Preview: Google’s new Nexus 5X

Shot of multiple colours of the device
Written by JacobAyenamayi


Google isn’t good at keeping secrets. They probably don’t even try. Because of this, no one was really that surprised when Google launched it’s new 5X smartphone – we knew it was coming and we knew roughly what it would be. 


Let’s take a look:


The first question that anyone that’s interested in a Nexus 5X is going to ask is, ‘What’s the difference between this and the Nexus 5?’ The answer? Quite a bit. A big emphasis has been put on the camera, with the Nexus 5’s pitiful 8MP shutter being replaced by a more capable 12MP camera, on par with rivals such as the OnePlus One and the LG G3. Google (and LG), have also made sure to improve selfie quality, with a 5MP camera at the front. The Nexus 5X has also had an upgrade under the hood, with a hexacore processor powering the phone. This means that the Nexus 5X is built for multitasking. Perfect for busy students, who constantly need multiple apps open at any one time.

View of the device

There are two main selling points of the Nexus 5X, one of them being the new Android OS; 6.0 Marshmallow. Android Marshmallow has been promised to be the update that makes your phone truly omniscient. Google Now on Tap allows users to quickly Google something without leaving your current app, providing a quicker Google experience, and more convenience than ever before. Somebody’s just sent you a text about a film you’ve never heard of? Quickly find out the plot, ratings, and even watch the trailer without ever leaving your messaging app. Has your WhatsApp group chat devolved into a messy argument about how to pronounce Westminster? (It’s West-minister, you are wrong, your friends are wrong, and anyone who has ever pronounced it West-min-ster is wrong (What is a min-ster anyway?)) Highlight the word, then listen, and send, the proper pronunciation via YouTube video in seconds. The perfect way to ground your friends’ argument into dust.

Android Marshmallow also promises a bigger emphasis on battery life. For too long, the portable charger has had to be a necessity for today’s generation, and without it, it seems like even today’s top models can’t last a day without the battery falling flat on its face. Android Marshmallow promises to eradicate this problem for good. Phones will now be able to detect when they are in an idle state, and adapt in order to save battery, by only running essential apps and processes. It would be great if this could extend to other forms of being idle, such as when you’re only using your phone to listen to music, or make a phone call. Being able to choose exactly how your phone operates would be a great addition to Android Marshmallow, and a logical next step for Google.

The other big feature of the Nexus 5X is the addition of a USB Type C port. Right now, that doesn’t seem much to anyone, but USB Type C is supposed to be the next big thing in USB ports. Data can be transferred much quicker than ever before, and power to store much larger hard drives. For now, this means that charging times on the Nexus 5X should be super-fast.

On paper, the Nexus 5X looks like a great phone. However, compare it to its nearest rivals, and problems start cropping up. For example, the OnePlus Two blows the Nexus 5X out of the water. The Oneplus is faster on paper, has a better camera, is more sleek and refined, and even has the Nexus beat in its own realm, the realm of flexibility. It’s the same story with Motorola’s new flagship, the Moto X Style. Faster, cheaper, better looking, all around better phone. Even 2014 flagships such as the HTC One M8 and the Sony Xperia Z3 can claim to be better phones than the Nexus 5X.

So if all this is true, and the Nexus 5X can’t set itself apart from other midrange Android phones, then what’s the point in buying one? Simple, for the same reason people bought the original Nexus 5, reliability. Android fragmentation doesn’t exist for Nexus phones, if you buy a Nexus, you are guaranteed to get at least the next two software updates, which can’t reliably be said for the Nexus 5X’s competitors.


Tech specs: 

OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Display: 5.2 inch Full HD with Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Camera: 12.3 MP rear, 5MP front

Hardware: 1.8 hexacore GPU, found in a Snapdragon 808 processor

Memory: 2GB RAM

Storage: 16 or 32GB

Extra features: Fast charging (3.8 hours of use from 10 minutes of charge), USB Type C port, three microphones

Price: £339 for 16GB, £379 for 32GB