On paper, the nexus 5x looks like a very powerful device at a very modest price point, google sells the device at A$579.00 which for a device with near flagship specs is a good bargain. it’s also a smaller phone than the other flagships too, a device with a 5.2″ screen in this world of 6 and 7-inch devices is a nice change, i can comfortably use it with one hand (and i don’t have the biggest hands in the world).
In design, it is clearly the direct descendent of the nexus 5 (2013) and is a much-awaited refresh with the nexus 5 starting to struggle with the latest apps. the all-plastic build of the nexus 5x is very similar to the nexus 5, but now with a 5.2″ screen instead of a 4.59″ and the same resolution the pixels are a bit bigger but I can’t fault the screen, it is an amazing screen, running at 1080p and with minimal colour shift and no noticeable backlight bleed, a reasonable range of colours (16M to be exact) the blacks are not as deep as what you will find on an OLED display, but that is to be expected from a TFT panel, you won’t notice the blacks unless you put an OLED right beside it.
With the snapdragon 808 under the hood, you will find reasonable performance for the price and a much better-behaved processor when it comes to thermal issues (something that the 810 has some problems with), paired with 2GB’s of ram the device is snappy but does have some infrequent performance drops that you will notice. The GPU is quite powerful as well, with an Adreno 418 it will hold up against tome of the most demanding titles, it doesn’t break a sweat when playing asphalt 8, it hardly gets warm, and i do these tests in 40˚C ambient temperatures so it already is a bit warm.
Moving on to the camera, it has a 12.3MP ƒ/2.0 main camera with laser-assisted autofocus and a dual-tone flash which will record video at 2160p and 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 120fps, past nexus’ have been inherently bad with their cameras but the 5x changes this with its new sony sensor, the same one shared with the nexus 6p, it can take brilliant photos at most light levels only falling back in low light with the presence of grain. oddly the 6p supports EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation) but the 5x doesn’t. However, this can be changed by rooting the device and changing your build.prop (something I will cover later) and does yield significantly better video when recording on the move. The front camera is a 5MP ƒ2.0 camera that is perfect for video calling.
With support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz wifi, something we’ve come to expect from google, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC you will have no trouble with connecting to any network and it even works well with always connected Bluetooth devices like android wear or a Bluetooth headset allowing for doze mode to do its magic and save your precious battery.
Moving right on the battery it has a 2700 mAh battery, a little small compared to other near flagship devices, but it’s also smaller than others too. with the Android 6.0 update bringing doze mode I can easily get two and a half days out of the battery with moderate usage. Looking at the battery graph you really can tell when doze kicks in and saves a lot of battery.
finally the showstopper, the nexus imprint sensor, it is a lightning quick fingerprint sensor sitting on the back right where most people put their finger when they pull the device out of their pocket, it is always scanning when the screen is off so the moment you pick up the phone the screen will unlock, you will receive one short vibration when the scan is successful and 2 when it failed, i have had it fail a few times but i think i programmed it wrong.
in conclusion, I believe that if you are looking for a cheap near flagship device and want pure android the nexus 5x is for you, if you are looking for a flagship but want a bigger screen, i suggest considering the nexus 6p