4: “Sleep of Death” problem with Android 5.0/5.0.1

[German]Some Nexus 4 users are facing some "freezing" problems, so alarms are not reliable. After stumbling upon this issue in Google+ I was investigating it a bit. Here is, what I found so far, searching the web.


A few days ago, I published this German Lollipop-Update auf 5.0.1 für Nexus 4/7 (2013) verfügbar article, announcing an OTA update for Android 5.0.1 for Nexus devices. My Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013) already received this update. But I don't use both devices on a daily base – so I haven't faced "freezing issues". I'm only annoyed by one issue since updating to Android 4.3: The Google App My Tracks doesn't works reliable. Some time, GPS tracking won't start, and in other cases tracking stalls during a walk. Therefore I don't use My Tracks very often anymore.

Nexus 4 freezes – "Sleep of death"

Today I was stumbling uppon this German Google+ entry. A user was reporting "freezes" on his Nexus 4 under Android 5.0.1. He was forced to press the On button for 20 seconds to reset the device. The Google+ thread shows other users reporting the same problem. So I begun to investigat this issue and tried searching the web.

The first hit was this reddit thread, where many users are complaining about a "freeze" issue on Nexus 4. User ignitusmaximus wrote on reddit about this issue:

Called "Sleep of Death". It doesn't actually shut off, just doesn't wake up from sleep. I find this many times happening where I can't wake the device but the notification light is still giving me alerts on my notifications.

Unfortunately Nexus 4s are notorious for this, and its a hardware issue that can't be fixed.

The best advice I can give at this point, is if you rely on an alarm clock, use daydream while you charge. That way the phone isn't in sleep mode during the night, and you can sleep safe knowing your alarm is going to wake you up.

I don't know, whether this statement is reliable or not. Others are claiming "freezes" are caused by battery load (if battery load is below 40 %, it comes to freezes). The screenshot below indicates, that this isn't true, because there are freezes at distinct battery charging levels.

(Source: Imgur)


Some users in older posts addressed the hope, that this issue will be gone with Android 5.0.1 (which shall fix several bugs). But this discussion thread at google deals also with Nexus 4 "freezing" problems – but last posts confirming, that the issue is still there under Android 5.0.1. Some people also have had this effect under KitKat, but it seems it occurs in Lollipop more often. Here is also a similar Reddit discussion, where one user is claiming, that flashing a factory image of Android 5.0.1 solved the issue so far. But I'm not sure, whether this will heal the freezes.

The issue has been also in older Android versions, as you can see in this 2013 post. Are there any other findings, to fix this issue? Comments and further suggestions are welcome. Maybe we will get a better image, what happens.

Similar articles (German):
Lollipop-Update auf 5.0.1 für Nexus 4/7 (2013) verfügbar
Android 5.0.1: Factory Images für Nexus 4 und 6 verfügbar

Lollipop OTA sideload-Update für das Nexus 4 Step-by-step
Android 5.0 Factory Image für das Nexus 4 freigegeben
Android 5.0 auf dem Nexus 7 (2013) installieren
Bugfix: Android 5.0.1 gesichtet, Factory Images verfügbar
Aufgenordet: Mein Nexus 4 bekommt das KitKat-Upgrade!
Lollipop 5.0.1 OTA ZIP-Files für Nexus 5 & Co. verfügbar

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6 Responses to 4: “Sleep of Death” problem with Android 5.0/5.0.1

  1. PhilipGerard says:

    I keep getting this sleep of death on my nexus 4 after I installed the OTA 5.01 update. I've never had it before.

  2. Anson Y says:

    My nexus 4 has the same issue. It's updated to lollipop 5.01. It freezed and could never be restart the phone until I plugged the USB charger to it. Any solution?

  3. José luis says:


    Got my nexus 4 with SOD start happening after upgrading to Lollipop. Now the phone has v5.0.1 and the problem remains.

    I found some workarounds to get to this issue. One was to turn off NFC, another one to turn off Ok google voice detection.

    I just did this but it doesn't solve the problem.

    There is a thread on android forums started 2 months ago so I hope google do something about this.

    Some other solutions apply only when the phone is plugged to the power supply, as when the device is on battery it will drain the power.

    So…still stuck with this. Let me know if you have better luck finding the issue!


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  5. J Mercado says:

    I have the same problem and never had it before 5.0/5.0.1. It happens about every other night for me. Still get LED notifications but the alarm doesn't work (doh!) and you can't return it from its deep sleep without the very long power button reset procedure.

  6. nicolas says:

    Same problem for me. I only have it since 5.0.1
    This is a big problem but I don't think google will spend time on this, on an "old" phone for them..
    Hope it will be corrected on 5.0.2.. Believe on santa claus…

  7. Carl says:

    I've also had a lot of freezes. But I have an Oppo Find 7 with Nameless 2.0 rom (Lollipop 5.0).

    The freezes have happened 3 nights while charging the last 2 months. No alarms, and I oversleep. That's the worst. The freezes also happens when I'm not charging, during the day. Different apps in use.

    I've even had the freeze happen a couple of times while the screen is on! Image freezes, probably until the phone runs out of juice, and I'm forced to do a reset. This happened in two different applications. So, I don't know if this issue should be called sleep of death :)

    Only thing I'm pretty sure of is that Wifi has nothing to do with it. As I have not had it on for the majority of incidents.

    I'm awaiting 5.1 badly. Hopefully this will fix the issue.

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