Some Nexus 6 owners reporting defective units where the back cover is coming unglued


Nexus 6 defective back plate

If you’re feeling bummed out about how nearly impossible it is to pick up a Nexus 6 right now, the good news? You may have dodged a bullet. We’ve been receiving reports of defective Nexus 6 units being shipped to customers where the back covers are literally coming off.

The severity of the separation seems to vary by unit and although it seems like it could have something to do with the glue Motorola uses to secure the back cover in place, some have reported defective batteries that are expanding, causing the back cover to raise from its housing. If you’re noticing this problem on your device, we’d advise you to take caution. As we’ve seen in the past, exploding batteries are not fun.

Where some Nexus 6 units are coming out of the box with the back plate coming off, others are reporting that it’s a slower process, not seeing the issue until a few weeks down the road. We’ve even seen reports of back plates raising on the Motorola Moto X 2014, and I myself experienced a similar issue with my Motorola DROID Turbo a few weeks back.

One Redditor claims that he, and four of his friends have the separation on their devices but are using a TPU case to cover it up out of fear that a a new replacement would only have the same problem. As for me, I just got off the phone with a buddy of mine and sure enough, his Nexus 6 is also separating. Motorola Support confirmed they’re “seeing a few” back covers popping off in response to the below user’s tweet:

So, what can you do if you receive a defective unit? We’d recommend contacting the retailer where you purchased the device from as this is clearly a manufacturer’s defect and if given the option, ask for a refund and then re-purchase the device brand new. The Nexus 6 is in very short supply and if you simply opt for a replacement, often times you’ll receive a refurbished unit (which can have their own set of problems). Just giving you a heads up.

Those of you looking to purchase a Nexus 6 used — whether off eBay or Craigslist — may want to thoroughly check for the separation defect before buying or avoid the secondhand market altogether. Nothing worse than being stuck with a defective phone and no proof of purchase when you need to get an RMA.

If you’ve had (or are just now seeing) this problem on your Nexus 6, hit up the thread on AndroidForums where discussion is already taking place.

[Reddit 1, 2, Google+, Twitter 1, 2]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Mine has slight separation, hoping it doesn’t get worse. Leaving it in a case seems to help.

    1. Like I mentioned in the post, it could be more than cosmetic. Some people had defective batteries that was causing this. Would hate for yours to burst in the middle of the night. GET IT REPLACED.

      1. I will if reports come out stating that it is in fact the battery. I’m not going to jump to conclusions just yet but I’m looking into it. There isn’t much information out there yet, and it very well could be the glue.

        ifixit.com has already stated that the adhesive for the Nexus 6 is relatively mild. Also, it you look at the way the battery is tucked into the phone (pics on ifixit.com – link below), I’d be surprised if an expanding battery would have only the effect of pushing the back plate off, as it seems like more damage would be done to the phone’s internals first.


        1. It kind of looks like it’s something to do with the inductive charging cable that runs through there. I wonder if it’s transmitting heat, and causing the adhesive to weaken.

      2. Even worse: burst when you are on a call. My MotoX 2014 has no problems to date.

      3. I noticed a little separation myself, and pushed the plate back down for a few seconds. It seems to be holding right now. I’m wondering how long it’ll last – if it starts to come loose again by tomorrow, I’m definitely taking it to T-Mobile.

  2. I just had to return a defective Nexus 6 as it seems the battery went into a death spiral; lots of odd effects before things finally didn’t boot. Makes me wonder about the “defective batteries that are expanding” link above. No push out of the back cover though.

    Edit: Haven’t returned it yet, but got replacement yesterday. Going to call in right now and see if they’ll be nice and send a replacement battery for me to attempt to get my data… Boo 3 weeks in NYC picts gone.. :(

    FYI: My first N6 was in the first batch available the moment they went on sale.

    1. Boo… Just called support and no chance to get a replacement battery re: void warranty return policy. I expected as much, but dang that sucks.

    2. Cloud back up, next time?

      1. Yeah.. Enabled it, I kind of still like to believe in having some control over privacy (at least the illusion) which led me to leave it off before…

  3. No problems here (yet) fortunately.

    1. 3 weeks in and no signs yet, here’s to hoping it’s from a good batch.

    2. Had it for almost 2 months now.

  4. That’s weird. Both the top and bottom ends are still flush, so that means the back cover would have to be elongated or manufactured too long. How could that make it out of the factory like that?

  5. Two weeks ago i bought a nexus 6 from the sprint store, went home and tried to make a phone call and noticed the device was making squeaky sounds from me pressing it to my face. Turned out the back was coming off. I was able to exchange it with no problems. I thought it was a fluke but i guess not….

  6. And people say that the Nexus 6 is a great phone. I guess those people cannot stick with their phones anymore.

    1. #Nexus6Flop

      1. 1 Hashtags don’t work on Disqus you moron. You look like an idiot for trying.
        2. Your “boss” Note 4 is made of more or less the same “#CheapPlastic” that the Nexus 6 is.
        3. I love how you talk as if the Note 4 doesn’t have some amount of manufacturer defects too. Get a life.

        1. But it didn’t though… Note 3 and 4 were the best Samsung has made in the last two years

          1. None that you know of. I mean, what are the chances of a manufacturer mass producing any given product and there not being some defects?

          2. This isn’t an iPhone model with 60 million units floating around. They don’t even have a million sales yet.

          3. How do you know? From what I could gather from a basic Google search, no sales numbers of the Nexus 6 have been released to date.

          4. Are you Squiddy20 boyfriend??

          5. First of all, what does your ridiculously juvenile comment have to do with anything?
            Secondly, you do realize she (I assume a she based off the name, despite you referring to her as “he”, you moron) was arguing against me, right?

          6. Fall back loser nobody likes you Squiddy20 you smell like anus juice

          7. Wow. You can’t come up with anything better than even more juvenile insults? Why don’t you quit while you’re behind? You seriously aren’t making yourself look any better or tougher. All you’ve succeeded in doing is making yourself sound like a bratty 8 year old child.

          8. Don’t worry about a sad trolling faceless fool called Squiddy20. He’s a budget buying loser who couldn’t afford a Galaxy Note product if he tried.

            He’s a sad trolling fool who is a bargain basement shopper nothing more nothing less.

          9. 1. You just said practically the same thing twice, but in different ways. Good job you clueless fool.
            2. Since you can’t seem to do basic math, let me help you with this extremely hard concept: any person working a minimum wage job would be able to afford the Note 4, and simple elementary level math backs this up. Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. A person working a 40 hour work week for 54 weeks a year would make $15,660. The Note 4, depending on the carrier, costs anywhere from $700 to $830 outright. Take 830 and divide it by 12 (months) and you get a little over $69, call it $70. So a person working a minimum wage job would only have to save no more than $70 per month to get the most expensive 32 GB Note 4 offered by the big four carriers. You’ve just been proved wrong using literally 3rd grade school level math.

      2. I work twelve hour shifts and I regularly use cast 2 TV to watch my NBA games at night , with LTE speeds. Play a little threes and am constantly checking my email. When I get off I still have over 30 percent before I get home. I keep a spare quick charge 2.0 charger at work but I haven’t used it since the update to 5.0.1.

      3. Dude you obsess with knocking on the Nexus 6. It wasn’t very long ago that the Note 4 had screen separation issues, a big ass gap between the screen the the bezel you could stick your 1982 mustache in.

    2. My phone works great. I’ve had mine since the week after Thanksgiving. I had two cases I use regularly. One with the kickstand and the other clear without. Every week I change them up depending on what I’m doing that day and also to clean out any dust around the edges. Haven’t seen any separation. Didn’t even know this is a problem until reading this article.

    3. That’s probably because most of them are great, but there are going to be some problems with any phone being sold.

  7. Mine looks like the day it was made. Dropped on concrete twice. Its the best built phone I’ve ever owned.

    1. I dropped mine face down on some jagged rocks. Actually it fell out my hoodie when bending down. I have a hairline crack across the screen, but you can’t tell unless the screen is off. I haven’t opted for a replacement yet due to T-Mobile having shortages. But I will replace it as soon as I cut my fingers.

      1. I think there’s a thing where Google will replace the screen, once, for free.

  8. I must be doing something wrong because mine is fine and i’ve had mine since t mobile started selling them.

    1. Same here dude.

  9. The charging port on my was loose out of the box, I got rid of it quick because it was a one board design so I did not want to be out of a phone when the port inevitably broke.

  10. Moto’s Nexus 6 back separates, Moto 360 back cracks. Awesome, like one happy family.

    1. The backs of the Moto360 are cracking due to people putting wider 3rd party wristbands on the device.

      1. No, they crack with the stock bands as well. I’ve already gone through a few RMA processes for it, all with the stock bands, wearing loosely, and no abuse. The problem is pressure from the band being exerted on the rounded edge, the rounded edge itself being a bad design choice by Moto. They even tried to fix it on the metal band versions by inserting these plastic inserts around the metal band’s first link, but even those break, and then the band is putting pressure on the watchback again.

        If it was smoothed out and not rounded, this would be a non-issue. But they still won’t concede to this idea and change the design for future units. That’s why you’ll see a very small number of people take a dremel tool to the back and file it down, warranty voiding be damned.


        1. The problem is using plastic for the back in the first place. There’s a reason real watches hae metal backs. Even the few plastic bodied watches I’ve owned had metal backs.

  11. Oh no! #Gluegate or #Gapgate

  12. Its a moto thing I returned the turbo because of this on the nylon version on three different phones but am using a motox 2014 with leather back right it seems more solid but its clear moto needs an overhaul like that awesome metal droidx I used it for 3 years never had issues but this glued on cost cutting crap come on moto don’t kill any momentum you are gaining with these new phones by slapping fancy stickers on as hardware

  13. This is why I buy electronics from Samsung Apple or Sony, they’ve had years of experience and know how with plastic metal builds. That’s why I don’t trust HTC Moto or any other upcoming ‘OEM

    1. Years of experience yet my Samsungs have always felt cheap. This is clearly and issue with one phone it’s not like it’s happening to all these phones. I’d say htc’s stuff far surpasses Samsungs in terms of build quality.

    2. Motorola has the most experience of all the manufacturers you mentioned, hmmm. Also Motorola has been praised for making a device out of plastic actually feel premium.

      My point is, EVERY manufacturer has had a defect in their product. Somethings can just not be expected sometimes. Also, we all know there are those users who don’t quite treat their devices the best, despite what they say

      1. They moved manufacture out of the US… coincidence?

    3. Motorola made the first consumer cell phone in 83. Motorola has been making cell phones for way longer than Samsung. What are you talking about?

      1. I was ready to school him on the same thing. Glad some people exercise intelligence before they type.

      2. This is Squiddy20

        1. Oooo, stupid pictures you found on the Internet that you’re using to claim they are me. How original and what a great comeback. /s
          Seriously, you must have some fat, grubby fingers to have missed a reply button. Your comment makes no sense in relation to the rest of the conversation. What you did was akin to saying “I like cake” when everyone else is talking about computers, politics, science, or any other relatively intelligent topic.
          You tell me I’m a “loser”, and yet you’re the one who takes the time out of your day to actively find pictures to use to claim they’re me and reuse the same sorry old insults. You never state any real facts or sources, and instead just say useless and childish insults when you get proven wrong.

    4. I bought an iPhone 5s and it had problems with the screen separating. Whenever you pressed the screen you could hear this weird sticky noise. Motorola has been making phones before the iPhone was even a concept.

    5. Ehhh every phone company has it’s problems. I know a couple people with iPhone that they’ve had to send back because of screen issues.

  14. Does that mean it now has a removable battery?

    1. No. The battery is on the other side of the chassis (The aluminum part.).

  15. Does that it now has a removable battery?

    1. Yes. it now.

  16. it’s a time bomb!!!

  17. Typical Giggles fiasco… first you can’t order it, then you get it and the battery blows up like a $50 Walmart tablet.

    1. And we all know you are not speaking from experience because you could not afford or could not get one on your carrier. Verizon maybe?

  18. The Nexus 6 size is perfect for a grill, maybe there’s a hidden sausage under the cover.

  19. Seems like Motorola is putting pressure on the factory to speed up production. It happens, but you’d think they would’ve anticipated demand; guess they didn’t want it to be like Amazon’s Fire phone with excess inventory. Oops.

  20. Time to pull the trigger in a Note 4. This iPhone 6 plus just doesn’t satisfy and with the note being cheaper than a nexus for some reason it’s pretty much a no brainer if someone would just root the damn Verizon model.

  21. Glue? What is this, 2007?

    For that money actually engineer it properly so its repairable.

  22. just goes to show that problems exist with every phone regardless of the pricetag.

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