Nexus 5X review: A worthy successor to the Nexus 5

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Google’s and LG’s Nexus 5X is my favourite Android smartphone currently on the market, and a worthy successor to the now two-year-old Nexus 5. It also marks a return to what Google’s Nexus line of devices was focused on prior to the release of the Nexus 6 in 2014: releasing affordable, reasonably priced, mid-range, stock Android smartphones.

Similar to past flagship Nexus devices, the Nexus 5X is ahead of the devices in its price range in terms of aesthetic and build quality, with its closest rival being the critically acclaimed Moto X Play.

The Nexus 5X’s improved hardware, larger battery and 12.3 megapixel back camera combine to ensure the smartphone is a worthwhile purchase for anyone still clinging to their rapidly aging Nexus 5.

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However, while the Nexus 5X’s hardware has been improved, one shouldn’t mistake it for a high-end device, instead falling firmly into mid-range territory.

This year, Google launched two new flagship Nexus devices, the LG-manufactured Nexus 5X, and the considerably more powerful (and expensive) Huawei-made Nexus 6P. Each smartphones is a successor to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6, and both are iterative updates over their predecessors, with two very different audiences in mind.

I’m pleased with the upgrades featured in the Nexus 5X when compared to the rapidly aging Nexus 5, but whether or not the 5X is the right smartphone for you will depend on a variety of factors, particularly if price and performance are primary considerations.

Specs

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display (1080 x 1920), 423 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC, Adreno 418 GPU, Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB/32GB internal storage options
  • 2700mAh battery
  • 12.3 megapixel rear camera, F2.0 lens, 1/2.3 camera sensor, HDR+
  • 5 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4K video at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi, 802.11 a, b, g, n, 5GHz, ac
  • 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm
  • 136g
  • Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner
  • LTE FDD 17, 28, 18, 19, 20, 5, 8, 4, 3, 9, 2, 1, 7

Low-end price with a (mostly) high-end feel

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One of the most shocking things about the Nexus 5X is how much the phone weighs. When compared to the iPhone 6s, HTC One M9, or Samsung Galaxy S6 – three smartphones I’ve used for considerable periods of time over the last few months – the Nexus 5X is incredibly light.

Initially, I thought the 5X was lighter than its predecessor, but surprisingly it isn’t. The Nexus 5 weighs in at 130 grams, and the Nexus 5X is actually slightly heavier at 136 grams, although when holding each smartphone in both hands, the difference is negligible. The newer Nexus just feels more well balanced.

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At 5.2 inches, the Nexus 5X’s screen size has been boosted slightly over its predecessor, bringing its IPS display more in line with larger devices that have grown in popularity over the last few years.

While a 0.25-inch size increase might not seem significant, in real-world usage it is. The additional screen real estate makes web browsing, gaming and even simple tasks like typing easier to perform on the Nexus 5X. And those not fond of phablet style smartphones will also be pleased to know the 5X can easily be used with only one hand, unlike the Nexus 6P, iPhone 6s Plus, and Galaxy Note 5, as well as many other devices released in the past year.

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Furthermore, despite the 5X’s plastic build, it’s the first smartphone I feel comfortable using without a protective case. The Nexus 5X might not feature the premium build you’d find featured in the high-end iPhone 6s or Samsung Galaxy, but it certainly is one of the most resilient smartphones I have ever used.

My Nexus 5X review unit took a few accidental tumbles onto the hard, tile floor of my bathroom over my two weeks with the device, and is completely unscathed.

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Its rubberized plastic finish also makes gripping the device easy, and ensures the greasy fingerprints that commonly show up on the Nexus 5’s backing, are an issue of the past.

And a small ridge around the the front of the phone’s display, while serving no practical purpose, gives it a unique tactile feel I haven’t experienced with other Android devices (the ridge is similar to the rim around the 5X’s fingerprint scanner).

Other notable new design features include a slight bulge where the Nexus 5X’s camera protrudes from its body, a common design feature included in most modern smartphones; a Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner (more on this later); and a USB-type-C Port.

It’s also important to note that while the Nexus 5X’s on/off switch and volume rocker feel tighter when compared to the Nexus 5’s, they still wobble in the phone’s body, making both buttons sometimes difficult to press. Additionally, while USB Type-C is the future of connectivity, the technology is inherently controversial because it hasn’t become mainstream yet. It’s unlikely many people have extra USB Type-C adapters laying around, and this could pose a problem, since the box only comes with a Type-C to Type-C cable.

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The Nexus 5X’s speaker is also located bottom of the phone’s face, instead of at its base like in the Nexus 5. While I rarely listen to music or audio directly through my smartphone, instead opting for external speakers, the Nexus 5X, when compared to the Nexus 5, is able to output at greater volume, without distorting sound.

My sole complaint about the Nexus 5X’s build is that when tapping the phone, or grabbing it firmly, I could often feel a minor shake or vibration. I wasn’t able to pinpoint the source, but it is likely the 5X’s internal vibration motor jostling around (the same component that powers the 5X’s excellent haptic feedback).

This vibration isn’t a significant issue, but is still worth noting because it’s the type of problem commonly found in mid-range phones like the Nexus 5X, and acts as a constant reminder Google and LG’s latest smartphone is manufactured at the most cutthroat of margins.

Great specifications at an affordable price

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The best thing about the Nexus 5X is its impressive technical specifications, especially when the smartphone’s $499 CAD price tag is taken into consideration.

The Nexus 5X’s 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 pixel IPS display, featuring 424 pixels per inch, is a joy to look at despite its moderately lower resolution compared to higher-end smartphones like the Nexus 6P. The screen’s viewing angles are impressive, unless you’re using the 5X in direct sunlight, and colours pop from its display with a vibrancy that wasn’t present in the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4.

Under the hood, the Nexus 5X is equipped with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, an Adreno 418 GPU and 2GB of RAM. In comparison the Nexus 5 utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, so the 5X’s processor is a significant improvement over the hardware featured in its predecessor.

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While the Nexus 5X’s 2GB of RAM initially seems like a problem given that many Android devices, even mid-range ones, now feature 3GB, save for a couple of minor hiccups while launching Marshmallow’s stock camera app, as well as using Google Now on Tap and high-end, resource intensive games, I ran into few slowdowns. With that said, though, an additional 1GB of RAM would have been welcome on the Nexus 5X.

One of my favourite Nexus 5X improvements over the Nexus 5 is its larger 2,700 mAh battery, which helps the smartphone last over the course of an entire day. During my roughly two weeks with the 5X I didn’t need to plug it in for a top up while at work or in the evening at home, instead opting to only charge the smartphone overnight. It seems that even with heavy use, the Nexus 5X’s improved 2,700 mAh battery, an increase of 400mAh over the Nexus 5’s 2,300mAh cell, is a significant improvement.

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Then there’s the Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanner, a feature also included in the more expensive and higher-end Nexus 6P. While I initially thought the 5X’s fingerprint scanner was silly and wouldn’t work as well given its placement on the back of the smartphone, I quickly realized I was wrong.

Because the Nexus Imprint is located on the Nexus 5X’s back, if the smartphone is placed in a pocket face down and pulled out with a single finger on its backside (that has also been setup with Nexus Imprint), access to the 5X is almost instant.

The ability to add a number of fingerprints means the same finger does not need to be used each time you want to access the phone. The setup process for Nexus Imprint is also quick and simple.

Vastly improved camera performance that still lags behind the competition

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One of the most significant updates to the 5X is its new, 12 megapixel back camera. This is the same camera featured in the Nexus 6P and is the best ever to be featured in a Nexus device. The 5X’s front camera also performs admirably under various lighting conditions, although it only measures in at 5 megapixels. In comparison, it’s larger brother, the Nexus 6P, features an 8 megapixel front-facing selfie sensor.

The 5X snaps superb photographs in natural light, similar to the Nexus 5, but is a monumental improvement over its predecessor when it comes to low-light photos, especially those shot indoors. However, it’s important to note that while the Nexus 5X’s photography capabilities come dangerously close to matching Apple’s current mobile phone camera supremacy, the iPhone 6s’ 12 megapixel camera still performs better in low-light, especially when it comes to colour saturation and detail.

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When comparing low-light images shot with the iPhone 6s and Nexus 5X side by side, more noise is found in the Nexus 5X’s image, and slightly less detail. However, unless you’re closely analyzing the two, you won’t notice a difference. With that said though, in my testing, the 5X’s camera features better white balance.

The addition of a high dynamic range (HDR+) mode in the 5X is also welcome when used under specific circumstances, helping to ensure photos have improved contrast without washing out areas of high exposure. However, I found I rarely used the feature since it extends the shutter time, often causing subjects to blur.

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Nexus 4 and Nexus 5’s camera was so bad that I often didn’t bother taking pictures while using both smartphones as my daily device over the last few years, but the same definitely cannot be said about the Nexus 5X’s photography capabilities. Regardless of what lighting conditions images are taken under, most people are going to be more than satisfied with the pictures the 5X captures.

One important issue worth noting is how slowly the Nexus 5X’s camera app loads. I also encountered the occasional frustrating crash, especially when attempting to snap a photo quickly. The 5X also lacks the intelligent burst mode present in the 6P.

Start a campfire – welcome to Marshmallow

Google Now on Tap
Despite the hype surrounding Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s release, beyond a cleaner, brighter user interface, I’ve noticed few changes to Google’s new mobile operating system.

Standout additions include a new Marshmallow feature called Doze, which works well for saving battery life, especially when you know you won’t be using your Nexus 5X for a number of hours. Doze puts the smartphone in a battery saving sleep state when it remains stationary for an extended period of time, and is perfect for saving battery life when the 5X is not in use.

Then there’s Google Now on Tap. While I didn’t find Marshmallow’s other new feature particularly useful, Now on Tap’s contextual search options are efficient and responsive, allowing users to search for information related to content displayed on the Nexus 5X’s screen, whether it’s an app or web page.

Now on Tap
For example, if you’re looking at an email about a movie you’re planning to go see with a group of friends, simply hold down the 5X’s home button and a detailed card about the theatre’s location, as well as the movie in question, will appear.

So while these particular Android Marshmallow enhancements might not personally appeal to me, they’ll certainly appeal to a number of people.

The Nexus 5X is an affordable, stock Android experience

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At $499 for the 16GB version of the Nexus 5X and $559 for the smartphone’s 32GB iteration, Google’s latest Nexus device is still on the pricey side. But in an industry where dropping $500 for a mid-range device has become the norm, Google’s latest device is ahead of the competition, even when compared to the superb Moto X Play in terms of build quality, justifying the Nexus 5’s price tag.

Furthermore, the fact that the entry level 32GB Nexus 6P is priced at $699 makes the 5X significantly more appealing for price conscious individuals seeking a stock Android experience.

The 5X’s upgraded camera, improved build quality and impressive looking screen combine to create a smartphone package worth buying.

The smartphone comes in three different colours: blue, black and white.

Pros

  • Price tag is appropriate
  • Features excellent build quality
  • Provides the best stock Android experience available (other than the Nexus 6P)
  • Will receive all Android OS updates first
  • Camera is great and a huge improvement over the Nexus 5
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Issues with camera software
  • Still a little pricey for a mid-range device (this is the new normal though)
  • Strange vibration occasionally felt when touching the phone

Comments

  • thedosbox

    “And those not fond of phablet style smartphones will also be pleased to know the 5X can easily be used with only one hand”

    Gloves come in different sizes for a reason 😉

    I didn’t think the additional 3mm in width over the Nexus 5 would make a difference, but it did. My 5X has now been returned for a refund.

    • Vito R.

      I had been using a Moto E prior to getting the Nexus 5x and I initially thought the Nexus was a bit too big, but after using it exclusively for a week I got over my big phone phobia 🙂

      I would still love to have an Xperia Z5 Compact.

    • What did you get in its place?

    • thedosbox

      Haven’t decided. Tempted by the Z5 Compact, but it’s not officially sold in Canada. If I’m going to pay that sort of money, I’d want a Canadian warranty.

    • John

      sadly you don’t have many options here
      Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge or Sony Z3 Compact thats pretty much it
      *I will not include one plus x since their warranty is good as none

    • sggodsell

      The Z5 non premium is roughly the size of the Nexus 5x.

    • This is true! Although I handed the phone to quite a few people to check out and they all felt comfortable holding it in just one hand.

    • John

      You are right, its getting harder to find a flagship phone thats under 5″ (even at 5″)
      why the hell this phone is bigger than Samsung S6?
      someone can argue that this phone is cheaper but really? Its starting at 500CAD and 560CAD for 32GB
      wish they made this one as the same dimension as Nexus 5, I am sure more will buy then

  • Vito R.

    Patrick, did you notice a decrease (that’s putting it mildly) in fingerprint sensor accuracy when the phone was charging? Mine has this issue with several different chargers – including the one that came in the box.

    • I actually didn’t notice a change at all with the Nexus Imprint when the 5X was plugged in.

    • Vito R.

      Keep an eye on it…

    • Will do! So far I haven’t had any problems.

  • Ben S

    ‘On Writing Well’, Zinsser
    ‘The Elements of Style’, Strunk Jr.
    ANY style guide, buy copies for every MS writer.

    • SillyBear

      Man, don’t be a dick. If you’re not happy with the writing, there’s a plethora of other tech blogs you can read.

    • I think one of the things people forget about MobileSyrup is that we’re a blog, which means we can be significantly more creative with our writing than the average mainstream publication. But like the comment below says, if you aren’t a fan of the site, just read a different tech blog?

    • Adderbox76

      a) I’ve had my share of issues with Patrick’s reporting, but Grammar has NEVER been one of them. He’s consistently one of the more technically adept writers on the site and elsewhere.

      b) If you’re such a stickler for proper grammar, why is your last sentence the literary equivalent of tossed salad?

  • gommer strike

    I have also purchased the Nexus 5X direct from Google, and refunded it. I’ll explain why.

    It is not entirely accurate to say that this is a total one-handed phone. Sure it kind of is, but those of us who are totally comfortable with 4’7″ displays cannot state that this phone is comfortable to use when swiping down the notification display.

    This is the killer moment. When you find yourself swiping down the notification shade multiple times a day, and stretching out your thumb in order to do it – you are going to notice some discomfort. 5.2″ is stretching it. You might say oh it’s only a few 0.2 inches more than the Galaxy S5. But when something is in your hand, and your hands aren’t basketball player hands – you are going to notice it. Think of it this way. If you can’t comfortably stretch your thumb across to the top left-hand corner of the screen, many times a day, then this is not a one-handed phone for you.

    Next thing that all too many articles just dismiss as “it’s not exactly premium feel”. They are sugar-coating it. If you are accustomed to a premium-made device(as I am), and you try using the Nexus 5X, wow are you in for a shock. For perspective, I have a cheap $50 Huawei Ascend(bought on sale from Best buy last Xmas), an iPhone 6, and a Galaxy S5. In terms of build quality? The Nexus 5X most closely resembles the Huawei Ascend. Nowhere does it come close to the Galaxy S5, and let’s not even talk about comparing it to the iPhone 6. If anything, this completely spells out to you, the difference between an $800-900 device and a $500-600 one(remember to account for the CAD dollar, folks).

    My particular Nexus 5X creaked. Yes, I’m not joking. The plastic in the back *creaked*. You could push on the back just above the battery port and you will both hear, and notice that the plastic had a bit of give to it. Now maybe you guys will say “oh that’s just an anomaly, a defective model”. Well to me, it felt like LG didn’t give this thing’s assembly a whole lot of love, given that it’s more of a midrange device and not a money maker for them(and it showed).

    The device felt more than just light. It felt cheap. Hey don’t take offense to this. I’m calling it as it is. Hey look I get it. It’s supposed to be a $400-500 USD phone. And it is one, through and through.

    If you’re gonna buy this generation’s Nexus phone, buy the 6P. You might as well go all the way, because you are not going to be using either device one-handed anyways.

    The 6P is the TRUE Nexus phone. The 5X does not represent the Nexus name as it should have.

    • Vito R.

      I’ll have to disagree on the quality assessment. The 5X feels much better than the S5 which quickly got all creaky with the removable backplate.

      I also think this is maybe the nicest *feeling* phone I’ve ever owned. The back feels silky and not at all slippery – which I can’t say about the iPhone 6/6s or any of the glass backed Android flagships.

    • gommer strike

      Fair to disagree. All I’m saying, is that the back was creaky and showed poor quality control. I didn’t accept that. Many others would – but I did not. For $600 CAD price tag, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for, to have a device which didn’t have a creaky back.

      Sorry but – I didn’t feel the same way regarding the quality. I still think there is no way the Nexus 5X that was delivered to me, compared in any way to the iPhone 6 I own, nor the Galaxy S5. Different strokes for different folks.

    • Vito R.

      Oh I’m not arguing about the quality of the iPhone – that’s second to none – I’m just saying that my 5x didn’t have the problem yours had.

      That said, there might be a quality control issue with the 5x – my phone came with the back plate slightly separated from the phone at the top of the device. I just pressed it back together and it’s been fine since.

      I too would return mine if it creaked, but it is fine. Quality isn’t as good as a Galaxy S6 – but still think it’s better than the S5 🙂

    • PatcheZ

      That’s too bad you and the Reviewer both had creaky/rattly phones. I’ve read that other people have had the same issue, but mine, nor a few of my friend’s 5X have this issue. You do mention the lack of premium feel compared to other phones, but really, i’m not sure the S5 feels $100 more premium, nor the iPhone feeling $400 better. I think 80%+ people put a case on the their phones, so phone exterior quality doesn’t matter as much. Besides, not sure comparing last year’s phone is fair, given that by this time next year, the 5X will probably cost less than $400 CAD.

      *shrugs* I would rate the phone as “OK” for it’s cost and quality. Definitely other phones that have better value for around the same cost though.

      P.S. Why do we still compare this phone to an iPhone 6(s)? You can almost buy two of these 5X’s for the cost of one iPhone 6s… definitely not in the same phone bracket. (5X blows the iPhone 5s out of the water for around the same cost)

    • jellmoo

      I’m wondering if there’s a difference in build quality depending on colour. My original 2013 Nexus 5 was a black model, and it had a bad case of both an overly yellow screen and really loose and rattly power and volume buttons. The one I have now is a white version, and it displays neither of those issues. The screen is only ever so slightly warm, and the buttons are considerable more solid.

    • gommer strike

      Basically it’s like this. You might argue that this should be compared against other sub-$600 phones. That puts it in competition against the Moto X(which is a larger device) or some of the other ones like the HTC A9(whose price will go up shortly).

      Yes you can buy 2 Nexus 5X’s for the price of 1 iPhone. But given the choice? I don’t regret my iPhone 6 purchase for a second. There is simply no comparison in the level of build quality difference between the two. Couple that with iOS apps that I use everyday for work – Mail, Calendar…key apps that all too many here don’t realize how good they are, compared to some of the stuff from Google Play. Touchdown for Smartphones is pretty bad, Microsoft Outlook can’t be configured the way I want Calendar reminders and other functions to work. Nine is a good Android email client(probably among the best I’ve seen), but sadly no companion Calendar app(yes I’ve tried Sunrise) where I can configure calendar reminders with my own custom tones(which iOS allows me to do).

      How old is iPhone 5S now? You’re basically comparing something 2 years old against something freshly released. Well that freshly released product had better be technically superior, no? In the end it doesn’t make sense to compare price tag against price tag. Apple products are luxury-priced, and we all know that. Old news.

      In the end – I could have been a happy Nexus 5X customer. It didn’t happen. And that’s why I say, for any aspiring Nexus fans to go straight for the 6P. Don’t even think about the 5X.

    • thedosbox

      Upvoted for the points about size. I get there’s a market for larger phones, and the 6P serves that segment. It would just be nice to have an option that’s more comfortable for one-handed use.

      I would be more than happy to sacrifice the “premium” construction for a more compact size. Glass backs are too fragile (and slippery), and metal is too slippery.

    • benfort

      Bah now I don’t know which to buy between the Nexus 5X or the 6P… Or the Priv. I’m planing to buy unlocked so the Priv is kinda expensive but the hardware keyboard is interesting. The 5X price tag is interesting but the mixed reviews worries me and since I plan to keep the device at least 3 years I think I should go all in with the 6P, but I fear it will be too big… But I want stock Android… Don’t know what to do!

    • Techguru86

      Priv comes with wireless charging if you buy through bbry. Priv is a really amazing device with the S6 Edge+ display and the front facing speaker is top notch and a really good camera, plus expandable to 2TB and a 3410 battery which not many droid devices or Iphone offer and BB Hub is the best email client, that’s why it was brought over from BB10

    • danbob333

      Who cares how it “feels”, as long as it performs great? You (along with MS reviewers) put way too much emphasis on the so-called “premium” feeling of a phone.
      Don’t confuse build quality and looks. A metal phone is not “better quality” than a plastic one.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      While I don’t disagree with your point, many review sites seem to think beauty is only skin deep for phones. MS is not alone here.

    • gommer strike

      Would you accept a phone with a creaky back for $600 CAD? Perhaps you would, and you’d just forgive it, because it’s a Nexus phone. For me, I made my choice and refunded the phone. Google to their credit, provided excellent customer service and gave me no trouble whatsoever with the refund. Shipped it back with zero cost to myself, and saw my refund to my credit card in short order.

      Great service, Google. Sorry about the phone though. Maybe next time.

    • danbob333

      you could have exchanged it for another one.

    • gommer strike

      Naw that’s OK. I went back to my iPhone 6 and wonders of wonders…I was happy with it.

      Next time. There’s always next time.

    • Garrett Cooper

      So you go on to tell me that reaching for the notification bar is difficult on a phone this size, but then recommend the 6p? ……

    • gommer strike

      Put it this way.

      It’s already uncomfortable on the 5X one-handed and over time, you’re gonna hurt yourself. Since it’s not one-handed friendly *anyways*, and since you’re going to have to use both hands – why not just go all the way, and get a much better product – the 6P?

    • Cause my experience with the Nexus 5X has been awesome so far, don’t have the creaky back, and the 5X is within my price range?

    • gommer strike

      Then that’s your experience. Why are we even arguing about this? Your experience is your own, and you’re happy, and you know something?

      I’m happy for you.

      Just unhappy for me.

    • Cause the way you wrote you comparison, it came across as condescending. Just because you had a negative experience with the Nexus 5X doesn’t mean you should talk down on the people who chose to get it and are happy with it.

    • gommer strike

      Then let’s agree on this. If you are happy with your phone – then you’re happy, and we’re happy for you, ergo everyone’s happy.

      If you’re unhappy(as in my case)…sorry to hear. If it was due to a phone defect or some other problem, see if it’s a issue that others are experiencing(and I’m not exactly alone). The Nexus 5X seems to have some inconsistent build quality issues. Rumors fly about that the white one has no problems, and the black one, maybe. Who knows. Hopefully it’s already straightened out.

      And I’ve been helping out others here with their returns. If anyone felt I’ve been condescending towards them, well that was not the tone intended.

    • velvetk

      How much did Google charge you for shipping/handling fee when refunding it?

    • thedosbox

      They email you a prepaid UPS label that needs to be printed out and attached to the box, along with a RMA note that goes inside the box. I just reused the box the phone came in (minus the original shipping labels).

    • gommer strike

      The process was very smooth. Here’s what you do:

      – Call Google customer service at 855-836-3987. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I believe in the options, you pick smartphone or tech support.

      – Describe your issue with the Nexus 5X but quite honestly you only really need to say that you’re unhappy with it.

      – They will email you a packing slip which you print out and tape to the box. Use the same box that they sent you your phone in – that’s what I did. Otherwise you will have to use of box of your own lying around. Drop it off at your neighborhood UPS Store.

  • IgnoranceIsBliss

    I liked my old Nexus 5. My only real grips was the really, really bad battery life. And I was a bit excited for the new one but if a phone doesn’t have microSD (which they Nexus devices never do), then 64GB of storage is the absolute minimum I would ever buy from now on. (And in reality, I’d probably have to get 128GB).

    I don’t know why Google didn’t have the 32GB version as the minimum and a 64GB version as, really, 16GB just isn’t acceptable for smartphones nowadays. And $499 for the 32GB version and $559 for a 64GB version would make it more competitive and appropriately priced.

  • IgnoranceIsBliss

    The price difference between the US and CDN versions is pretty interesting. In the US, the price difference between the 32GB Nexus 5X and the 32GB Nexus 6P is only $70 (where here it is $140). As such, the reviews generally recommend the 6P over the 5X as you get a much better phone for just a bit more money, where here MS states the 5X price is more appealing than the 6P.

    • Vito R.

      Difference in price is because Google is subsidizing the 5x more than the 6p – in terms of the exchange rate – likely to give us a break on the “low end”.

  • Matthew

    I can’t believe the volume is moved to the right underneath the power! Whenever I try and balance it with my right hand I always hit the volume rocker, I have no clue why that changed. Another issue is that 2gb is not enough. Initially I didn’t mind because my rooted 5 used 1.4 occasionally and I have a lot going, but now on my non-root 5x with less apps installed I find myself avg 1.8gb ram used and it does slow from time to time, very unfortunate. Lastly, maybe a bigger battery would have been nice but I digress, I am a power user so I will always kill the battery no matter what.

    • Vito R.

      Using memory isn’t in of itself a bad thing. It doesn’t really matter how much memory is in use as it will keep as much in memory as it can and just purge what’s not being used when it needs to.

      That said, I am finding it doing a full app reload more than I’d like – but I no longer have an old Nexus 5 to compare it to – buf they’re both running Marshmallow I can’t see there being a difference.

  • danakin

    Patrick, thoughts on the audio output from the headphones? Other sites have tested the output and its voltage is roughly a quarter of the leaders. I’m curious if this is an audio compromise worth noting.

    • Audio from the headphones sounded fine to me ( I didn’t run into any issues).

  • danbob333

    “Furthermore, despite the 5X’s plastic build, it’s the first smartphone I feel comfortable using without a protective case”

    Why? Plastic phone resist better to drop than anything else. Metal phone are denser, and thus accelerate more quickly and the impact can be fatal. Also, metal transmit shocks while plastic absorbs more.

    • That’s exactly why… because of its plastic build lol.

    • danbob333

      So why use the word “despite” instead of “because”?
      Plastic is an advantage here.

    • I see your point, but I think the sentence already conveys that message.

    • No it doesn’t. It’s really basic English!

    • Juice Box

      “Metal phone are denser, and thus accelerate more quickly…”

      Plastic may be more resilient than metal when it comes to impacts, but your reason is completely wrong.

      I know this is not a physics forum, but i have to correct this error:

      Every object in free fall on Earth will accelerate at the same rate: g, or ~9.8m/s/s at sea level(neglecting for other forces, such as air resistance). Dropped from the same height, say, head-height, a metal phone will not hit the ground with any more velocity than a “less dense” plastic phone. Dropped from a significant height, you’ll start to see terminal velocity effects due to air resistance, but both phones will accelerate to that terminal velocity at the same rate.

    • danbob333

      You are wrong. They both have the same acceleration in vacuum. However with air the denser phone will fall more quickly.

      These phones are not meant to be used in space.

    • EChid

      No, he’s not wrong…that’s science. Weight/density doesn’t affect the speed of acceleration, its drag force that matters. A plastic and a metal phone will accelerate at near exactly the same rate (especially given the fact that they have nearly the same drag force (especially if the plastic has a hard coating). A rock and a feather will accelerate at the same speed, if it weren’t for the drag a feather introduces during the fall relative to its mass.

    • danbob333

      Ok try an empty coffee cup against a full one. With protective cap. Same drag. Full one will fall faster.

  • cartfan88

    Good review. Covered all the points.

    I guess I’m used to $499 being the new normal up here and with BYOD plans becoming more and more popular…this should do well up here.

  • Prestige Worldwide

    499 is too expensive for a nexus phone, but this is mostly due to the low Canadian dollar. Thanks Harper!

    • I feel you there for sure, but $500 for a mid-range smartphone is the new normal, at least in Canada.

    • Hello Moto

      The Zenfone 2 Laser is looking the other way. A Snapdragon 615, 3GB of RAM, and 1080p screen for only $270 CAD. Albeit, it would have been even nicer if they put in an 808 for $50 more.

    • Orage42

      You can thank low gas prices for the poor Canadian dollar, not Harper.

    • Prestige Worldwide

      Well, he put all of our eggs in the same oily basket and turned the country into a rogue petro state. Ultimately this is his fault.

    • Orage42

      Fair enough, that’s true. Now let’s hope the Liberals and the bad Canadian dollar will help other industries get a good foot in.

      The real question for me though is 6P or 5X.. and will Rogers get (and when) the damn 5X!

  • Mitchell Palmater

    Couldn’t get past the cat.
    Yo that is a seriously cute animal

    • Thank you for supporting my quest to find ways to add my cat into every story I write!

  • David Valdivieso

    nexus 5x 16gb is 379usd + tax

  • Javed Aslam

    808 throttles big time and there is a yellowish tint on screen no pure whites

  • GPman

    It really is too bad it has no image stabilization. I need it. So I’m looking elsewhere for that reason alone.

  • norsem4n

    Does it come with the “Hue” application or does the reviewer also have a Philips Hue setup??

    I have 17 lights and love it! 😀

    Hue Pro FTW!

  • richard williams

    I have the Nexus 5 now and looking to upgrade. Im not a fan of phablet phones as I enjoy being able to hold unto my phone with one hand. I am having a hard time choosing because I was looking forward to the Nexus 5x but with USB-C (I just bought six new micro USB cords), 16GB of space for entry level and 2GB of ram I am disappointed. Even with these cons for me, is it worth the upgrade? Or should I go with the Samsung S6? I like the Nexus line because I know I am getting the stock android updates for the foreseeable future.

    • Rony

      It’s hard to recommend who I don’t know but I’ll try to be honest. I have had nexus 5 and also was looking for update. Hate big size phones. So basically options were. 5x, s6, Sony z5 z5compact.
      I went with nexus bc I love pure android, I know I’ll get updates first and I like the phone.
      I have had it for a week one. I was bold and got 32gb ice color/first time different color then black / and I really like it.
      When you hold it for first time it’s noticeable bigger then 5 but after few days I got used to and it’s not problem at all.
      It’s not flagship, but it’s worth to upgrade.
      My advice to you, get it, try it for a week, and if you don’t like it, return it.
      Because everyone is different, I like it but you necessary don’t have to. Good luck

    • richard williams

      Thanks for the advice Rony. Im going to check out a local Bell store tomorrow and see how it feels in hand. Doing a bit more research I am also thinking of getting the Galaxy S6. My local Costco in Newfoundland has a deal where its $99 fee but you get a $175 Costco card. It would only bump up my monthly Bell bill by $5 a month and I would get another 500mb of data. I have the Google Now launcher on my Samsung tablet and it feels like stock android and I love it.

  • Paul Day

    I was on vacation when mine arrived and I finally have been playing with it. Has anyone else found the vibration too aggressive? It audibly buzzes with ever vibration. I’m a bit disappointed by that – though otherwise I think it’s a great phone.

  • Longtin

    Yeah just because you can’t use those phone with one hand, doesn’t mean others can’t. I have big hands and I can easily use a LG G4, HTC M9 & the 6P with one hand. Anything smaller than a 5″ screen is just too small in my opinion.

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