Yet another significant Nexus 4 bug has emerged over at the Issues section of the Android project page, this one relating to the camera. Apparently, under some conditions (several days of being powered on, or taking a low-light shot with flash), the Nexus 4's camera app simply won't capture images anymore. Rebooting resolves the problem, but obviously a problem like this could ruin an opportunity for a candid snap or otherwise quick photo-op, since rebooting will obviously take some time to accomplish.

Another fix that some users have reported works is switching to camcorder mode, recording one second or so of video, and then switching back to camera mode.

The bug also sometimes causes the camera flash to get "stuck" on (if you have flash enabled), which is certainly a nuisance.

The thread currently has 185 stars, and dates back to December 5th.

Android Issues

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Shane Milton

    Not seen this myself. Had my N4 since the first batch and often keep it on for days at a time. Not saying it doesn't exist, just saying it's never affected me.

    • Sorc

      1663 hours since last reboot and not seen any problems at all on mine

      • Scott


      • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        Impressive uptime.

        Imagine 15 years ago, I wouldn't have expected to have a computer powered on for so long without being awfully slow or on the brink of crashing.

        Technology is amazing!

        • Tomi Golob

          I did... Unix/Linux b*atch!
          Ok but still it was crazy rare

  • Tim Peyton

    Even if that's the case, this phone still has the longest uptime I've ever heard of. I've only had to restart it once, and I'm now at 557 hours and counting.

    • Anders Tyft

      How do you flash nightlies without rebooting?

      • Tim Peyton

        :P I wait for stable.

      • Scott

        Ha! You do have a point.

    • didibus

      Never rebooted it once, had it for 1 month now. Camera still works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

    I've rebooted mine maybe twice since getting it (first batch). Currently it's running on about 3 weeks of uptime. I can't say I've ever had this problem...?

    • Chris Webster

      Ditto. I've had over a week of uptime and have barely turned it off since getting it at the beginning of December (since you don't have to ever) and haven't had a single problem with anything

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Oddly enough, mine did this twice in the last 2 days while on a charger - it just wouldn't turn on, even after holding the power button for a while. The light would glow but the phone would be dead.

      Not sure what brings it back, but eventually it boots back up. Kind of frustrating. Not sure if a Nexus 4 problem or Android 4.2, and whether http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/02/google-pushes-new-android-4-2-1-code-to-aosp-jop40g-4-2-1_r1-2-here-is-the-developer-changelog/ fixes it.

      • thegr33k

        I have had this charger one twice. Strangely only after installing Chrome Beta and not had it since I uninstalled it. Now that could be a coincidence!? The camera bug I have had, but if you do have that you don't need to reboot, just change the camera mode from photo to video and back, works to fix it for me.

      • Kenny O

        This happens to me all the time, but only in my car when it's paired with my radio. Often when the the car charger is hooked up. I press the power button (tried volume wake too) to bring the screen back on, but nothing happens. I know the phone is still on, because one time I was on a call and the call continued fine. It's done this on stock and with every version of CM 10.1.

    • Drew M

      I haven't had this problem either. I've taken a lot of stills and videos, and my current uptime is 899 hours (34 days).

  • ruperto17

    I bought 3 N4s and one of them is affected by this bug.

    • didibus

      Interesting, could be a hardware defect with some models?

      • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        That wouldn't surprise me.

        Had this problem on my Galaxy Nexus ( https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=37485 )

        And Samsung/Google never acknowledged the issue. Already sent it twice for repair and the problem is still there.

        I upgraded to the Nexus 4 as I couldn't stand this anymore.

        • Tomi Golob

          but this would imply a software issue...nexus 4 has a different camera hardware than the galaxy nexus ...did I miss something ?

  • Raloc

    The Galaxy Nexus had a similar bug if you let the phone timeout with the camera app open the camera wouldn't reconnect until rebooted. Might be a stock Android thing.

    • Ulrik Djurtoft

      I had this issue as well. Still have it occasionally, but it became much more rare with the update to Jellybean.

  • Ekhez

    Just tested on mine, works fine, though the colors are not accurate.. though this could be a general problem. Havent rebooted for 4 days now.

  • efan

    i sometimes take hundreds of pictures a day for my lab projects and i have never experienced this issue.

  • Kam Siu

    yeah like everyone else, i haven't had a random reboot. only reason i need to reboot it is because of the bluetooth bug.

  • Jared Meyering

    This has been the worst for my wife. Many lost shots of or 2 year old. (Among thousands good shots however) she wants to throw the phone against a wall when this happens.

    • NexusKoolaid

      Instead she can just toss it to me... I'll take care of it XD

      • Mcwong

        Me too :-)

    • thegr33k

      You can sort this out quicker than a reboot. Change the camera mode to video recording then back and it has fixed this for me twice. Hope this works for you if you need it.

      • JLM

        I just use a different camera app until I hear that this is fixed.

  • Paul

    lol, thats what happens when you let lg make it. I've owned 2 lg phones in the past and while spec wise they were good, they always had funky little issues, never quite right. always knawing at the back of my head. camera issues, stability, performance, etc. could never trust them after that and I jumped on the samsung bandwagon. was "concerned" when I heard the nexus4 would be made by lg. would have preferred even htc (or sony or motorola) over lg. sorry lg, I gave yiu a chance, twice, you let me down and now the Android purists.

    • Claude

      And you know it's not a software problem how?

      • http://twitter.com/nerdtaco fredrick pringle

        Because reasons.

  • fixxmyhead

    ugh someone always finds a "bug"

    • Matt Alexander

      I'm not sure what your quotes are for. What this post is describing is definitely a legitimate bug

      • fixxmyhead

        cuz its not a legitimate bug. most people here are saying it hasnt happened to them. also hasnt even happened to me but i forget this is the android community and if it happens to one or a just a few people it must be an issue right?

        • Jared Meyering

          Yeah its a bug....your an idiot. My wife gets beyond pissed when it happens. (it happens to her probably once a week.)

          • fixxmyhead

            no idiot its not a bug. your wife just has a defective unit. it happens if this was a "real bug" it'd be happening to all nexus 4s but its not.

          • Jared Meyering

            Software Defect = Bug

            You're Ingorant.

            "Well I dont experience it so its not a bug you dumbasses"

            Why is it so hard to imagine that a device could maybe have a couple bugs?

          • fixxmyhead

            and why is it so hard to imagine your wife could have a defective unit?

          • Concerned Citizen

            I've had the phone since November and it only happened once since then. Just because you've never experienced it doesn't mean it's not a bug. I can understand why a twelve year old would think like that though. You should tell your parents you don't deserve the Nexus 4.

          • fixxmyhead

            why its very cheap and im spoiled what can i say ;)

          • Concerned Citizen

            it shows

          • Tomi Golob

            your parents should update your firmware , your character is also a software bug or maybe you are just a defective unit?

          • Tomi Golob

            ok but jokes aside, you could be right...

        • Steve Williamson

          To be honest, we cant be 100% sure its software or hardware. I believe its a software issue if a its easy to trigger it back into working again.

          I've defintly had it stop taking pictures in clubs/bars with the flash coming on and just staying on until I quit the app without it taking a picture

  • James Jenkins

    First batch. Def had this problem 3 or 4 times. even using custom ROMs. AOKP ftw

  • Jean-Louis Kaminski

    I've also experienced this but have found a workaround. If you very quickly tap the blue button it works fine BUT if you press the blue button and then slide your finger ever so slightly it fails. It's only ever failed under low lighting from what I've experienced.

  • Bleakvision

    Why did you guys never report on the touch screen sensitivity issue?

    Your word carries a lot of weight in the Android community, please make it known!

    • jonny

      Because this is not an issue, check if your hands are touching the sides of the screen, this happens to a lot of people because of the cur m curvature of the screen

    • Icarusxt

      I also thought I had sensitivity issues but I discovered it was because I had magnification gestures turned on in accessibility settings. It takes the phone a second after you tap to figure out if you're doing a magnification gesture or not.

  • gumbald

    Had this too, thought it must be CM/Android, I guess not!

    • Tomi Golob

      CM guys would have fixed that asap... :/

  • PhineasJW

    The number of software-fixable bugs in the Nexus 4 & Nexus 7 are truly disheartening. What happened to DOG-FOODING at Google? Don't Matias and team use these things?

    My Nexus 7 has a bounce-back issue on ~30-50% of all home-screen swipes. It's awful and ruining an otherwise great product.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I've basically stopped using my Nexus 7 because of that issue.

    • Scott

      Is that when you think you've swiped to get to a different home screen but it goes back to the one you were just on?

      • PhineasJW

        Yes, exactly.

  • Guest

    I've also experienced this but have found a workaround. If you very quickly tap the blue button it works fine BUT if you press the blue button and then slide your finger ever so slightly it fails. It's only ever failed under low lighting from what I've experienced

  • brkshr

    Never had a problem here

  • Nick V

    Both my wife and I have this issue with the camera on the N4. It is annoying, but doesn't happen too often. Just when you really need it.

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    Mine has been powered on (and never rebooted) since I got it on february 1st and no camera issue so far.
    I probably took around 20 photos since.

    I sincerely hope for those affected this is a software/firmware issue and not an hardware defect.

  • Adam Miah

    This is unrelated, but is anyone getting this bug:? http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=36331503#post36331503

  • SomeGuy112

    Never had this issue yet and have had my Nexus 4 for about 2 months.. Guess I'm lucky as well?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pforslund Patrick Forslund

    This has happened to me. I was at a concert trying to take pics and the flash just went on until I turned it off.

  • mzr

    Had this issue on new years.

  • Ray

    This device has got more bugs than an Insect Museum, but I'm sure they will be resolved with the Key Lime Pie update.

    • Tomi Golob

      that's why you should take those medicines of yours... j/k :) oh I have a SGS3 and the camera works great! :) yes I'm trolling

      • Ray

        My medicine is in a brown bottle with the words COGNAC printed on it. What's yours? :)

  • SK

    Switching to 360 camera mode and switching back also fixed it for a few shots.

  • FrillArtist

    They're probably rooted and did something to it. I'm on stock and have no issues with the camera.

    • http://twitter.com/DenizOmer Deniz Omer

      I'm on stock and had the mentioned camera issue..

  • Aaron Stevens

    When I was out I had a "can't connect to camera" or similar message when starting the camera app, thought that was odd. It started working again when I got home, didn't reboot the phone. Hope this is fixed too.

  • GraveUypo

    i've seen a lot of people saying how nexii are the only android devices worth it because they're always up-to-date and such, but... i've recently come to realize that's not a plus at all. nexii are so freaking buggy...

  • Captylor

    I think the worst problem I have encountered on my gf's Nexus 4 is the sudden inability to turn it on. Long press of the power button didn't help. The phone couldn't be charged as well when this issue happened. Somehow, for some reason, the phone will be able to be powered on again after a few hours.

    This led me to believe that the phone wasn't dead. It was just in a hanged state until the battery was drained. Checking the XDA forums turns up a few threads that reflect a similar issue.

  • irtechneo

    I thought about getting the nexus 4 before I got my note 2 just because it was a nexus device. Now however I am glad I didn't. It seems like there are still a lot of bugs. My note 2 has been flawless since I got it. So good in fact I haven't even bothered with rooting or unlocking the boot loader for roms. This is the first android device I have owned that I honestly have no desire for root or a different rom. Not to mention the shipping fiasco that has plagued the nexus. I hope the next nexus doesn't have these problems.

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      In a year when we are all on KLP and you're still on 4.1 you may feel otherwise.

      • EH101

        Why exactly wouldn't we be on KLP? (Which, btw, I hope they come up with something better than KLP for the name) We have CM10, We have AOKP. ParanoidAndroid. Other AOSP or CM based ROMs. There is nothing stopping us from being on the latest and greatest, with removable batteries, external SD, and bigger and better (opinion, of course) screens. As well as the best (most widespread, quickest roll-out) LTE network in the USA.

        • http://twitter.com/nerdtaco fredrick pringle

          Think of a dessert that starts with K that's not trademarked. KLP is the only one I've come up with so far.

          • EH101

            I'm sure there are some outside the English Language... But, sticking to English, there are a few variants of Kiwi Cheese Cakes. Not much better I'd say. Maybe they should just invent one. Lol.

        • Josh

          Because it takes longer for those ROMs to appear, they're buggier and generally less stable, and you lose a significant portion of the battery life (though I'll take that point back because your battery life would drop to that of the... Nexus 4?)

          Also I don't see half the ROMs you're talking about for the Note II. Where are you seeing them?

          • EH101

            CM official Nightlies: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2121931
            Unofficial (I think) ParanoidAndroid: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2118400
            Unofficial (again, I think) AOKP: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2118194
            AOSP based, just released, CarbonRom: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2136915
            AOSP based LiquidSmooth: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2110731

            These are all in Verizon Note 2 "Original Android Development," I don't know why they felt they needed a second section for "original" development. Seems like overkill to me. We got our first unofficial CM10 on Dec 14th I believe. That was just two weeks after our variant was released. Not bad I'd say. Also, there's an "admittedly small" chance the Nexus 4 won't get the newest Android right away officially. Depends if Google can get it ready in time, of course.

            The CM10 Nightly builds have two issues that I can see. BT in call audio is quality isn't that good, and external speaker volume is low. The GPS was recently fixed supposedly. That's 3 overall issues as of today, with great battery life claims similar to stock Note 2 battery life. Which, btw, for me is about 14-15 hours with 4-5 hours screen on time in an LTE area, no wifi because my router is broken. Others report more. Idk how they do it.

            I don't know if the BT or speaker issues were ever fixed. I don't care enough to read through the entire thread. Lol. Since other AOSP based ROMs usually take their fixes from CM, I'd say they likely have the same issues. So, two problems outstanding. Neither of which would be considered bad/priority, I'd say.

      • irtechneo

        Yes that may be when I decide to unlock the boot loader and root you are correct. We all know how great Verizon is at updates. Although my daughter's upgrade is due in October and I am really interested in the Note 3 (as long as the form factor doesn't get much bigger than the Note 2 of course). I may just give her my Stock Note 2 and take her upgrade.

  • Deus Invictus

    I had this problem for the first time 2 days ago but I fixed it without rebooting. I switched to video and back to still and it fixed it

  • Dariusz Wińôckiewicz

    got this bug month ago, its very irritating - like bug with bluetooth when you are unable to turn it on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Had this happen on Christmas. Not often anymore though.

  • Cesar
  • mcwong

    My Samsung S2 9100G before update to ICS not only camera stops, it hangs the phone and requires battery pull. It freeze on reboot, idle in pouch, during calls, SMS, whenever it likes and becomes very hot draining battery in an hour. It cost more than the nexus 4 a year ago, I had to suffer 6 months to update ics to stop this bug. This nexus 4 issue is to minor to lose sleep over.

  • tBs_Battousai

    The only bug I've found so far is the ringer volume will switch over to vibrate with no warning... anyone else seen this?

  • SenseOffender

    I've had this problem a couple times, first time was New Years Eve/Day during celebrations. Had to reboot my device, very annoying, and I got my phone on the 28th of December.

  • SenseOffender

    I've had a few instances where I am suddenly asked for my PIN number also, as though the device has rebooted itself, twice over night and once yesterday whilst it was sitting on my desk at work.

  • http://twitter.com/D_McKenzieJ Daniel McKenzie J.

    Yes, I have this happen to me all the time! The flash gets stuck and you have to reboot which is annoying if you're out clubbing and you've grabbed everyone around to take a photo and it does this!! Embarrassing too especially when I've got the best phone in the club which simply doesn't work LOL.

  • http://twitter.com/Finguz Paul Finlay

    Given the awful battery life and non-changeable battery situation, maybe the sticking camera is a power saving feature :D

  • awd

    This has never ever happened with mine

  • filatdav

    Got the same bug, but with the play music. Sometimes, its not showing the lockscreen controls till its not rebooted

  • Mr x

    Also in my Galaxy Nexus. Android 4.2 is full of bugs!!!

  • Alienogh

    Got to give it iphone on quality. They may be overpriced and at least there are no bugs. I know people that have never rebooted their iphone unless it was a new IOS version.

  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    Can't say I've had any of these problems on my N4 yet.

  • thisphuckinguy

    This is old news. It happened to me when my N4 was still new. My friends shook their heads as one of them pulled out an iPhone 5 to take the photo.

  • http://twitter.com/JayCreations JayCreations

    I've had this issue happen to me several times as well. Sometimes also the camera gets blurry and all pictures come out blurry and you have to restart.

  • http://twitter.com/OpenIntro Eric Vaughan

    Definitely had this happen a couple of times. The camera is on, I hit the button, but nothing. Honestly, it's embarassing more than anything else, because I have to say my brand new flagship android phone is screwing up, hold on a sec.

    • John Kiser

      Wish people would stop referring to this as a flagship phone because its not. It's primarily still a development phone even if its a lot more consumer friendly now. The Optimus G would be a flagship phone or the SGS 3 but the nexus 4 is not a flagship device they are never intended to be.

  • Ashrik

    Whenever I've had the problem, I've been able to continue to take pictures using a different camera app.

  • Travis

    Hasn't happened to mine but has occurred several times on my wife's N4.

    Any lead on whether this is a software vs hardware issue?

  • Jlhay

    I've had a similar problem. I first noticed it when using face unlock. Sometimes it lags a few seconds, and sometimes it takes 10/15 seconds and a 'failed to open camera' message to appears. When the phone is manually unlocked and the stock camera app opened, the shutter and capture mode keys are visible (no camera image) , but again there there is a 10/15 second delay before a can't connect to camera message appears.

    This has happened several times, twice today. Seems to rectify itself after reboot, but seems to be occurring more frequently.

    I have also experienced the random reboot.

  • joe smith

    Mine just doesn't work

  • NamingTheMonster

    Love my N4, but is anyone else having a problem with their N4 dying out of nowhere? Phone shows 70% battery life and then just dies to zero and won't boot back up properly unless you plug it in and mess with it for a while. Tried recovery, factory wipe/reset, uninstalled every app I could etc...Nothing. Who would you contact about something like that? I know if I call the insurance people their going to make me pay out the a** for something I can't control. Had that camera but too, when I first bought the phone, but the 4.2.2 update fixed it. Now gotta figure out this crap.

  • ukw

    My Nexus 4 camera app doesn't work anymore after the Lollipop update. I tried everything I had in mind, even flashing a 4.2.2 image. Even that didn't work so even tried updating again till Lollipop. Then I installed CyanogenMod and still no camera. This makes me wonder if it's not some hardware problem. Anyone experienced this?