This morning my Nexus 4 wouldn't turn on, so I plugged it in, but the white battery recharging icon doesn't show up when I press Power, and holding Power doesn't turn on the phone. Instead the notification light blinks a deep red. The screen was totally unresponsive.

Lots of websites have plenty of doom and gloom hinting that red light = device is bricked, but I see no official source for this. What does this light mean?

3 Answers 3


This does not necessarily mean your phone is dead. Your phone will flash the red LED light briefly when the battery is completely drained. When I got this I left the phone in the charger for a while, and eventually the white "charging battery" icon appeared again. Upon turning on the device it had 0% battery. It was in fact so drained that it died while on the charger (at 0%), so I left it to charge for longer. After it regained 30% of it's battery I took it to work and it seems to be draining, charging and working normally.

I'm not sure why lots of sites claim this means your phone is dead, lots of them just say "what else would a blinking red light mean", but definitely leave your phone plugged in for a while and attempt to turn it on again before you attempt to get your phone repaired.

Also if a normal microUSB doesn't seem to be working, try the original charger + wall wart that came with your Nexus 4. My dad had this issue with the N4 and other chargers didn't seem to work. Not sure if the volt/amp/something just isn't enough from other cables or what, but Google recommended it and it seemed to work.

  • 4
    What about a solid red light, no flashing? Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 18:25
  • @DavidCaunt I haven't gotten that one; device doesn't work at all? Leaving it on to charge doesn't do anything? That's not the red light I got, anyway, so it may well mean something different
    – Ben Brocka
    Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 20:25
  • 3
    Solid red seems to indicate serious problems with the battery; the red light fo death. Fortunately, I left the device to charge overnight for several nights and managed to power it on after several days. Some users at xda have speculated that the on red it will use a very slow trickle charge but I don't think the problem is fully understood. Commented May 2, 2013 at 10:56
  • I put in Charger but after some time solid red light went. And i dnt know whats going on now in device. I can not able to start device. I should wait for couple of hours to get it charge.?
    – sam_k
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 14:15
  • I think it could be possible that the mobile equivalent of BIOS selftest uses the red LED to signal that the power-on selftest had failed. In the good old times there was an exhaustive manual explaining the conditions when the LED could be red... ;-)
    – U. Windl
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 10:09

I just saw it. It was a simple case of 100% discharged. To fix it use the power socket charger and not the usb charger from your laptop or desktop. The red light first goes down, then it will blink and then the white charging icon comes. Let it charge at least 10 minutes after that before you switch it on, otherwise it would shutdown again (but won't go to red light mode).

In most cases the red light is not the light of death.

  • Yes, "power on" can use significant batter power, and that could be the last 5 or 10 percent of battery power.
    – U. Windl
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 10:11

I just had the same issue with my Nexus 4, phone suddenly died, press the power button and it would flash the white Google then turn off. I tried several times use the power button and even hold both volume buttons and power at the same time, nothing. So I plugged it in the charger and saw the blinking red light, thought, "Oh no this is not good."

Then I came here and read, "This does not necessarily mean your phone is dead. Your phone will flash the red LED light briefly when the battery is completely drained," so I left the phone in the charger for a couple minutes and the white battery indicator finally came on after a couple minutes. I now realize the battery was completely drained and I did not have a glass brick for a phone. All hail the forums!

  • 12
    This should be a comment, not an answer. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 18:12

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