The new Nexus 5X is designed for a very specific audience: Nexus 5 lovers.
The Nexus 5 appealed to a particular brand of Android purist: clean, uncluttered Android, top-notch hardware, and a form factor that could easily fit into a wide range of hands. In the two years since it appeared, though, the phone’s 5-inch size has largely been replaced at the high end by 5.5- to 6-inch phablets. But the Nexus 5X is here to show us there is another way.
I got to play with the Nexus 5X at Google launch event this week. Compared to the Nexus 6P and Pixel C, it got comparatively little attention. Perhaps because it is comparatively little. As opposed to the iPhone world, it looks like Android buyers have decided bigger is almost always better. Grab the Nexus 5X in your hand and it feels like a phone, not a tablet. It measures 5.7 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches and weighs 136 grams. The display is 5.2 inches of Corning Gorilla Glass at 1080p resolution, which is probably enough for a screen this size.
The specs on the Nexus 5X are all just a step below cutting edge: it has the Snapdragon 808 CPU from the LG G4 as opposed to the Nexus 6P’s Snapdragon 810, and 2GB of RAM rather than 3GB. The 12.3-megapixel Sony camera sensor is the same as on the 6P, though, promising strong low-light performance. Like the iPhone 6s, there’s a 16GB storage option, which you should avoid because, like the iPhone 6S, the Nexus 5X can shoot 4K video, which will fill up that 16GB mighty fast.
The Nexus 5X shares a lot of design elements with the bigger, more expensive 6P. The black edges, the center-mounted fingerprint sensor, and the Nexus logo mark them as the same brand. One big difference is that the 5X has a plastic back. I am not a big fan of plastic phones, but the 5X’s isn’t bad. It feels solid and premium even though it costs $100 less its all-metal big brother.
Like the Nexus 6P, there is a fingerprint sensor centered on the back of the phone. The sensor uses Google’s Imprint identifications APIs and stores user information on a secure partition of the phone. This puts it on par with Apple’s Touch ID, which has used a secure partition since it launched. Google also improved the speed with which the sensor detects your print, although this wasn’t something I could test out in my unit.
Maybe it is unfair to compare the Nexus 5X to the Nexus 6P, as I did today. There just aren’t many high-end Android phones with screens under 5.5 inches to compare it to anymore, save for the Samsung Galaxy S6, which is much more expensive than the 5X. In any case, the 5X will be one of the first phones with Marshmallow, which is what’s really going to draw people to the phone.
Marshmallow users will be able to take advantage of Doze mode, where the devices use your usage history to drop into ultra-low power modes without turning off. This is a boon for users who forget to plug in their phones at night and usually wake up to a dead device. Google executives say that this feature can increase “display off” battery life by 30 percent. The Nexus 5’s 2700 mAh battery and sensor hub module promise very long battery life for a compact phone.
Like most of Google’s 2015 flagship products, the Nexus 5 uses a USB-C connector for data and power. Using a USB-C cable, the Nexus 5X can get about four hours of use with just 10 minutes of charging.
The Nexus 5X may be a step below the 6P in terms of size and speed, but it is still the most affordable way to get an Android 6.0 device today. Prices start at just $379 for 16GB model, but you’ll probably want 32GB, which goes for $429. Pre-orders are available now, and units should ship in late October.
Source | www.pcmag.com