30 Days of Nexus 5: The Ugly

Nexus 5: Ugly Display Problem 

This is the third in our series of posts on 30 Days with Nexus 5: The Good,  Nexus 5: The Bad, and Ugly. Today, we’re featuring probably the single ugliest issue to date – massive issues with cracked and shattered Nexus 5 displays.

It was during our research for the rest of the problems we reported that we ran into this one, and it is costing users a pretty penny. The Official Nexus 5 Google Product Forum is showing a number of threads with hundreds of posts in which every author reports that his or her Nexus 5 display has cracked or shattered already.

Here’s a video of a screen shattering on the first drop. Screenshot of it is below.

While there are no official statistics concerning the issue, we dug though the reports and found a few things in common:

  • All cracking or shattering happened within 48 hours of receiving the device
  • Devices broken as the result of dropping were dropped once only, and with little force
  • Cracks and shatters happened during normal wear and tear
  • Display was cracked or otherwise faulty out of the box.

Interesting, is it not? We thought so, which is why we kept looking at the issue, and a few stories intrigued us in addition to the fact that if you search for “Nexus 5 cracked screen” there are a full three pages of separate forums with hundreds – possibly thousands of users – posting the same issue.

Nexus 5 Cracked Display demonstration

Nexus 5 Cracked Display Demonstration via YouTube

For example, this report from Romy Bermudez states he found a hairline crack, but that:

“I have been babying this phone since day 1. I have not dropped it or anything. The hairline crack just appeared … I called Google and they said there was nothing they could do about it.”

Then this one from Killerteacup says:

“I set my phone face down on a desk and when I picked it up, the screen was shattered. Google said they wouldn’t take it back because it’s physically damaged. LG said they won’t take it back because it’s damaged.”

Other Nexus 5 users report similar situations, and that their Nexus 5 arrived cracked or shattered right out of the box. Others have said that their device’s screen shattered when carrying it in a jacket pocket, and still others have said that the phone’s display broke when pressing the talk buttons, or while talking on the phone.

That’s not the worst part…

The worst part is that while Google is indeed refunding or exchanging Nexus 5s from users complaining of cracked or shattered displays, those who decide to get theirs fixed are being forced to pay LG for the fix – out of pocket, despite the fact that most of the shattering and breaks aren’t the fault of the user.

LG tells the owners to send the device to the nearest authorized repair center for a quote, and users are reporting that the repair costs no less than $146 – plus shipping both ways.

What’s Going on with the Nexus 5 Display?

Nexus 5 with Kit-Kat

Nexus 5 with Kit-Kat by  Janitors

Now, before you go thinking (like we did) that this is a scam, and that there’s no way for the Nexus 5 to shatter simply by placing it down, we’ve heard the same complaint –the device shattered upon placing it normally on a desk – a few times in a few different forums.

As for it being cracked or shattered upon arrival, the Nexus 5 would have had to be cracked during shipping. Because of this, it makes us think that it’s possible some of the other cracks and shatters could be caused by hairline fractures received during shipping that get worse during normal use.

Now, if this were happening to only a few devices, it wouldn’t be much of an issue, but there are hundreds of users who are complaining of a broken display, whether it broke during normal wear and tear or it was broken out of the box.

Have you had a problem with the display? Let us know how it happened and how you handled the problem below!

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