(mis)adventures in software development...

24 July 2018

Nexus redux

Category Technology

My bootlooping Nexus 5X -- bootlooping no more.

OK, so my phone actually got fixed. Finally. And somewhat surprisingly.

My Nexus 5x phone developed a defect a few months ago — the dreaded, and apparantly common, bootloop issue. It suddenly started rebooting, repeatedly and constantly, to the point it became unusable. LG Australia initially rejected my warranty claim. Their opening gambit was to try and fob me off by telling me my phone was an overseas model or grey import. It’s not. It is an Australian model purhased outright at a local JB Hi Fi store.

Finally, after repeated warranty claims, and uploading multiple copies of my receipt, they agreed to repair the phone. But I wasn’t expecting much when I posted the phone to their repair centre.

I’d come across a number of forums on whirlpool with horror stories of LG warranty issues, and some reports of LG refusing to repair bootlooping Nexus 5X devices. Excuses like falsely claiming water damage seemed common. My phone was otherwise in great condition, certainly no water damage — not even a scratch on the screen.

Perhaps this was why I did end up with a functional and repaired phone. They finally honored their warranty obligations.

Which is great, but because the whole thing dragged out for so long, I had to get a replacement phone anyway. And I’m not sure I trust the Nexus 5X anymore as my main phone.

The replacement phone I settled on was a Moto G5 plus.

It’s a mid-range phone, but does what I need it to.

I actually like it better than the Nexus. I think it’s an objectively better phone.

They’re both midrange phones with fairly stock Android.

But I think there’s more attention to detail with the Moto. It feels a little bit more refined. There are some small changes to the standard Android OS, and for the most part they are worthwhile changes. In particular, the notificaitions and home screen are really well thought out on the Moto.

I prefered the location of the fingerprint sensor on the Nexus — it perfectly located on the back. But this is a minor thing. The front sensor on the Moto is fine.

My main annoyances with the Nexus were the buttons. Clearly some corners were cut (hence the common bootloop issues). In particular, the power and volume buttons felt cheap and spongy. They were also overly sensitive, which was particular annoying in combination with the fact they were still functional even with the device “locked”. So often just picking up the phone meant an unwanted volume adjustment.

The vibration and synaptics were also felt weak and insubstantial.

All in all, the Moto feels like a more solid and well made phone, so I’m sticking with it. The repaired Nexus will be my backup/dev device. Assuming it doesn’t start bootlooping again.