Android’s fragmentation and carrier-delayed updates are the mobile platform’s biggest drawbacks. That’s the reason why I went with the Nexus line for my latest smartphone. A couple months ago I was able to update my Nexus 6P to Android 7.0 Nougat with an OTA update. While I enjoyed most of the new features of Nougat, I began to notice a problem whenever my battery would get low and it seemed to be falling faster than before. When my phone would get around 25% or lower, it would just power off. More accurately, it would drop from 20-30% straight to 1%, Battery Saver mode would turn on, and the ‘Powering off…’ message would pop up and it would, sure enough, power off. You might be able to power it back on but it would only last another few seconds before powering itself off again.
With essentially only 75% of the device’s battery available and while playing Pokemon Go regularly, this was causing for some times when my phone would be completely out of commission until I got it to a charger. This was very frustrating but pretty minimal. It was usually near the end of the work day and I could start charging it again as soon as I got to my car.
I looked around online and found a few other people complaining about the same problem on their Nexus 6P. The same generation Nexus 5X seems to have not had this problem. I found several suggestions at fixes, which included:
- downgrading back to Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- doing a factory reset
- fully charging and then fully draining the battery to “reset” its memory
- Upgrading to Android 7.1
Nougat is being handled a bit differently than previous Android releases with many of the Nougat features being postponed to a 7.1 release. Fortunately, the 7.1 image became available for the Nexus 6P relatively recently since it is being offered on the Pixel phones already and I was able to upgrade my phone to it by joining the Android beta program. A few hours after joining the beta and being on WiFi, I was able to download the gigabyte+ image and upgrade my phone. It was a painless process though leaving the beta program will wipe the device.
So far on Android 7.1 developer preview, I have been able to enjoy the new features and, more importantly, my battery life has been better. Most noticeably, it does not drop like a rock at the 25% mark, so it has not powered off on its own, to leave me stranded. If you are experiencing this issue with your Nexus 6P, you can consider the beta upgrade. If you have a compatible device and would like to see the latest Android features, you might also consider the Android Beta program.