We love our Nexus phones here at AndroidPIT, so the anticipation of the latest model had us all tingly. But when the Nexus 5X was formally launched, we were a little disappointed, and not just because we loved the Nexus 5 so much. Here’s why the Nexus 5X simply isn’t the one we'd been waiting for.
We don’t mean that in the sense of cool, edgy design. We mean the edges of the Nexus 5X are enormous, and the display is surrounded by big black areas. Had the Nexus been made by, say, Asus, then we’d shrug and accept it. But LG? LG, the firm whose designs have long offered the best ratio of screen to phone size in the Android world? We’re wondering if LG’s usual design team took the day off and gave the Nexus job to the intern.
Look at the image above, with the 2013 Nexus on the left and the 5X on the right. The screen size hasn’t changed a great deal, but the newer Nexus is much bigger, and with that, it’s less comfortable to use, and more awkward to stick in a pocket.
2. Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be
We all love the Nexus 5, and Google no doubt told LG to try to keep the family resemblance. But the result, to our eyes, doesn’t really work. Compared with the Galaxy S6, the Nexus 5X looks cheap and plasticky, the camera bump particularly obvious. Turn it around and – aaagh! Huge forehead! Big chin!
3. The storage options are silly
There’s no 128 GB version for the time being, just a 16 GB and a 32 GB version. A flagship phone with 16 GB of storage and no microSD slot? What year is this? It seems as though Google is taking a leaf out of Apple’s book here, by offering a device with measly storage on the assumption that people will go: “16 GB? That’s hopeless! I’ll buy the more expensive version!” Had the phone offered microSD support, 16 GB would have been fine, but you can’t look at the Nexus 5X's super giant enormo case and think, 'Hmm, there's no way they could have made room for a microSD slot in there.'
4. It isn’t really that much better than the Nexus 5
The Nexus 5X has the same screen resolution, RAM and internal storage its precessor. The battery is a bit bigger (although so is the screen, so that may cancel out the benefits of the slightly bigger battery), but the only really important changes are the better camera – which has 12.3 MP but no optical stabilization – and the fingerprint scanner.
In our hands on review, Stephan Serowy wrote that the Nexus 5X is “an unobtrusive handset with no serious disappointments.” There’s one for the posters: “unobtrusive” – AndroidPIT.com. It’s essentially a Nexus 5 whose biggest flaws, the camera and battery, have been fixed, and it brings nothing else new or interesting to the party. When you look at the calibre of rival devices – not just the Samsungs but the OnePlus 2, the Honor 7, and so on – the Nexus 5X, supposedly the flagship phone, the ultimate Android device, is something of a disappointment.
What do you think? Have we donned our Hater Hat unfairly? Did the Nexus 5X live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments below.