LG Nexus 5X review

It is customary for me to have a second phone, usually an Android to complement my main phone - the iPhone. Let’s face it, as much as I like the iPhone with it being perfect and all, the battery could barely last the entire day at work especially with heavy use. That’s why I need another phone to use exclusively for work. My last Android phone the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was okay but some of its drawbacks had forced me to look for a better phone. That’s when I found out about the LG Nexus 5X.

Of course I’ve heard of the Nexus 5X along with its larger brother the Nexus 6P since last year. Its a pair of Google flagship phones so everybody in the tech circle should know about it. The main reason I didn’t give it much thought is because of the price point which beyond my budget on launch day (and a few month after). Fast forward 12 months later, the Nexus 5X’s price has dropped considerably that I was able to afford one.

Out of the box you get the Nexus 5X, a pair of USB-C charger and cable, some quick start guide and that’s about it. The USB type C charger and port is one of the defining feature of the Nexus 5X. It’s the first Nexus phone to use one and it will be the standard for all future Nexus or Google Phones. At the time of writing, they have just announced the Google Pixel phones which will be the successor to the Nexus line of phones. There will be no more Nexus phones after this and the Nexus 5X and 6P will be the last of its kind. Talking about USB-C, I definitely am loving it. Its reversible, no more wrong way to connect your USB cable. It features quick-charging so I don’t have to wait too long for my phone to charge. And its future proof. Sooner or later all new Android phones will be using USB type C.

On the inside, the Nexus 5X is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor, Adreno 418 GPU and 2,700 mAh battery. The screen is 5.2’ Gorilla Glass 3 so it’s a decent size for a smartphone these days. The back cover and frame are unabashedly plastic but the back cover is not your normal polycarbonate kind of plastic. It has a rubbery, premium feel to it, a nice change from all the unibody metal phones in the market right now. Like all recent Nexus phones before this, the Nexus 5X also doesn’t feature any microSD slot so you’ll have to make do with either 16 or 32GB of storage. You might have noticed the battery is a skimpy 2,700 mAh which is rather mediocre by today’s standard. That said, I still managed to get it to last from 9 to 5 during work day with the battery having 20% left after work. Not bad for a small battery and you can thank Android 6.0’s optimisation and doze mode that puts the phone in a sleep state when it's not in use.

Design-wise, I love the minimalist approach that the Nexus 5X brings, with its gently rounded corners, a slender profile and smooth, curved edges that feel incredibly comfortable in the hand. Like I said, the soft rubbery feel makes the Nexus 5X easy to grip and not slippery at all. At the back of the phone is the fingerprint scanner which aligns perfectly with your index finger and the unlocking is quick, accurate and almost seamless. Similar to Touch ID on the iPhone, you can also use the fingerprint scanner for Android Pay although that service is only available in limited countries at the moment. And also, too bad you can only use the fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone and nothing else. I would have liked to use it to say take a picture, scroll a page or lock the phone maybe?

Nexus 5X sample photos

The phone comes with a 1.55μm pixel, f2.0, 12.3 mega-pixel camera which is capable of recording 4K video. I suppose it is normal for every decent-sized flagship smartphones today to have a camera bump at the back. I could do without out but the Nexus 5X’s blends smoothly with the back cover I hardly noticed it after a while. The camera captures some really nice photos. Sure not as good as the benchmark - the latest iPhones or Samsung’s flagship but its passable. As you can see the pictures look brilliant in bright daylight but not so much in low light.

So how does the phone fare in every day use? I must say its one of the smoothest and speediest Android phones that I have ever used. Android 6.0 really made the difference and I experienced almost no glitches or slowdown whatsoever from daily use. Upgrading to Android 7.0 however does make the phone noticeably slower and glitchier. Maybe because I’m using the beta version of the software but the one thing for sure things started going downhill in performance after the upgrade. My advice to you, stay with 6.0 or if you must upgrade, wait for the official 7.0 update and do not download the beta version.

To wrap things up, I have to say the Nexus 5X is by far the best Android phone I have used. I just loved everything about it - design, build, specs and software. Sure its not the fastest or longer-lasting but for RM1400, its definitely value for money. If you’re looking for last year’s flagship Nexus phone at midrange price and stock Android, the Nexus 5X is perfect for you. You can be sure to get the latest Android update first too (at least until the next cycle). You can hardly go wrong with the latest or in this case a newer flagship Android phone from Google and Nexus 5X is also the case.

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