Nexus 7 gets Android Lollipop 5.0.2, still has battery drain issues

While Android Lollipop was a highly anticipated and sought-out OS upgrade from the older KitKat, the new OS (as usually the case) brought along quite a few issues in its first, 5.0 version, on more than just one device. Unfortunately, Nexus owners weren’t spared these issues, ranging from random crashes to increased battery drain and a multitude of bugs. The Nexus 7, being a Google device, was among the first to receive Lollipop, but wasn’t spared of some issues either. The firmware simply has a long way to go before it’s solid and problem-free, but luckily, Android Lollipop 5.0.2 has started rolling out.

Now, luckily may have been used a bit prematurely. The new firmware is mostly available as a manual installation, meaning you have to go to Google’s official developer website to get it, and then install it. This can be problematic for more inexperienced users, so if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you’re best holding off, unless you want to brick your device. That being said, the update, dubbed LRX22G, has also started rolling out as an automated update, but this roll-out process is extremely slow for now, and only a handful of users have reported getting the prompt to update. It’s worth mentioning that the 5.0.2 Lollipop update is currently only available for the 2012, WiFi-only version of the Nexus 7, not the 3G variant.

The exact change-log is unclear at this point. Mostly, the Android Lollipop 5.0.2 update for the Nexus 7 focuses on bug-fixing, eliminating some crash scenarios and improving performance, while also eliminating battery drain. Unfortunately, initial feedback from users isn’t looking good. On some Nexus forums, users were complaining that the 5.0.2 update actually causes the Nexus 7 to drain its battery faster, and recommend against downloading and installing the update for now. Once you go up in firmware version, it’s hard to go down, so unless you’re willing to take some chances, we’d advise waiting with the update installation. Despite all the bad news, the Lollipop 5.0.2 update does fix some of the issues of the Nexus 7, but can cause others. Users have reported trouble with WiFi connectivity and battery lifetime, but have also reported generally better performance and improved overall stability. It’s too early to tell if the LRX22G update does more foul than good, so it’s a gamble, but most preliminary firmware updates usually are.

In case you’re willing to take a chance, you’ll be pleased to know that the Android Lollipop 5.0.2 update will be gradually rolling out during the next few weeks, so you’ll likely get a prompt on your Nexus 7 soon. It’s interesting that Google has decided to release the update for the Nexus 7 ahead of other Nexus devices, given that this is a 2012 model. More recent and powerful Nexus smartphones and tablets have yet to get anything newer than the 5.0.1 update, and that includes the popular Nexus 5 too. This might indicate that Google is testing the waters with the 5.0.2 update, and will either release it to other Nexus devices later this months, or will skip it altogether and go straight for Android Lollipop 5.1, which is due out at the end of February.