Google Nexus 5X hands-on

LG returns to bring us another Nexus device and that is a good thing. LG had two very well-received production runs with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones: both remain capable devices two or three years later. Now, to offset some expressed disappointment of such a large device that was the Nexus 6 last year, LG will once again cover the "smaller" side of the Nexus line-up with the Nexus 5X.

It is not lost on us that a 5.2-inch display is being called "small," but in the grand scheme of most high-end Android devices these days, 5.2 inches happens to be on the relatively more 'compact' side of that wheelhouse.


LG built on its design language from the Nexus 5 a little, so it doesn't appear too different from the last regular-sized Nexus. The larger camera module, however, required LG to shape the camera on the 5X with a bit of a bump that is reminiscent of what we saw on the Nokia Lumia 1520. If you keep staring at the back of the Nexus 5X, though, you'll also notice that it is packing a fingerprint sensor right below the camera module. Meanwhile, on the bottom, there is the new USB Type-C reversible connector.


Following in the Nexus 5's footsteps, the Nexus 5X is packing a 1080 x 1920-pixel IPS LCD display. Coupled with its 5.2-inch screen size, there is more than enough resolution (423 ppi) to provide excellent detail. An interesting detail to note here is that unlike the larger Nexus 6P, the Nexus 5X's display is protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, and not Gorilla Glass 4.

Processor and memory

Under the somewhat unassuming appearance is all the right stuff to keep things operating smoothly. The highly capable hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU is on board, along with 2GB of RAM memory. There will be a couple different non-expandable storage options available: 16GB and 32GB. Given the lack of a microSD card slot, we'd strongly suggest that customers go for the latter option, seeing that 16 gigabytes tend to be quite insufficient these days, especially if the user likes to install a lot of applications, or store content like music or video.

Interface and Functionality

The stock Android experience remains impressive thanks to all the optimization that has been built into the platform the past couple years: Project Butter, Android Run-Time, and the Material Design motif continue to provide what appears to be a splendid user experience. And, now that fingerprint recognition is also part of the OS itself, it will be interesting to see where the Android team takes the feature beyond Android Pay.

Functionally, Android 6.0 Marshmallow arguably does not have the breadth of features that might be found on a heavily skinned Samsung, LG, or HTC Sense, but that plays to stock Android's strengths of smooth operation and integration with Google's services without other apps and "layers" getting in the way.


LG knows how to do cameras, so we hope that the stock Android photo processing plays to those strengths. The Nexus 5X's main camera is a 12.3-megapixel sensor. Laser-assisted auto-focus and dual-LED flash are along for the ride. The sensor on this device, and the Nexus 6P, feature larger 1.55┬Ám pixels which should lend to pretty good low-light photos. However, the absence of OIS may hinder performance somehwhat. On the front is a 5-megapixel sensor for potentially sharp selfies and crisp video calling. The camera setup has all the makings to be a fine picture taker, here's to hoping it'll really turn out this way!

Pricing, release date, and expectations

The Google Nexus 5X will start at an attractive $379 for the base 16GB model, and reach $429 for the 32GB model. They are available to pre-order now in the Google Store. If you pre-order now, your new Nexus will come accompanied by a $50 Google Play credit.

What we cannot help but wonder is if Google and LG are ready to handle what is sure to be a very high demand for the new Nexus 5X smartphone. Every year we witness the rare occurrence of the Google Store going into some weird "safe" mode, and then within minutes, everything is sold out. We think Google made the right choice in simply opening up pre-orders for the devices now, we see no reason why demand will be any less this year.

Related phones

Nexus 5X
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2700 mAh(20h talk time)



1. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Awesome phone :)

2. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

That is one ugly phone. Just add another twenty dollars, and buy the Moto X; you can even customize it with the Moto maker, and supports micro SD.

3. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

You're right about the moto x pure as I'm writing from mine but the simple look here is really appealing at least to me

4. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

just add 50 more dollars and buy the awesome Nexus 6p. It supports (so called "premium") metal body.

9. ayephoner

Posts: 858; Member since: Jun 09, 2009

only 50 more? what am i missing?

11. EC112987

Posts: 1216; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

The 32gb 5x is 429. The 6p is 499. Close enough lol

15. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Damn. I think Huawei is the better OEM right now. LG is too plastic and overpriced.

13. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The Moto X is a super brick though. What is it, 12mm or something ridiculously fat like that. I don't want to be Zack Morris.

16. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Motor design is good if only is not that fat lol.

17. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Who doesn't want to be Zack Morris? That guy had super awesome hair and he got all the fresh babes!

5. jmill75

Posts: 127; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

My opinion only, Im really liking the look of both devices. Like the screen size of the 5x but ordered both to see which one i like more. The 6P is looking to be a beast of a phone. Pretty much hits all of the marks Im looking for in a phone!

6. Mass88

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

The biggest issues I have with this phone are the lack of OIS and the bezels. A phone with this screen size should be at lest 73-76% surface area - not 64% like the 5X is.

8. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

Having a Nexus 5 (2013), I completely agree with you. What LG has done with the Nexus 5X is ridiculous. Look at their other devices and screen to body ratios on those devices. LG did a really poor job with the Nexus this year.

18. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

iPhone screen to body ratio is even worse and it's selling like hotcakes.

20. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Yes, but that is an iPhone, people simply turn their brains off when it comes to Apple products and what they're willing to pay for them. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things I admire about the products Apple produces, I just prefer to invest my resources elsewhere.

7. tyger11

Posts: 297; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

No OIS, no wireless charging. My Nexus 5 has both. Now I don't know what phone I'll wind up with next, because this ain't it. :(

12. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1249; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Yeah it doesn't really offer anything over the N5 except better camera and fingerprint sensor. Neither matter enough to me to upgrade.

10. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Shocked at no ois

14. kabilan.ravi

Posts: 21; Member since: Apr 08, 2013

The ugliest Nexus phone next to Galaxy Nexus... What a waste. Tell me one good reason to buy this phone.

19. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

the back is nice. The front looks meh.

21. Comicgeek300

Posts: 21; Member since: Sep 22, 2015

Ugliness overload. IMO

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