Galaxy Nexus sporadically not charging, fast battery drain
My wife and I each purchased a Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play store last July. Recently, my wife's phone started only charging sporadically when connected to a charger. The symptoms don't line up exactly with any other situation I've found described online, so please bear with me while I type out a full report.
I tried removing the battery and using a precision screwdriver to "nudge" the micro USB port "tongue" toward the screen.
I thought it had fixed the problem as the phone started charging immediately after I plugged it back in, but when I checked it ~30 minutes later, it had stopped charging.
I tried taking the battery out of my GNex and putting it in my wife's phone; I put my wife's battery in my phone.
That seemed to fix the problem, though, again, it was only temporary. I was able to get both batteries to charge to ~80%, then swapped them back. Again, my wife's phone charged the battery, but only for a short while. I swapped batteries twice more to rule out a bad battery; the same symptoms persisted, so I can confirm the battery is not the culprit.
I tried cleaning the micro USB port
by removing the battery and using a needle and 91% isopropyl alcohol to clear any dirt or dust from the contacts. I waited for the alcohol to evaporate, reinstalled the battery, and plugged the phone back in to the charger. Same result as before: Phone charged for a little while, but stopped charging before reaching full charge.
We tried 4 different USB chargers
: The charger that came with my wife's GNex, the charger that came with my GNex, the charger that came with the Droid RAZR MAXX that I use for work, and the charger that came with my wife's Verizon Jetpack. Same results on all chargers.
Now for some oddities:
The "charge for a while, but stops charging after a while" persists whether the phone is on or off. I turned off my wife's phone at bedtime one night, plugged it into the charger, confirmed that the charging icons appeared (a lightning bolt, then an animated charge meter). When I woke up, the phone was still turned off but only had 13% charge.
Whenever I plug the phone in to my Windows 7 laptop, I'm able to access the file system every time (100% of the 4-5 times I tried). The Battery settings page will say "Not Charging," but I can view and modify files using Windows Explorer without issue.
And now, for a note from my wife:
Unless my memory fails me, I think this was one morning when the charger felt warm on the adapter where it plugs in. Pretty sure this was the day I took the charger with me to work. I had the phone turned off and plugged it in and later turned it on to check the charge and it had been charging. I left it on and it continued to charge. I had to unplug it on three separate occasions and I plugged it back in and it did ultimately charge fully. But when unplugged, the battery did drain quickly, and I had not previously had a battery life issue.
The phone will sometimes get warm--not hot, but warm--around the area under the camera when charging. (I'm guessing it's near where the battery makes contact with the phone.) The charger itself will also get warm sometimes.
Sometimes, even though the Battery section of Settings will say "Not charging," the battery would charge very, very slowly (as in, an increase of 1% charge over the course of 15-45 minutes). When plugged in, the battery would sometimes hold charge (e.g. stays level at ~45%) but not charge or discharge.
When I called Samsung support, I waited less than a minute to talk with a person, explained the situation and symptoms, and was told, yes, the phone is out of warranty (by two months, which I admit is aggravating), but I could send it in for repairs for a total charge of $70.63. That includes shipping both ways. Total repair time would be 5-7 business days. Add 2 days for shipping each way and my wife would be without a phone for 9-11 business days if we were to send it in. It's good to know that the repair are (in my opinion) reasonable because I was hoping to hold on to my phone for at least 2 years before upgrading (and I'd prefer to wait at least 3 years).
I've since got an old iPhone 3GS working on Straight Talk (which was its own ordeal) so my wife has something she can use if and when we send in the phone for repairs. (Side note: My wife really misses Swype.) She plans on backing up her data tonight so I can wipe and reload her GNex and attempt to rule out software and OS as the root cause.
In advance of wiping and reloading my wife's GNex, I had a few questions:
Do you agree with my hunch that the root cause of this issue is hardware, not software?
I'd love to be wrong, but all evidence points to a hardware fault.
What ROM do you all recommend for thorough testing in this situation should I encounter the same problems with a clean Android 4.3 stock install?
Are there any other possible fixes you all could recommend before I drop 70 bucks on repairs and my phone has to tolerate the iOS on-screen keyboard for 2 more weeks?