This “feature” could fix Google Nexus 6P early shutdowns

Android Oreo Google Nexus 6P

Although the Google Nexus 6P is now over two years old, the phone still holds a special place in many people’s smartphone cabinet.

In fact, there are still many out there that are currently rocking the phone, but others have since moved on not because they really wanted to, but because of the many issues the phone has been experiencing over the past year or so.

Even before users of the Apple iPhone 6S started complaining about cases of early shutdowns, those using the Google Nexus 6P were already going through this problem. The phone would automatically shut down even when the battery juice is still at 30% or in other cases even more. This was a strange occurrence that Google chose to address by replacing the affected units, but some people were frustrated by the entire process of getting a refund or a replacement unit.

Even though Lithium-ion batteries will always get weaker with repeated charge and discharge cycles, the early shutdowns on the Google Nexus 6P and even Apple iPhone 6S, which was unveiled at about the same time as the 6P, were too early in the phones’ life cycles. It might be easy to come to terms with such cases if they occur after three or so years of using a phone, but not one year, which was the case for the Google and Apple phones.

Unlike Google, Apple chose a different path of dealing with the early shutdowns on the iPhone 6S. Rather than replace all affected units, Cupertino chose to roll out a “feature” that ensured the phones were no longer experiencing premature shutdowns. When a battery gets older, it’ll not be capable to supply a similar amount of power that it did when new. This means that the amount of power demanded by the processor for it to run at full speed can easily overwhelm the battery. To solve this, the “feature” that Apple rolled out slowed down the speed of the processor, which meant that the amount of power needed by the processor was reduced. In this way, the company was able to stop the early shutdowns, but at the expense of performance.

We all know how Android devices become slower with age. Even for any “perfect” phone, it’ll still become slow with age, something that current owners of the Google Nexus 6P will be quick to agree. When compared to 2015, the Nexus 6P is no longer the same device, but when early shutdowns are added to this slowed down performance, it becomes a user’s nightmare.

iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iOS 10.2.1

As it is, under-clocking the processor can work miracles for Google Nexus 6P users experiencing early shutdowns. Interestingly, this has somehow worked before for units that were experiencing bootloops. XDA Developers were able to disable the more powerful cores of the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 808 on the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, thus doing away with the bootloop issue. Based on this reasoning, it can be assumed that the bootloop issue was a result of insufficient power reaching the phone’s components thus preventing it from booting normally. But when the processor’s power demands were reduced, the affected units were able to work normally, although at slower performance speeds.

Perhaps Google could borrow this Apple “feature” and roll out a similar update to the Google Nexus 6P and even some Pixel units that suffered these early shutdowns. But rather than do it secretly like Apple, the search giant should come clear with their intentions so that users of the phones do not feel coerced to upgrade to a new phone whenever they start noticing that the current one is slowing down. Of course, there are those who would wish for their devices to age gracefully rather than suffer some form of artificial performance issues, but still, this would be a great move by Google, if implemented correctly.

What do you think about this “feature”? Let us know in your comments below.

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