The Nexus 5X really has me torn, I’m not sure if this is a device I should love or I hate. On one hand it has some noteworthy next-gen Android features and on the other hand, it makes sacrifices in places I don’t really care for.
Let’s take a look at the display for instance, its a 5.2″ screen (LCD display), 1920×1080 resolution, 423 ppi, which is not bad right? I mean its what you’d expect from a device in this price range. If I had to describe the display quality in two words however, well it would be “washed out.” And the viewing angles actually aren’t bad. It’s the way the backlight hits your face and the lack of vibrancy anywhere that just makes it very unappealing. I know it’s a budget phone and they have to make sacrifices somewhere but the display is such a HUGE part of the experience that skimping here doesn’t seem like the right choice. Even going back to phones like the One Plus One, it had a MUCH more appealing display despite its low cost.
So yeah probably my least favorite part about the 5X but let’s talk about the build quality. So, it’s a pretty light device, it also features this polycarbonate back which just feels sort of like a soft plastic. It seems to hide fingerprints and wear & tear pretty well so I could see it being quite a while before your device starts to show signs of aging which is a good thing if you’re on a budget! I would have liked to have seen maybe some type of faux premium material on the back of the device. I think that would’ve really helped with the perception of quality because as is it really looks and feels like a budget device and I know that’s gonna be a turn off for some people.
I think the folks over at Google and LG must be car guys because they seem to have put all of their money under the hood. The 5X in a nutshell is basically a budget performance vehicle. You spend all of your money on the engine or drivetrain but then you throw in an plastic interior and roll-up windows and that’s pretty much what you have here.
You get a Snapdragon 808 processor, which is one of the top Qualcomm CPUs available right now, it’s even found in some current flagship devices, you get 2 gigs of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage which is not expandable which is unfortunate being this is a budget phone but that’s about the norm for Nexus devices. The 5X also ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is awesome as it brings a host of new security features and battery optimizations. It’s run pretty well on this device too, I would say there’s a little noticeable difference in responsiveness between this and the 6P but its likely due to the extra gig of RAM on the big brother. Both phones do run well though from a performance standpoint.
On top of that you get what I’d call next-gen Android features which includes a fingerprint sensor, also known as Nexus Imprint that allows you unlock your phone with your fingerprint or pay for items via Android Pay when paired with NFC. You also get a USB type C connector which supports fast charging so you no longer need to leave your phone on the charger overnight. Just like I said in the 6P review, ALL phones need to support fast charging, it’s just a must have feature.
And speaking of battery life, the 5X has a 2700 mAh battery and I averaged just over 3 hours of battery life (on-screen time) with the display at 100% brightness. Which I would actually consider decent for a phone in this price range however there is some stiff competition in this area from phones like the One Plus Two so yeah not class leading but it’ll get you through the day.
On a more positive note, the 5X features the same rear facing camera found in the 6P minus just a couple of features. So you’ll still get fast autofocus, solid overall photos with no over sharpening. And photos still look good in low light although you’ll probably want to enable HDR mode in those situations. There is no burst mode with the 5X however so no holding down the shutter button and allowing the camera to take back-to-back-to-back photos. On the video side the 240fps slow motion mode is gone but you can still shoot up to 4K at 30fps and 120fps at 720p. I imagine those missing features won’t be huge for MOST people so you’re basically left with a flagship camera in a budget device – can’t complain there.
So with all of that said, let’s just go ahead and wrap this up. Is the 5X worth the buy or not? Well, Google has done a good job of packing in the performance where it matters as well as giving us features that no other devices in this price range have. BUT I just can’t quite get over the fact that the 5X still looks and feels like a budget device. Even if that’s what it’s supposed to be at least make an effort to convince me otherwise or that I’m getting some type of bargain for this phone. In this case it fails to do so which means I’d have to give a long hard look at the Moto X Pure or the OnePlus Two before making a final decision.
So that’s about it guys, I’m Jerry Neutron, be sure to leave a like below if you’ve found this video helpful or entertaining. Also let me know what YOU think about the Nexus 5X down in the comments below, subscribe if you haven’t already and until next time…see ya!
Nexus 5X Sample Photos:
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