I accept a acknowledgment to make. I adulation the Nexus 5. Despite its accessible flaws compared to newer and shiner phones (all of which I’ve approved and tested), the Nexus 5 has some abstract affection for me that no added buzz has replicated afore or since.
But now, there’s the Nexus 5X.
The Nexus 5X is an adapted admiration to the abridged computer I’ve admired so dearly aback 2013, and it’s congenital for bodies like me—people badly adhering to our favorite-yet-outdated Google phone. LG, who additionally fabricated the aboriginal Nexus 5, wants me to assuredly say goodbye and move on. They appetite me alleviate that afterlife grip. And It aloof ability be working.
Every new Nexus buzz has consistently had ablaze advantages over its competitors. For one, they’re congenital with Google shoulder-peeping over articles so the accouterments altogether matches all the latest software appearance on Android. The Nexus 5X, and its big brother the 6P, are actually no different.
In fact, this year it’s alike added so. Not alone alone is the accouterments and software in admirable synchronicity as always, the 5X additionally gives you addition carrier advantage by aing the 6P and aftermost year’s Nexus 6 as the alone accessories certified for Google’s Project Fi account (which could be a acceptable or a bad thing.)
But the 5X was created to do two things: Fit Android Marshmallow like a arid cuff and reinstate Nexus as a great-yet-cheap smartphone option. But the Nexus 5 was a trendsetter aback it came it came out in the abatement of 2013. A simple design, matte artificial with a soft-touch finish, a baby buzz (by today’s standard) but still packing a 5-inch screen, and of course, active the latest and abundant Android software.
But area the 5 was a actually one of a affectionate accessory two years ago, the 5X is aloof one in a crowd. It needs to accept added activity for it than aloof an adorable price.
Let’s see if it does.
Following in the Nexus 5’s footsteps is no accomplishment taken lightly, and LG and Google accept about managed it, aged in alone a few areas.
When you aces up the Nexus 5X, you’ll anon apprehend that we’ve larboard “premium” smartphone territory, that cher apple of glass, aluminum, and pixel close displays. (If that’s what you’re attractive for, maybe the 6P is added your speed.) But the 5X isn’t aggravating to attempt with those phones, abnormally at bisected the price. Instead it’s the OnePlus 2s and the Moto Gs and the Asus Zenfones out there that the 5X has its eye on.
The absolute case is plastic, not bendable draft polycarbonate apperception you, aloof plastic. The 5X additionally has this acutely apparent aback plate/front affectation break (that pic above), so abundant so its adamantine to abide aggravating to cull off the aback over to admission any array or SD agenda ambuscade underneath. But DON’T DO THIS, you will be out a cast new Nexus if you try to Hulk Smash this affair open. The array and accumulator is blockage appropriate area it is.
The aback bowl has the accustomed Nexus arrangement with two circles an inch or two north. The aboriginal one is the new Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor, advised to booty advantage of Android’s new biometric aegis capabilities. The additional is a waaaaaaaaay bigger 12.3 MP camera that makes the Nexus 5 ballista attending like a hunk of hot garbage.
On the front, you’ve got a affably bunched 5.2-inch LCD display, which at the actual least, retains one of my admired things about the Nexus 5—You can calmly use it with one hand. Some times the old means are the acceptable ways. But the affectation comes with a admirable 423 ppi, which isn’t activity to draft the eyeballs out of your skull with pixel greatness.
Sure, compared to QHD alternatives, it lacks in analogue and blush affluence (I adopt AMOLEDs usually for those abysmal blacks and battery-saving advantages), but I had no absolute gripes at all. Netflixing. Photo viewing. Video taking. Game playing. No issues account note. The affectation and hexa-core Snapdragon 808 aloof chugged appropriate along, alone blockage for a few moments during abundant multitasking.
So far so abundant for the 5X, but the plastic-y plastic-ness doesn’t do actually abundant to conceal the actuality that your buzz is cheap. It’s not aloof the actual per se, the Nexus 5 did a abundant job with that bendable draft finish, but the artificial actuality has a faculty of abyss to it.
But its actually the beating motor that actually gets me. Area best phones accept able the attenuate art of haptic feedback, giving you a baby quiet boom of affirmation, the 5X doesn’t. The acknowledgment affectionate of rattles around, authoritative it way louder than it needs to be. In the active and loud day-to-day, it’s not too noticeable, but in the quiet moments aback you’re futzing about at home, you’ll alpha to booty note. After a few affronted days, I aloof angry it off entirely.
The Nexus 5X is a abundant and arresting (but mostly great.) Let me explain.
When acrimonious up the Nexus 5X, it was actually Android Marshmallow that I bare to acclimatize to in the aboriginal few days. It was about uncanny. The operating arrangement looked so similar, but I could do things I never could afore on Android.
The big two were app permissions and Nexus Imprint. As I did the all-too-familiar song and ball of downloading, opening, and accounting in accreditation beyond all my Android apps while ambience up the Nexus 5X, Android prompted me specific permission for assertive apps. Would I like Evernote to clue my location? Mmmmmm, NOPE. I’ve waited for this little detail to be brought to Android anytime aback I forsook my iPhone abounding moons ago. Now it’s here, and it’s fantastic.
But the fingerprint sensor is a altered question. Aback it was originally leaked that the new Nexuses would accept a fingerprint sensor on the back, I let out an aural groan. I absurd acrimonious up my buzz off my desk, aloof to fingerprint login, and again plopping it aback down. Although, in reality, it wasn’t actually that bad, I’m aloof not abundantly afflicted with Android’s aboriginal go at fingerprint sensing.
It’s not that it’s bad, it’s aloof not as acceptable as others. The aboriginal affair you allegation to know, that took me a additional to actually get right, is logging into your buzz application your fingerprint requires a advised action. You accept to bang bottomward your feel with purpose. If you aloof accord it a quick tap, it’ll antiphon with a “Finger abashed too fast. Please try again” or added artlessly “Not recognized.”
I promise. You will get bigger than this, but it’s almost inconsistent compared to an iPhone 6s or Galaxy S6, which basically let you log in with aloof quick on press. Also, maybe I authority my buzz like a complete doofus, but I generally begin my digits artlessly aerial about the camera lens aback captivation the buzz and not the fingerprint sensor. But there are lots of altered calmly out there of capricious size, so this is apparently aloof a claimed setback.
The added allotment of addition on the accouterments ancillary of things is the new USB Type-C charging standard. In every believable way, it’s a footfall up from microUSB. Faster charging! Faster abstracts transfer! Capricious cables! But goddammit, don’t go on a absent cruise and balloon the cord—because again you’re fucked. How do I apperceive this? Because that’s actually what I did, and aback I went on a coursing for a quick replacement. Nope. Nope. Nope. Aloof the abashed attending of sales bodies staring aback at me. It’s an aboriginal adopter curse—one that will achromatize with time—but I’m so acclimated to, and I beggarly this literally, anybody and their mother owning at atomic one microUSB cord, I never actually alike anticipate to backpack one aback I travel.
This isn’t so abundant a beating adjoin the phone, though. Aloof me actuality an idiot.
As for array life, not too shabby. The new Android Sensor Hub lets you aloof tap the buzz to deathwatch up the low-power lockscreen, and Android’s new Doze affection ups array administration alike added by putting your buzz into article affiliated to Airplane approach aback you’re not application it. It’s a 2-for-1 energy-saving knockout. I can calmly get through a abounding 24 hours with average to abundant use. No problem.
The USB Type-C quick allegation won’t anon change your life, and accepting 4 hours of use off of aloof a 10-minute charge, which Google claims is possible, is addition it unless you apply some added battery-conserving tricks. But honestly, aloof active a capricious bond in after accepting to amount which ancillary was up is badly wonderful.
But area there is actually no catechism that the 5X shines compared to the old 5, or any added sub $400 buzz for that matter, is the camera. By bifold acute the ability on, you barrage into the basal Google camera app. Resulting images are active and ablaze but capacity are a little doughy aback absolute up on a display. A accessible account is babble compression authoritative some capacity attending unnatural. It’s not abundant to degrade accepted Android bests like the G4 or S6, but if you’re aloof absent some acceptable pics to allotment with accompany (or Instagram), the 5X is added than capable. Additionally 4K video abduction (at 30fps) on such a account accessory is aloof added icing on the photography cake.
Here are some examples in aurora and lowlight:
Not quite, admitting this is a actual acceptable phone. The Nexus 5 was agitative in a time and abode area smartphones were antagonism against the $1,000 end of the spectrum. It encouraged us, to grammatically abuse a acclaimed Apple motto, to anticipate differently. But this isn’t 2013, and now the Nexus 5X is aloof one amid many.
If you’ve been badly attractive for the bargain admiration to alter your Nexus 5, or aloof to be your pocket-side best in general, this should be a austere adversary for your affection—along with maybe the Moto G (or Moto X for that matter) or OnePlus 2. Appetite article with a little added architecture conscience, again at alone $130 more, maybe the Nexus 6P is added your speed.
At the end, the Nexus 5X is like mistaking addition for a friend. Close, but not quite.
Images by Michael Hession.
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