Google Nexus 5X rumor round-up: specs, features, price and all we know so far

The Nexus 5X is now official! Read all about it here.

This is our rumor round-up of the 5.2" Nexus 5X; head this way for our rumor-round up of the larger, 5.7" Nexus 6P.

After two years of no common-sized phone from Google, this year, Google's Nexus is back.

Not officially just yet, but leaks have been way too consistent and plentiful, and this latest one reveals the new face of the Nexus series: two Nexus phones are coming, a 5.7” phablet by Huawei, and a 5.2” phone by LG, and both will share three signature features: dual front-facing speakers, a fingerprint reader on their back, and a USB Type C connector.

After the oversized Nexus 6 of last year, though, our eyes are on the new, 2015 edition of the LG-made Nexus 5. 

The phone will be officially called the Neuxs 5X and here is what we can expect from one of the most anticipated phones this year.

Design and display: fingerprint scanner and dual front speakers

The one thing that seems almost certain now is the design and styling of the Nexus 5X: render images of the phone have leaked out and everyone seems to agree that they are authentic. The pictures show an interesting combination of a white and black, dual-color style for the device: a white back cover (likely plastic) and a black frame and front (some say the frame will be made out of metal).

Since this is an LG phone that is a successor to the original LG Nexus 5, it does carry some resemblance to the older phone, but this new Nexus 5X is thinner, sleeker, and comes with a very distinct camera hump.

We have not yet seen such high-res true-to-life pictures of the front of the device, but the dual front-firing speaker setup does seem confirmed and it is a welcome solution that suggests cleaner and louder audio.

Just a couple of months ago, the rumored dimensions for the Nexus 5X have surfaced, and here are the numbers:

  • 5.2” Nexus 5X dimensions: 146.9 x 72.9 x 8/9.8mm
The varying thickness seems to indicate that at its thickest - that is the camera bulge part - the phone is 9.8mm thick, while all the rest of the body measures a fairly thin 8mm.

There is one last element of the Nexus 5X that has not yet surfaced in pictures: the rumored USB Type C connector is said to be there, but that does not tell us much - will it support a USB 3.1, 3.0 or the older, 2.0 kind of standard, and what are the details remain to be seen.

When it comes to the display, the 5X is expected to have a 5.2" IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of some 423ppi. We find this resolution more than sufficient for the overwhelming majority of users. What we're really curious about is whether this new Nexus will follow on the excellent example set by the 2013 LG Nexus 5, which had excellent color calibration with great-looking colors.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Android Pay

Google uses the Nexus platform to show the newest and most advanced version of Android, and that's why it's no surprise that the Nexus 5X is expected to come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board.

Google has taken quite a while to bake in support for fingerprint scanners on the system level, but this is probably one of the biggest features of Android 6.0. Google has improved the way fingerprint scanning works and in this new Nexus, one tap on the fingerprint reader will automatically turn on the phone and unlock it, with no need to first lock the screen and then press the button.

The new Nexus 5X with its fingerprint scanner and Android Marshmallow will likely be one of the first phones to fully support Android Pay, the wireless payment system that is expected to roll out at a lot of US retailers this fall.

Other big changes in Android 6.0 Marshmallow include the new way of managing permissions for your apps: rather than having to accept a bucket list during installation, you get to install the app, while individual permissions like access to your photos and microphone will be requested upon using a particular feature of the app. This will make it abundantly transparent when and why an app needs access to those particular features.

For all else, Android 6.0 Marshmallow does not bring any huge changes to the visual style of the platform: it's the same Material Design idea that was introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop. One minor feature that we're happy to see is a night mode that turns backgrounds dark and makes using the phone at night much less stressful on the eyes.

Performance, Memory and Storage

When it comes to specs and features, the new Nexus 5X is said to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 system chip clocked at up to 2GHz, with 2GB of RAM.

This is an interesting decision, as the Snapdragon 808 is not the top of the line Qualcomm chip (that would be the Snapdragon 810 at the moment), and Nexus phones so far have used top-notch hardware. It's not that the Snapdragon 808 itself is not powerful enough: it is based on a big.LITTLE design with two large and powerful Cortex A72 cores running along four power-efficient Cortex A53s for a balanced performance, but it is still strange that the handset avoids the Snapdragon 810. We can only guess what is the reason, and all those guesses have 'bad thermal management' and 'overheating' in them.

When it comes to the rest of the specs, there is - disappointingly - 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, while the storage options will be two: a 16GB base model, and a second one with 32GB of storage. As is the tradition in Nexus phones, this storage will not be expandable, as the Nexus 5X will not have a microSD card slot.

Camera: 12.3 megapixels with dual LED flash and laser AF

All rumors and leaked pictures reveal a picture of a Nexus phone with a prominent camera bulge. This alone suggests a large camera sensor on the inside, and a large sensor comes with the promise for larger pixel size and comparatively better photography performance in scant light. Leaks so far agree that the new Nexus 5X will feature a 12.3-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, come with a dual-LED flash, as well as an infra-red focus assist light that should help lock focus faster for nearby objects. We're curious to see whether this new Nexus comes with a color spectrum sensor, a feature that LG introduced with the LG G4 and that does seem to help the phone get color temperature much more accurately.

The latest rumors say the phone will NOT have optical image stabilization (OIS), and the reason for this is allegedly in the large sensor that is used. It is also said that the bigger-than-average, 1.55-micron pixel size of the camera will help the phone gather more light in challenging conditions for better night shots despite the lack of OIS.

We're also expecting to see the debut of Google's new Camera API 3.0 that is said to bring some neat new features to the stock camera experience. The key new features are rumored to be 'Smart Burst' that would allow you to quickly shoot a burst of pictures and easily pick the best one of them, 'Creations' that should automatically compile images in an album, similarly to what's already done on Google Photos, and 'Animations' that should allow you to create some neat animated GIFs.

Compromises: no expandable storage, likely no removable battery

As much as we like what Google is doing with the stock Android experience on the Nexus series, the company has been consistent with the limitations of a Nexus. Those are, of course, choices, rather than works of chance: the new Nexus 5X - just like the old ones - is likely to come with no microSD card slot for expandable storage, and it will likely keep its battery sealed and not easily removable.

Those are two conveniences that we have seen so many users complain about, and it's a bit puzzling to see companies continue ignoring demand for this feature. Or is it just the power users who want that?

Either way, the battery of the new, Nexus 5X is said to be a 2700mAh cell, an adequate size given the screen dimensions.

Google promises an 'all-day battery life', and leaks give us the following numbers:

  • 17 hours of talk time on 3G networks
  • 300 hours of stand-by time on 3G networks

Interestingly, Google has removed the wireless charging option we had on the Nexus 5, and you can only charge the phone via the USB Type C cord.

Price, release date and final words

Finally, price! The Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 sent shockwaves through the industry: they were priced at half the cost of a flagship, while competing with flagships directly in terms of both specs and features. The Nexus 6 strayed from this tradition with a price that was only slightly lower than its peers, but this year, we expect Google to go back to its ways: the Nexus 5X is rumored to have a much lower price than that of iPhones and Galaxies. How much? Rumors say that it will start from $379 for the base version, fully unlocked.

Good news is that this new Nexus 5X phone should be available on Google's Project Fi mobile network (that currently only supports the Nexus 6) with the following prices:

  • $20 base price for unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, low-cost international calls, and Wi-Fi tethering, as well as coverage in 120+ countries
  • plus $10 per 1GB of extra data (if you want to add 5GB of data, just add $50 to the base $20 price)
  • no fees for unused data: so if you bought 4GB of data and used just 3.2GB, you would pay $32 rather than $40

Needless to say, those are some very competitive prices that could convince you to switch away from the big four - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Speaking of the carriers, we're yet to hear which operators will get the new Nexus.

If you like what you see so far, you should know that the Nexus 5X announcement date is set for September 29th, and the release date is said to be on the same day in a good Google tradition. Fingers crossed!

reference: Android Pit, Android Police, 2015 Nexus 5 render images courtesy of Android Pit, Android Police




Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 24, 2015

the old app drawer was much better

14. MSi_GS70 unregistered

just another gimmick .. no changes AT ALL

28. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

It's nolonger like the above. I hated that one, but the new one in Dev 3 is actually pretty sweet, and it's annoying me that Nova hasn't taken it in yet :p

2. Amiafanboy

Posts: 67; Member since: May 27, 2015

Please delay this by 2/3 months and push it with the Snapdragon 820. I don't want the 808/810.

5. rihel_95

Posts: 305; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Also 4 GB RAM. I don't know why Google doesn't make the next top class-ed phone as a manufacturer. Using custom Processor like Apple, spec-ed out phone, High End Pricing, Good Design. Surely, it would fly off shelves too quickly. They can create a manufacturing division. Sometime I think why they just don't!

7. jellmoo

Posts: 2658; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Probably because it would sell terribly.

26. sgodsell

Posts: 7535; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

4 GB of ram would be nice to stretch the development envelope. However it would be totally dumb and reckless for Google to make their own processor. Not to mention there is a ton of processors and architectures that Android already runs on and supports from every kind of ARM processor, MIPS, and x86. Even Apple is looking to bridge and use x86 processors with iOS devices. Why do you think Apple created their Swift language and runtime. So their existing iOS developers could make Swift apps that would work on both iOS and OS/X devices. A 100% Swift app is basically what Android is currently doing right now. Apple is trying to change their ecosystem to be more device agnostic using their Swift language and runtime. Even Microsoft is following suite with their Universal apps. So all the major platforms are trying to do what Android has already been doing since day one. Only Android has been device agnostic since it first came out, and has the worlds largest device agnostic ecosystem in the world with 1.6 million apps to show for. As it stands today Apple has a vast ecosystem as well, but its ecosystem is locked into using its own hardware. Right now Apple has next to no Swift apps that support iOS and OS/X. To sum it up Google was really smart and ahead of its time when they went with a device agnostic platform like Android.

10. PryvateiDz

Posts: 445; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

I don't mind the 808, but I would like the 820 so I can use Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, especially since the battery is only 2700mAh, even though it may be optimized just right to last long enough.

11. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

I want 820 with 4GB (or make it 6GB please)

13. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Next year maybe.

3. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

When the Samsung Galaxy S6 is being discounted to $500 and Motorola offers similar phones between $350 and $400, the new Nexus 5 is bound to fail the value that its couple of predecessors were.

44. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Completely disagree. The Nexus is a phone that guarantees updates and pure software. It's smaller than the Moto X Pure/Style and cheaper. It's going to be a better performer due to the 1080 screen. There is a fairly big differentiation between these phones and it's good to have options.

4. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

The SD808 is two A57 cores and four A53s. What they're describing (2xA72) is the SD618.

29. sgodsell

Posts: 7535; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think the Huawei nexus is using the mediatek 10 core soc which has 2 A72 cores, 4 A57, and 4 A53 cores. I think he got the chips confused.

34. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Doubt it. Last leak showed the Huawei with the Snapdragon 810. Google hasn't used anything but a Snapdragon in the last few phones.

6. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Those data plans suck ass big time. I'm paying 10€ for 500 minutes/SMS + 1GB. I'd be paying 15.5€ for the same 500m/SMS if I wanted 2GB instead...

8. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Welcome to the world of US data rates.

39. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

I feel for Americans. So free, yet so restrained.

12. Kame_Hame_Haaaaa

Posts: 360; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

and I'm paying US$ 2.5 for 1.5GB (or US$ 7.00 for 8GB) with 4G LTE.

9. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I am more interested to know what sesnor it uses. I just hope for once Google solves the batterylife issue in a Nexus. The standby in Nexus phones is abysmal, at best. Whoever is in charge of Google Play services should be sent to North Korea! Play services by itself is the wort offender for batterylife in Android.

15. defcomk

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 16, 2014

"optical image stabilization (OIS) that should help maintain faster shutter speeds in low light for sharper images" oxymoron ?

16. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

Man I completely forgot this phone. I was setting my eyes on Moto X Style, but this again make me rethink. I don't want that big phone really. But have to wait for the detailed review of both the phones.

17. Astonvan

Posts: 237; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

that App drawers sucks. whats was need for the change excatly??

18. Astonvan

Posts: 237; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

I think this time the camera on nexus is going to rock .had lot of expectations on moto but motorola still struggles at camera department. This is going to be a great smartphone (hope they provide choice for users to switch to horizondally-scrolling app drawer

19. Cheezwiz

Posts: 500; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

I'd pay $399 for the 32GB version, but I' m not really sure that i'd pay $399 for a 16GB version of this phone. At that point, I'd probably just buy a Moto X Pure and get the bigger screen also.

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7535; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This will have a QHD display as well, just like the Moto X style/pure. The Moto X also has 4 IR sensors on its frontface, 4 mics, and better LTE, has the fastest quick charge. I wonder if the new LG nexus 5 will also support quick charging like the Moto X? Also the LG has a finger print scanner. I just wish LG would have used the same ultrasonic finger print scanner like the new Sony Z5. I love the fact that your fingers can be wet or dirty and the Z5 scanner will still work. I hope everyone will use the ultrasonic scanner in the future.

41. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

As per the rumors the Nexus 5X sans the QHD (1440x2560) screen and go with a FHD screen (1080x1920), but again nothing is official until it is announced.

20. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Wasn't there an article recently mentioning the dark theme wasn't going to make it in the final version of M? It is already gone in the preview 3 version. So why it is mentioned now?

42. o0Exia0o

Posts: 903; Member since: Feb 01, 2013

The dark theme and night mode are 2 different things. Dark theme would have made things the settings menus a darker color as apposed to the white that they are now VS night mode that will adjust bright colored wallpapers during times that the phone's light sensor detects that it is dark or low light conditions.

21. Subie

Posts: 2419; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I like the render of the phone with the black sides and white back....... Something a storm trooper would use :)

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