Nexus 5 Battery Drain Bug

Here’s some good news for us Nexus 5 owners confounded by atrociously poor battery life of late.

Google says it has identified a bug associated with an Android process that causes the CPU to run abnormally high for extended periods of time. Battery life as a result takes a hit, as the processor continues to unnecessarily draw power to run the Android process known as “mm-qcamera-daemon.”

In addition, many have reported–and this is also consistent with what I’m seeing with my Nexus 5–that the rear of the phone gets warm, often even hot. One user in the forums described his Nexus 5 as a “hot kettle.”

The behavior appears to be related to apps that use camera functionality (though this has not been fully confirmed by Google). Uninstalling Skype could help.

A Google engineer had this to say on an issue tracking forum:

We’ve had scattered reports of persistent high CPU usage of mm-qcamera-daemon since our last maintenance update, and based on those, found a number of bugs that were then fixed.

In recent weeks I’ve seen the same issue on my Nexus 5. Battery life sinks like a rock for no apparent reason. In a matter of hours it can go from a full charge to empty, even with light-medium use. At first I thought it was related to my Pebble smartwatch–oops. But it appears it was, in fact, related to several Android bugs.

LG surprised with the Nexus 5. Given the mediocrity that was the Nexus 4, I admit I didn’t expect LG to design something so svelte. It’s a well made phone with fast performance. The screen is superb. However, it’s not without issues. For whatever the reason, LG opted to incorporate a small “bump” on the lens on the rear of the phone that causes it to not lie flat on a desk surface. Last December Google had to roll out a camera fix (Apple and Nokia are still the best when it comes to capturing quality photos). Then last week the unfathomable happened to my Nexus 5: a hairline crack appeared. But I hadn’t dropped it. Where did it come from? A quick Google search reveals that others too have experienced cracking screens. It seems that it’s fragile, and, unlike other flagship Androids such as the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, more susceptible to damage, even from everyday use. Bugger that.

Google says the Nexus 5 battery drain fixes will be incorporated into the next maintenance release of Android.