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Krister's Blog
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Overheating Failure - Nexus 9

My Nexus 9 tablet is overheating. The problem started in January 2016 after only 14 months of service. The overheating has probably caused permanent damage to the battery (and/or to the motherboard). The failure mostly appears when the battery is lower than about 60% and occurs both when using the tablet and when rebooting it after a failure. I have tried to live with the problem by trying these actions to reduce the CPU load:
  • Reduce brightness
  • Uninstall the animated wallpaper
  • Uninstall about half of the apps and widgets
  • Factory reset
  • Limit apps starting at boot time, with Startup Manager
  • Hibernate apps with Greenify
  • Get a high temperature alert somehow, see below!

Boot failure

I have achieved a reduction in boot time from abt 4 minutes to just below 2 minutes. But still the screen hangs or more often the screen fails (see animation and picture!), accompanied with a noisy sound if an app with audio is running. The screen failure seems to occur when the battery temperature approaches 40 Celcius.

I have been searching for ways to know the temperature. The best app I have found is CPU-Z with all kinds of thermal information. But I would like to have an icon in the notification area showing the actual battery temperarture, and I have not found one yet. Next best would be a temperature alert in the notification area, like with Temperature Monitor and Cooler Master. Another alternative is a widget on the home screen showing the actual temperature, such as with X-CPU Widgets. Have not yet decided which I will be using.

View Video 4 min

After a screen failure you have to force stop by simultaneously pressing and holding the power key and the volume down key. This will usually cause an automatic reboot, which more often than not will hang. To avoid this happening you have to keep pressing and holding the power key and the volume down key, until you get the boot menu. Then press the power key to select the fastboot meny, and then navigate down using the volume down key to Power Down. Confirm by pressing the power key to exit - and give the device a chance to cool down properly - for at least 15 minutes and preferably also charge the battery.

When finally rebooting after a catastrophoic failure, I usually connect the battery charger, as this seems to reduce the risk of hanging or screen failure in the middle of the boot process.

Overheating - Screen failures

I won't put up with this for much longer. What To Do?
  • Replace Battery?
  • Get my wife a new Google Pixel tablet and take over her Galaxy TAB S 10.5 ?
  • Get a Sony Xperia Z4 or a Galaxy TAB S2 10.5"?
  • Or wait for a newer versions of the Sony or the Samsung tablet?
  • Maybe ASUS will launch a new 2-in-1 better spec than the present Zen series??
Your suggestion would be welcome!

Update 2016-03-07
Talked to Google - they will give me a free refurbished replacement device.
Update 2016-03-14
It works as if new!
Update 2017-05-06
Jim Ringer informs on my YouTube channel that opening the tablet and reapplying the battery solves the problem! Thanks Jim!