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The Nexus 5X: this is not the Nexus we wanted

The Nexus 5X: this is not the Nexus we wanted

We love our Nexus phones here at AndroidPIT, so the anticipation of the latest model had us all tingly. But when the Nexus 5X was formally launched, we were a little disappointed, and not just because we loved the Nexus 5 so much. Here’s why the Nexus 5X simply isn’t the one we'd been waiting for.

1. It’s too edgy

Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5 1
Despite very similar screen sizes, the 5X (right) is much bigger than the 5 (left). / © ANDROIDPIT

We don’t mean that in the sense of cool, edgy design. We mean the edges of the Nexus 5X are enormous, and the display is surrounded by big black areas. Had the Nexus been made by, say, Asus, then we’d shrug and accept it. But LG? LG, the firm whose designs have long offered the best ratio of screen to phone size in the Android world? We’re wondering if LG’s usual design team took the day off and gave the Nexus job to the intern.

Look at the image above, with the 2013 Nexus on the left and the 5X on the right. The screen size hasn’t changed a great deal, but the newer Nexus is much bigger, and with that, it’s less comfortable to use, and more awkward to stick in a pocket.

2. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be

We all love the Nexus 5, and Google no doubt told LG to try to keep the family resemblance. But the result, to our eyes, doesn’t really work. Compared with the Galaxy S6, the Nexus 5X looks cheap and plasticky, the camera bump particularly obvious. Turn it around and – aaagh! Huge forehead! Big chin! 

gs6 nexus 5x comparacao
We're not sure the 5X looks as good as rival devices. / © Samsung; Google; ANDROIDPIT

3. The storage options are silly

There’s no 128 GB version for the time being, just a 16 GB and a 32 GB version. A flagship phone with 16 GB of storage and no microSD slot? What year is this? It seems as though Google is taking a leaf out of Apple’s book here, by offering a device with measly storage on the assumption that people will go: “16 GB? That’s hopeless! I’ll buy the more expensive version!” Had the phone offered microSD support, 16 GB would have been fine, but you can’t look at the Nexus 5X's super giant enormo case and think, 'Hmm, there's no way they could have made room for a microSD slot in there.'

Nexus 5X 3
We think Google/LG could have found room for a microSD card slot if they'd wanted to. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. It isn’t really that much better than the Nexus 5

The Nexus 5X has the same screen resolution, RAM and internal storage its precessor. The battery is a bit bigger (although so is the screen, so that may cancel out the benefits of the slightly bigger battery), but the only really important changes are the better camera – which has 12.3 MP but no optical stabilization – and the fingerprint scanner.

nexus 5x hero 2
Our review says the Nexus 5X is "unobtrusive". Damning with faint praise? / © Google

In our hands on review, Stephan Serowy wrote that the Nexus 5X is “an unobtrusive handset with no serious disappointments.” There’s one for the posters: “unobtrusive” – AndroidPIT.com. It’s essentially a Nexus 5 whose biggest flaws, the camera and battery, have been fixed, and it brings nothing else new or interesting to the party. When you look at the calibre of rival devices – not just the Samsungs but the OnePlus 2, the Honor 7, and so on – the Nexus 5X, supposedly the flagship phone, the ultimate Android device, is something of a disappointment.

What do you think? Have we donned our Hater Hat unfairly? Did the Nexus 5X live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below.

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81 comments

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  • I wanted a Nexus 4X. Why do they make such large phones if everyone complains that they're too big?? Now that they've quit supporting my Nexus 4, I don't know what to replace it with because I don't want a bigger phone. :(


  • Why do people care so much about ois on a smartphone?? The camera module is too small to make any neglible difference and time and time again it is shown that the software stabilization does a lot of the work. This isn't a DSLR people. Sony phones prove you don't need ois to produce great pictures and videos.


  • larry Oct 8, 2015 Link to comment

    No image stabilization and wireless charging? Then forget it, no N5x for me.

    PATTERZDeactivated Account


    • Sony has proven that ois is not necessarily needed on a phone. The camera module is so tiny as to not offer much of a benefit when compared to say a DSLR.


  • "There’s no 128 GB version for the time being, just a 16 GB and a 32 GB version. A flagship phone with 16 GB of storage and no microSD slot? What year is this? It seems as though Google is taking a leaf out of Apple’s book here"

    Haven't you noticed that Google has been turning Android into a cheap iOS knock-off since 4.4.4?

    I got Android devices because iOS was not for me, but since there is little to no difference now, my next phone will be a Windows Phone. Maybe I'll return when Google stop trying to be Apple...


    • Even if Google is making Android very similar to iOS, Android is still superior to iOS. Android still retains what has made it great in the first place. Openness and the ability to customise your phone. Everybody is copying everybody now except Microsoft who are on the way back after Tuesday's event. All they need is developer support and Windows 10 could be a legitimate threat to Android.


  • You nailed it. I know this makes no sense, but it almost seems it exists to make you realize that you might as well get the 6p instead. If you can stand the size of the 6p, it makes absolutely zero sense to buy the 5x. And if you want a compact phone, like you pointed out, the 5x isn't all that compact either. What a total disaster imho.


  • I think you're completely missing the point of the Nexus 5x. It's not supposed to be a flagship phone; that title belongs to the 6P. It's supposed to be the best mid range phone that can run Android (approximately) just as well as a flagship. The fact that the 5x is running stock marshmallow means that even though it might not have bleeding edge specs, it will still run Android flawlessly, in both a way and a speed that appears nearly identical to any other Android device. When it comes to better and better specs in phones there's a law of diminishing returns, and this phone is for the people that recognize this, and that are willing to sacrifice that extra fraction of a second of speed when loading pages in order to pay nearly half of what most phones cost. This can be seen in the fact that long after its launch, the original Nexus 5 is still one of the most popular smartphones because it ran (and still runs) Android just as well as most top tier phones, the screen was (and still is) great, the battery would (and still will) get you through a whole day of use, and it was (and is) insanely cheap.

    Also, although the 16gb option is super small, and I personally could never get by with it, there is still a market for it. Some people have more of their info in the cloud and don't keep tons of unneeded apps on their phones. Because of this they don't need the extra storage. My girlfriend has the 16gb original Nexus 5 and it works perfectly for her needs.

    tldr: The Nexus 5x isn't a flagship, it's a great midrange phone that will run Android perfectly at half the cost of most phones with bleeding edge specs, while performing identically on nearly every occasion.


    • "I think you're completely missing the point of the Nexus 5x. It's not supposed to be a flagship phone; "

      See:

      "this is not the Nexus we wanted"

      Deactivated AccountL.K. D.


    • Luke, very well articulated. Yours is the most informative, intelligent comment I've read. Mostly, I see "cry babies" who want tons of features but don't want to pay for them. I have enjoyed (still do) NEXUS 5 for about 23 months now. As soon as Google store start shipping, I will order the NEXUS 6P with the 64 g of memory (Not that I need it but so be it. My N5 has 16g and still have 12.5 g of memory available. I do have my photos backed in the cloud though). Your take on Nexus 5 is exactly what it is.


      • Hmm, doesn't the argument: "It is what it is so don't scrutinise it" preclude everything from scrutiny?


  • Sorry but I'd Choose the Nexus 6P over the Nexus 5X. I own a Nexus 6 and could never go back to 5 inches now. It just seems too small. Plus 16GB in 2015? Come on Google don't be Apple.


  • The 5x is not your flagship. The 6P is.
    Google 'upsell' and you'll understand


  • The S6 is close to twice the cost so it damn well should look better. 5x is perfect price v internals. 2gb ram is more than enough for a Marshmallow phone. It's the best midrange phone out there, everything else is apples and oranges.


    • "The S6 is close to twice the cost" no it isn't


    • Just compare the Nexus6P, a power house, to iPone 6+ and you will see the advantages. With the N6P you are getting more, including the updates for $400.00 less plus saving on sales tax of about $28.00 herfe in Florida. Yet, you will enjoy the most advanced, "garbage" free Flagship.


    • In europe the price of S6 is less than 5x!


  • I agree . nothing great .nexus 5 still going great.


  • I for one was really looking forward to the nexus 5x so lg did such a good job on the g4 but storage sizes, and no ois on the camera and a ok processor made it a none starter for me, end up going for the 6p ok still no ois but it looks the part and ticks all the boxes


  • But Google doesn't want to fully compete with major OEMs, this is why the Nexus line is boring in terms of hardware but the appeal of the handset lies on the latest running software.


  • agree. im disappointed. i was hoping for 2 great phones


  • I believe that the nexus 5X is an update for the N5, bringing it back to the game with a low price and high specs!. Don't get fooled The nexus 6P is the flagship phone here not the 5X Gary. The edges are to give us more battery, and better sound quality, for me i would compromise the edges for more juice and sweeter sound. Any way I'm going to the 6P it is a more reasonable investment in my opinion 64 GB of storage (Y)


  • java Oct 6, 2015 Link to comment

    I was basically hoping for an N5 with updated internals. I love the simple look of the N5.


  • You guys got to understand that if you want more, you got to pay for it. Nexus 5X is a budget phone but an improved one. I love my N5 but am going for the N6P with 64 g of memory. So, I will pay the price. Compared to iPhone 6+ with 64 g, I am saving $400.00 on the phone plus $28 on the sales tax. Yet, I am getting Pure Android, updates and a fast, real fast Flagship. OKAY.


  • Gary, you should stick with the lions. Your problem is that you do not objectively look at the facts. Nexus 5X is an improved device offered at a reasonable price. The only valid question would be the availability of 3 g of RAM. There is the vastly improved camera and the price. Plus the Google updates. Then, if you want more, there is Nexus 6P fit as little as 499.00. Can't beat that. Let's be reasonable.


  • It's not perfect but good enough for me to buy. I just want to laugh at Samsung users who have to wait six months longer until Sammy can put even more bloatware on it. The price in Europe is outrageous but I liked my N5 so much that I have to try the 5X. If I wouldn't of drowned my N5 I would have skipped a year since it will get Marshmallow and performed like a champ still after two years.


  • No wireless charging! This is silly 😱 I've got my nexus 4 and after three generations they rid of it.what are you doing Google?!
    Plus Google you want to sell your in cloud services and storage so you don't push with internal storage,Google you are becoming evil 👿


    • You don't need wireless charging in the new NEXUS 5X and 6P phones. What I like is FAST charging, nothing else. My NEXUS 5 is absolutely incredible from 50% to full, it takes about 35 - 38 min The knew N's will charge faster. Speed is the name of the game. I enjoy racing through with my NEXUS 5 ( that is with SnapDragon 800 processor and only 2 G of RAM). Can you imagine the N6P with 810 and 3 G of RAM? It is like a Ferrari turned loose. It will smoke out any other phone. That is why it may heat up. And so does my Camaro SS with 440 hp. LOL


    • Agreed. They dumped wireless charging in favor of the USB C connector, which is still usb2 anyway. It just feels like a sloppy job. :/


  • I feel like had they gone with 32GB / 64GB options instead and also added 3GB of ram, that for me would have made them worth it. I'm probably gonna actually open my OnePlus Two and use that now. Although I do like the 6P which might become my next phone.


    • At first blush, the new NEXUS 5X could use more RAM, say 3 G and memory 32/75 instead of 16/32. However, it will cost more and will bring it close to the 6P, winch will not make economic sense. Think of the N5X as an improved N5.


  • You keep using the word "flagship". I do not think that word means what you think it means....


  • NOTHING BUT CRAP! I'M TIRED OF LG GARBAGE. AND MOTOROLA. NOTHING BUT SHITTY. PRODUCTS. I WANT TO KNOW.WHAT THE HECK.ARE YOU (GOOGLE ) WAITING FOR. TO RELEASE A GOOD PRODUCT. .LIKE HTC. AS A NEXT GOOGLE NEXUS DEVICE. ????? FOR NOW. SCREW NEXUS DEVICES.


  • The worst thing is the 2 GB of RAM! 2GB ??? Google we are at the of 2015 begining of 2016


  • Who are we?


  • One of the biggest issues Google doesn't realize is that until solid state memory isn't cheap enough to get 64 , 128 GB as entry level models , microSD card and its card slot are a necessity (even if forced) simply because the video resolution has gone upto 8 MP and looking at the cloud scene right now the bundled free space is just not enough , nor is the connectivity fast enough for uploading so much data without storing it on some form of an intermediate storage device first

    Deactivated Account


  • The 5X had front facing speakers compared to the side firing speaker of the original Nexus 5, they've got to put the drive somewhere. Also, Google never really supported expandable storage on their Nexus devices, the Nexus One phone did have a MicroSD slot but Google stop supporting the feature on subsequent devices because they felt that SD cards had poor performance and slowed down the phone. They also removed Qi wireless charging which, although I never used it, it was nice to have, especially now that there are receivers that are both Qi & PMA compatible


    • Nexus 5x stats and reviews say sadly there is only 1 front facing speaker rather than Stereo Front facing speakers.

      So Nexus 5 and 5x only get stereo sound with Mods that allow for earpiece to be used as loudspeaker. (Xtrasmooth RoM on Nexus 5 has it baked in)


      As for Storage: I have acclimated to USB to go using full-size USB for storage options.

      Just need to wait for USB C to become more popular.

      I'm sitting out this year's Nexus Devices. Sent my Nexus 5 back to LG to get power button fixed and I will use it until next fall.

      Hopefully a 201 Nexus 5t variant will have more than 2GB of Ram, Front-facing Stereo speakers and a better Qualcomm chipset that is on par with Eynos offerings.


  • One of my issue's with the 5X is the frame, granted i do have others, but this one hit home harshly for me. i had a N5, it's frame is plastic, it's cracked all over and for no reason at all. Mine was not the only one to do this, many of others had the exact dame cracks in the exact same spots. Had the 5X had a metal frame then i may have at least considered it, instead i bought a 2014 N6, which even in my own opinion is better then the 6P.


    • Wait..than the 6P? Why do you think so? I mean minus the cost factor the 6P seems to have more $ worth in specs unless I missed something. N6 has been popping up at $299, even 249 (for the 32GG) ...but it seems like $200 more is worth paying imo. Maybe you can convince me cuz Im still on the fence between the Moto X Pure at $399 with alotta customize options + pretty good device protection plan prices. Screen, radio/antenna, & camera all supposedly pretty good + updates almost as fast if not the same as Nexus. But then I keep going back to the Nexus specs and want it! But Huaweii? IDK... then I ponder the N6 2014 and I'm like heck yeah until I read all the trash talk about the camera & battery. Also only 32bit. Its so effn tuff.


  • This phone should be well under £300 as of now google you have let us down with these crazy prices!


  • The author of this article is spot on. I love my n5 which when 1st launched had some amazing specs. For example the screen had the highest resolution of any phone at that time and it took a while for the flagship's to catch up. This was how good the N5 was/is. On to the NX5, 2gb ram? Come on Google. Design wise the original look much better. It does upset me as I love the pure android experience. The people who say 'get over it, buy a Samsung or sony' obviously have never used stock android. I wanted a top spec nexus but with a 5inch screen. Im thinking either to keep my phone for a while longer or get either a Motorola or Oneplus.


  • In Italy Nexus 5X price will be 475€=533$, the price of the Galaxy S6 is 469€!!!! NO comment!


  • Nexus 5 is the most compact 5" phone with 1080p screen with an elegant design. Nexus 5X had destroyed this. Certainly I could use my Nexus 5 for another year hoping Google would correct it's mistake with next year's release.


  • I'll stick with the 5. There not enough increase in features or functionality to entice me to the 5X. Never thought I'd say this but I'm going to check out the new Windows phones: their specs are looking very interesting...


  • I think Mr. Marshall receive some $$$back up from Samsung to write this analysis about the Google Nexus 5X. Everyone knows that Nexus line of phones are quality without the price of others high end models. Nexus never are luxurious phones, are great mid range phones. This Nexus 5X it's what it is, just and upgrade of the 2013 model, with a better camera, battery, processor and a few new things like the finger print scanner and the new usb. But if you Mr. Marshall want to make a fair comparison just use the Nexus 6p against "your loved" Samsung and let us know your thoughts. But please don't try to full around with your campaign for Samsung.


    • The Nexus 5X is a mid range phone but the Nexus 6P is a flagship phone with its metal body reflecting that and it uses the SD810 which is as high end as it gets despite its issues.


  • When the first 5 came out people where pleased in the Nexus kingdom, but then they wanted a successor to keep winning everyday battles.
    They expected him to be strong as any knight and look the part like his dad.
    But king Google in is omniscient ruling was thinking his people wanted the N5 son to look and feel like a ONE.
    That other crusader bunch who's trying to submit orient...
    Big mistake for warriors of the kingdom but my guess is the bard and slaves will like it.
    Knights will buy the 6.


  • The edges are there because of the dual speakers. I'll take that over akward speaker positions anyday.
    If you want a phone that feels/looks more expensive and performs better than the 5X, then you want the 6P, which is the Nexus line flagship model.
    As for the storage, who really uses 128GB or even 64GB? 32GB with various free cloud storage options gives those capabilities.
    If they would have made the 5X more spec heavy, you would be complaining about the price tag on it as well :)


  • Oinq Oct 5, 2015 Link to comment

    Do you know I don't have a problem with the battery of my Nexus 5? I have 4 wireless chargers and I'm always topping up the battery.
    I wake up and grab the phone from my side bed desk wireless charger, arrive the office and I put it on top of the desk's wireless charger, go home and I just put it on top of, you guessed, wireless charger...

    This is the why I'll never buy a phone without wireless charging.

    Sorry Google, I'll keep my Nexus 5 for one more year...


  •   7
    Deactivated Account Oct 5, 2015 Link to comment

    All these "issues" can be explained at very simple way: the Nexus 5X IS NOT A FLAGSHIP. This time, it is the cheaper model.

    And, for me, is perfectly fine. Good price point is nice.

    This time, if you want the premium model, it is the Nexus 6P.


  • It's still too BIG. What's wrong with LG/Google? It's like give no choice and people will accept it eventually!!? Nexus 5X seem to me like a flop. I am sticking to my 2013 Nexus 5 till someone with sense come with a good phone under 5 inch.


  • Puzzled.

    We didn't care about the sex, as long as it was healthy.
    It is too soon to say...Google offer us this, saying "Look! It's a borl!"

    Just puzzled, so far.


  • I think that looking at the nexus 5x as a "flagship" phone is ludicrous, thats the 6p's job and from what we've seen so far it does it very well, the 5x is for someone that isn't botered about high end specs or a bucket load of storage, its for people who want to pay a reasonable price (that's almost half the price of the s6 that you compared it to) for a great phone that will just work. My probolem as a nexus user in the UK is the prices of the new phones in this country, the exchange is really unfair


  • Every two years I renew the contract with my carrier and upgrade my phone. The last four times, this meant a new Nexus. And every time, the upgrade was significant....I always felt I was buying the (one) of the fastest, newest phones on the market at that time. This year, I eagerly awaited the release of the new Nexus. But what a disappointment! The 5X is a decent phone....but not all that different from my current Nexus 5, and certainly not the best phone out there at the moment. So yesterday I ordered the Samsung S6 instead. Hopefully the next Nexus will have better specs and live up to the Nexus legacy. Seems Google lost its focus after the Nexus 5 and decided to switch to making middle class phones. Never a good sign if the price of your phone is the one thing that might give you an advantage on the competition.


    • Why not a nexus 6p. It's great.


    • I've been a nexus fan forever, specially the nexus 5 was the best when it came out and it took a while to the competition to reach that level of overall performance. BUT I had to order a new Samsung too, it is disappointing that nexus came out with something like this, hopefully the camera is not like in the nexus 6 which takes horrible pictures.


      • I have a Nexus 6 and the pictures are decent but in lowlight there's horrible graininess especially if the sky is dark in your pictures.


  •   31
    Deactivated Account Oct 5, 2015 Link to comment

    I wanted something to be reasonably proud of....
    at least in physical design terms, equal to say moto nexus6 or moto x, but the big bezels are so last year, if lenovarola can get front facing speakers and narrow bezels why not LG...


  • I don't see why the storage options are so unacceptable. Some of us can get along just fine with 16GB these days. I live completely in the cloud with music, photo/video and document storage, so for me 16GB of onboard storage is plenty.

    I've spent the past 2 years with the Nexus 5 (which I actually still enjoy using) and sat on the sidelines through the Nexus 6 upgrade cycle due to its size/price tag. After comparing the new offering to what I currently have I feel the vastly upgraded camera, fingerprint scanner, Project Fi capability, eventual 700MHz LTE support (Google and TMO better follow through with that promise), USB Type-C and larger battery were more than enough reasons to make the jump.

    I'm just glad I don't have to wait 3 months to get my hands on the 5X like I did with the release of the 5. I guess all of the negativity may work out to be a positive for me.


    •   2
      Deactivated Account Oct 5, 2015 Link to comment

      I absolutely second your comment.

      My Nexus 6 is 32GB, and of that I have 7GB in use, 9GB at a push if I put a few TV shows on there for watching while out an about.

      Google Photos, Play Music, Google Drive, there are several reasons we don't need 64/128GB devices, I don't know anyone that has a device with that memory even with external micro SD. People need to get over this "need" for as much memory as possible, just up your data plan and cloud storage, it'll still cost you less over two years than the tax on extra internal storage.

      My problem with this is the UK price Vs equivalent US price. That is disgusting.


  • OnePlusTwo isn't a comparison as the 1P2 doesn't support Verizon or Sprint.


  • My biggest issue with the N5X is the size. The phone is way too big for the size of the screen. I'm still using the N4 because I don't like big phones and I probably will be looking elsewhere now that I know how big the new N5X is. I really don't get why they put that speaker grill on the bottom when reportedly there's no speaker there. With the sheer size of the thing they should have been able to put a massive battery in there or way more ram or both.


  • The shorter shipping times tell the whole tale. It doesn't offer enough and the price delta between it and the 6P isn't enough to justify a purchase. Even Google wasn't pushing this device at launch


  • Also still a little bit too expensive.


  • I agree with Christopher Tilly, you are judging the nexus 5x as though it is the top of the line, ridiculously expensive flagship that the iPhone 6s or galaxy s6 or LG G4 is. Again the nexus 5x is about half the price all of the phones launched at, it is not meant to be a "flagship killer" it is meant to be a great nexus experience phone for a good price, if you want an expensive flagship competitor look at the 6p from Huawei. Does the Nexus 5x have flaws absolutely, but I believe you are looking at it in the completely wrong perspective.


    • Exactly! So many people are comparing the 5x to the S6 like their supposed to be the same. I'd rather spend 420$ on a nexus 5X, and lose wireless charging, OIS, and expandable storage, than spend 850$ on a S6 and get those features.

      #1 I wouldn't even use wireless charging
      #2 OIS may not even be needed, we have to wait and see
      #3 All I need is 32GB, no more is needed for me.

      So please stop comparing the S6 with the 5X, like their supposed to be flagship rivals or something. Why don't you compare the 6P and S6 instead.


      • Maybe in the US the pricing is that different. In the UK, an S6 32GB is around £350 in the online stores. The 5X has been launched at a crazy £379. I say crazy, because if you use the GBP/USD exchange rate, it should be £282. Feels like Google taking a leaf out of Apple's book (And not very good leaves) on two accounts. 1) Screw people on the exchange rate 2) Make the price difference between 16 and 32 GB really expensive, despite the fact the cost of memory is a few dollars.


    • I agree, Shane....we should not see the Nexus 5X as top of the line and judge it as such. If you look at price and specs it is a decent phone for a good price. Great product. However, I am looking for a new top-of-the-line phone and I'm therefore disappointed that this will not be the new Nexus. Because for years, getting a new Nexus meant getting an advanced phone, great specs, decent price, first to get Android OS updates, and non of those annoying skins that other manufacturers put on top of the Android system. I think it is a shame that Google is moving away from an audience of loyal followers who would gladly spend the extra money to get a flagship phone.


  • As a refresh of the 2013 Nexus I think it does great. Exactly because it fixed the two issues and doesn't worry about the stuff that was already right. Agree the design should be different but more Nexus 5 and less LG G4.


  • The Nexus 5X isn't the flagship phone, the 6P is.
    The 5X is half the price as the Galaxy S6. So, I expect better design, hardware, etc from the S6.
    We don't know yet if the 5X or the 6P need OIS, maybe Google is right. The full reviews will tell.
    Totally agree about the storage.

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