It has been a couple of years since the successful Google Nexus 5 was released, it was manufactured by LG and it was stunning, it still is as a matter of fact. Probably the best, most stable Nexus device in its class today, but it’s camera was awful.
The Nexus 5X is here and as a successor to the Nexus 5, it does not disappoint. It hits all the right notes for a device that’s responsible for picking up where the successful Nexus 5 left off.
Here is my review of the Nexus 5X…
Nexus 5X Hardware Review:
The Nexus 5X has a 5.2inch 2560×1080 resolution LCD screen with 423ppi. The screen is sharp but I have seen better (for instance, it’s no match for the Galaxy S6 in my opinion), the top and bottom bezels house the phone’s speakers (I love this placement for speakers on smartphones) and also an LED notification indicator.
The Nexus 5X is really comfortable to hold, and fairly easy to use one-handed. It weighs 136g and is 7.9mm, so ease of use is superb.
I got the white version, it’s polycarbonate build is in matte finish and it’s feel good to hold with a nice grip and you don’t have to worry about fingerprint smudges and stains can easily be removed using a damp cloth.
The power and volume rocker buttons are all on the upper right side, there’s a microphone on the top and the USB Type-C, another microphone and the 3.5mm audio jack are on the bottom side. Some people like their audio jacks on top. I’m indifferent about it.
The phone uses nano-SIM and has it’s SIM slot on the left side, you can get it open with the SIM key provided.
The first thing you notice when you look at the back is the huge NEXUS logo, with a smaller LG logo. But more importantly the fingerprint scanner is perfectly placed right below its 12.3MP camera and on the left to that are the dual LED flash and the sensor for laser focus,
In summary, the hardware of the Nexus 5X is the simplest form of cool. Former Nexus 5 owners would have no problem upgrading to this.
Nexus 5X CPU, RAM & Internal Storage Review:
The Nexus 5X is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 (Quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 & dual-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57), an Adreno 418 GPU, an unexpected 2GB RAM memory and the option to go with either the 16GB or 32GB storage. With the Snapdragon 808 CPU, I expected the device UX to be smooth, lagless and enjoyable but I was disappointed. After installing all my apps (32 in total) I experienced a lot of lag, especially with the camera, it took a while to launch and when it did, it lagged so much it was almost impossible to take a photo. But these issues disappeared over the course of the 2nd week of use. I cannot pinpoint what the issue was but it’s fixed and I’m glad now. After that first week of use, things have been better now.
The Nexus 5X has no microSD card slot, so I highly recommend getting the 32GB version or risk running out of space.
Nexus 5X Display & Touchscreen Review:
The Nexus 5X has a 5.2inch 2560×1080 HD LCD display, needless to say, there’s no awe factor when looking at the screen but it’s OK. It’s not bad nor is it great. It’s just there!
It’s very responsive to touch as long as you aren’t running a multitude of apps in the background. If you notice any delay in touch, best option would be to close all background apps, at least the ones you aren’t using.
Nexus 5X Camera Review:
The camera on the 5X is a 12.3MP camera, it’s got laser focus and dual LED flash. It records 4K video ([email protected]) and takes better quality photos than its predecessor; the Nexus 5.
While the front facing camera is a 5MP camera.
The image/video quality on the main camera is good.
I took some sample shots and sample 4K video recordings in both well lit and in low light environments…
Here is a 4K video sample shot with the Nexus 5X
Nexus 5X Battery Performance Review:
I was rather disappointed to learn that the battery on the Nexus 5X is a 2700mAH battery another disappointment was that it is non-removable too.
So you will probably have to buy one of those mobile battery packs for on-the-go charging since you can’t just swap batteries.
But battery performance is decent, I typically get 10hours use (heavy user here), so moderate users should get up to 15hours before you run out of juice. And even if you do, thanks to the Quick Charge 2.0 technology which is supported on the 5X, you can charge your 5X from 0% to 60% in 30mins. Just be sure to use a compatible USB Type-C cable. There is an app in the Google store called “Checkr” that tests 3rd party type-C cables to make sure you don’t use one that damages your phone.
Nexus 5X Fingerprint Scanner Review:
This is probably my second best feature on the 5X (first would be the hardware build). The fingerprint scanner is pretty fast in unlocking your phone. You can set up multiple fingers to unlock the phone and once that’s done, it only takes less than a second to unlock.
The only downside is that if you phone is on a surface lying face up, you have to lift it up to access the fingerprint scanner on the back, but once you do, it’s worth it.
Nexus 5X Android Marshmallow Review:
One of the reason why I am such a Nexus fan is because it runs pure, unadulterated stock Android. And Google introduced a new feature to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) that allows you to scan any page you are on for additional info by holding down on the home button. I never used this once in my month long use of the 5X, ok maybe I used it once to test out the feature, but that was it.
I did get the occasional app crashing or lag on my Nexus 5X, but it’s Android so I kinda expected it. But it is not a deal breaker to pick on up.
Nexus 5X Connectivity Review:
The 5X has the latest Bluetooth 4.2 standard, NFC, supports all WiFi Dual bands including 802.11ac, WiFi Direct and can be used as a mobile hotspot.
The best part is that the Nexus 5X has every single GSM band on board, so you can use it with every major US carrier: At&t, T-Mobile, Verizon or Sprint. I tested it on both At&t and T-Mobile and the call experience was crystal clear calls and super fast LTE speeds for data.
- Nice and simple hardware build
- Fingerprint scanner
- Quick charging
- Good camera with 4K video recording, HDR+ and Slow motion recording (better than Nexus 5)
- USB Type-C with fast charging
- No wireless charging
- No removable battery
- No microSD card slot
- Only 2GB RAM
- Not great camera (when compared to other flagships)
- No physical camera button
- Small battery
The Nexus 5X is much similar to the Lumia 950, not just in appearances or in hardware design and material, but just like the Lumia 950 which was released to cater to longtime faithfuls of the Lumia high-end phones like the 920, 1020, 930, the nexus 5X looks like it was built for the faithful Nexus 5 owners who have waited for more than 2 years for a worthy successor. But make no mistake, the 5X will see over new hearts too, not just the Nexus faithfuls.
It’s easy to hold and use one-handed. It’s got a very decent camera that meets all the 2015 flagship standards, and the fingerprint scanner to me is the icing on the cake.
All for under $400, the Nexus 5X is truly the best affordable Android phone running stock Android.