Google released its much celebrated Nexus 5 in the year 2013. The phone back then had set standards in the industry. Come 2015, and Google has released its successor, the LG Nexus 5X. Will the 5X continue the legacy? Or will it be a dead duck like the Nexus 6? We’re about to find out!
Build and looks
The Nexus 5X comes with a sleek (7.9mm), an all plastic body which makes it extremely light (136g). Even though it’s all plastic, the look of the phone has not been compromised with. It has a similar matt finish to it like its predecessor, with ‘Nexus’ imprinted on its back in a rather elegant looking font. The back camera has a slightly raised bump around it which is quite different from other phones out there in the market. Situated right below the back camera is the phone’s fingerprint sensor. On the left of the camera is the IR laser-assist sensor and dual LED flash.
Google has moved the loudspeaker from the bottom in Nexus 5 to the front of the phone in 5X. The top and bottom of the phone sport a familiar noise cancellation point and the mic respectively. The charging port along with the 3.5mm jack can also be seen at the bottom.
Right side of the phone consists of the very clickety (in a good way) power, and volume buttons. The size of the phone (147 x 73 x 7.9mm) is ideal and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable like it’s big brother Nexus 6p or even the OnePlus Two.
All in all, it’s a neat looking phone, if not the most gorgeous one out there.
The Nexus 5X has a 5.2inch 1920×1080 (~423 ppi) IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. There are many phones out there having better displays than the 5X but Google chose to stick with this for cost cutting purpose. The viewing angles and the brightness levels of the screen though, are excellent. At high brightness, there is no sun glare or ugly reflections on the screen whatsoever and the readability is great.
The Nexus 5X comes in two versions – 16GB and 32GB with no option for expandable storage. It has a Snapdragon 808 processor with a 64bit, 1.8Ghz Hexa-core CPU with 2GB RAM. It also consists of an Adreno 418 GPU. The specs are on the lower end as compared to other phones of this segment but all these differences are confined to them being on paper. In the real world, the performance is buttery smooth and lag free. The phone runs amazingly fast even with a number of processor intensive apps running simultaneously.
We’ve tested a couple of heavy-duty games like the Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, Asphalt 8 and a few others and haven’t had a disappointing experience. The phone though did get a little warm when these games were played at high brightness but it still wasn’t uncomfortable to hold.
The 5X also has a Type-C USB connector for charging and data transfer. The cool thing about this is that you won’t have to struggle to find the correct side for plugging in the cable as type-C USB is reversible! The slight downside of this technology though, is that it’s still isn’t that widespread meaning, you will have to buy a separate type-C to micro-USB convertor to go universal.
The Nexus 5X comes with a 12.3MP, F/2.0 back camera with an IR laser-assisted autofocus, and a broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash. The camera lacks Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) but Google argues that, that has been negated by having a larger pixel size of 1.55 µm. These larger sized pixels, theoretically, capture more light and thus help in producing great images even in low-light conditions. The 5X also sports a 5MP, F/2.0 front camera with 1.4 µm pixels which is a big boost from its predecessor. The camera is also capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps. It also supports slow-motion videos but those are restricted to only 120fps and not 240fps; like you get in other phones of this segment.
The camera quality is excellent and can easily give other phones a run for their money. The pictures come out beautiful with outstanding color reproduction.
According to Google, an unbelievable 80% of the photos are taken in low-light. The phone though, faces no problems in such conditions. Infact, it performs exceptionally well in them thanks to the larger sized pixels and the smaller sized aperture.
The Nexus 5X, without a doubt, has one of the best performing cameras in the market.
Located just below the camera is the fingerprint sensor; a position that we absolutely LOVE, owing to its ease of reach. Your finger will almost instinctively come to rest on the scanner when you hold the phone, making it a hassle free unlocking. +1 for that!
Adding a fingerprint to the scanner is extremely fast; it needs just 6 touches of your finger and the fingerprint is recorded. The scanner also does an unbelievably good job in recognizing the prints while unlocking. Apart from unlocking phones, Google is all set to use this for authorizing payments made on the Playstore and also for Android Pay.
The Nexus 5X is packed with a 2700 mAh battery. Though this can look puny (as compared to other models in this segment) on paper, the phone in reality does a pretty good job. It gave us an impressive 25 hours of moderate usage consisting of casual surfing, podcasts, music, Facebook-ing, Instagram-ing and good amount of Whatsapp-ing.
While the results with moderate usage were good, the same can’t be said when you have a heavy usage including high brightness, GPS, extensive gaming etc. The battery drained pretty fast and required a charge after a few hours.
Talking about giving some juice to the phone, the Nexus 5X also has ‘Fast-Charging’. This feature though, is NOT equivalent to Qualcomm’s ‘Quick Charge 2.0’ meaning all the quick chargers out there won’t be helping you in this case at all. Keeping the confusing terminology aside and talking about stats – Google claims that the phone can give 4 hours of use with only 10 minutes of charging but in reality, we saw that in 10 minutes, the battery goes from 0% to 15 or 20% which is still reasonable (definitely not 4 hours of use though). The phone also goes from 0% to 100% in about 1.33 hours. Although this can be argued by saying it’s because of the small size of the battery, there is no denying the fact that fast charging actually does work.
There is another noteworthy feature that Google has introduced in Android Marshmallow and it’s called as ‘Doze’. This feature intelligently puts your phone to a semi-sleep state, pausing all the background processes which ultimately saves a LOT OF juice. It kicks in when the phone is kept idle for long. Our tests have shown that the phone consumes a minuscule 1-2% of battery overnight; which is very impressive if compared to other phones that lack this feature.
The Nexus 5X comes with an Android 6.0 – Marshmallow out of the box and being a Nexus device, you can be rest assured about getting timely updates and patches.
The phone was initially released with the 16GB model costing Rs.31,990 and the 32GB model costing Rs.35,990. This was quite steep as compared to other phones of this segment. Google then slashed the prices of this phone resulting in the 16GB one coming down to Rs.24,990 and the 32GB version to Rs.32,439. Even after the slashing, the prices are a tad bit more than its competitors out in the market.
The Nexus 5X comes with its fair share of pros and cons. But Google has done a tremendous job in producing a high-performing phone. One major factor that can influence the decision of the end consumers is the high price of the phone.
If you are ready to shell out a little more for a little less number of fancy features (as compared to the OnePlus Two and Moto X Style), if you want one of the best performing cameras, if you truly dig stock ROMs and love the plain-vanilla-Android experience then this phone is for you. On the other hand, if you don’t care about getting regular Android updates and/or have a restricted budget then you should go for cheaper alternatives.