The Nexus 6’s Performance Crippled By A Feature You Can’t Disable

The Nexus 6’s Performance Crippled By A Feature You Can’t Disable

It’s not an unreasonable expectation that a new phone should be faster than its predecessor and in the case of the Nexus 6, it’s definitely a more powerful device than the Nexus 5. Unfortunately, a decision by Google with Android 5.0, also known as “Lollipop”, the gadget isn’t running anywhere near as quickly as it should, according to tech review site Anandtech.

Photo by Eric Limer

During Anandtech’s testing, it found some discrepancies with the Nexus 6’s storage performance. After investigating the issue, it was discovered that Android 5.0 has a feature called “Full Disk Encryption” (FDE) enabled by default. This encrypts and decrypts data transparently on the device, but it comes at a cost in throughput.

The site was able to get its hands on a Nexus 6 with FDE turned off and the speed difference was remarkable — the stock Nexus was up to 80 per cent slower than the modified model. The really bad news is that as of writing, there’s no way for users to disable FDE without custom firmware.

On the mildly bright side, even with FDE disabled, the article mentions that the phone’s power in other areas and applications remained the same, suggesting that the feature may not impact standard use.

That said, if you’ve been waiting for Google’s new phone, it might be wise to wait until this issue is resolved or at the very least, the company allows FDE to be deactivated.

Encryption and Storage Performance in Android 5.0 Lollipop [Anandtech]


  • In other news “The sky is blue”.

    Honestly, it is far better to have encryption enabled and learn to adjust to the speed difference as the CPU scrambles the data, then to keep your phone in a state when anyone who obtains physical access can take your naked selfies, text messages with one’s mistress, and phone call log.

    Our phones carry a huge amount of incredibly sensitive information. Allowing anyone and everyone to freely access that information for the sake of an app starting a second faster is not worth the trade off.

      • I disagree. That’s like your bank telling you your card comes with a PIN, but it’s optional.

        Sure, you can run in and out of the supermarket a little quicker by not entering a PIN every transaction, but is it worth compromising your entire account for the sake of a few extra seconds? Hardly.

  • this is a non issue. FDE was announced to be implemented on ALL devices that run Lollipop. Its googles way of saying they are just as secure as iPhones when it comes to protecting your data

  • Your typical faux-tech press headline “performance crippled” is a botch – it is only “disk” (flash) reading and writing that is slower than without FDE; ; most of your daily activity – like switching from one app to another – is not going to be noticably slower because of this. Unless you have one in hand and can refute this, keep the sensationalist headlines off the interwebs, OK?

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