On first thought, Google’s Nexus series of smartphones come across as elitist devices, but the internet giant has found hardware partners known even for their affordable range of smartphones, and has also introduced the Nexus 5X which falls into the category of pure mid-rangers. This fact got us excited and we decided to check out the LG-Google Nexus 5X for which the hardware is supplied by South Korea-based LG.
Check out, how the Google-LG Nexus 5X performed, below:
Design and Display
Seemingly bearing an uncanny resemblance to multiple Motorola Moto X handsets, the LG Nexus 5X also looks a lot like the previous-gen Nexus 5 (also made by LG). Design-wise, the LG nexus 5X incorporates an edged design (not curved), the smartphone sits perfectly in hand; we could also hold the handset comfortably without fear of slipping away.
Also, while holding the Nexus 5X in hand, our index fingers sat perfectly near the fingerprint scanner located at the rear of the handset. Therefore, it becomes easy to unlock the smartphone; the overall process of having to activate the handset by unlocking it is relatively fast and rapid in comparison to smartphones of other brands (depending on the location of the fingerprint sensor).
On holding the Google/LG Nexus 5X, its soft touch finish (over a Polycarbonate outer body) can be felt dominantly. The handset also feels like a feather, as it is quite light-weight (136 grams) which also makes one-handed usage easy. Display-wise, the Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch LCD touchscreen offering In-Plane Switching (IPS) angle. This display has resolutions of 1080 x 1920 pixels, with pixel density of 423 ppi. The display supports Multitouch and 16 million colors, and is enclosed within a Gorilla Glass 3 protector.
The screen offers wide viewing angles, and the screen color quality is fairly good considering the fact that the display is not AMOLED (as the case with modern smartphones). The accuracy of colors is also relatively good in comparison to the Nexus 5. On-screen pixels are quite scattered and not cluttered. This means that you can observe more apps on the screen, than before. While testing out the Nexus 5X in outdoor conditions, we had to switch, the “Adaptive Brightness” functionality, off. This feature automatically adjusts, screen brightness based on ambient conditions and lighting, and is based on the phone’s hardware. In such conditions, we were able to clearly read text on the screen and make out numbers as well.
The Nexus 5X also incorporates the “Ambient Display” feature, by default, and with this the handset is brought to life during arrival of notifications or whenever the handset is lifted off a surface (in sleep mode).
Processor and Memory
Under-the-hood, the LG-Google Nexus 5X incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC consisting of a 1.44 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 and a 1.82 GHz dual-core Cortex-A57 CPUs. There is also a 2 GB RAM to complement the processor.
During our testing, we were able to run games such as Badland, Modern Combat: Blackout 5 and Asphalt: Airborne with relative ease save for a few minor lags. However, during testing in multi-app and multi-tasking scenarios, no glitches could be observed. Stored HD videos and movies played up to the mark as well. We experienced the phone getting warm. After about 30 minutes of gaming, but this was not major overheating and is certainly not an inherent issue/bug. Overall, the processor-wise performance and instruction processing, within the Nexus 5X are near to impressive. As far as memory and storage are concerned, buyers get to choose between 16/32 GB internal storage variants. The down-side here is that, the internal storage is fixed and there is no microSD card slot anywhere on or within the phone.
For shutterbugs, there is a 12.3 MP rear camera that offers dual LED flash and laser autofocus. With this camera, it is possible to record 2160p videos at 30fps, 720p videos at 120fps, 1080p videos at 30fps and HD videos alike.
However, the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology is conspicuous by its absence which is potentially a major let-down as far as Nexus smartphones are concerned. The details captured, by the primary camera, in full-light conditions are reasonably fine and all major colors are highlighted. However, during our testing we found the low-light photography from being far from impressive which was not expected within a Nexus smartphone coming from Google. Our attempts to enhance and slightly magnify low-light images resulted in complete disaster. Nonetheless, first-time smartphone users would not make out the difference in image resolution.
The Nexus 5X lets also lets users record 4K videos at 30fps, these videos are generally bulky and consume a bulk of the smartphone’s storage area. While playing recorded 4K videos, our experience was modest at the best.
Software and Apps
The LG Nexus 5X runs Google’s relatively newer Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating platform which introduces the most required Android Pay and Google Now on Tap functionality. During our testing, all the applications talked to us efficiently when it came to allowing access to personal data. This naturally leads to better privacy, when compared to older Android OS versions that do not segregate confidential data access requests.
The fingerprint functionality, offered by Nexus 5X syncs well with Android Marshmallow exclusive features such as Android Pay, and adds the much-required biometric touch. Google Doze does a good job of notifying, low battery levels, in an enhanced manner.
The overall user interface (UI) responds well, and is specifically free of lags/glitches.
The LG-Google Nexus 5X derives power from a fixed 2,700 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery. During our testing, the battery offered backup lasting an entire day under general usage conditions (no fancy high-end games, no video/movie watching; usage restricted strictly to calls and emails). The Nexus 5X does not incorporate wireless charging, to wirelessly charge its battery. Google Doze, offered by Android Marshmallow attempts to up the battery life during in critical conditions. During streaming of videos, from popular streaming sites, the Nexus 5X shed nearly 20% of battery life within a relatively short period of time. The gaming scenario is also pretty much similar. Do keep a power bank handy, in case you are using the LG Nexus 5X for entertainment while on the move. However, calling seemed a pleasure, but using the speakerphone’s volume did not yield expected results as the maximum volume is quite low in today’s times.
The LG Nexus 5X is definitely an improved Nexus, but not the best in its class out there. The biggest plus, here, is the display. The Nexus 5X (16 GB variant) has a starting price of AED 947, which could lead to raised eyebrows among first-time smartphone buyers looking at decent mid-range smartphones on a relatively tight budget.