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5 reasons not to give up on the Nexus 5X just yet

Bigger is better. Whether we're talking about cars, burgers or pectoral muscles, that seems to be the modern mantra. But it's not always the case and it's certainly not always the case with phones, as the sluggish sales for many phablets has shown.

Phone manufacturers are increasingly super-sizing their releases, with many now about the same size as the so-called 'pocket' dictionaries that were a feature of many pre-internet childhoods. Clothes manufacturers, it seems, have never quite caught on to these trends, with the standard pocket size having remained the same for decades.

But in the rush to get the latest and biggest phone, we can sometimes overlook the more compact editions and that's the case with the Nexus 5X. The update to the Nexus 5, released on the same day as its sleeker, bigger and bolder brother the 6P, deserves some of the spotlight for reasons that we'll detail below:

1. Simplicity

Weighing in at a mere 136g, with dimensions of 147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm and a screen size of 5.2 inches, the 5X looks tiny next to behemoths like the 6P – and that has some definite advantages.

Nexus 5X vs Nexus 6P 1
The Nexus 5X (left) is considerably smaller than the 6P (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

Firstly, you can carry it easily in your pocket without the need to alter your clothes. Secondly, it fits just as easily in your hand, so even those of us who aren't giants can use it one-handed. And finally, its light weight just makes it feel more natural to hold.

2. Cost

The Nexus 5X may not be the most attractive phone – its build quality is probably not comparable to the very top-end devices – its price is one very attractive feature indeed. 

Currently retailing at US$379.99 on Amazon, it is about US$200 cheaper than the 6P or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and should leave you enough change to buy yourself a decent tablet if you still need something bigger.

Nexus 5X 11
The Nexus 5X may not be the prettiest but it's good value for money./ © ANDROIDPIT

Lowest price: Google Nexus 5X

Best price

Of course, the lower price does mean a few compromises on things such as processing power and display resolution, but it has more than enough in its locker for all but the most demanding users.

3. Hardware

The Nexus 5X has some of the best hardware at its price point, particularly when it comes to its cameras. The cheaper of the two new Nexus models actually has the same camera module (and scanner) as the 6P, one of the best snappers out there – although it lacks a few of its big brother's features like slow mo and the gif-making Smart Burst mode.

The camera is one of the best around. / © Google

The Nexus 5X's 12.3 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera consistently take high-quality pictures even in low light. They will also show up pretty well on the 5X's display. Although, again, it is slightly inferior to top-end products, the full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (424 ppi) screen is more than enough for most phone users. Its battery life is also not to be sniffed at.

4. Software

One of the huge advantages of Nexus phones over manufacturers like Samsung or LG is that you get a much more 'pure' Android experience. Google's involvement makes the phone easy to use, intuitive and a much less frustrating experience than many others.

android 6 0marshmallow teaser
The Nexus 5X was one of the first to get Marshmallow. / © Google

Additionally, because Google makes the phones, the Android system works perfectly with the Nexus and the devices are always the first to receive updates – as the 5X was with Marshmallow. This means the Nexus 5X can already boast improved volume settings, better cutting and pasting tools, and Google Now.

5. Extras

For a relatively low-cost phone, the Nexus 5X has a fair few additional features. Primary among these is the fingerprint sensor, which has proven to be quick to set up and fast and accurate when you're attempting to unlock your phone. And as we get more updates to Marshmallow, you can expect it to become increasingly useful.

Nexus5x nexus6p mkbhd charging
Both the new Nexus' offer USB type C charging. / © MKBHD

It's also among the first phones to offer USB Type-C charging and charges at a rapid pace, although, disappointingly, there isn't an adapter to use with the older Type A USBs included in the standard package.


The Nexus 5X certainly isn't the most exciting phone on the market, nor does it offer the best performance. But what it does offer is specs that are more than good enough for almost any user at a price that's more than US$200 less than some flagship models.

In short, it's worth considering whether a slightly quicker processor and bigger, sharper screen are worth the extra cash. And think hard about whether you want to step away from ever-growing phones and towards something a bit more manageable.

What do you think? Are you a fan of smaller phones or is bigger better after all? Tell us what you think below.


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  • I've had my 5x for about 4 weeks and found it faster, 'cleaner' and easier to use than my previous HTC M8 (which I'm giving to my daughter). Not being a user of social media apps or sites, I like that 'vanilla' Android doesn't annoy me with constant updates for these apps.

  • I had a One Plus One and found the 5.5" screen to be the limit that I could comfortably use 1 handed. I bought the 32 gb Nexus 5 and while I like it a lot, I don't love it.

    It's a very good phone but I think that, for the price, its design is uninspiring. The best things about the hardware are the camera and fingerprint sensor. The worst is the awkward meshing of the back to the rest of the phone. It's very noticeable on the white and light blue versions, less so on the black.

    It's the only phone I've owned that I bought a case for, not for protection, but to hide the phone's ugliness.

  • I'm a fan of smaller phones, like it was Nexus 5 2013 with 5 inch. The new one, Nexus X is with 5.2 inch still enough small.

  • It's a decent cheaper phone for those with a limited budget. It's not pretty but not downright ugly either. There is a market for it, though not a big one. When have Nexus phones ever sold well? Never...Stock Android is very good, but the fact is it doesn't have many fans, global sales of stock Android phones are negligible. Anyone I know with stock Android has gotten bored with it very quickly and installed a launcher like Nova Prime.

    • Jordy Cruz 10 months ago Link to comment

      I rather quite enjoy the stock android. I am currently using my Nexus 5, Nexus 5X should be arriving today, if it hasn't arrived already.
      I <3 Nexus
      NEXUS!! FTW!!

  • Nexus Phones and Tablets are now on sale only at (

  • M3tthew 10 months ago Link to comment

    my future phone

  • thirdlobe 10 months ago Link to comment

    I purchased one on Black Friday and hope to have it here this week. I am excited to replace my OPO. The tipping point for me was the lower cost during this time and being pure Android.

    • Me too! I bought the 32GB in white it should be here tn. Replacing my old iPhone4 that just won't die, and I can't wait. It should go well with my Toshiba chromebook as well. Everyone has been hard on the specs but the Black Friday and I think still today for Cyber Monday sale is too good of a deal to pass up. $350 for 32GB in the google store.

      Edit: Plus eventually I want to switch to Project Fi which is a great deal especially if you travel overseas.

  • Bob visser 10 months ago Link to comment

    Prices in Europe are just to high for such a phone. I bought a phone for 100€ less (compared to the 16gb version) which has 64GB storage, 3GB ram, 4100mah battery, dual sim

  • nexus 5X would've been better with 3GB RAM.

  • Sony muset make a Nexsus

  • it's a good value mid range device.... not sure it's gonna be as popular as it's predecessor, 2gb of ram is gonna feel a little limited once you've got a few apps installed and 6 months of real life use. I like the idea of using a more compact device when it comes to portability but not when browsing...

  • Great article. Not trying to be picky, but in the Conclusion I think you said Nexus 5 when you meant Nexus 5x.

  • Bought a Nexus 6P on Black Friday. Didn't even consider the 5X because of its plastic build and paltry 16GB.

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