LG Nexus 5X Review: Settling Down: Conclusion

By 02:56 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 Comments

Final words

The Nexus line traces its roots to developer-oriented devices, but since the LG-made Nexus 4, the lineup of Google-branded phones has been an affordable way to acquire remarkable specs and a long period of timely software updates (even the Nexus 6 is a steal now).

The LG Nexus 5X is not spec'd like a flagship, like the 4, 5 and 6 before it were and the 6P is now. That's a letdown - the Nexus 5 cost $350 in 2013 dollars, the 5X costs $380 in 2015 dollars. And the price outside the US is just ridiculously high.

So, you're definitely paying more for the recent one, what do you get? The classy screen is a definite improvement (its slightly bigger, with better colors and contrast), the chipset is faster for modern workloads, the capturing camera is a major win and you acquire a recent fingerprint sensor for faster, more secure phone lock. The much improved battery life (while not that remarkable in general) is a gigantic update over the recent model too.

Google's motives with the Nexus 5X were clear. After Google Pay pretty much flopped, Google is now keen on pushing Android Pay, Google Photos and perhaps even Google Music. The fingerprint reader and capturing camera really are the two biggest improvements over the 2013 Nexus 5.

It's not all fine news though. For more money you acquire the same Random-Access Memory (RAM) and storage options, you lose OIS in the camera, the wireless charging and wired TV out. Subjectively, the phone isn't as attractive, objectively, the phone is definitely larger.

LG Nexus 5X key test findings

  • Build materials are good, the fingerprint sensor is amazingly fast
  • The classy screen remains legible in the sun, has very accurate colors
  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C may be reversible, but is less flexible than the SlimPort on the recent model and you don't acquire a backwards compatible cable which is a nuisance
  • Battery life is a major improvement over the 2013 model, though average in general (with poor video playback time)
  • The software lacks some modern conveniences like theming and split-classy screen multitasking
  • Storage options are limiting and the un-bloated Android still takes up a lot of space
  • The loudspeaker disappoints with its fake stereo see and with how quiet it is
  • Audio quality is good, though volume levels could have been higher
  • Poor video codec support out of the box requires a third-party app, also hurts battery life
  • Very fine photo quality during the day, night shots require HDR+ mode to be any good
  • Video quality is remarkable too, but comes with mono sound and no 60fps option

The Nexus 5X definitely lacks the cool, pioneering spirit of the 2013 Nexus 5. Not that some people would mind the "boring" life of quality hardware and reliable software. Geeks and power users, however, will certainly acquire a bigger rise out of the 6P.

Competing phones

It's been two years since the Nexus 5, correct on time for an upgrade (even if you didn't acquire it on contract). You'll acquire less battery anxiety, your photos and videos will turn out much better, Android Pay (and other smartphone payment services are picking up speed).

You won't acquire more storage for your files though and the recent Nexus is getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow too (probably its last major update).

LG Nexus 5

The Nexus 6P is the first metal Nexus and it has a gorgeous 5.7" QHD AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display. Looks aside, you acquire real stereo speakers, bigger battery, slightly faster chipset with more RAM, more storage (up to 128GB) and, well, a bigger price tag. Same capturing camera and fingerprint readers though.

Huawei Nexus 6P

The HTC One A9 launched with Marshmallow and HTC vowed to bring recent updates with near Nexus speeds. The phone has a lovely metal body (if reminiscent of an iPhone), an AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen and expandable storage.

The capturing camera has OIS, though HTC's choice of chipset meant that 4K video is no go. Also the GPU is pretty weak and battery is small. Unlike most other phones on this list, this one has a fingerprint sensor (it's on the front).

Also, it used to be $400 in the US for the 3GB/32GB option and various promos occasionally bring it back to that level. Like the Nexus though, the prices outside the US much tougher to swallow.

HTC One A9

The Motorola Moto G Turbo Edition updates a fan-favorite mid-ranger with a 5" 720p screen. It's water resistant (IP67) and a dual-SIM phone. The 13MP capturing camera tops out at 1080p resolution though and the chipset is the same as the HTC. The second speaker grill is just decoration, but at least you acquire a microSD slot.

Motorola Moto G Turbo Edition

The OnePlus X also packs a 5" 1080p screen, but uses the recent Snapdragon 801 chipset (almost from the Nexus 5 era). The X is a dual-SIM phone, but if you have only one contract you can put a microSD in the second slot. Do note that LTE compatibility with US carriers is a small spotty.

The capturing camera situation is similar to the Moto above, 13MP with 1080p video though it did nothing to impress us.

OnePlus X

The Oppo R5s has a 5.2" 1080p screen, an AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) one. The S615 chipset limits the 13MP capturing camera to 1080p video resolution, but it comes with 3GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) as standard. Also standard is the 32GB of storage (non-expandable).

Similar to the One A9, the R5s has a metal body, but this is ridiculously thin - a mere 4.9mm. Impressive as it is, the 2,000mAh battery is not.

Oppo R5s

The Nexus line is almost unmatched if you want recent software. It was HTC that added the "almost" with their A9 Unlocked Edition, now that Motorola started dropping the ball.

LG nailed the classy screen and the capturing camera and with Google's direction created an excellent upper mid-ranger. There's not a lot in its class that can top the Nexus 5X. This Nexus is less of the cutting-edge, dev-type of device we're hoping for and more of the polished, well balanced product that established manufacturers would gladly put forward. Come to think of it, we don't mind the trade-off as much as we thought we would. Now if only the price outside the US was more consumer-friendly, too...



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