Approximately two years after announcing the popular Nexus 5 smartphone, Google has unveiled its successor the Nexus 5x. Like its predecessor, the new Nexus device is also manufactured by LG, and brings and updated design and hardware. The Nexus 5x also comes loaded with Google's newest operating system - Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
As for the overall design of the device, the Nexus 5X looks quite similar to the Nexus 5. It’s made of a soft touch plastic that looks to be quite grippy, and the smaller 5.2-inch display size will probably make it pretty easy to hold in one hand. It comes in Charcoal Black, Quartz White and Ice Blue color options, as well. The 5X measures 147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9mm and weighs 136 grams, compared to the Nexus 5’s 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6mm and 130 grams.
The Nexus 5X features a 5.2-inch Full HD LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3. Google has decided to swap the Quad HD panel for a 1080p one, likely aiming to reduce the cost, and power consumption, helping the 2700mAh battery last a bit longer. In hopes that all of the new battery-saving features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow will make up for it, Google didn’t include wireless charging in either of the two new Nexus devices. This was a handy feature present in the Nexus line ever since the Nexus 4, and will surely be missed by many fans of the charging method.
The Nexus 5X is powered by a 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor backed by 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, which should be plenty powerful enough for gaming, surfing the web and performing other everyday tasks without a hitch. This device will be offered with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. If you need more than that you’ll have to rely on the cloud, as the 5X doesn’t come with a microSD card slot for expandable storage. If you’re willing to skip the 5X and would like a Nexus with a bit more on-board storage, the newly-announced Nexus 6P comes in 32, 64GB and 128GB variants.
There’s also a 12.3MP rear-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture onboard, as well as a 5MP front-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture. Both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 featured optical image stabilization (OIS), but unfortunately the Nexus 5X does not. We aren’t entirely sure why Google chose to leave this helpful feature out of the camera. Nexus phones have always struggled in the camera department, and we’re really hoping the 5X won’t suffer the same fate. We’ll of course test the camera out in full when we get our hands on this device.
Below the rear camera sensor sits the touch-based fingerprint sensor, which will be able to wake and unlock your device with just a single tap. Google is calling the fingerprint sensing technology “Nexus Imprint”. The fingerprint reader isn’t the only new hardware addition to the device. The 5X also sports a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
As we mentioned above, the Nexus 5X runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Google officially announced this new version of Android a few months ago, and its no surprise that they have their newest operating system pre-installed on their new handsets. Aesthetically speaking, Marshmallow doesn’t stray to far away from Lollipop, though it does offer up some pretty notable new features including Now on Tap, which we first saw at Google I/O 2015. Marshmallow also features a number of new APIs that offer support for fingerprint sensor integration, as well as a greatly improved permissions system that will give users more granular control over which applications can access what. All in all, the software experience on the 5X (and 6P) consists of many things Nexus fans love, along with a bevy of stability improvements and bug fixes.
Unlike most Nexus devices in the past, you won’t be able to walk into your local carrier store and pick up LG’s newest Nexus device. The Nexus 5X (along with the Nexus 6P), will be available for pre-order starting today through the Google Store and a handful of other online retailers in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Ireland. The 16GB model will start at $379.99, and will begin shipping in October.
Google also included that all Nexus pre-orders in the U.S. will come with a $50 Google Play credit. Google is also launching a protection plan called Nexus Protect, which offers users two full years of coverage if your phone happens to break down. You’ll be able to file a claim 24/7, and you can get your new device as early as the next business day. Nexus Protect will cost $69 for the 5X, and $89 for the 6P, and is launching in the U.S. today. Google will roll this plan out to more regions in the future.