Upgrading Nexus 4 from Android 5.0.1 to Android 5.1

The Google pushed a new version of Android for their LG Nexus 4 smartphone, upgrading to 5.1 (I was previously at 5.0.1). I am happy to write that this upgrade was smooth and eventless. The last time I had trouble was in June 2014 going from 4.4.2 to 4.4.3. The three subsequent upgrades (four counting this one) were much smoother.

So if you want to know what to expect going from 5.0.1 to 5.1 before you attempt it, here is what I experienced… (please note that I am pruning the screenshots to only shot relevant information, in order to keep this fairly short)

The System Update notification gets you to the Download screen. As you can see, this is a 174.5MB file.


The download took a few minutes, it was certainly slower than the speed of the network.



After pressing the “Restart & Install” button, the phone rebooting itself, and the Google logo appeared. Two minutes later, it was the green Android with its digital guts rotating with the ‘Installing System Update” message and a blue progress bar below it. This step took about 18 minutes or so.

Then the phone rebooted itself again, the Google logo appeared, and then the four colorful rotating ping-pong balls. Two minutes after that, it went into the all familiar “Optimizing app XX of XXX”. Shockingly, I have managed to squeeze 136 apps on an 8GB Nexus 4 (with over 1GB left to spare). Given my app-load, this took 16 minutes to complete.

And that’s it! Successful Android 5.1 install, without any issues after that. I started this with a fully charged battery. The whole process took about 1/3rd of the available battery (around 30%). The variable here is the “Optimizing app” part, which will vary depending on how many apps you have.

As you can see in the About page, this is now running kernel version 3.4.0-perf-gf75bb4f.