Alongside with the Nexus 6P, Google also launched a smaller, and more importantly, affordable Nexus smartphone in the Nexus 5X. With LG at the helm once again, the spiritual successor of the Nexus 5 built upon everything that users loved about the original, while obviously featuring all the appropriate updates needed to keep up with current smartphone trends. Granted, the Nexus 5X may not offer the full flagship experience that is available with its larger sibling, but it is still a great phone to have on the daily.

Lanh has already given us a fantastic in-depth review of this device, but here, I would like to take the opportunity to express my own thoughts on certain key aspects of this smartphone, in this “second opinion” look at the Nexus 5X!


nexus 5x second opinion aa (3 of 12)

The Nexus 5 was a very well-received device, and even if it wasn’t the sturdiest phone out there, it was still very easy to use, given its size and the build material. The same can also be said for the Nexus 5X, that retains a lot of the build quality from its predecessor but now uses a two-tone color scheme that is pretty nice, even if it doesn’t offer the unified look that the Nexus 5 had.

nexus 5x second opinion aa (10 of 12)

The Nexus 5X is also not a particularly sturdy device, and the soft plastic backing will likely suffer some damage from accidental bumps and drops. Overall, the design is still very enjoyable however, and the build quality does fit with what would be expected from the lower-end of the two current Nexus smartphones.


nexus 5x second opinion aa (2 of 12)

The Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with a 1080p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 424 ppi. This display may not match up to the current flagship standard of Quad HD, but Full HD more than gets the job done, and is perfectly fine for a screen of this size. The display offers plenty in the way of sharpness and viewing angles, and is easy to view in broad daylight as well. This is definitely a very nice display to have, and work and play are both very enjoyable on this screen.

LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-22

Unfortunately, it’s only when you compare this screen to another, such as the AMOLED display of the Nexus 6P, do you see its shortcomings. It doesn’t necessarily have really high contrast, the black levels are a little bit washed out, and it lacks the punch in colors. That said, these factors don’t really detract from what is a pretty good display experience to have with your daily driver.

Performance and hardware

nexus 5x second opinion aa (7 of 12)

Under the hood, the Nexus 5X packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, backed by the Adreno 418 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 808 is definitely a good performer, and is seen with a few other 2015 flagships out there, but the main detraction here is the availability of just 2 GB of RAM. When it comes to general everyday tasks, where you aren’t doing a whole lot on the phone, or shuttling between two or three applications that are not very demanding, you will have a good time with the device.

nexus 5x second opinion aa (8 of 12)

However, when it comes to the power user experience, the shortcomings of this processing package did show up. There have been plenty of times where I have been able to overload this device, especially with just 2 GB of RAM, which seems kind of paltry, with the expectation of at least 3 GB nowadays. There are three different tasks that I do on a regular basis, with them being GPS navigation, a lot of listening to music or podcasts in the background, and using the camera. In a situation where I was listening to a podcast while using the GPS navigation, and needed to take a picture of something, the camera would unfortunately not load at all.

nexus 5x first look aa (14 of 28)

Everything remains smooth for about 80% of the time, and for the most part, transitions and opening, closing, and switching between apps are snappy. The device also performs at its peak when it isn’t getting warm, but after some demanding usage, where the phone starts to heat up a little bit, is when instances of slow down are seen. It’s not wrong to say that the performance is very smooth, but that is something that will unfortunately not be seen a 100% of the time. Granted, this might be true for a lot of smartphones out there, but the Nexus 5X tended to face these issues more often than not.

nexus 5x vs nexus 5 quick look aa (7 of 11)See also: Best Nexus 5X cases18

In terms of hardware, the main addition with the current generation Nexus smartphones is the fingerprint scanner. The placement on the back is something that I am very used to now, and I actually find myself instinctively reaching for the back with other phones as well.

nexus 5x second opinion aa (6 of 12)

Google has also adopted the new USB Type-C standard with these devices, and that change is still something that is taking some getting used to. If you have a lot of extra charging docks or external power banks, you will need to get new cables to actually be able to take advantage of these peripherals to charge the device properly. Battery life has been about average, with two and a half hours of screen-on time with heavy usage, which can be pushed to about an hour more with more casual use. The device also comes with fast-charging capabilities, so it doesn’t take long to get the phone back and running quickly.

LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-16

Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s battery-saving Doze feature has also been working very well, but worth mentioning here is that it is a good idea to put the applications you do want notifications from on the priority list. Since Doze keeps notifications from coming in when the device is in its low power state, if an app is not on the priority list, you might get a flood of notifications at once when you wake the device up again after a while.


nexus 5x second opinion aa (11 of 12)

The camera has also been really good on the Nexus 5X, and there have been no issues on this front. The only thing that is missing is optical image stabilization, and it has to be said that OIS does make some difference when compared to other devices that have this feature. However, the larger sensor of the new Nexus smartphones definitely does a great job of enhancing what used to be a lackluster experience with previous generations.

Camera samples


nexus 5x second opinion aa (12 of 12)

The software experience has been one of the best parts of the Nexus 5X. Not only do you have optimizations and new features with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but the entire package itself is very appealing. Changes include the now vertically-scrolling app drawer, with a row up top that houses your most used applications, which proved to be very useful. Google Now on Tap is also a nice addition, but is something that I don’t find myself using all that often. What we have here is probably the best version of Android thus far, and even with the addition of a few new features, it’s great to see that the optimizations do still allow for a smooth and snappy experience overall.

android 6.0 marshmallowSee also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow – New features explained58


 LG Nexus 5X
Display5.2-inch LCD display
1920 x 1080 resolution, 424ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Processor2.0GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 processor
GPUAdreno 418
Storage16, 32GB
NetworksGSM 850/1900
W-CDMA 2/4/5
CDMA 0/1/10
LTE Band 2/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/41
Dual SIMNo
SoftwareAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Fingerprint scannerYes, rear-mounted
Camera12.3MP rear-facing camera, f/2.0 aperture, laser-assisted autofocus
5MP front-facing camera, f/2.2 aperture
Battery2700mAh, non-removable
Wireless chargingNo
Dimensions147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9mm, 136g
ColorsCharcoal Black, Quartz White, Ice Blue


Final thoughts

nexus 5x second opinion aa (1 of 12)

So there you have it for this second opinion look at the Nexus 5X! I really wanted to love this phone, and in a lot of ways I really do. However, there were a few issues, mainly to do with performance, that proved to be a let down. On way more than a few occasions, I did have an issue with getting everything I wanted to done on this device, with the little bit of lag creating issues with typing, or resulting in slow loading times.

These problems may not be as much of a big deal for a lot of users out there, and the Nexus 5X is definitely a good choice in the affordable segment, but the flagship experience you may be looking for might not be available with this device.

Get it from the Google Store
  • RenatoFontesTapia

    I ordered one last friday (it hasn’t arrived yet it’s stuck on customs) and then read about the perfomance issues lots of people are having. Now I’m thinking I should sell it as soon as it arrives and get the One A9 (the nexus is more expensive here so I could sell it and get the 32GB A9 for a little less)

    • Ryanzzzzz

      The a9 is slower than the 5x. Its a cheaply made plastic phone. Definitely not worth the price.

      • RenatoFontesTapia

        Isnt it made of metal?
        Also, even if normally it is slower I think it wont lag like the 5x

  • sergiofruto

    This second opinion is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the details!
    I was concern about the limitations of the 2GB of RAM on this device, and effectively they are present.
    What device would you recomend as an alternative to the Nexus 5X? My mind duels between these 3 devices:
    Nexus 5X – Downside: Performance issues.
    One Plus 2: Downside: No fast charge or wireless charge.
    Moto X Pure: Downside: No fingerprint reader. Huge size.

    Any advice to put me in the right path will be appreciated.


    • RenatoFontesTapia

      Z5 compact? iPhone? Wait for it to be discounted again and get a One A9?

      • sergiofruto

        My budget is 300-400 dollars, that’s why I’m between those 3 phones.
        Z5 Compact and iPhone are good options, but too expensive.
        The One A9 might get the discount again, but I don’t like HTC that much.

        • Syke01

          If you’re on a budget, and want the phone to last for years, you can’t beat the Nexus 5X. Great price, good features, excellent camera, and guaranteed updates for years to come.

        • Ryanzzzzz

          The a9 uses an even weaker SOC than the nexus 6 and 6p. Considering the invite system is being taken away. I don’t know how anyone would be so tied to battery killing quick charge and nfc to avoid the op2 with the top tier snapdragon SOC, gorilla glass 4 and lpddr 4.

          • sergiofruto

            I’m not 100% tied to quick charge, but I found it really useful. It’s more like a “nice to have” but it probably won’t change my mind about the OP2. It’s the best option all around.

        • Stanzin Otsal

          i didn’t like the op2. Oneplus team cannot make use of any of its hardware so it doesn’t give you what it could. The camera, and heating bugs are dominant. Even the infrared laser sensor lights up a red light when you switch on the camera. The pictures taken from the op2 is washed out and the video recording was the worst i’ve ever seen with mono audio recording. I’ve jumped from 4.7 inch old moto x to op2 but now I’ve returned op2 and getting a nexus 5x.

    • J G

      note 5. done

      • Ryanzzzzz

        Note 4 is arguably better than the 5 for the expansion and battery swapping abilities alone. Snapdragon 805 bad a better gpu than this played out 808.

    • David Bowline

      I don’t think the RAM is the problem. I think it’s the issue with Marshmallow involving encryption. Hopefully Google and lg address this with an update.

      I’d wait awhile longer to see if theossue can be addressed with an update, because when the 5x is on sale, it’s clearly the best of those three, IMO. To me it’s biggest drawback is the aforementioned problem and not having an amoled screen. If not then I’d go with the moto x pure.

      For me, the 1+2, lacking nfc is a deal breaker.

    • Ryanzzzzz

      Op2 is the obvious choice unless you have a fetish with using your phone as a credit card with nfc. The sheer horsepower of the phone is clearly evident in comparison to any othe 800 class chip.

      • sergiofruto

        I don’t care much about the NFC (actually I’m from Argentina, we have 0 support for payments with NFC here), it’s the lack of quick charge that makes me doubt. I found it a really useful feature to have on your phone in case of “emergency”. On the other hand the batery life of the OP2 it’s really good according to reviews.

      • Gavin Varitech

        If having a fetish for Android Pay was the only reason not to get an Op2 I would have one.

  • RenatoFontesTapia

    I really don’t get why can’t manufacturers make just one perfect android phone…
    All the pieces are there, they just have to put them together

    • Syke01

      Because different people have differing views on what “perfect” is.

      For example, I think fingerprint readers are a waste. I don’t want one. Unlike a password, if your fingerprint is stolen, you cannot ever change it!

      • RenatoFontesTapia

        I’m not talking about features, I’m talking about issues with the phone itself

    • Keith Taylor

      You answered your own question. If every manufacture created the perfect phone then they would be the same phone. Its the differences that makes each one imperfect.

      • RenatoFontesTapia

        I don’t agree…
        I’m not talking about the difference between phones I’m talking about imperfections like overheating, bad build quality, only 2gb of ram, lag, lack of updates, bad battery life.

        • Arturo Raygoza

          Lack of updates on the N5X?

          • RenatoFontesTapia

            I was complaining about phones in general, not only the nexus line.
            There always seems to be something missing or something that doesn’t work in the optimum way

          • Arturo Raygoza

            Ohhh I got you. Why don’t you write a phone manufacturer and tell them how to build the perfect phone, I’m sure they will be pretty receptive.

          • RenatoFontesTapia

            I have, multiple times

            They aren’t =)

          • Sere83

            Well spec wise I think the Nexus 6P or the Galaxy S6 or LG G4 come pretty close. But you raise a good point and one which may go a long why is explaining the iphones continued popularity. See the thing is the iPhone has none of the glaring shortcomings you speak of. They are good all round performers in pretty much every category. Also people only have one a couple of clearly defined choices with apple as they essentially only make 2 phones a year…a big one and a smaller one. This makes consumers choice very very simple and obviously apple will hold your hand the whole way through the process (for a price). Samsung have managed to achieve something vaguely similar with the Galaxy line but they are still confusing consumers with hundreds of terrible phones and to be honest the only Galaxy phone that is build well is the GS6 imho, the battery life is also slightly questionable. These android manufacturers are also greedy and don’t use their resources wisely, they think that making 40 mediocre phones is a better way to make money than focussing down and making just 1 or 2 exceptional ones. Also the majority of android manufacturers still struggle with optimizing cameras, they simply lack the expertise, HTC being one of them. It is really only LG and Samsung and possibly Sony who can compete with apple on cameras at the very top end and i don’t just mean image quality, I mean all parts of the camera user experience and features and technology implementation.

          • Steve Brain

            Agree to disagree on most of those points mate. In particular, the camera on Apple devices for a long time now have had their crown removed. Low light performance is sub par because of the f/2.2 they refuse to increase for some weird reason and makes obtaining a good DoF near impossible. Virtually no controls beyond the auto mode, OIS only on the more expensive option (gee, big surprise) and while I believe 12MP to be enough, they only JUST got there. Others (using Samsung and LG as a reference) have reached 16MP and with superior quality to the iPhone cameras. Personally, I couldn’t give a stuff about the megapixel count.. I’d rather have 8MP and perfect clarity than 23MP and terrible waterpainting photos *cough* Sony *cough*
            But if you can produce a camera with 16MP and achieve the same or better clarity/results than one with 12 or 8MP.. Then why not?

            Anyway, check this out:

            You can get good/acceptable photos with many phones these days, and to be able to tell the differences you do need to pixel peep a bit, or just copy over to a computer and view the actual size image.. I’ve tried all the flagship phones under the sun, including Apple.. The best I’ve come across is LG, you can go full manual mode which is only achievable on other phones using custom software (Camera FV-5) or you can go dumb mode where you just use it like an iPhone, OR you can go full-retard and set to Simple mode where you just have nothing on the screen and you tap a place you want to focus and automatically take a photo of it in a fraction of a second.

            Apple is great for some people, but I strive for perfection where Apple strives for sheeple acceptance.

          • crApple is all about “Fashion” and its users are overwhelmingly technophobes, women, young girls, and imbeciles who care about being in “style.”

    • Erm… they did. It’s called the N6P.

      • derek porter

        Perfect without wireless charging?

      • RenatoFontesTapia

        I forgot to add, the only good devices are huuuge
        And well, the 6p bends =P

  • Joachim Nilsson

    As usual Josh’s reviews are top notch, thanks! <3

  • Gihan

    using it for couple of months and my second opinion is its a nice phone for the prize, love the size and the camera, but time to time phone gets slower and dont feel smooth, maybe the lack of memory, average memory usage is always around 85%, touch also slightly odd i must say, can notice this when playing a game, Size, fingerprint sensor and the camera are main reasons im keeping this phone until next nexus comes

  • Camilo Sanz

    My Nexus 5 LG phone does have the issues mentioned in the post of battery consumption plus other not mentioned like prob with the power button that render the phone unusable. I am surprised this is not commented in this forum. . I recommend future buyers to check forums on these phones before buying. .

  • hey great write up! I’ve read a lot of bad things….too many compared to the few good with the 5X. I just got my 6P a few weeks ago, love it a lot. I really think its the best phone on the market. If you get the bigger storage on the 5X….might as well spend the extra dollars and get the 6P. Trust me.

    • David Bowline

      Really? What are you reading, because I’ve read and watched just about every review by credible people and I couldn’t disagree more.

      You’re clearly focusing on the negative. In fact this was a very positive review. Joshua even stated that he loves the phone. As he mentioned, it was performance issues and quite honestly, how many times does anyone listen to music, use navigation AND snap a picture at the same time? That’s power using with an exclamation point.

      This phone is ask they 99% of the public needs. Joshua talked about performance and its clearly an issue for people who push their phone to the max, but that’s not what the 5x is for.

      I got one of these for my girlfriend and she absolutely loves it. She liked her Nexus 5 too.

      This was not a negative review. Get off the ledge man!

      • hmm I suppose u are ignoring the plethora of bugs being reported all over XDA. And this phone has not been praised at all. Every review points out the amazing camera but is quick to point out how bogged down it gets when pushing it due to its 2gb of RAM. Also, the screen is washed out. The battery life is being proven to be mediocre at best with its 3-3.5 hours SOT. Speaker quality if garbage. no wireless charging. the cheapness of the actual phone. Listen, I had the G2 and G3, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. I love LG. I wanted that phone until I started reading whats important to me. I’m not on the ledge, I’m literally just going off of reading WHAT I FIND IMPORTANT. And they happen to be negative. Its just my subjective view on it, no need to call me suicidal and dog it.

        and i said this was a good write up, it changed my mind. I was simply commenting on all the bad i’ve read on this. This article swayed me over. But I still think the 6P is superior in every way. Including bang for your buck =)

        • Stan Utevski

          “Screen washed out” – Baba, what are you talking about. You can’t see single pixel on 5x screen without magnifying glass. If you hate your 5x so much, ship it to me, I will pay for the shipping. So far your complaints sound unreasonable.

          • Unreasonable? It’s things I look for. Things pointed out in reviews. And my own experience. I returned it and got the 6p for a reason. Do you have one? The color reproduction is poor. Head over to xda for further proof. The phone is not reviewed, nor touted as phone of the year for a reason.

          • Aamir

            Anandtech did a review of the 5x and tested the display extensively. They said they couldn’t find anything to complain about except that it got to a brightness of 600nits only but also admitted they would also like 6000 nits. The color representation, gamma, and other characteristics were practically better than any other phone they tested.
            Also you can always change the display properties with an app and kennel.
            Sot is not 3-3.5 max some people are getting 5 or above. Camera performance head significantly improved with updates. There’s really very to complain about and any small lag will be ironed out in updates just like every other nexus.

          • “some people”. I read about 4 reviews and bought it. And after experiencing the issues myself, I returned it. Then I start reading updated reviews and new reviews stating exactly what I experienced. The brightness is great, the reproduction is and was a failure in the 3 weeks I had the phone. I started a long long thread about it on XDA, which contributed over 100 pages of people claiming the same issues I had. Anandtech is very reputable though….maybe I just had the bad apple along with the many other people who backed me up on XDA.

            I do agree tho, a few updates, the phone will most likely be GREAT. But NOTHING will stop the phone from getting bogged down from any mildly heavy app/game. That phone slows down A LOT. I cannot run Minecraft to save my life. Open up 10 apps/games….baam, keyboard freeze and force close issues. 2Gb of ram kills this phone.

          • David Bowline

            It’s not the RAM that’s the problem as much as the locked in encryption. My gf has none of the “issues” with the phone.

            You mentioned that there’s a plethora of negatives in xda. Well, duh! You must not read xda forums much because there isn’t a phone that there hasn’t been a plethora of negatives written about in there.

            I’m not sure what you expect from a mid range phone, but whatever it is, your expectations are too high. The 5X is an excellent phone that will do even better when updates fix the only real issue it has….and its clearly fixabme because as others have noted 2gb of ram is plenty. My N5 doesn’t have that issue.

            The other “issues” you mention have either been proven to be a Marshmallow bug (screen washout) or massively overstated. Seriously, the speaker? Are you kidding me? That speaker is markedly better than the speaker on the N5 and NOBODY bitched about it. Who fucking buys a phone for the speaker? That’s what Bluetooth/headphones/earbuds are for. The whole idea of good speakers on a cellphone is not only an oxymoron, but a waste of time and money. When someone has their phone speaker cranked up in public, its rude and obnoxious. Use earbuds!

            The battery is better than that of the N5. Not great, but good enough.

            What we see happening is Joshua has fallen prey to the hype. He wants something for nothing. When the N5 is $80, there is no better buy. I think us fanboys are become a bit spoiled.

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m disappointed in the N5x. I don’t want a giant phablet. I want a top of the line Nexus with a 5 inch screen and the N5x doesn’t deliver…at least when put up against the 6p. It’s very frustrating to know that it’s only an $80 difference between the 32gb models. That’s why I mentioned the $80 price reduction over last weekend. That made the phone an exceptional deal. One I jumped all over for my gf.

          • Wow dude. Get off the ledge.

  • Pesobill

    The Nexus 5X is an excellent phone for the price. Black Friday price of $299 is great deal for people who want a great phone and a great price. All the BS about not enough ram, storage bla bla bla is redundant.

    • Daniella

      Nexus Phones and Tablets are now available only on

  • HildyJJ

    I have the 5x and I agree with the review. It does, though, point out a problem with the OEM mindset. Smaller phones should not mean smaller specs. I would gladly have paid 6p prices for a (call it a) 5p phone; one with an AMOLED screen, more RAM, etc.

  • Stan Utevski

    Somewhat biased and unreasonable review. For example concern about image stabilization in the cell phone camera doesn’t make sense at all. It is a cell phone, for God’s sake! Get yourself a professional camera.

    • I ‘m finally getting 96 Dollars an hr,….It’s time to take some action and you can join it too.It is ea sy way to get rich.Three weeks from now you will wish you have started today….

      =======>>>Go to my account for WEB ADDRESS.//

    • Haha

      You are wrong. OIS really makes different. Simple compare for example sgs6 or LG g4 photos and worse phone cameras…

      • Gavin Varitech

        The only time the lack of OIS makes a difference on the 5X is with video, not photos.

  • Daggett Beaver

    It’s a crap phone, but as crap phones go, it’s one of the best.

  • Aaron

    Your second opinion review doesn’t cover all the aspects, left out things like how does the true tone LED flash and the vibrator performs, You failed to mention it has a poor speaker too like how it inherited from it’s predecessor.

  • Doug

    WTF, he complained that while he was using GPS (Driving his car probably, so the phone was using cellular data, the gps map application, and communicating with satellites) while listening to a podcast, he tried to take a picture, most likely of the people he just ran down while being distracted……. and the camera didn’t work… WOW… idiot

    • Gavin Varitech

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • meizan asyraf

      if u are not deaf,u would heard he said “at a stoplight,i saw something funny..”

      he was stopping.there’s nothing to run down,when u are stationary.surely u understand that simple logic and law of physics

      • Doug

        I didn’t watch the video, I am a baby boomer and can still read… a skill sadly disappearing among the general public and as evidenced by your post…. Here is a copy of the article for you to r e a d… so you understand my comment… It is still valid regardless of the speed of vehicle unless it nears the speed of light and as Einstein postulated… time slows down and perhaps so would the processor.

        “There are three different tasks that I do on a regular basis, with them being GPS navigation, a lot of listening to music or podcasts in the background, and using the camera. In a situation where I was listening to a podcast while using the GPS navigation, and needed to take a picture of something, the camera would unfortunately not load at all.”

  • Peter Mulders

    For the money this thing costs in Europe, it’s really not an option. There are way better phones available for that kind of money.

  • Devon Grier

    Not a bad review however noticeable that you did not use the device long. I am on cricket which if you know has horrible phones. The galaxy grand prime which had half the performance of the nexus 5x can GPS and stream audio with no problem. 2 GB if plenty and have not had one problem on my nexus 5x that you described.

  • Didit FA

    No MicroSD … x_x

  • hackel

    “The camera would unfortunately not load at all?” What does that even mean? Android automatically closes background applications when memory is low. That statement makes no sense. Since I routinely do what you just described on my original Nexus 5 with only 2GiB RAM, I have to call bollocks on this.

  • chuck

    On the cover picture, please focus more on the girl than the phones.

  • Josh York

    Man, this embedded player is so annoying. Really prefer YouTube. Even low quality hangs to buffer continuously. I did appreciate the content of the video, however.

  • vision33r

    Rather get the LG G4 which has similar hardware under the hood but much better features like laser focused OIS camera, removeable battery, and SD card. 5X is the worst Nexus device in awhile, it lags and the build quality is nothing compared to the G4 which feels more solid and higher quality with leather back casing.

    My wife’s S6 for only $395 during recent BF deals blows both Nexus phones in performance and features.