Using the Nexus 5X in 2021 – Review
Google, closely worked on beforehand with the nexus. They would outsource the hardware to other big phone manufacturers while designing it to run the cleanest version of android available themselves, providing an android experience the way the maker of android intended. This here is one of the final devices before the pixel, with the nexus 5x released in 2015 as a budget option to the nexus 6p, hey hows it going im josh from 91 tech and ive, been surprisingly impressed with my recent purchase of the nexus 5x. A phone that certainly doesnt feel over a half decade old. What makes the 5x so special and how does it hold up today? My first impressions of the google nexus 5x were wow. This is a 2015 smartphone and not even googles most expensive, offering with it being the lower tier model to the 6p. I was immediately quite taken with the feel and look of the 5x, a beautiful mix of premium, with the hard polymer plastic backing that doesnt actually feel plastic, or at least feels like a really good plastic and the flat sheet of clean glass on the front. With the black bezels contrasting brilliantly, with the white back, in fact, i really couldnt help but notice. Just how similar this phone kind of looks to the 2017 google pixel 2, specifically the non xl variant as that phone had a pure white back and a black front, a design element ive, always loved on smartphones. The nexus 5x is a really nice size, fitting comfortably in the hand, with my index finger immediately resting on the large fingerprint sensor.
That is very quick and reliable for one from 2015.. The plastic means the phone is quite light, but not too light and the relatively thin body of it just makes it feel like a very pleasant experience when it comes to general use. This is a nice phone, its a nice looking phone, but also one of the era, even if you consider it a step, above others from the same time frame, and that might be a stretch given that the iphone 6s was fully aluminum. Although so was the nexus 6p and the galaxy s6 had moved to glass, both the 5x targeting a more budget oriented audience, i again dont mind the plastic at all. It feels good the nexus logo on the back, though, is absolutely giant going across horizontally and the whole look with the flash and camera setup plus the fingerprint sensor and logos just gives off a very busy look, especially compared to the much cleaner google pixelback. That would be used over the next few years and yeah. That is indeed an lg logo, as they were the manufacturer of this phone, just like the 2012 nexus 4 and 2013 nexus 5 that preceded it, something that always made the nexus line. So interesting was how many manufacturers were in on developing the hardware, with the nexus 6p being made by huawei the 2014 nexus 6 being made by motorola. And maybe we should take a moment here and explain the kind of complicated timeline of nexus devices.
As the naming scheme is a bit confusing and is likely part of the reason, google switched to the pixel branding beyond wanting it to be solely their phone, not co, branded with lg or anyone else. If youre a bit of a smartphone nerd like me or to say it slightly nicer, smartphone enthusiast and had to come up with the first google nexus, youd likely say the nexus 4, or at least i would the phone that really managed to define the brand coming Out in 2012., this nexus 4 here was actually my moms back in the day. She used it for a good few years and it did her pretty well. For the most part, it was certainly one of the best android options back in 2012 and it was no wonder that it managed to establish that nexus line, but what about the nexus 3 and 2 and so on? Well, there is no nexus 3.. The nexus 4 was kind of the first to simply attach a number to the end of it, although it was indeed the fourth nexus device before it came. The galaxy nexus in 2011, made by surprise, surprise samsung in late 2010. You had the nexus s also made by samsung and to start things off in the january of 2010. You got the nexus 1 from htc, so i kind of lied. Uh there was a number with the first one, but that naming convention was immediately broken. Its still.
All a bit confusing to me because they finally moved back to the number thing with the nexus 4 and that made a lot of sense. But then they come out with the nexus 5x and the nexus 6p instead of i dont, know nexus 7 and 8. Well. For one thing, the nexus 7 was actually their tablet line and my guess is they likely didnt want to go to that number, because it would confuse things even further, and so google figured hey lets go to the pixel. The nexus 5x technically is called the successor to the nexus 5, but this is somewhat misleading. The nexus 5 came out in 2013 and in 14 the nexus 6 was released, followed by, of course, the 5x and the 6p in 2015.. The nexus 5x is specd lower than the nexus 6 and 6p, and is meant as a budget option to the higher class phones, with a smaller lcd display and lower storage options in an overall still very impressive package, particularly with the camera. As the camera was the same one, that was in the nexus 6p and yeah, even before the google pixel, google was making some of the best cameras on the market and shoving it in cheaper phones. Interestingly, the nexus 5x and 6p were some of the first smartphones to utilize usbc, instead of micro usb, which is much appreciated and helps the phone feel a whole lot newer than it is. Those bezels might be a dead giveaway of the age, but dont forget that it wasnt so long ago the google pixel line had some pretty chunky, bezels and hey the 2020 iphone sc is an example of how they arent always a bad thing.
Even in this modern world of notched and edge to edge displays something not really relevant but kind of funny. I found, while making this video was when i was using googles comparison page for the pixel on their store. If you choose the pixel 2, it for some reason shows you a schematic of the pixel 4, but still gives the correct screen size. As far as i know, they never made a pixel 2. That looks like this as it had the full size. Bezels, like the first pixel, i have no idea why this is its just likely: an oversight on googles parts but kind of an amusing one. All the same speaking of oversight, one of the most damaging factors to lgs lack of relevance and the current smartphone landscape is the reputation for making phones that boot loop and unfortunately, the nexus 5x is indeed one of those devices. Many users reportedly have experienced, spontaneous and unrecoverable boot loops when the logo pops up as normal when you power up the phone, but you can never progress past this. From my own experience, a good friend of mine had his old lg g3 that i did a review on back in like 2016 bootloop, eventually, as well as my moms lg g5. It was all too common in lg smartphones from around 2014 2015, and there were even lawsuits filed due to the whole fiasco. Supposedly these bootloop issues really became more common with the android 7 nougat update, and while google says it only impacted a small number of users, it is an issue worth mentioning all the same.
I found on reddit that unlocking the bootloader and doing some rooting magic seems to make it possible to fix and theres probably other methods too so ill link a great thread that goes over all this in the description for anyone curious, but for now lets take a Bit of a step back here and specifically, look at the design of the nexus 5x, certainly one of the best aspects of the phone Applause. The design of this phone is about perfect, for what would have been a more budget oriented option in 2015.. Again, its made up of plastic, but its a very nice firm polycarbonate that feels great in the hand it looks premium with the matte finish and the metallic looking ring around the fingerprint sensor. The phone has that usbc, of course, as well as a headphone jack. It did come out six years ago after all, but we are missing a few quality of life features in official water resistance and wireless charging. I would have really liked to see wireless charging given it does have a plastic back, but because the 6p is aluminum, my guess is they didnt want to have the features solely in what would have been considered a lesser device. Google stated they believed the added thickness wasnt worth it, and the addition of usb c and fast charging made up for it, and you know what fair enough i of course would rather have both. But i do love that usbc on the right side, we have the power button and the volume rockers and i do have to whine a little bit about these.
They not only feel like cheap plastic, but i hate it when phones put the power button right above the volume buttons, especially if they dont feel significantly different. Just while filming this phone, i have clicked the volume rocker way too many times trying to turn it on super minor complaints, ill admit, but one that annoyed me enough to mention really simple fix for this. The huawei nexus 6p actually had a textured power button, so it was easy enough to feel for with your thumb. The pixel one the next year also had this. So that was great. I also really like that blue on that google pixel and we dont have anything quite as fancy with the 5x. Unfortunately, for colors we have three with carbon quartz and ice fancy names for what is essentially white to black and a nice bluish green, all having black bezels on the front. Those bezels might be thick, but they do host the main speaker and earpiece speaker for the phone calls theres, also a notification light on the top, as was common with this era of androids. Although i do believe you need to turn that on in settings as its off by default, looking to what those bezels encase, the lcd display on the 5x is a really nice compact size of 5.2 inches featuring a resolution of 1080×1920 and pixel density of 423 pixels Per inch, this is a pretty great screen as far as lcd goes, and i dont really have complaints, although naturally oled would have provided richer, more vibrant colors, which is why its only available on the larger and more expensive nexus 6p.
But the lcd screen does mean burn in isnt, so much a factor which is very common with oled, and so these phones have probably aged quite well. That way, and i like the display here, i really love the size. It just fits in my hand really well, even if it is maybe a little small compared to the phones of today. Weve already talked about the back of the phone, but i do want to mention the pretty large but smooth camera bump. Camera bumps were still fairly new for 2015 and while i did see some complaints about it, looking back at old reviews – i think were also used to these at this point that it doesnt bother me at all and in 2015 it would have been worth it for That great camera sensor that you got because of it. The rear camera sensor here is 12.3 megapixels, with the ability to take some really nice photos, even in the context of today. Outdoor with proper lighting can mean some gorgeous shots, certainly not to the level of the newest, pixel or iphone, or even one, a few years old, but its still extremely impressive. Given that its 2015 technology, that was on a budget oriented phone even better, with some easy google searching, you can find apks or basically apps for modded versions of the camera apps google puts out or their newest pixels, which feature all the software magic. That makes those cameras so great with that we can take portrait photos and whatnot like the pixel 2 and later, which is a significant upgrade over the built in lens blur option on the nexus that can still produce some nice shots, but is awkward to use when It comes to naturally photogenic flowers and nature and anything outside.
Really, you can see it here. The photos look great problems only begin when the lighting is less than ideal, so moving indoors or trying to take photos at night. Has the camera struggling to avoid those grainy blurry images that all older smartphones, and even some newer phones tend to take? It is something thats been really improved upon in recent years, but i wouldnt expect much from the nexus 5x, although, with that modded apk from the pixel, you can use night mode, and that does help things significantly. Video can be filmed in 4k at 30 frames per. Second, pretty standard for a 2015 android flagship and its fine. I guess its not particularly good, but ive, seen worse and yeah. Those photos are definitely much more impressive. The selfie camera is a bit more disappointing with only 5 megapixels, although that was a fairly average count for a 2015 phone. In fact, the iphone 6s also of 2015 had five megapixels here as well, and, whichever way you slice it, the nexus 5x produces mediocre, but fine selfies. All in all the camera of the nexus 5x is easily one of its brightest points, especially with those modded newer. Google camera apps installed to fully take advantage of the old, but still very much capable hardware. I definitely wouldnt want to be using any phone from 2015, as my main driver for pictures at this point or for anything really but theres. No question that smartphone cameras, while they have gotten better, have actually been fairly usable since 2015 or so, and thanks to that, the nexus 5x can still take some nice photos.
Unfortunately, what doesnt hold up so well is the general technical specifications, and this is where the phone really starts to look bad compared to the, namely, really positive things ive had to say so far. For one thing, we only have the option of 16 or 32 gigabytes of internal storage mines – 32 gigs, which is fine but 16 gigs – is pretty bad for a 2015 android that doesnt allow for a micro, sd card thats right. What you bought is what you got and thats brutal, especially if you got the 16 gigabyte phone really disappointed in google for limiting their users that drastically and they werent alone to be fair. The 6s for the iphone side started at 16, gigs too at least originally, but ive criticized apple for that as well. It just wasnt a future proof decision, which is a little surprising in the 5x here, which seems to be almost based around the idea of standing. The test of time cloud storage, i suppose, was an option, but if youre still using a phone, this old, i doubt thats what you want to turn to the battery – is a decent size of 2 700 milliamp hours and with the phone being plastic, you might expect It to be easy to swap the battery right and you would be wrong as the back panel while easily removable with some effort at least isnt. The only step theres also the need to remove quite a few screws to take off the mid frame in order to even access the battery, and then you have to get through the adhesive.
So while replacing the battery isnt a terribly difficult task, i do wish it was a bit easier to do as this isnt, something that your average consumer would ever want to. Try. Batteries and old smartphones are going to degrade over time and if your phones been used a decent bit over the years, youre, probably gon na be stuck with pretty poor life and charging more frequently than you should need to with. That being said, if you think your batterys in decent health – or maybe you swap it with a brand new one from ebay, then you should be good to go and i would expect the phone to get you through the day with moderate use. The internal storage is the worst aspect of the phone, at least with the 16 gig model, but unfortunately the cpu isnt much better. We have the snapdragon 808 chipset, which was a mid tier processor in 2015 and 2 gigabytes of ram, which isnt great. This ensures pretty mediocre performance and even swiping around and just messing with android 8 did give me some lag here and there, although not too frequently its a phone that could definitely still work for the basics, but if you use it for more than that, i can See it getting bogged down by apps and the storage getting pretty full, resulting in the phone feeling very bloated and slowing down significantly the phone i have here since im. Just reviewing it doesnt have a lot on it.
Theres lots of storage space. It was recently restored. If you had been using your phone for a solid, say three years by now or even six years, theres, no doubt in my mind the performance would be kinda rough and look. I just got ta complain a little bit more here. This phone got android 6 android, 7 android 8 and thats it thats bad thats, really bad for a phone specifically branded by google, even if it was made by lg, i feel like i should have got more updates. I think the hardware could have handled more updates. Maybe to android 9 or 10 and to googles credits, you know theyve been better with updating the pixel line, samsungs gotten better, with updates lately and its its a very average thing for android phones to only get around two years of updates. I still have to complain about it, though this is a 2015 smartphone right and the iphone 6s from 2015 is running ios, 15. and because apple always updates their software right until the next big iteration comes out. That means the iphone 6s is guaranteed updates until around september 2022.. It could even go further than that, but thats, seven years of updates versus under three years for the nexus 5x and the 6p, the phone with the better hardware. So its worth mentioning, it is again a very common android thing: android 8, its not too old, feeling it really isnt and stock. Android here is a very clean experience.
That being said, theres no question that a newer phone would be really nice for anyone still using the nexus 5x. Even if you still can do the vast majority of basic things, most phones can do, whether it be social media or watching youtube or whatever the phone functions it works. Just dont expect to have a pleasant time, but of course you really shouldnt use the nexus 5x. If you can avoid it, it was a mid tier smartphone six years ago, and there have been many many better options come out since the pixel 4a, for example, has been out for a while now and its a fantastic budget phone with the camera of the pixel 4, but in a very premium looking package theres very little reason to not go for one of these newer options at this point, and you can always sell your old phone on ebay.com, as the nexus 5x still seems to go for around 60 to even 150 bucks. At least in good condition – and these are definitely a little overpriced and im – not quite sure why the first google pixel is cheaper, so yeah, my nexus 5x costed me about 55 bucks, us plus shipping and taxes, which felt pretty fair and honestly isnt that bad. Considering the phone can still be pretty usable today, but again the pixel, 1 or pixel 2 is a very similar price, and so, if youre absolutely set on getting a used android super budget phone, there are definitely better options than the 5x.
All that being said, the nexus 5x has held up about as well as i think google had hoped. They definitely wanted to make a phone. That would stand the test of time with the usbc and premium design, despite the plastic and while it does suffer from lgs boot looping and i wouldnt touch that 16 gigabyte model with a 10 foot pole. All in all, this does have to be one of the better android phones ever made, especially for a mid range price point ive sure enjoyed taking a look at it, its held up much better than i ever expected it to and hey. You can expect a nexus 6p video to be coming pretty soon and once that video is out ill link it in the description, if you found this video interesting, maybe hit that like button and consider subscribing for more content. Just like this, you can follow me over on twitter and instagram at 91, underscore tech, if youd like to for some reason, and we do have a discord, server link, as always in the description.