The lower of the two new Nexus phones still gives a great first impression.
Those of you who've been pining for something akin to the original Nexus 5 for a couple years now? Your prayers have been answered. Google has once again teamed up with LG for a Nexus phone — this is LG's third, actually, having also produced the Nexus 4 — and this year it's going as the Nexus 5X.
Technically it's the lesser of the two phones, falling below the Nexus 6P. The 5.2-inch display is "only" 1080p. It's "only" running a Snapdragon 808 processor. It "only" has a 12.3MP camera. It "only" has 2GB of RAM. It's "only" available in 16GB or 32GB of storage. (OK, that last one may well be a thing.)
But pick up the Nexus 5X and you're immediately welcomed by a phone that you can actually hold and not just wield. A phone that's not nearly as much work to use.
A phone that you can actually hold, not just wield.
Probably the biggest change for most folks this time around will be the rear fingerprint sensor. And it's not just taking advantage of the new APIs in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, like all other devices with fingerprint scanners will be able to do. Google's baked a little something extra into it this time around. And while we'll have to wait to use our own devices with our own fingerprints, it's perfectly placed for your index finger as you hold the phone.
While we're talking about the back of the phone, we've also got to talk about that camera hump. It's reminiscent of the HTC One X, and it's absolutely conspicuous. I don't think it's going to keep me up at night, especially if that's the trade-off for a more manageable phone.
The USB Type C port is another fun feature, with this year's Nexus phones being some of the first to sport that new standard.
Software-wise, you pretty know what you're getting if you've used the Android M Developer preview builds. Or if you've ever used stock Android. It's sparse, and that's usually a good thing. But it's maybe not as sparse as we're used to considering things like Google Now on Tap, which contextually analyzes apps and messages to bring in ever more appropriate content from the web. Talking to a friend about, say, a great Chinese restaurant nearby? Just long-press the home button to get more information on that specific restaurant.
So is this really a "lesser" Nexus? Perhaps. If anything worries us it's the storage topping out at 32GB. So we'll save final judgment for a full review. But for now? If you want a Nexus phone that's a lot easier on (and in) your hands, this definitely is going to be the one to get.
- Nexus 5X review
- 5 things to know about the Nexus 5X
- Read the latest Nexus 5X news
- Learn about Nexus Protect insurance
- Learn about Project Fi
- Join the Nexus 5X forums
- Nexus 5X specs