How to fix Nexus 5X battery life problems

While the 2,700mAh battery in LG's Nexus 5X can get you through the day on a single charge, depending on usage, we think you can probably get a little bit more out of it by making a few simple changes.

1. Turn off Ambient Display

Ambient Display is a feature that sends notifications to your screen when it's locked. It's useful to see what's going without having to unlock your phone's screen, but it does consume battery power.

To turn this feature off, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Ambient Display switch to off.

2. Mind your Bluetooth

Smartwatches are great and we love them, but you should be aware that they consume more battery than Ambient Display does. If you know that you need extra power, leave your smartwatch at home that day.

The same goes for fitness trackers, speakers, car audio systems, and just about anything else with a Bluetooth connection. When in doubt, disable Bluetooth!.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to off.

3. Lower your screen's brightness setting

The Nexus 5X has a beautiful 5.2-inch inch full HD LCD display that hits that sweet spot for size but is one of the most battery-intensive features of the phone.

Dial down how much battery your Nexus 5X's screen draws by decreasing the brightness level a few notches:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap on Brightness level.
  4. Tap and drag the brightness bar to your desired level.

Alternatively, you can let Adaptive brightness manage the brightness level of your screen based on the amount of ambient light available:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Adaptive brightness switch to on.

Nexus 5X

4. Limit or turn off Location Services

Google's Location Services is useful for helping you get around town and some apps, such as Foursquare and Twitter, use it to determine your location as well. However helpful Location Services is, it can take a huge chunk out of your battery, especially when using GPS.

Location Services has three modes: High accuracy, Battery saving, and Device only. High accuracy uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile network information to find your position, Power saving uses just Wi-Fi and mobile network information, while Device only uses only GPS. Of the three, the most power hungry modes are High accuracy and Device only.

If you need some form of location services on, choose Battery saving — it won't be as accurate, but it will save on battery. For the most power savings, turn off Location Services altogether. If you choose to turn off Location Services, some apps that rely on it may not function properly — just something to be aware of.

You can find all of these settings under Location in your Nexus 5X's Settings menu:

  1. Tap Location.
  2. High accuracy
  3. Battery saving
  4. Device only

To turn Location Services off, simply toggle the switch to off at the top of the screen.

5. Check apps' battery usage

Android keeps tabs on how much battery every app on your phone consumes and it's simple to check:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Battery.

Here you'll see a breakdown by app of how much battery they consume as a percentage of total battery use.

Video streaming services and games naturally will use more battery than others, but if something else is hogging the battery when it shouldn't be, you'll see it here.

6. Avoid streaming video

The Nexus 5X loses power more quickly when streaming video. If you can, download any video content you plan to watch to your device and watch it locally.

Here's how you can download content for offline viewing in Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Play Movies and TV app from your Home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Menu button. It looks like this ☰.
  3. Tap My library.
  4. Tap the Download button next to the content you'd like to watch offline.

That's it. Now the content will download to your device and be available to watch any time you'd like, no internet connection necessary.

How about you?

We've given you some tips on how you can eek out a few more hours of life from your Nexus 5X's battery, but what about you? What do you do to make your battery last longer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more information on the LG Nexus 5X? Have a peek at our review.

Kathy McGraw
  • One tip ALOT of people should be using,is to restrict your background data on apps like Facebook,twitter or Instagram. I honestly just turn my data off when I'm not using it. If I feel the need to search something or look at whatever it takes two seconds to turn it back on. Another thing that works wonders for me,is I set my phones to 3G only. I don't stream or download much so I don't need LTE to bad. It'll really help you out in the long run. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The next update for the Z5 is supposed to have Stamina mode again so I'm looking forward to that. It was in 5.1.1, but the update to 6.0 got rid of it. I want it back! Posted via Xperia Z5
  • Apparently the Stamina mode that comes back is significantly worse. Posted via HTC 10
  • I'm updating my phone when I get home from work so I guess I'll find out. The only part of stamina mode that I want is to have data and WiFi shut off when the phone's asleep. If that part's broken, well... Posted via Xperia Z5
  • Can't you turn it off from the Wi-Fi settings anyway? Settings, Wi-Fi and then 'turn off when phone off'
  • It's more the LTE part I'm concerned about, but yes you can do that. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • can you limit background data for only certain apps? if so how?
  • In Settings > Data Usage you can drill down into individual apps. When you view the page for each app, there is a toggle to turn off background data (it even shows how much data is used in the foreground vs background)
  • Quick charge is so useful.
    After I get back from lunch, my phone is usually at about 50% battery. I plug in the phone and let it charge after lunch. I am busy working. No time to use it anyway. Then after dinner I plug it in while watching a movie. Boom, back to 100%. I don't charge overnight anymore. I charge in the morning while eating breakfast. And I leave Bluetooth on all the time. I paid for my Android wear watch. I wanna use it. And I listen to podcasts using power beats Bluetooth earbuds.
  • You can always just turn off your phone. The battery will last for days! Posted via Techmology
  • months even! AT&T Galaxy S7 Onyx Black with Unlimited Data
  • SORCERY! BURN THE WITCH. Posted via the Android Central App
  • be my guest AT&T Galaxy S7 Onyx Black with Unlimited Data
  • I like to plug mine in at my desk or in my car. Even the 10 minute drive home after a day off the charger gives me more than enough to last past bed time.
  • yeah, it's funny how to basically every kind of "tips to improve battery life" post usually boils down more or less to "don't use your smartphone as a smartphone".
  • True, but not everyone uses these things anyway.
  • Lol good recommendations but not many people are gonna go through all that work to save battery. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh well, that's their problem. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • Then they will get an iPhone and rightfully so Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Dude you been thinking about getting an iPhone............Stop! Android is good..... Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • Dont worry my contract isn't up till august 2017 and by then I'll know. Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Came from iPhone. You won't believe the restrictions it has. If you can live with a simple, half-baked OS, then do whatever you want. Personally, I thought iOS was a mind prison once I came to Android. I couldn't believe what I could do. I had known you can do more on android, but I didn't know how much more... Posted via the Android Central App
  • They can do whatever they want. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • That they can Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • The only reason I don't buy iPhones is because I can buy phones that do what I need them to for half the price. Posted via Xperia Z5
  • Why will anyone downgrade?. ;) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I go out of my way every time I see a new suggestion I haven't already heard. I've spent whole nights trying to root different phones just so I could start going crazy on the kernel settings and greenify. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In 2016 we shouldn't have to do all this to save battery. In my opinion service is biggest battery culprit. I am on Verizon and when I have good connection battery is great with 100+ aps. Once I go to low coverage battery just tanks rapidly and same can be said for standby. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can definitely see the drain on the graphs when looking at cell coverage. Unfortunately, the coverage on my personal phone sucks at home, and the coverage on my work phone sucks at work! I do get good standby if I leave the phone on my bedside desk, but not if I fall asleep with it in the bed.
  • Yeah my mxpe gets great battery life with everything running because I love in a great verizon coverage area Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yea, battery technology should have caught up by now. AC app via Nexus 6
  • It's not battery technology op was talking about. It's cellular service technology. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I keep a spare phone (Nexus 4) at home, it just uses WiFi since I have Google Voice and it will last at least 2 days between charges. The cellular connection is the devil.
  • One of the worst phones I ever owned in terms of battery life. Horrible battery life. I can't understand what Google does with doze sensor. I even wiped out cache, unchecked Backup phone option. in 8 hours the battery gets discharged 15% during night. Adding to that
    it has worst processor in terms of efficiency. All phoned having 808,810 processors have worse battery life
  • Wow, 15?! Are you sure there's not an app doing that? Since tweaking, I lost maybe 5% at most overnight.
  • Still more than it should be... 2% at most on my n6 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sounds like you might have a lemon, or a rogue app installed. Mine drops maybe a couple percent overnight.
  • Yeah, I should probably cut down on my streaming video, but I have no problem making it all day anyway. It makes a difference though: If I binge on youtube during lunch, then watch a few videos or a movie after that, my battery sometimes gets down to 40% by bedtime. Today, I didn't watch ANY video (well, maybe one by Krystal Key), and my battery is at 82% at about 9 pm.
  • No bluetooth, no streaming video, etc. Might as well get a flip phone instead or spend in a better phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pretty sure every flip phone I owned had Bluetooth :D Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol, my last flip phone didn't have bluetooth but I mean why even bother with this low midrange phone since you can't enjoy it without compromising the battery so bad. Basically is just a dumb phone with a nice screen. Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's nothing low about it. It's a high mid-range phone. Mine does very well for me. I've already done a few of these tricks. Posted from one of my various Nexus devices.
  • Lol, my last flip phone didn't have bluetooth but I mean why even bother with this low midrange phone since you can't enjoy it without compromising the battery so bad. Basically is just a dumb phone with a nice screen then. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My last two flip phones had Bluetooth, but I didn't bother with a headset... nothin' to do while you're talking on a flip phone anyway.
  • I don't know if Android Central is in my head or something, but this is the second time lately that they have posted something related to what I want to know or what I am dealing with. Anyway, I had no idea that Ambient Display can make such a difference! I have done 2,3, and 4 already, but the rest are good to know. With doing that (especially with location), I have seen a slight difference in battery life. Even so, it's going back for me. This does make me wonder if aside from Ambient Display, these things can possibly make a difference in the battery life for the Robin too.
  • It should help. These tips are nearly universal to all Android phones (and even iPhones). Actually, all of them apply to nextbit robin since it also has an LCD display (not sure if it has ambient display though ;P) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Try Greenify's Aggressive Doze as well. Saves a lot on standby
  • I owned on, this was the main reason I sold it besides the camera not working half the time as in opening to a black screen. For 270 is not a bad phone but for 400 you could spend your money on a better phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree, the battery life was a bummer.
  • It usually gets me through the day fine on 75% brightness. Although if you prefer to always go max brightness it goes down much quicker.
  • Wow, nice! Yeah, when I did some of these tweaks, I noticed a difference too. Do you use Ambient Display? I amend my statement, it's a cool phone, but my heart kind of lies more with the Robin so I can't see this as objectively as I would like.
  • Sell 5X. Buy 6P. Done. *6P 64 gb Graphite (AT&T)*
    *iPad Air 2 64 gb Space Gray (AT&T)*
  • Unless you don't like phones that large. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank you! I'm sure that the 6p is great but no way to a phone that size.
  • My previous phone was 5.5" so the 6P feels okay. Can't, WON'T go smaller than 5.5" screen now. Wouldn't mind a 6" at this point either. :) *6P 64 gb Graphite (AT&T)*
    *iPad Air 2 64 gb Space Gray (AT&T)*
  • +100 Posted via some random piece of tech.. (The culprit usually being a Nexus 6P)
  • Apparently the 6P has mediocre battery life as well.
  • Root custom kernel. My phone lasts for days. 5x Posted via the Android Central App
  • Steps? And which kernel? Please... Why do i even comment!
  • Note: AC has done a few articles on this. You can also google it. I've even explained this in the forums once or twice. But here goes anyways since it's fairly short and straightforward... To unlock your bootloader (erases all of your data) and install custom recovery:
    1. Windows/Mac: download adb and fastboot. Recommended you get them via the android sdk (and I wasn't able to do this for my 5X with minimal).
    Linux: in a terminal: sudo apt-install adb fastboot [enter] (not sure if it's apt-get or apt-install for this)
    2. Download twrp for bullhead (search twrp bullhead and download it from the website) un-zip it.
    3. Plug your phone into your computer. Turn it off and turn it on, holding the power and volume down buttons until a weird screen shows up (called bootloader)
    4. On windows/mac, navigate to your adb/fastboot tools with file explorer/finder. Move your twrp file to the folder that contains both adb and fastboot folders (if you did this with the SDK, it'll be located it platform-tools in the SDK folder - make sure you installed the SDK!) You don't need to do this on Linux
    5. Open command prompt/terminal, and cd to the directory that contains your twrp file, adb folder, and fastboot folder. (cd path/to/folder [enter])
    6. fastboot flashing unlock [enter] and then say yes. Let it finish.
    7. Go ahead and reboot and set up. Then, while in bootloader: fastboot flash recover NameOfTWRPFile.img [enter]
    8. fastboot reboot-bootloader
    9. Use your volume button until the blue bubble says recovery then press your power button to enter recovery. Never show this again, slide. Settings->reboot->system Now, to use a custom kernel...
    1. Download your custom kernel (check out XDA for bullhead kernels. Download instructions are usually in the XDA post for the kernel). Personally I've noticed awesomeness with ElementalX on 5X (yet on my 6 it screws up the screen) which you can download via the app on Play.
    2. Reboot into your bootloader and go back into recovery.
    3. Tap install. You should be in /sdcard/Downloads. If not, manually enter this by pressing "up a level" until you reach / then tap sdcard and then Downloads. (If you downloaded ElementalX via the app it'll be in /sdcard/ElementalX)
    4. Tap your recovery file and swipe to install. Some kernel installers have custom and express options. I recommend express, which is usually good enough for people that don't know much about tweaking.
    5. Once installed, wipe cache/dalvik and reboot system (ElementalX installer does this automagically)
    6. Enjoy :) different kernels have different settings, so you can look around. Regardless, it takes about a week for a kernel to be mostly optimized, so if you don't think a kernel is helping you out much give it a few days Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wugfresh makes your life easier Posted via the Android Central App
  • So basically don't really use any features of the device and you'll be good. My lady is a stay at home mom with chargers everywhere. Her 5X is serving her well, she loves it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So basically don't really use any features of the device and you'll be good. My lady is a stay at home mom with chargers everywhere. Her 5X is serving her well, she loves it.
    X Posted via the Android Central App
  • i never turn off high accuracy and i never turn off Bluetooth. i keep an eye on battery usage in apps every now and then and i generally keep the brightness around half way with adaptive brightness always on. i make it through a full day no problem. i plug it in when i go to bed as i assume most do. no issues Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's shorter battery than some phones, but I don't find it that bad. I watch a whole movie on Netflix on mine sometimes and there is usually battery to spare. Posted from one of my various Nexus devices.
  • All this has showed me is just how much Android hasn't changed in the last two years..... Man that hurt to write Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Relax....... Android is good Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • Maybe it's not as much Android as it is Google, after IO I can't feel confident in their ability to maintain and/or update a mobile service anymore. And regarding battery life, it also shows how little Google, (and the devs) cared for project volta. They could have recycled an article about this from 2010 and it would suit the writers needs just fine. Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • I have some advice, just run your phone 100% full throttle and charge it when it needs charging. Rodeo time, time to get er on down the road.
  • That's what I do Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • And I have a massive issue with Google play services eating battery in standby. I've even reinstalled the update and that helped for one day but after that it's back to eating :-/. Cache also cleared.
  • Same issue! Don't have any clue as to why this happens.. Why do i even comment!
  • My 5xs battery life improved a little by doing using some of these tips. Posted via the Android Central App (V10 or 5x)
  • We did have in the Aplication manager a Running section this showd what apps were running in the background using up batery or memery but that has now been removed, now there is no way to tell Posted via the Android Central App
  • 7. Buy an LG G4 with a 6000mAh battery :) Which is what I did.
  • That's a bit too big for me.
  • It may be, but turning off features of an always connected device is not the smartest thing :) You're basically turning your smartphone into a dumbphone... I tried that a few times, it didn't feel right at all.. :) Not even when I went partying 24 hours at music festivals or camping. Nope, sorry! :)
  • G4 is a bit 'old' now. Does the G5 have a zerolemon case or something?
  • I dunno. But the G5 is smaller in screen size and I just got used to 5.5". I'm never going back :)
  • Still a better phone than the G5 Posted from my cracked Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Nope. G5 is miles better in performance. And it does not have bootloop issues.
  • These are great smartphone tips. Why limit the title to the Nexus 5X? They're not the only battery sufferers. AC app via Nexus 6
  • It wouldn't get as many search result clicks if it wasn't specific, even though these apply to numerous phones.
  • I usually like AC articles, but this seems rather generic. How about: Greenify's Aggressive Doze? Or turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning?
  • Can't recommend Greenify enough. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So don't use your smartphone like a smartphone. Got it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have a fitbit, a pebble and connect it to my car. I never use ambient display. I have never had to charge before going to bed. It's been much better than my Nexus 5. Basically the only thing i have done on that list is not use ambient display. Battery life isn't a problem with this phone.
  • The 5X gets very good battery life. Did the wrong phone get picked for the recommendations?
  • It's a sad case really when we have to try and minimise using our devices to try an save battery. Battery technology should have come much further by now imo. 2 day life with medium to heavy use should be a minimum. Solar recharging an option, appreciate was done before but unsuccessfully. Surely Tesla are on the case? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I had enough with this phone and sold it. Now using Galaxy S6 edge plus which is very good except for Touchwiz
  • I don't mean to troll but the headline is REALLY wrong. As someone living with a sub-par battery in my S6 all of these tips do not "FIX" the battery situation. They help mitigate a horrible design flaw where a phone can't get you through the day. Posted via the Android Central App
  • best tip is not to buy an lg. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Galaxy S6 edge versus Nexus 5x battery life...
    The wife's been using her 5X for 4 weeks now after having her S6 for 6 months, for her the difference is day and night really, she can't believe how longer the 5X lasts using the same apps, does bloatware make THAT much difference then ? I wouldn't know because I have the 6P. How much ℅wise does the manufacturers bloatware use location services with regular battery draining updates ? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love this site but this article is click bait. And others like it. I mean if you want to give people real tips show them threads on XDA like one called "interactive governor tweaks" for the 5x, which is a huge thread and has actually helped people increase their battery life without turning their phones info flip phones. Sure you can give people disclaimers about rooting and unlocking too... But at least for a nexus phone this should be a no brainer.
  • I used to try to squeeze as much battery as I could out of my devices. Now I just run then wide open and charge as I need to. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just bought a small 6000mah battery pack. Try to keep it fully charged and all those battery life problems *poof* - gone forever. Was like 15€ or so. Would recommend it for a Nexus device, which is a android developer device and never meant to have great battery life in first place. It's not important for a dev device.
    It's more the software side of things. Posted via the Ferrari of Smartphones: LG Flex 2
  • It's sad that we even have to have the battery issue talks. How many years has the poor battery life on Android discussion been going on now? I can remember it all the way back to my Captivate which was my first Android phone. That was back in 2010 and here we are 6 years later and still having battery life issues. Honestly after all this time battery life shouldn't even be an issue anymore. The fact that the dev community can tweak software and vastly improve battery life shows it can be dealt with. So why don't the OEM's do it? Making it worse is the that OEM's in their rush to make devices even thinner they have forgotten about battery life. IMO every device being sold nowadays should be able to get through a minimum of 12 hours with everything enabled without the need to charge. Some phones will do this but all of them should be able to survive a day of heavy usage. We shouldn't have to dumb down our devices because OEM's won't tweak them. *"powerful you have become, the dark side I sense in you"*
  • The Android battery life problems aren't an accident like a lot of you seem to think so. Even the average person would gladly take a thicker phone for more battery life, that isn't just limited to tech fans like us (many women are carrying lipstick chargers, and tons of guys are just carrying morphie packs and stuff) . However it is the best way to make people upgrade. When you release a phone with a lithium ion battery that can barely last a day for most people without a top up, you can be sure that battery will be very inadequate in less than a year. The processors in phones now can handle day to day tasks for years, so there's no other reason for most people to upgrade if their batteries were great.
  • What's with all these battery life articles recommending to turn off Bluetooth? This isn't 2002, Bluetooth chips don't use any significant amount of energy unless they're being actively used.
  • Really helped me! Thank you!
  • Really helped me! Thanks!