Nexus 5X Review

Nexus 5X

via Android Authority

My Nexus 4 has been feeling its age as of late. Mostly in the battery department. The phone itself worked perfectly, and was still a really good phone, but it just wasn’t holding a charge like it used to. I decided that it was time to put it out to pasture (or rather put it to work doing different jobs other than being my primary phone). With that in mind, I watched Google’s Nexus announcements this year with bated breath.

Google decided to do something different this year by announcing two Nexus phones instead of one, the 5X and the 6P. The 5X is the core version of the Nexus line, while the 6P is the premium phone.

I considered the 6P for a while, but I just didn’t feel like I needed the larger screen and I definitely didn’t need the larger price tag. I went with the 5X.

It finally arrived last week, and I thought that I’d give you guys my Nexus 5X Review.

HARDWARE

Pretty much everybody has already posted the specs for this thing, and we all know what it looks like.

The back is plastic (vs. the glass of my Nexus 4). I suppose that makes it “cheaper”, but for me it cuts my concern in half that I’m going to break that glass. The phone feels good in my hand.The body itself is a perfect size. One of the first things I noticed is that this phone has all three of it’s buttons (power and a volume rocker) on the right hand side of the device. It’s also moved those buttons to be more central to the device than they were on the Nexus 4, which had them near the top. This brings about one of my only complaints about the phone. If you’re one of those people that uses the hardware buttons with your camera, it’s not comfortable. Neither hand is positioned well to use the hardware buttons to activate the shutter due to their centralized position. Here’s a picture with each pointer finger positioned where it would need to be to take a photo. Awkward.

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Awkward

The finger print scanner is centered on the back, right below the camera lens. This works for me. It’s a little awkward in that I have to take my fingers off the side buttons to reach it, but it’s no worse than what we see on the iPhone. Arguably it’s a better setup.

The camera works great. I use an app called Manual Camera, which was a little less than optimal at first due to a bug that caused the interface to be upside down, but that was quickly fixed and it now offers me more features than it ever did on my Nexus 4.

The speakers aren’t the best in the world, but I’ve never been one to listen to music straight from the phone speakers. I’m not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, but even for me, phone speakers leave a lot to be desired. The speakers on this are better than what I had on my Nexus 4 though, and they’re more than good enough for the system sounds and alerts that I get on my phone.

The phone is fast. Much faster at launching apps than my Nexus 4 was, and I’m able to play some of the more intense games without stuttering. I’ve been noticing that Sonic Dash 2 has been stuttering quite a lot on my Nexus 7 (2013), to the point of costing me runs. That’s very frustrating, but I have noticed no such stutters on the 5X.

SOFTWARE

Android M comes default on the device. I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail on M just yet. I’ve been using it for a couple days, and it’s a great version of Android from what I can tell so far. It’s not a significantly large upgrade from L though. I find the volume controls to be a little off. There’s more control over different types of volume right from the volume rocker menu, but the Do No Disturb lost some functionality from my perspective. Maybe I’m just using it wrong, and I’ll figure out a better way has been implemented soon, but at this point, the DND feature is annoying to use. All other system features seem to be working great.

A number of my applications are behaving a little less than optimally, but I think that’s because M is so new that they haven’t had the chance to update their apps to work with the new OS version. I’m especially annoyed that my Nova Launcher still doesn’t work quite optimally, so I’ve had to switch back to Google Now launcher for the time being. Hopefully that’s a very temporary situation.

CONCLUSION

I’ve been very happy with the purchase so far. There have been (and still are) several little glitches, but I expect those to be worked out in short order. All in all, a very solid device that I think well represents Google and LG.

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