I’ve been eagerly waiting for the Nexus 5X to replace my HTC One M8 that was getting long in the tooth. I was very excited when I finally received in on October X and have been using it as my primary phone ever since. After a few weeks of use, I figured that this would be a good time to write a review about it.
The summary of my thoughts on the phone is that it is a mid-range phone that is under powered for my use. Read on for more details
Let’s start with the things I like about it.
In comparison to the HTC One M8, the phone charges super fast! I can get to about 70% of charge within about 20 minutes or so. That means that if I forget to charge my phone at night, I can get it mostly charged by the time I leave the house if I plug in the phone when I wake up.
I love the size of the Nexus 5X although it’s on the larger side of what I’d prefer it to be but at 5.2”, it’s small enough to fit in my hand and fit in my pocket comfortably. The One Plus One which I got late last year was just unwieldy and I ended giving up on it very early on. 5.2” will be as big a phone as I would be able to use
Finger print scanning has been around for more then a decade. I remember my Compaq Ipaq having one over a decade ago. However, Apple released the iPhone 5S with a very good fingerprint scanner and the Nexus according to other people who have compared it with the Apple iPhone 6S seems to work just as well. I actually like the fingerprint scanner at the back as it feels like a more natural use for me. My primary use of the phone is always to pick it up and my thumb is almost never at the base of my phone.
The phone feels surprisingly solid even though it’s light and made of plastic. It doesn’t feel creaky or cheap as I thought it would be given that it’s an LG plastic phone.
When the camera works, it takes way better pictures than either the One Plus One or the HTC One M8. Given that my primary phone has been the HTC One M8, the Nexus 5X is finally a phone that has a camera that works.
At 399 USD, the phone is actually a really decent price for a phone to be bought outright. However, the USD exchange rate was an absolute killer but that’s really not a Nexus 5X problem.
One of the reasons why I was looking forward to a Nexus phone is that Google has been actively updating their software of late. Since I got the phone, I’ve already gotten 2 updates on the phone. This is not to say that the updates always produces a noticeable difference. However, it does means that any improvements Google makes is quickly released to this device which again is a major plus.
Here are the things that I’m meh about
Google On Tap
I really like Google Now and use it constantly in my daily use of my Android devices. Google On Tap is supposed to give me more contextualized content on specific apps that I’m on. I haven’t found many practical or relevant use of it.
Marshmallow was supposed to vastly improve the battery life of the phone. However, I find that the battery life on the Nexus 5X to be only just as good as the HTC One M8.
Now here are the things that I don’t love about the phone
Access to Google Now
As I mentioned above, I use Google Now quite a bit. If you are using the Google Launcher, the easiest way to get to Google Now is to swipe to the right most screen. Previously, if you weren’t using the Google Launcher, you’d access Google Now by swiping the home button up and it’d bring you to Google Now. That gesture has now been replaced by holding down on the home button which invokes Google Now on Tap which then tries to give you context of your home screen. It’s not exactly what I’m looking for
The performance definitely struggles to keep up. Even only after a few weeks of use, I find that the phone needs to be rebooted after a couple of days. This was not true with the past few Android phones since Ice Cream Sandwich. The end impact has been that the phone takes a long time to take photos and the voice calls at that state has been quite brutal.
The largest amount of storage you can buy with the Nexus 5X is 32 GB. With the HTC One M8, I was quite comfortable dumping as many things as possible onto the external SD card with no worries of ever using too much storage.
I actually love the fact that it is a USB-C connector and it’s one of the reasons why I bought it. However, it doesn’t make sense that it came only with a USB-C to USB-C cable instead of a USB-A to USB-C cable because the majority of users would have a USB-B plug.
In conclusion, it is nice to have a Nexus phone again but it would have been a lot nicer to have a higher end phone at this form factor