Reviewing the Google Nexus 5X

Billed as the phone for everyone, the Nexus 5X is the cheaper and smaller version of the new flagship Android 6.0 Marshmallow smartphones by Google. The device boasts a 5.2 inch screen, a fingerprint sensor and an excellent camera. The range of Nexus devices is just Google’s way of showing the public the capabilities and features introduced in the new Android and it is made in partnership with different smartphone manufacturers. These phones operate on Android exactly the way Google has intended it, which means there aren’t any modifications and they are also the ones to get the software updates before other devices.

The Nexus 5X is the successor of the Nexus 5 introduced in 2013, which was the most popular Nexus device introduced by Google to date. Just like the Nexus 5, its successor has also been developed by LG. While the smartphone is relatively compact, it has a 5.2 inch screen and a longer body as opposed to its predecessor. This extra space has allowed LG to incorporate a front-facing speaker at the bottom of the phone. Unfortunately, the bottom and top speakers of the phone don’t work as a stereo pair. The Google Nexus 5X is 7.9mm thick and is one of the lightest high-end smartphones available in the market because it weighs just 136 g.

In contrast, even the 6.8mm thick Galaxy S6 has a weight of about 138 g. The phone has a soft-touch and smooth plastic, which is of high quality and is easier to grab onto, even if it doesn’t give the premium feel that you can associate with the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6 for that matter. The side buttons come off as a little cheap and basic, but most of the phone is built quite well. The 5.2 inch screen of the Google Nexus 5X cannot be called anything less than excellent. It is simply pin sharp with a pixel density of 432 per inch and a 1080p resolution.

Technically, the 5.1 inch Galaxy S6 2K display is sharper as it has density of 577 per inch, but spotting the difference between the two screen is quite difficult. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor is used in the Google Nexus 5X rather than the octa-core 810, which is top of the line. Regardless, the same process was also used in the LG G4 and it has turned out quite well in terms of performance. Even though it may not be the fastest Android smartphones available, the device is snappy and it can rapidly switch between apps without slowing down.

As a matter of fact, the only time that people will notice it is not the fastest processor and has only 2GB of RAM is when they are competing with those who have a better one. Otherwise, the Google Nexus 5X is going to give you quite a smooth performance. The only area where this device may fall short is in regard to its battery life, which comes off as weak as in contrast with others. The new Doze system introduced by Google works just as claimed. You don’t have to activate battery saver mode for preserving its life when you are asleep.

The new connector in town is the USB type-C charging port and the Google Nexus 5X definitely has it and using it is far more satisfying than the old-fashioned micro USB port. It was first seen in the Chromebook Pixel launched by Google, but has been incorporated in phones since then, including the OnePlus 2. However, unlike any other device, the Google Nexus 5X has rapid charging that can reach to 80% within an hour. The call quality is also good in the new device and it also has a notification LED, which is off by default.

It is the first device running on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but no new software features can be seen apart from the Nexus Imprint Fingerprint scanner and Nexus camera. The OS is well optimized and runs pretty smoothly. In fact, it gives the feeling as if it was especially designed for the Nexus 5X, which is mostly true. The Nexus Imprint Fingerprint sensor is one of the fastest and best scanners available as it recognizes prints quickly and accurately. As far as the camera is concerned, the Nexus 5X has probably one of the best ones.

It captures photos in fantastic detail and there is no over-sharpening issue even when the images are blown up. It has a solid white balance and the colors also came off as completely natural. For the most part, the autofocus was also accurate and snappy. The selfie camera also provided pleasing results and the device also takes smooth videos, which takes up right against the best. The phone is available in three colors; ice (a sort-of duck egg color), black and white with either 16GB or 32GB storage, priced at £339 and £379 respectively.

The iPhone 6 and the Sony Xperia Z5 have a pretty heavy price tag compared to this, but the Galaxy S6 and the OnePlus 2 are within this range or cheaper. The verdict is that the Google Nexus 5X is simply a brilliant smartphone and a marvelous job by both Google and LG, but has some minor downsides. The biggest problem is the battery life, which is quite lackluster. It will typically last a day and not more, which is a major disappointment for most people, especially when they are using their phone for doing a lot of work.

The fingerprint scanner is just superb and snappy, the camera is fantastic and the device has an amazing screen. It is relatively small and light as compared to other phones in the market, which is mostly dominated by larger phones. With the exception of wireless charging, the Google Nexus 5X is surprisingly future-proof and gives excellent value for money. It is arguably one of the top and best smartphones available in the £350 range and it is best to go for the 32GB version for additional storage.

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