After contemplating for a good month or so on which Nexus smartphone to pick up, I finally took the plunge and picked up the LG Nexus 5X. If you did not know, the Nexus 5X is the younger sibling to the metallic built, more expensive and bigger Nexus 6P. While, on paper, the Nexus 6P is arguably a better-built phone, with a more premium metallic construction and a more powerful hardware, it is also a good Rs 10,000 more expensive phone in India. And the decision to pick one of the two is not the simplest.
For me personally, Android phones have always been the backup device with the iPhone being the primary phone simply because of all the content that I have purchased via the Apple iTunes Store. Hence picking up a budget friendly smaller Nexus device, just to get the flavour of Android made a lot of sense. And after setting myself up for it and preparing to pick up a phone with plastic as the primary construct material, I got my Nexus 5X yesterday and this is what I have to say about the device.
My color of choice was the Ice Blue variant, just because it was a color that was unique and not offered in any other mainstream device. My apprehension with the color is the same that I had when I had flirted with a white Nexus 5, that of it picking up smudge marks and of dust particles being very visible. And so far, the fears have been true as keeping the phone on an untidy table and you immediately see the brown patches of dust on the back of the device. One wipe off the shirt and the phone is back to its clean original self, but you would want to invest in a good cover if you pick the white or the blue versions.
Fast charging is really good on the Nexus 5x. Charged 44% in 42 minutes. Plugged in: 15% at 8:06 Plugged out: 59% at 8:48
— michael arpit (@redarpit) November 7, 2015
The Nexus 5X comes with a 2700 mAh battery and while it is without a doubt, not the biggest battery that we have seen on the flagship, it does come with Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to the Snapdragon 808 SoC. We put the phone through a couple of charge cycles in the 24 hours just to see the charging speed and while it is only our initial impression, the response has been pretty good. We were able to charge about 44% of the device in good 42 minutes, which certainly is on par with the other phones with the same technology. We will put the phone through its paces when it comes to complete charge cycle and the time that takes and report it on our full review.
If you have been using a high-resolution AMOLED panel in the past, then you would not really like the panel on the Nexus 5X. I had been using the Galaxy Note 5 for a couple of weeks and coming to the Nexus 5X was a shocker. Not only was the Note 5 panel higher in resolution, but also had more saturated colors, deeper blacks and milkier whites. The display on the 5X is not bad, make no mistake about it. It is still really good and if you are switching from a 720 P or a 1080 P display, you will really like it. Just do not put it side by side to an AMOLED panel, else you just may develop an OCD against the device. Viewing angles and sunlight readability has been pretty much spot on too. (image vis: Reddit)
Tap on Now is more of a show right now
All the Nexus phones come with the latest and greatest in the Android world, and Nexus 5X is no different. It comes with Android Marshmallow out of the box and while it does not have any drastic new features in terms of UI when compared to Lollipop, there are a couple of things that Google has done new, with Tap on Now being the most popular one. What Tap on Now basically does is that, when you long press on the Home button of your phone, it scans the page for content and gives you relevant Google results for the elements on that page. Tap on Now for now is pretty much a thing to talk about that something really useful. You do hit gold where it picks up the names of famous personalities or hotels or restaurants but anything more complicated and you see a no result. Not just this, there is a major inconsistency about the results as running Tap on Now on the same WhatsApp chat gave us different results. We are to test the feature more and on top of more apps, but for now, it definitely looks like something that is in works.
Performance is what you expect
When you pay upwards of Rs 30,000 for a phone, you expect good performance even if it is not breathtaking as that on the highest in class devices and the Nexus 5X is no different. The phone breezes through everyday tasks and barely breaks a sweat. Be it playing games, continuously changing apps for casual social networking or watching videos, the Nexus 5X takes everything you throw at it. The phone only struggles when you have extremely memory intensive games being played and you suddenly want to switch to other apps or if you fire and change the camera modes very frequently. This lead us to missing a couple of shots, but in general, we found no stutter or lags in everyday use of the phone.
Overall, I have been really happy with my purchase of the Nexus 5X and it is a phone if you pick up, you will be able to justify to yourself. The above are obviously just our first impressions of the device and we will be spending more time with the device to come up with a more detailed review of the phone.
Is there anything specific you want to know about the device? Do let us know if there is anything that you want to know from us about the device in the section below and we would cover it in our review.