Google Nexus 5X Preview: Updating A Classic

One Of The Best Smartphones Ever Made Just Got A Sequel

Google has unveiled the Nexus 5X, the sequel to probably one of the best Android smartphones ever made - the Nexus 5.

The Nexus 5 struck the ultimate balance between being being extremely powerful in the specs department and yet extremely affordable in the wallet arena.

Since that phone only Motorola's excellent Moto G has come even close to finding that balance.

Well Google and LG are back with a sequel to the Nexus 5 and judging from our quick hands-on time with the new phone it looks like they might have done it all over again.

Design and specs

One of the best things about the old Nexus was its design. It was minimalist and sturdy. The soft touch plastic build never felt cheap and LG nailed the ratio between screen and bezel.

The Nexus 5X quite literally feels like a continuation of this, which is glorious. There was always going to be a risk that the language would be lost as LG went on to make other phones but with the 5X they've kept what made the old phone great and given it an update.

It's astonishingly light as well, just 136g compared to the iPhone 6s' 143g. That might not sound like much of a difference but just holding the phone in your hand will immediately convey the effect immediately.

Then there's the screen, a gorgeous 5.2-inch Full-HD panel that boasts 423 ppi. To be honest that's more than enough, and by refusing to compete in the 2K or 4K screen race the Nexus 5X should boast some good battery stats.

If we had one complaint (and this is quite a big one) it's that the Nexus 5X is a flagship smartphone and as such it should have been given storage to match that.

Instead you'll only be able to get the Nexus 5X with either 16GB or 32GB of Storage. The fact that Apple still offers the iPhone 6s with 16GB is laughable enough but by not offering 64GB they're massively shooting themselves in the foot.

Nexus Imprint

The big feature that'll be dominating the headlines surrounding both the Nexus 5X and its also newly announced larger sibling the Nexus 6P is Nexus Imprint, Google's own fingerprint sensor.

Aiming to offer an experience that's as seamless and as safe as Apple's TouchID, Nexus Imprint comes with a number of key differences.

The first is that it's really smart, indeed the more you use it, the better it gets. Sadly we couldn't see this for ourselves, but from the short demo we did get the sensor looks to be astonishingly quick giving even the second-generation TouchID sensor on the iPhone 6s a run for its money.

Next up is that it can be used for lots of other things, Google is opening up Nexus Imprint to the entire Android ecosystem so you'll be able to use it for loads of other apps.


LG has packed in a 12.3MP rear-facing sensor on the Nexus 5X along with a 5MP sensor on the front. Google's claiming that by using 1.55 µm pixels the Nexus 5X should be able to offer low-light performance that'll put the iPhone to shame.

It's a bold claim and one that we'll absolutely be putting to the test. For now though we were able to give the camera app a quick play through and found it to be simple enough.

If anything it was too simple though while Google's odd insistence to take up most of the screen with a massive capture button feels utterly counterintuitive.

The screen's representation of what the camera was seeing wasn't especially mind-blowing either showing up a lot of noise and some lag. Hopefully these are just pre-release issues.

Should you buy the Nexus 5X?

Based on the price alone we'd say the Nexus 5X could look to be one of our favourite smartphones ever. Of course that'll depend on whether the battery life is up to scratch and if indeed the camera is considerably less awful than it was on the Nexus 5.

The storage is annoying too, especially for a smartphone that can record 4K.

For now though we'd say our overall thoughts are actually extremely positive, it's a powerful, light, good-looking smartphone that if it can settle some of our worries over proper testing, could be one of the best Android smartphones out there.


What's Hot