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Google Launches Nexus 5X with Android Marshmallow

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The Nexus 5X is more than just a normal-sized phone at a smaller price. Its 12.3MP camera is able to capture quality low-light photos, and the rest of its specs are faster than ever.

Its reversible USB Type C port provides quicker charging, its fingerprint sensor on the back is yet another way to effortlessly unlock a your phone and it’s pre-loaded with Android Marshmallow.

nexus-5x-reviewCompromises and competition do get Nexus 5X from being for everyone. The more powerful Nexus 6P is meant for two hands, but isn’t a literally stretch to hold in one, making the size difference tighter and its all-metal design tempting.

The Nexus 5X, made of plastic, also faces stiffer competition than the Nexus 5 did two years ago,

Easy-to-hold, priced right and feature-packed, this is the Nexus 5 reborn as the Nexus 5X. But is it still a worthy choice for anyone who wants stock Android on a smaller phone? Let’s dive into the review.

Design

The Nexus 5X looks and feels like the Nexus 5 adapted for modern times. It’s lightweight and, with a 5.2-inch display, my fingers can barely reach all the way across the screen.

It appropriately pushes the limit of a one-handed phone with dimensions of 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm, making it taller and broader, but ultimately skinnier than the phone from two years ago.

Performance

The 5X uses the same with the same Snapdragon 808 processor with a 64-bit hexa-core CPU that’s a combined 1.44GHz quad-core chip and 1.82 GHz dual-core chip. A matching Adreno 418 GPU is also integrated into this processor.

There is a difference when it comes to memory, which, among other things, dictates how many apps you can have open at once. The Nexus 5X has just 2GB of RAM, while the LG G4 takes advantage of 3GB of RAM, as does the Nexus 6P.

The 5X is behind similarly-sized Android phones featuring a more comfortable 3GB of RAM, and bigger phablets that have breached 4GB of RAM. It’s not so future-proof afterall.

You’re out of luck if you’re looking for a microSD slot. It hasn’t been a part of Nexus phones in the past and, despite Android Marshmallow’s Flex Storage feature that makes expandable storage easier, it’s not part of this phone either.

Instead, the Nexus 5X relies on internal storage of either 16GB and 32GB, depending on how much you’re willing to pay.

Fingerprint sensor

The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P introduce Google’s first fingerprint sensor, or what it calls the Nexus Imprint. Don’t let the fancy name fool you.

It works like every other phone-based biometric fingerprint sensor out there, except it’s on the back of the device right below the camera, not around front acting as the home button.

USB Type C connection

nexus-5x-review-usb-cGet ready to retire the dozens of micro USB cables you’ve collected over the last half decade, because the 5X and 6P also introduce USB Type C to the Nexus line.

The advantage here is that the cable connection is reversible on both ends. It’s easy to plug in without looking, now that there’s no wrong way to do it. It’s USB in its finest form yet.

Operating System

The Nexus 5X runs Android Marshmallow, but you would hardly know it. That’s because most of the changes aren’t as colorful as last year’s ostentatious Android Lollipop revamp.

Instead, behind-the-scenes tweaks to battery life and app permissions make this new operating system update smarter, not necessarily prettier with new Material Design schemes.

The standout menu change (and best Android Marshmallow feature) is Google Now on Tap. It scans what you’re reading, watching or listening to whenever you hold down the home button.

Camera

Google proclaimed that the Nexus 5X (as well as the Nexus 6P) has the best camera it has ever put into a Nexus. That’s not saying much, given the average Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 photos.

The camera sensor here is 12.3MP, a lower number than its top-performing Android rivals, but the Nexus 5X is able to to capture extra light for superior low-light images. A whopping 80% of photos are taken in low light, according to Google. This is meaningful for indoor shots.

This camera records video in 4K at 30 frames per second, while the front-facing camera is 5MP with the normal 1.4 microns and the same f/2.0 aperture.

In case you’re wondering, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P’s 12.3MP sensors are exactly the same. I had to double check I wasn’t accidentally looking at the same files when comparing the two.

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