I know I am not alone in this problem when I did a search for Nexus 5 Power Button Issue and more than a handful of discussion threads came up, all describing most of the same thing.
To give a little context to the specific problem I am facing – I got my Nexus 5 in February this year and it’s been an incredible experience using it until a couple of weeks ago. I started noticing this issue when my phone started rebooting randomly or getting stuck in a boot loop. At first thought, I didn’t associate it with a potential hardware failure because I’ve been tweaking Android for years and the natural association was to start tracing back what I did with the phone.
After a couple of days of futile attempt to locate the issue (I even stopped using ART because I thought one of the apps was causing the incompatibility), I started realizing that the boot loop or “random” reboot occurred either immediately after locking the screen or unlocking the screen. Not too long after, it dawned on me that the power button had been stuck from time to time and whenever that happened, my phone would get into a boot loop.
The most legitimate solution in this case is to claim your RMA; you’ll almost certainly get a replacement with no question asked. But the I live in Singapore and I bought my Nexus 5 through my cousin who lived in the States, so getting it replaced isn’t exactly a walk in the park for me (not a priority for now).
As I am not looking to replace my phone any sooner, I’ve started scavenging for a semi-long-term solution with one objective in mind – avoid the use of power button if at all possible. Here is what my current setup looks like (note: I haven’t touched the power button for over 4 days except when I was taking the upcoming app screenshots for this blog post):
App 1: Gravity Screen
What it does: Lock/unlock screen via proximity sensor, motion or a combination of both.
Pros: Highly customizable, Works 90% of the time, Not battery-killing.
Cons: A tad challenging to get used to Motion Sensitivity. Proximity Sensor could be too sensitive (or not responsive at all) at times.
Bottom Line: I’ve tried more than a handful of proximity sensor apps and I think this is the closest to a perfect solution.
App 2: Screen Off and Lock
What it does: Lock the screen by tapping a notification icon that’s always-on.
Pros: Caters to use cases where I don’t put the phone on the table or keep in my pocket.
Cons: Limited usage. Likely redundant for most use cases.
Bottom Line: Complimentary solution to Gravity Screen – mainly for use cases when I hold Nexus 5 in my hand (e.g. while walking). In such a situation, both pocket sensor and flat-surface sensor won’t work.