Surprise! The Nexus 6 has a hidden LED notification light

Surprise! The Nexus 6 has a hidden LED notification light
Google loves LED notification lights on its Nexus devices, but it doesn't always put them to use. In fact, Google doesn't always even let anyone know that the LED exists in the device at all. That's what has happened with the Nexus 6, which it turns out has its own hidden LED notification light; although, you can't do much with it unless you're a root user.

It turns out that the Nexus 6 has an LED light in a somewhat odd place - behind the top speaker grille. It is a full RGB LED light, but as noted before, you can't use it unless you have rooted your system. And, even then, the options are basically non-existent because there is no software to properly take advantage of it. Light Flow can't interact with it correctly, and reports are saying no matter what color you choose with it, the LED displays green. However, as you can see below, other colors can be displayed. 

It should also be noted that this is nothing new for Motorola devices. Both the new Moto X, the old Moto X, and all of the DROIDs have hidden LED lights that are only used to indicate when the battery is depleted so much that the phone can't turn on the display at all. This feature doesn't seem to be part of the Nexus 6, but the light is there anyway. 

source: XDA via pocketnow

Related phones

Nexus 6
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3220 mAh(24h talk time)



1. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013


2. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

what is even the point if it's not going to be used?

15. MuddyCow

Posts: 90; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Easter egg, ok no...

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It's an indicator for the battery being completely dead. This isn't a new thing for Moto phones.

24. vincelongman

Posts: 5723; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Light Flow is great E.g. you can set red for low battery/missed call, white for email, green for txt So you can tell you have a notification and which type, without having to turn your phone's screen on (saving power) I'm surprised Google doesn't have this in stock Android yet

41. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Someone obviously didn't read the whole article before commenting

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

For the battery

35. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The parts probably come with this built in but since they used active display, they've disabled it.

5. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Very interesting. My OG Moto X has this too...

12. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

I never noticed it... maybe because I don't have an issue with the battery getting too low.

6. YourNickname

Posts: 127; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

this is awesome. must use when app is available. Hate ambient display and its 25% battery drain.

7. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Maybe even Google didnt know its there... :-)

9. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I want my light to turn on now. :( Come oon update Moto X 2013!

13. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

It'll come before Christmas I think. I wouldn't expect Motorola to release it before all of this year's phones receive it.

10. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Personally I find notification LEDs to be pointless, the only practical use I can think of is to check if you've got any notification at a glance. Moto's active display is the best implementation IMO.

30. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

But they're cool :) Especially on the Z2 and Oppo Find 7

14. Qbancelli

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 11, 2010

No. Active Display suks!

17. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Oh really? Why exactly?

27. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Because after an active display shuts off you can't tell if you have a notification. It's actually one of the main reasons I can't use an iPhone. If Moto was to match the notification light in my use case, it would need to be on until I see it, which isn't feasible because A, there is no way of the phone telling that I have seen the notification from across the room. B that would drain much more battery than the notification light blinking until I check my notifications. But hey, if they can leave active display on until I close it with it not affecting my battery life at all I would be okay with that. But currently it goes back to sleep after what? 30 seconds? Even still, the flashing light sometimes catches the corner of my eye better than even a phone ring or vibration. The notification light is WAY better. It can flash all day without even using half a percent of battery life. Not everyone checks their phone every 5 minutes to catch an active display before it goes back to sleep. If I go out for a jog and come back inside my room. I look at the phone and if I see no notification light, I shower. Once I get out of the shower and I look at the phone on my table, I ignore it unless I see a notification light. So in that situation. I could have missed who knows how many active display notifications. If I see the light, I pick it up and I miss nothing.

29. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Just wave your hand over Moto X's display (2nd gen only), it will show the notifications.

31. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

If I walk over to wave my hand over it, I might as well just pick up the phone and wake it. With a notification light I can glance over to my phone 12 feet away and know if I have to go over to pick it up or not. Huge difference.

34. mixedfish

Posts: 1560; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

How do you know to wave your hand over the phone when you don't know you have a notification. Dumb.

39. adrewfryman

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

so basically youre saying you "cant" use an iphone because youre too lazy to press a button look at your screen then turn it off again? using up 0.01% of your battery(if that)

43. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It's not always on me or right in front of me. It has nothing to do with being lazy. It's just super inconvenient to have to walk over to your desk to check your phone all the time for emails, texts, and calls. Unlike you, I am usually busy when I am 12 feet away from my desk. A notification light let's me know if I need to be near my phone or not. Its convienent and that's exactly what a smartphone is supposed to be. Its funny that a company who supposedly prides themselves on ease of use doesn't include one of the most convenient features of phones that came before it. Nothing to do with being lazy. Saying your too lazy to pick up your phone and turn it off again is like saying your too lazy to go into a settings menu to access your dialer or text messaging app. If I had to go to settings to text someone its just one step but its still a deal breaker. Same with having no notification light. If I am working 12 feet away from my desk and I left my phone on the desk, I want to able to know what's happening without walking over and grabbing it. That's exactly what a notification light does. Its especially important with a big phone like the Nexus 6 or iPhone 6 plus where its too big to have it on you at all times.

54. adrewfryman

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

If you buy a phone that you cant have on you all the time that's your own fault and you should probably buy a razr. and if its such an " inconvenient to have to walk over to your desk to check your phone" you kind of just described lazy. Also if you'd like to elaborate on your second paragraph, your not making much sense. Are you promoting being able to call and text without having to open an app (which takes all of no effort to do but a slight move of your thumb) And if you had to open an app to call someone or text a person you wouldn't be able to use that phone? because that's what i got out of it, further proving my 1st statement about you being lazy as sh*t.

55. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Um it is obvious that you can't read. Are you telling me that you have your phone 100% of the time? What if you have no pockets in your shorts or no man purse. You have to leave it somewhere. As for my second paragraph, it's pretty obvious if you know how to read. What I am saying is if you have to enter the settings menu to access the dialer, which should be on your home screen, you wouldn't buy that phone. Even if it only takes a second to enter the settings menu. That is just poor design. Just like not having a notification light is a poor design.

61. adrewfryman

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

Because i am a human and have learned to evolve and realize that my phone is important i do have it on me all the time. I do not own any pants or shorts without pockets(that's the real poor design) and what phone do you ave where you have to go into the settings to call someone(which is still only a swipe of your thumb and takes 0.1 seconds to do and no effort what so ever) and it amazes me that you would buy pants without pockets(whet about your wallet or keys?) before you would buy a phone that you'd have to open an app to call someone. btw there's tweaks for an iphone where you can call someone from any app, and im sure theres something like that for android so the hypothetical problem you stated isnt even a legit concern

62. adrewfryman

Posts: 44; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

also your description of your second paragraph pretty much mirrors my thoughts on it. So maybe it is you that cannot read.

50. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I hate the light for the same reason. It blinks until I respond. Even when I do not want to respond. I don't want to be interrupted either while Im busy.

56. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

It's pretty easy to ignore if you are too busy and pretty easy to see when you are waiting for something important.

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