Nexus 5X Review

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P review round-up: Here’s what critics are saying.

Google-designed Nexus phones have been beating the handsets designed by third-parties for a few years now, owing to their use of an unfettered stock Android.Google, who’s Android operating system enjoys more than 80 percent global smartphone market share, is pushing even further by launching not only a new mobile version of Android, but also two new Google branded phones and a new Google phone service called Project Fi. I’ve had a chance to try Google’s new 5.7-inch Nexus 6P and 5.2-inch Nexus 5X as well as its new Project Fi service that provides talk, text and data via cellular and WiFi and, I pretty much like what I’ve seen. This also makes it lighter at 136 grams. “I was able to swipe across the entire screen without strain, thanks to dimensions of 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm,” writes Techradar.

The Nexus 5X is the successor to 2013’s Nexus 5 – Google’s most popular Nexus device to date – and like 2013’s Nexus smartphone, the 5X is made by LG. Surprisingly, even at the 5X’s low price (it starts at $379 unlocked), there are very few places where Google and LG cut corners in a way that diminishes the device’s value.

It’s still a relatively compact smartphone, but now has a 5.2in screen and a longer body than the Nexus 5, which lets it fit in a front-facing speaker at the bottom. The 6P is a metal-glass combo that sports a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, a 12.3-megapixel main camera, and a QHD OLED (2560 x 1440) display. On the other hand, the nexus 6P ups the ante with a smooth metallic finish and plush looks. “The Nexus 6P is built on a frame of aluminium, and it’s a big, solid slab of a phone. Instead of smooth, rounded curves, the 6P has chamfered corners and 90-degree angles — but they’re done well enough that it doesn’t feel rough in the hand.

But I’m more interested in how a phone works and feels in your hand than what it looks like, especially since I almost always protect my phone in a case, which pretty much hides its back, no matter how pretty it is. In part at least, the Nexus program has been an effort by Google to guide the design of hardware to that point where a phone is aesthetically and functionally perfect. But there’s enough goodness here (especially for the price!) for me to recommend the 5X to anyone wanting a not-huge phone that still has many of the trimmings of upper-class devices.

Unlike the iPhone 6S Plus, which starts at $749 for only 16 GB of storage, the $499 Nexus 6P comes with 32 GB but you can pay more and get 64 GB or 128 GB. I actually don’t mind that, but if you do, you can turn on developer settings and set it to the sRGB color mode,” says TheVerge. “The other thing I like about the screen is that Huawei nailed the little details that are often all screwy on AMOLED screens. The phone feels snappy, switching apps is rapid, and while it’s not quite the fastest-feeling Android smartphone currently available – that would be the Galaxy S6 – it is on par with the best of the rest.

In fact, I’d say that only hardcore gamers will even notice that it’s not the fastest processor on the block and only has 2GB of RAM when competitors have three or four. The new UI offers an overall new look and feel. “One of the most standout features of Android Marshmallow, by far, is Now on Tap, which lets you dive deeper into anything you’re reading or watching by bringing up additional information. More importantly, it’s deadly accurate—in five days of constant use, the sensor never once failed to recognize my finger, and it’s never opened for anyone else who’s tried to unlock it. The Nexus 6 makes the move many others have made to the USB Type-C charging port, which brings advantages like super-fast charging and blazing data transfer.

I used it as my primary device, with hundreds of emails, push notifications and messages coming in, 2.5 hours of browsing, five hours of listening to music via Bluetooth headphones, around 20 minutes of gaming and a couple of photos per day. It has the initial disadvantage that your local bar probably won’t have one behind the bar, however, charging cables should be fairly ubiquitous soon. However, one cannot say the same about the new camera app. “It’s slow, especially when shooting HDR, and barebones, and it doesn’t let you do basic things like capture still photos while recording video.

Where I live there is no T-Mobile service, moderately OK Sprint and really fast WiFi which means when I’m home, the phone is connecting through WiFi to give me great call quality and fast data. The processors are a Snapdragon 808 with an Adreno 418 GPU supported by 2 gigabytes of RAM (a step down in performance from the 6P) but aside from generating a lot of heat during videos, I experienced no problems. I spent a few hours doing all of my work on my phone just yesterday: Chatting, using Slack, email, editing posts—the works—and I was really impressed at how nothing ever jammed up. The biggest downside is that you’ll end up having to buy some extra cables as LG only ships a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box, which means you will likely not be able to plug it into your computer.

Apps loaded quickly, navigation was slick and the Android experience was also highly familiar, with little in the way of design changes between Marshmallow and Lollipop,” writes Techradar. The OnePlus 2, for example, really started to piss me off with this after a while—and as for Samsung’s TouchWiz skin, well, that remains an inferior approximation of Android in its simple goodness. And since the charger is of the USB-C variety and about as rare as a kitten that shits gold nuggets, I have to carry the power cable all times. (If I bought this phone, I’d buy two chargers.) The battery life under normal use sits at about seven hours, though beware of games: I managed to demolish 50 percent of a full charge in a single two-hour session of Crossy Road.

Now I’m not much of a mobile gamer, but I did fire up Dead Trigger 2 just to see if the phone would do all right with a more involved, more graphics intensive game. We’ve received fairly positive reviews about its battery. “The Nexus 5X hasn’t failed to get me to my bedside charger yet, and (likely thanks to Android Marshmallow’s new Doze feature) it seems to drain particularly slowly when I leave it alone for a while,” writes Cnet. It covers 120 countries and in many countries talk is only 20 cents a minute with data charged at the same $10 per GB rate as in the U.S., although at slower 3G speeds. Going by the first reviews out for the new Google’s Nexus devices, we can say that the company brings in much needed improvement in two segments – camera and battery. I would strongly recommend you just buy the 32GB version and avoid the terrible frustration of constantly running out of room, having to delete apps, or being forced to regularly prune your photos and videos.

Google’s strategy with its Nexus phones is to set a standard for other companies to match and beat so — stay tuned — we should be seeing a whole bunch of new and high-powered Android phones over the next few months. I found I unlocked the phone simply by picking it up and I never felt like I was going to drop it when unlocking it, as I have done with home button-style fingerprint scanners. In good light the level of detail captured in photos is fantastic, and when blown up to full size suffers none of the over-sharpening or artefacts that many other do. Rather than letting an app tell you what permissions it’s going to take, you can customize exactly what permissions are allowed by granting permissions when the app actually needs them.

Now that the days of the $200-with-an-asterisk phone are waning, $429 is a great price for a capable, sensibly sized, unlocked phone running pure Android. For example Evernote always wants to access my calendar to associate my notes with whatever was happening on a day. (Oh, cool, so my note about a story idea is associated with Darren’s birthday.

For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S6 with 32GB of storage currently costs £390, the 32GB Sony Xperia Z5 costs £540, and a 16GB iPhone 6S costs £539. The camera is excellent, the fingerprint scanner fantastic, it’s snappy, has a great screen and is both light and relatively small in a smartphone landscape dominated by phones with screens larger than 5.5in. The best way to describe the 6P would be “serviceable.” I took photos at a concert in a dark bar and pretty much got the shot I was looking for though it wasn’t always the first shot I took. They’re just not up to the incredibly high bar set by the phone’s design, general software performance, and other phones that do these things better.

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