Nexus 4 Overheating Problem: What to do and how to prevent it?

Posted on Apr 1 2013 - 10:47am by Harold Hisona

nexus 4 overheatingOne of the most common problems Nexus 4 owners are facing is the overheating issue. Both LG and Google didn’t provide an explanation why the device has the tendency to overheat. Many users have actually reported to have experienced a scenario wherein their device turns off automatically because it has reached a temperature beyond its threshold.

According to reports, the Nexus 4 will automatically shut itself down when it reaches around 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). The automatic shut off is actually a fail-safe and almost every smartphone is designed—more often it is CPU-initiated task—to shut down to prevent further damage to its components as well as hazards that may result from battery explosion.

It is normal for smartphones to emit heat especially when they are used for several hours. What’s not normal is when they go heat up to the point that the user couldn’t use them because they can already cause slight burns on skin.

While not all Nexus 4 units heat up abnormally, there is a considerably big percentage of users to have reported the case. Based on those reports, we have gathered some information on what could trigger Nexus 4 overheating problems.

Possible Overheating Agents for Nexus 4

Note that the following list is based on reports submitted by users. We don’t guarantee their veracity as overheating happens in different scenarios.

  1. Google Chrome – many users have noticed that the phone unusually becomes hotter when using Google’s own browser, the Chrome. It may sound a little surprising considering the browser is light enough for the system to run.
  2. Google Earth – this service is a bit heavier than any other apps. It may require a little muscle from the phone to run so it is not a distant fact to think it could also cause overheating of the Nexus 4.
  3. 3G Network – compared with Wi-Fi network, 3G requires more effort on both hardware and software so the phone can connect to a network. Normally, the phone heats up a little bit when using 3G.
  4. Receiving Calls – actually, both incoming and outgoing calls can make any phone a bit hotter but many Nexus 4 users reported they had to end a call as the phone hurts both their ears and hands due to excessive heat.
  5. Intense Video Game Apps – both the battery and display make a lot of effort to be able to run a heavy game application. So, among all other agents mentioned in this list, this one may have a greater possibility of overheating the phone.

What To Do When Nexus 4 Overheats

Once a phone overheats, it is a sign that there is something wrong with it. Once the device turns unusually hot, users have to take necessary action so the case won’t escalate further. Here’s what you’re going to do:

  1. If the phone overheats and won’t shut down automatically, the user should shut it down at once. This is to avoid the phone from becoming hotter.
  2. While the device is turned off, take the back cover off and let the device cool off. Note that Nexus 4 has a non-removable battery.
  3. Do not charge the phone just yet as it will just add to the heat the device emits. You should know that a charging unit transfers electrons from an AC source to the battery and the process produces heat as well.
  4. During overheating and the charger is plugged into the phone, immediately unplug it to prevent further heating.
  5. Do not use any coolant, especially water to cool the device down. Just let the device rest unused for several minutes and that would do the job.
  6. When the phone has already cooled down, try turning it back on and launch some apps. If it does not generate too much heat, then that’s a good thing. If it still does, contact LG, Google or the retailer you’ve bought your phone from.

How To Prevent Nexus 4 From Overheating

Since you have already know some agents that may cause overheating in Nexus 4, try using them to know if they have the same effect on your unit. If they don’t, that’s a good thing. If one of them does, find an alternative service or app. But to further prevent overheating, here’s what you should do:

  1. Give your phone some time to rest. If you’ve been using it extensively for hours, let is sit unused for at least 15 minutes. That’s enough to cool it down, then you could continue using it.
  2. Don’t use the phone for gaming or other hardcore purposes while it is being charged. Again, its charging unit emits heat and so is its display and battery.
  3. Adjust screen brightness to a lower level if you’re in a well-lit environment or during the night.
  4. Put your phone down. If you’re not using it and you’re in a safe place, put the phone on the table or anywhere else so you won’t transfer your body heat to your device.
  5. Avoid using heavy apps like games and services like maps or Google Earth.

Have you experienced having your Nexus 4 overheat? What did you do?

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About the Author

Harold works as an Android support technician. He remains an active contributor to The Droid Guy providing free support to its readers by addressing their problems and questions. He recently launch his small blog, Droidista.com, which serves as an online journal for his works.

  • Andrew

    Thanks for the tips… very unbiased at least you didn’t bag the phone like many others did xD

  • Max

    I have had the Nexus 4 for 2 months and never had a head problem. I felt the back and it was warm. Must be pretty rare.

  • Asad Raza

    I am using the phone for almost 3 months. I do not have over heating issue. Battery of my phone lasts 20-24 hrs with normal use. Screen brightness is normally 50 to 100 %. I use only the apps I need and close all i do not need. Phone heats with continuous and heavy use but never to the extent mentioned above, may be i am lucky.

  • Jerry

    I’ve had phone for 4 months and no problem. Love my phone

  • http://thedroidguy.com/ Harold

    Thanks for reading, Andrew…

  • http://thedroidguy.com/ Harold

    It’s normal, Max… smartphones do warm up when used. It becomes unusual when they start to burn your skin.

  • http://thedroidguy.com/ Harold

    Yes, maybe you are lucky not having been able to experience what other users had in their units.

  • James

    Nexus 4 back cover is not removable!!

  • Angela

    I just got my phone and was pretty sure the back didnt come off. Thanks for confirming that! :)

  • Jerry

    Harold how much are the other guys paying you to write this BS.You say take the back off lol Nexus 4 has never over heated give it up

  • kj

    “yes, maybe you are…” is that just me or does that sound really stalkerish

  • Harold Hisona

    The back panel does come off, it just needs a little effort to do so. Here are the photos to prove:

    Picture 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/34mu3xhrmd8p77x/nexus%204.jpg
    Picture 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yfdiiklp140b97h/nexus%204%201.jpg
    Picture 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ntjp44zwfcpo8ym/nexus%204%202.jpg

  • odin

    I hope they will do something with it. My nexus 4 rev. 11 overheats every time.

  • A

    fyi, i m using a battery app named batterybot…..
    i tried chnging my app…but the prbl persists