?

  • Marcus

    Does the Nexus 5X have the same issue with a ‘stuck’ power button and the power on/off loop as the Nexus 5? I had two Nexus5 phones get stuck in this loop in last 9 months. I had the power button replaced on the first phone but it died completely about 1 month later. Thanks.

  • Just picked up a 5X which had me update to Nougat immediately upon turning it on. Experienced the camera blackout issues but then a few days ago, I got a notification for another update and it was a really small file but it was from Google. My Nexus still says Nougat 7.0 not 7.1 or 7.0.1 or whatever but I know it was updated again after the initial Nougat update (massive 1GB file) – and now all my issues are fixed. Battery seems fine (getting full day normal usage) and no more Camera or Call Blackouts – camera has always been a bit sluggish to start (compared to other phones I’ve had) and no change after the mini-update / patch / whatever it was.