The Nexus 5 was a great phone, and a vast majority would agree. Packing in a decent hardware at a very good price, the Nexus 5 made the Nexus more mainstream, increasing its popularity with the normal consumer.
But as good as the Nexus 5 was, it did have one issue: limited storage. Granted, this problem affects all Nexus phones, and so it did with the Nexus 5 as well. You can either get the 16GB storage variant, or you can shell out some and get the 32GB storage variant. Add to the absence of any options for storage expandability, and your storage woes may never run out (heh).
KApetz2 purchased a 64GB eMMC 5.0 chip online for $30. He then soldered on the chip to the motherboard. He did get stuck on having the new chip being recognized as a larger storage option, as his Nexus 5 still showed 32GB of storage. Eventually, he did manage to fix the partition tables to support 64GB of storage.
So, how can you, Average Joe, go about replacing the puny 16GB on your Nexus 5 to the formidable 64GB, or even the legendary 128GB?
The short answer, you don’t… unless you know what you are doing!
What appears to be an easy and “15-min Sunday” work, is actually a process usually done by automated mechanical robot arms in the manufacturing supply chain. This is no ordinary soldering, it requires precise positioning and specialized tools. The surface mount used by the eMMC is referred to as BGA (Ball Grid Array), and it is a very difficult and drawn out procedure if you were to repair a BGA-based element on a PCB since you have to perfectly line up the solder balls. Misalignment or mishandling these small parts would essentially leave you with faulty and often non-working hardware.
Nonetheless, this is a good hardware mod that you can try on a spare device. With the Nexus 5, you not only get increased internal storage, but also faster read and write performance since the eMMC chip will be an upgrade to 5.0 from the lower version in use in the device.
To follow along the ensuing discussion, head on over to the forum thread. We request readers to not clog the thread by repeatedly asking for a step-by-step tutorial.
What are your thoughts on this hardware mod? Do you think storage sizes are means to rip consumers off their money? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!