The Nexus 5 has been an incredibly popular phone, especially among hardcore Android fans. But the phone is now almost 20 months old.  The Nexus 6 of 2014 was deemed by many to be too big and too expensive. Speculation has been rampant about a 2015 Nexus 5 with many hoping for a return to the cheaper and smaller form factor that many embrace. But what can you do to keep your current phone fresh? Here are some tips to keep the Nexus 5 feeling like a flagship.

Replace Your Battery

Nexus 5 battery

Battery life has never been a strong point for the Nexus 5 but as the phone gets older, the battery will hold less of a charge. A surprisingly easy solution is to replace your battery. Following this guide from iFixit, replacing the battery goes from a daunting task to a simple one you can complete in about 5 minutes. You’ll need a new battery for this and you can pick up one of those from Amazon or eBay rather cheaply (mine cost $8 + shipping). If you don’t have the tools, they’re relatively cheap. I picked up this kit. Unfortunately the spudger broke in the process. They’re plastic and cheap, just be careful or pick up a couple extras.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re going through the process is that there’s glue on the bottom battery cover on and under the battery. You can pull these up with a little consistent force. Don’t rip at them. The casing of the battery can break and you don’t want a broken Li-On battery. They can explode. Be very careful. Be sure to re-attach your cable connectors after you place your battery in. The battery connector on mine was a little long so I had to play with it a bit to get it to fit.

And while you’re at it, think about swapping out your battery cover for a brand new one. You can pick them up on Amazon in Black, White and Red.

Software Tweaks

nexus 5 recovery mode

One of the biggest reasons people own a Nexus is the ability to play around with software. Since the Nexus line is a reference device, Google generally pushes their latest versions of Android to them very quickly and makes it very easy to alter the software through tweaks and custom ROMs. I posed the question to the community over at Reddit and here are some of the responses I received:

“Personally I’m using stock android with Xposed. I know there are a bunch of guys here that will vouch for flashing a rom, however there isn’t one RIGHT rom, it’s really up to personal preference. Same thing with kernals, personally I’m running elementalX and have the cpu running at a lower base clock and have undervolted it just a touch to help with battery. In my opinion Xposed is top dog for me just because stock android is as stable as it gets and adding Xposed to that is pretty much like getting a custom rom + much more. Gravity Box has more customizable features than Cataclysm (source: me lol) so there really isn’t a point to flashing custom rom IN MY OPINION.”

via AMajesticOtter, Comment link

“I say a tempered glass screen protector keeps my Nexus 5 feeling fresh. Whenever it gets to scratched or oily from fingerprints, I put a new one on and its refreshing to see the screen very clearly.”

via ComputerRobot, Comment link

“In no particular order: avoid dirty flashing, don’t use task killers, don’t wipe app caches too often (10- days), hibernate Facebook with greenify, exclude unwanted apps from auto-startup, use Kernel Adiutor to undervolt and underclock.”

via FXGIO, Comment Link

“Sometimes a wipe in TWRP or factory reset isn’t enough. i had some strange issues with phantom touches, apps crashing, random reboots a while back and no matter how many wipes/flashes still had issues, even after factory reset. i had flashed dozens of different builds, recoveries, kernels, etc… and felt like i had fragments causing problems. i finally cured the issue by flashing a full stock factory image, then before ever booting into android i immediately booted into stock recovery and did a factory reset from there. after that, i did the usual recovery/root/rom and have been happy since. been rock solid with no reboots, glitches, etc…”

via evilf23, Comment Link

Thanks again to the folks over at the Reddit Nexus 5 subreddit. They had some great answers. If you’re interested in more, feel free to check out the entire thread.

Fashion Accessories

Nexus Red White and Black_small

I’m generally a pretty minimalistic person when it comes to my phones. When I’m not in the middle of the review process on a case, I generally enjoy keeping my phone bare with maybe only a tempered glass screen protector. But there are things you can do to spice up your phone and give it a bit of a face lift.

One of my favorite options is a skin from dbrand. A cheap but effective option is picking up the red carbon fiber or red true color skin. But I’m not putting the skin on the front or back. I have it only on the sides. It gives a really nice touch of color without taking away from the phone or being overpowering.

Another great option is cases. With the phone being out so long, a lot of cases are pretty cheap at this point. I’m a fan of Frost Clear case from i-Blason. It doesn’t get in the way of the phone’s design (which I think is still pretty great) and protects the phone with just a bit of frost over it. It’s a pretty cool effect. Some of my other favorite cases are Caseology’s “Carbon Leather” (not actually leather) Case, Head Case Design’s Tree Wood Art Case and GMYLE’s Marble Cover Case.

There are still a ton of Nexus 5 accessories for sale out there. It’s proven to be a long lasting and popular smart phone. For my money, one of the first things I did was pick up a tempered glass screen protector. Phantom Glass makes a great screen protector but it is a bit pricey at $35. Others can be had much cheaper but I know the company well and love their products.

So what do you do to keep your phone fresh? Do you have any other tips and tricks than what’s listed here? Let us know in the comments!

Nexus 5: Buy a Nexus 5 on Swappa

About the author

Matt Adams

I love technology, Arsenal FC, The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Kentucky Wildcats. I'm obsessed with phones and talking about them. You can find me on reddit, my username is mattsatwork. My views are my own!