Notebookcheck

Google Nexus 5X Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 12/13/2015

More than meets the eye. The newest Android operating system and strong Qualcomm SoC provide the Nexus 5X with what it needs for good performance. The dimensions will also likely appeal to fans of smaller-sized handsets. They have been reduced considerably compared with last year's Google Nexus 6.

For the original German review, see here.

Google introduces two new smartphones from the Nexus lineup along with its Android 6.0. They are shipped as reference models based on the new operating system: While the Nexus 6P with a 5.7-inch screen follows in the footsteps of the Nexus 6 introduced last year, the Nexus 5X with a 5.2-inch screen can be seen as a delayed successor of the Nexus 5 launched in 2013. Like the latter, the Nexus 5X is built by LG and sold with either 16 GB (479 Euros, ~$526) or 32 GB (529 Euros, ~$581) storage. 2 GB of RAM and Qualcomm's fast Snapdragon 808 hexa-core SoC is always on-board.

Current rivals of the Nexus 5X are, for example, the somewhat less-expensive Android smartphones OnePlus 2 and Honor 7, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and LG G4 that were considerably higher-priced at market launch but whose prices have dropped evidently in the meantime. An alternative based on another operating system would also be Apple's iPhone 6S Plus.

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Google Nexus 5X (Nexus Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 418, Core: 600 MHz
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, , 24.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, Hall sensor, ambient light sensor, barometer, compass, GPS, GLONASS, NFC, OTG, Android Beam, Miracast, print, DLNA, nano-SIM
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS/WCDMA (Band 1/2/4/5/6/8/9/19), LTE (Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9/17/18/19/20/26/28/38/40/41) Cat. 6 (300 Mbps/50 Mbps)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8 x 147 x 72.6 ( = 0.31 x 5.79 x 2.86 in)
Battery
10 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2700 mAh, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 30 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 19 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 590 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 710 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Webcam: 5.0 MP (fix focus f/2.0, 1080 videos @ 30 FPS), primary camera: 12.3 MP (auto focus w/ IP laser f/2.0, 2160p videos @ 30 FPS)
Additional features
Speakers: on front, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, USB cable (Type C to Type C), slot tool, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
136 g ( = 4.8 oz / 0.3 pounds), Power Supply: 75 g ( = 2.65 oz / 0.17 pounds)
Price
529 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

While the Nexus 5X is considerably smaller than last year's Nexus 6, it is still a bit bigger than the indirect predecessor Nexus 5 from 2013. The main reason for this is doubtlessly the slightly bigger screen of now 5.2-inches. The manufacturer also left quite a bit of room for speaker, microphone and sensors above and below the screen. The longest side of LG's G4 with a much bigger 5.5-inch screen is only roughly 2 millimeters longer. The Nexus 5X still makes a handy impression thanks to its moderate weight of 136 grams. Although our measured height of approximately 8 millimeters confirms Google's specified 7.9 millimeter considering measuring tolerances, it does not include the camera module that juts out of the casing by about 2 millimeters. That also prevents the backside of the Nexus 5X from lying absolutely flat on sleek surfaces. However, the tendency for lateral rocking during normal use is not very big.

Parts of the casing of most other premium-range smartphones are made of materials deemed especially high-quality, such as glass or metal. Not so the Nexus 5X that is completely composed of plastic with exception of the display cover. That is not at all a drawback: The handset provides a secure grip thanks to the surface's matte, slip-resistant texture. The build is also impeccable. The smartphone's rigidness does not give any reason for complaint. The Nexus 5X successfully defies twisting attempts. It does not produce disconcerting noises nor does it warp noticeably.

159 mm / 6.26 inch 83 mm / 3.27 inch 10 mm / 0.3937 inch 184 g0.4057 lbs158.2 mm / 6.23 inch 77.9 mm / 3.07 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 192 g0.4233 lbs151.8 mm / 5.98 inch 74.9 mm / 2.95 inch 9.85 mm / 0.3878 inch 178 g0.3924 lbs148.9 mm / 5.86 inch 76.1 mm / 3 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs147 mm / 5.79 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 8 mm / 0.315 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs143.2 mm / 5.64 inch 71.9 mm / 2.83 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 161 g0.3549 lbs142.1 mm / 5.59 inch 70.1 mm / 2.76 inch 7 mm / 0.2756 inch 132 g0.291 lbs137.84 mm / 5.43 inch 69.17 mm / 2.72 inch 8.59 mm / 0.3382 inch 130 g0.2866 lbs

Connectivity

A big point of criticism for many who always want to have their photos, music or video collection at hand will likely be the scanty storage capacity of Google's new smartphone. The user only has almost 25 GB for personal use even in the more expensive model with a 32 GB flash memory. That is a step backward compared with last year's Google Nexus 6 that was also available with up to 64 GB internal storage. Since there is no micro-SD slot - like common for all Nexus devices - data will have to be stored in the cloud or on external storage devices sooner or later. Especially users of the new UHD video feature that guzzles approximately 300 MB per recorded second would definitely have benefited from a somewhat larger storage capacity.

Rather than the conventional micro-USB port that has been installed in smartphones for quite some time now, the Nexus 5X sports a cutting edge USB Type C port. Thus, the data cable can be inserted "upside down" turned 180 degrees, and the user no longer has to think about what side is right way up. However, it is a bit too bad that data can only be transmitted in the old USB 2.0 standard (approx. 40 MB/s) and an adapter for connecting common USB Type A ports is not included. Furthermore, the port supports USB OTG for connecting external storage devices or peripherals.

Video output via MHL or Slimport is not intended. Instead, streaming in the local network via Miracast and DLNA is supported. The latest Bluetooth version 4.2 and NFC is also integrated. Beyond that, the reliable fingerprint reader on the smartphone's rear and the multi-color notification LED behind the lower speaker grille are useful.

Left: volume rocker, power button
Left: volume rocker, power button
Right: nano-SIM card slot
Right: nano-SIM card slot
upper edge: microphone
upper edge: microphone
Lower edge: USB Type C port, microphone, 3.5 mm headset jack
Lower edge: USB Type C port, microphone, 3.5 mm headset jack

Software

A highlight of the 5X is the standard downloading of the newest Android version as common for Nexus smartphones. The device is shipped with the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and obtains regular OTA updates directly from Google.

The new operating system does not look much different than its predecessor Android 5.1.1. The most striking difference is the now vertical rather than horizontal scroll bar of installed apps. The Ambient Display feature known from the former Nexus 6 is also on-board. It displays the current time and existing notifications via the movement sensor, e.g. when picking up the smartphone.

A feature found in some Android smartphones modified by manufacturers has now also officially moved into Google's Android version: A rights manager for installed apps. The user can now cancel single rights for specified apps, such as location or camera access. More information concerning Android Marshmallow can be found in our news report.

Lock screen
Nexus 5X: Home screen
Folder
Appdrawer
Apps Overview of previously opened apps
Quick settings
Notification manager
Software version
USB connection settings

Communication & GPS 

GPS reception: indoors
GPS reception: indoors
GPS reception: outdoors
GPS reception: outdoors

The Nexus 5X is throughout convincing in terms of wireless communication. For example, it features a fast dual-band AC Wi-Fi module that enables gross data rates of up to 866 Mbit/s (2x 2 MIMO), and which presented above average reception qualities in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies in the test using an Asus RT-AC56U router. The integrated radio modem is also very satisfactory: It supports a multitude of frequency bands. A maximum browsing speed of 300 Mbit/s in downstream and 50 Mbit/s in upstream is possible via LTE. The latest Bluetooth version 4.2 and NFC is also integrated for wireless near field communication.

The GPS module in the Nexus 5X very reliably and quickly located our position. However, tracking was not possible in a four-story apartment building. To find out how well the handset functions in real-world use, we recorded a route for comparison using the Garmin Edge 500 GPS bike computer alongside the Nexus 5X. The smartphone is compelling here: Both the low deviation of only 1% between the devices and the accurate tracing of the driven route speak for the very good performance of Google's reference model. Although it did not record our short loop in the turning point area, the route is a bit more accurate than that of the bike computer with digital maps here. Therefore, the Nexus 5X is perfectly suitable for navigation purposes.

Garmin Edge 500 - total route
Garmin Edge 500 - total route
Garmin Edge 500 - sector
Garmin Edge 500 - sector
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point
Nexus 5X - total route
Nexus 5X - total route
Nexus 5X - sector
Nexus 5X - sector
Nexus 5X - turning point
Nexus 5X - turning point

Telephone & Call Quality

Phone app: dial
Phone app: dial
Phone app: missed calls
Phone app: missed calls

The phone app includes features known from Android Lollipop, such as favorites, call lists, contacts and search. A keypad can also be faded in when required. The app is overall quite basic, which results in a very clear arrangement.

The intelligibility was very good during normal calls at both ends in test calls in the German Telecom 3G network. The earpiece's high maximum volume has to be highlighted here. Its sound is already decent, but the natural-sounding voice at the other end has to be lauded and speaks for an especially good quality of the microphone installed in the Nexus 5X. Even hands-free mode does not change much about the good intelligibility at both ends although slight distortions in higher volumes let it sound a bit more unnatural. A headset is not included.

Cameras & Multimedia

Front camera
Front camera
Primary camera
Primary camera
4K video screenshot
4K video screenshot

The cameras used in Nexus devices in the past were not their strength. However, the Nexus 5X does a good job here. The rear-facing model shoots photos with up to 12.3 megapixels (4032x3024 pixels) and has a relatively wide aperture of f/2.0. The lens additionally finds support in an IR laser auto-focus. Very sharp pictures that still display many details when zoomed are created in daylight. The illumination, color impression and responsiveness do not give much reason for complaint subjectively. However, the camera does not do quite as good job in low-light. A fairly heavy image noise becomes evident, which can be lessened by using the bright, warm-white dual-LED flash.

The front camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels as well as an aperture of f/2.0. The photos look quite blurred in default camera mode - not much of the 5 megapixels is seen here. That might just be intentional since that, for example, leads to a smoother-looking complexion in selfies. The photo looks considerably more high-detail when enabling the optional HDR, but the image noise increases visibly at the same time.

The modes "Photo Sphere", "Panorama" and "Focus Effect" are installed in addition to the normal camera mode. Live filters or manually setting ISO rates, shutter speed, etc. are generally not intended.

The primary camera in the Nexus 5X records videos in the UHD resolution (2840x2160 pixels) at up to 30 frames per second. The data rate of approximately 42 Mbit/s is relatively high here so that freeze-images display good quality (see sample screenshot). Unfortunately, we discovered some minor incompatibilities with popular video players in the test. For example, it was not possible to render UHD videos recorded with the Nexus 5x smoothly on a Window 8.1 test system with an Intel Core i7 processor via "VLC Player", although they were compressed via the common H.264 codec. "Media Player Classic Home Cinema" displayed the video stutter-free, but upside down. The playback essentially ran properly in "Windows Media Player", but with visible pixel flickering. Solely "PotPlayer" delivered a perfect picture. The Full HD videos recorded with the front camera look smooth and have a decent quality in good light; the details blur in darker environments.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Color Accuracy & Sharpness

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. The original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. The original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.

We compare the photo of XRite ColorChecker Passport taken under controlled light conditions with the factual reference colors for testing the color accuracy of the Nexus 5X's primary camera. No image editing, e.g. manual white balance, was performed.

It becomes obvious that particularly blue and orange tones in the right half of the image are quite accurate. The Nexus 5X's reproduction of the color fields on the left is too dark, which leads to an increased image contrast.

We take an edge-to-edge picture of our test chart under defined artificial light to judge the image sharpness. Here, in line with the real-world pictures, a very good sharpness that does not decrease excessively towards the edges is evident.

Google Nexus 5X: Test image section
Google Nexus 5X
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Test image section
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
Huawei Mate S: Test image section
Huawei Mate S
OnePlus 2: Test image section
OnePlus 2
Honor 7: Test image section
Honor 7
Sony Xperia Z3 Plus: Test image section
Sony Xperia Z3 Plus
Nexus 5X: Test picture
Nexus 5X: Test picture

Accessories

The accessories included are very limited. Only a small tool for opening the SIM-card slot and various leaflets (quick-start guide, warranty conditions, Google Play Music 90-day trial) are found in the box besides the potent power supply with USB Type C cable (15W, 5V, 3A). Google offers an adapter for common USB Type A cables and various cases in its Play Store for a surcharge.

Warranty

Being the smartphone manufacturer, LG includes a two-year warranty on the handset. That, however, excludes the included power supply and its cable and the non-removable battery (6-month warranty).

Input Devices & Handling

Gorilla Glass 3 protects the touchscreen in the Nexus 5X. It responds very accurately to inputs. The fingers also glide easily over the surface. That especially facilitates inputting on the virtual keyboard and typos are less frequent. The palpable vibration feedback is also helpful in this context. Since a Nexus smartphone is naturally furnished with Google's stock keyboard, no special features like extended gesture control or additional keys are installed. All really important features can be accessed with only a few clicks.

The physical keys situated on the casing's right have an agreeable pressure point and also make a very rigid impression despite a bit too much play towards the sides. The angular shape makes them quite easy to find, but they also feel slightly sharp due to that.

The fingerprint reader is on the smartphone's rear and responds very quickly and reliably. Unlocking the handset is noticeably easier this way - compared with inputting a PIN or an unlock pattern.

The Nexus 5X does not know the meaning of lags or stutters. The operating system always responded smoothly to user inputs. The image is realigned quickly when the handset is rotated.

Keyboard: landscape mode
Keyboard: landscape mode
Keyboard: portrait mode
Keyboard: portrait mode

Display

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement

The Nexus 5X is furnished with a 5.2-inch IPS panel in Full HD resolution, which equals a pixel density of 424 PPI. Some premium-range rivals can boast with even higher rates, but the review sample is in no way inferior to them. Content looks very sharp; pixel arrangements are not at all visible at a normal viewing distance.

The brightness achieves a decent rate of 503 cd/m² in the center of a completely white screen. The illumination of 97% is unusually homogeneous. The Nexus 5X positions itself in the upper midfield in the comparison group with these rates. Solely LG's G4 and Apple's iPhone 6S Plus are even brighter. However, the measurements made with equally distributed bright and dark areas on the display are more significant (average picture level/APL 50). No differences to the maximum brightness compared with a completely white image are ascertained here. Enabling the brightness sensor does not change the rates, either.

The good black level of 0.38 cd/m² results in an above average contrast ratio of 1324:1 for an IPS panel. The image also looks very vivid subjectively; no visible grayish tint covers black surfaces.

500
cd/m²
491
cd/m²
489
cd/m²
500
cd/m²
503
cd/m²
498
cd/m²
501
cd/m²
503
cd/m²
494
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 503 cd/m² Average: 497.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 97 %
Center on Battery: 503 cd/m²
Contrast: 1324:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.09 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 2.12 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.27
Google Nexus 5X
1920x1080 px 5.2'' (IPS)
Google Nexus 5
1920x1080 px 5.0'' (IPS)
Google Nexus 6
2560x1440 px 6.0'' (AMOLED)
LG G4
2560x1440 px 5.5'' (IPS)
OnePlus 2
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
Honor 7
1920x1080 px 5.2'' (IPS)
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
2560x1440 px 5.1'' (AMOLED)
Screen
Brightness middle
503
469
-7%
274
-46%
566
13%
451
-10%
442
-12%
583
16%
343
-32%
Brightness
498
452
-9%
264
-47%
536
8%
446
-10%
440
-12%
560
12%
338
-32%
Brightness Distribution
97
94
-3%
89
-8%
90
-7%
90
-7%
92
-5%
91
-6%
94
-3%
Black Level *
0.38
0.49
-29%
0.47
-24%
0.3
21%
0.23
39%
0.46
-21%
Contrast
1324
957
-28%
1204
-9%
1503
14%
1922
45%
1267
-4%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.09
2.05
2%
6.99
-234%
6.17
-195%
3.84
-84%
4.52
-116%
3.55
-70%
2.2
-5%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.12
1.45
32%
4.01
-89%
6.26
-195%
3.97
-87%
5.47
-158%
3.88
-83%
2.37
-12%
Gamma
2.27 97%
2 110%
2.03 108%
2.48 89%
2.46 89%
2.27 97%
2.2 100%
2.41 91%
CCT
6621 98%
6441 101%
6329 103%
8171 80%
7283 89%
7874 83%
7280 89%
6425 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65.48
58.07
59.05
87.77
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.63
90.14
99.7
92.8

* ... smaller is better

The Nexus 5X also shows its good side in terms of color reproduction. No current smartphone in the comparison field outperforms it thanks to an average DeltaE shift of 2.09 (colors) and 2.12 (grayscale) from the ideal range of <3. Only the now two-year old Nexus 5 can pit itself against the new model. The Nexus 5X's gamma rate of 2.27 and the temperature of 6621 K is close to the ideal of 2.2 and 6500 K.

ColorChecker (sRGB)
ColorChecker (sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (sRGB)
Grayscale (sRGB)
Grayscale (sRGB)

The high image contrast is a plus for using the Nexus 5X outdoors. Its brightness is usually high enough to recognize displayed content fairly well when direct sunlight is avoided. The user would, however, benefit from a slightly higher maximum brightness and/or a better AR coating on the glass surface on clear days.

Screen outdoors in moderate sunlight
Screen outdoors in moderate sunlight
Display in direct sunlight
Display in direct sunlight

The Nexus 5X's viewing-angle stability is also good. Inverting is not an issue thanks to the IPS panel, and the color reproduction barely changed in flat angles. However, brightness decrease is visible. Although the typical IPS glow effect, i.e. dark areas brighten up in very acute viewing angles, is present, it is not particularly prominent.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Nexus 5X is furnished with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC that is also found in, for example, LG's G4 flagship. Its four frugal Cortex A53 cores (max. 1.5 GHz) are supported by two Cortex A57 cores (max. 1.8 GHz), making it one of the fastest processors on the market. An Adreno 418 GPU is integrated for video output.

The Nexus 5X only finds a place in the midfield in most benchmarks due to the rivals' high performance levels. It usually only outperforms Honor's 7 and the two-year old Nexus 5LG's G4 is also outrun in graphic tests, such as the T-Rex onscreen benchmark since its Adreno 418 GPU has to power a considerably higher resolution screen. We only observe a low point in the Linpack benchmark where the Nexus 5X is the taillight. We assume that only the SoC's relatively slow Cortex A53 core was utilized in the test. Therefore, conclusions regarding the smartphone's actual performance cannot really be made here.

AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
52923 Points ∼53%
Google Nexus 5
35256 Points ∼36% -33%
Google Nexus 6
51812 Points ∼52% -2%
LG G4
49941 Points ∼50% -6%
OnePlus 2
58535 Points ∼59% +11%
Honor 7
47515 Points ∼48% -10%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
58869 Points ∼59% +11%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
72094 Points ∼73% +36%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
3530 Points ∼9%
LG G4
3556 Points ∼9% +1%
OnePlus 2
4804 Points ∼13% +36%
Honor 7
3888 Points ∼10% +10%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
4429 Points ∼12% +25%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5619 Points ∼15% +59%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1246 Points ∼25%
LG G4
1107 Points ∼23% -11%
OnePlus 2
1140 Points ∼23% -9%
Honor 7
957 Points ∼19% -23%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2538 Points ∼52% +104%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1503 Points ∼31% +21%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
242.472 MFLOPS ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
273.81 MFLOPS ∼9% +13%
LG G4
506.507 MFLOPS ∼17% +109%
OnePlus 2
818.77 MFLOPS ∼28% +238%
Honor 7
270.13 MFLOPS ∼9% +11%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1295 MFLOPS ∼44% +434%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
839.138 MFLOPS ∼28% +246%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
80.21 MFLOPS ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
95.049 MFLOPS ∼9% +19%
LG G4
361.351 MFLOPS ∼35% +351%
OnePlus 2
630.326 MFLOPS ∼62% +686%
Honor 7
127.15 MFLOPS ∼12% +59%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
669 MFLOPS ∼66% +734%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
625.622 MFLOPS ∼61% +680%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
769 Points ∼38%
Google Nexus 5
648 Points ∼32% -16%
Google Nexus 6
682 Points ∼34% -11%
LG G4
881 Points ∼43% +15%
OnePlus 2
923 Points ∼45% +20%
Honor 7
717 Points ∼35% -7%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1199 Points ∼59% +56%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
778 Points ∼38% +1%
Graphics (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
2038 Points ∼7%
Google Nexus 5
1924 Points ∼7% -6%
Google Nexus 6
2130 Points ∼7% +5%
LG G4
1995 Points ∼7% -2%
OnePlus 2
2631 Points ∼9% +29%
Honor 7
881 Points ∼3% -57%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
4299 Points ∼15% +111%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
2489 Points ∼9% +22%
Memory (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1115 Points ∼15%
Google Nexus 5
628 Points ∼8% -44%
Google Nexus 6
421 Points ∼6% -62%
LG G4
1558 Points ∼21% +40%
OnePlus 2
1297 Points ∼17% +16%
Honor 7
1324 Points ∼18% +19%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1124 Points ∼15% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1426 Points ∼19% +28%
System (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1730 Points ∼11%
Google Nexus 5
2287 Points ∼14% +32%
Google Nexus 6
1604 Points ∼10% -7%
LG G4
2368 Points ∼14% +37%
OnePlus 2
2536 Points ∼15% +47%
Honor 7
2351 Points ∼14% +36%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
3925 Points ∼24% +127%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
3989 Points ∼24% +131%
Overall (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1318 Points ∼16%
Google Nexus 5
1157 Points ∼14% -12%
Google Nexus 6
995 Points ∼12% -25%
LG G4
1596 Points ∼19% +21%
OnePlus 2
1681 Points ∼20% +28%
Honor 7
1184 Points ∼14% -10%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2206 Points ∼26% +67%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1821 Points ∼22% +38%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
4369 points ∼95%
Google Nexus 5
4347 points ∼95% -1%
Google Nexus 6
2108 points ∼46% -52%
LG G4
4118 points ∼90% -6%
OnePlus 2
4325 points ∼94% -1%
Honor 7
4217 points ∼92% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
4498 points ∼98% +3%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
8443 points ∼45%
Google Nexus 5
4966 points ∼26% -41%
Google Nexus 6
7468 points ∼40% -12%
LG G4
8940 points ∼47% +6%
OnePlus 2
10472 points ∼56% +24%
Honor 7
6586 points ∼35% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
13558 points ∼72% +61%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
4324 Points ∼22%
Google Nexus 5
4142 Points ∼21% -4%
LG G4
4579 Points ∼23% +6%
OnePlus 2
4282 Points ∼22% -1%
Honor 7
4625 Points ∼24% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5050 Points ∼26% +17%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
37 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 5
21 fps ∼0% -43%
Google Nexus 6
39 fps ∼0% +5%
LG G4
33.7 fps ∼0% -9%
OnePlus 2
48 fps ∼0% +30%
Honor 7
10 fps ∼0% -73%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
78.9 fps ∼1% +113%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
53 fps ∼0% +43%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
38 fps ∼1%
Google Nexus 5
23 fps ∼1% -39%
Google Nexus 6
28 fps ∼1% -26%
LG G4
24.9 fps ∼1% -34%
OnePlus 2
47 fps ∼1% +24%
Honor 7
11 fps ∼0% -71%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
59 fps ∼2% +55%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
32 fps ∼1% -16%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1002 Points ∼20%
LG G4
1216 Points ∼25% +21%
OnePlus 2
1517 Points ∼31% +51%
Honor 7
819 Points ∼17% -18%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1676 Points ∼34% +67%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1320 Points ∼27% +32%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1127 Points ∼16%
LG G4
440 Points ∼6% -61%
OnePlus 2
846 Points ∼12% -25%
Honor 7
190 Points ∼3% -83%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2601 Points ∼36% +131%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1152 Points ∼16% +2%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1096 Points ∼17%
LG G4
513 Points ∼8% -53%
OnePlus 2
938 Points ∼15% -14%
Honor 7
229 Points ∼4% -79%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2318 Points ∼37% +111%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1186 Points ∼19% +8%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
12451 Points ∼14%
Google Nexus 5
9622 Points ∼11% -23%
Google Nexus 6
18113 Points ∼21% +45%
LG G4
11178 Points ∼13% -10%
OnePlus 2
10985 Points ∼13% -12%
Honor 7
10360 Points ∼12% -17%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
12854 Points ∼15% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
19260 Points ∼22% +55%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
22180 Points ∼4%
Google Nexus 5
15100 Points ∼3% -32%
Google Nexus 6
25480 Points ∼5% +15%
LG G4
23390 Points ∼4% +5%
OnePlus 2
31858 Points ∼6% +44%
Honor 7
10579 Points ∼2% -52%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
41615 Points ∼8% +88%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
23954 Points ∼5% +8%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
18898 Points ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
13404 Points ∼6% -29%
Google Nexus 6
23368 Points ∼10% +24%
LG G4
18821 Points ∼8% 0%
OnePlus 2
22400 Points ∼9% +19%
Honor 7
10528 Points ∼4% -44%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
27795 Points ∼12% +47%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
22723 Points ∼10% +20%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
LG G4
10 fps ∼0%
OnePlus 2
19 fps ∼0%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
28 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
13 fps ∼0%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
LG G4
5.7 fps ∼0%
OnePlus 2
19 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
28 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
6.1 fps ∼0%

Legend

 
Google Nexus 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Google Nexus 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 7 HiSilicon Kirin 935, ARM Mali-T628 MP4, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6S Plus Apple A9, Apple A9 / PowerVR GT7600, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
 
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP8, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

The Nexus 5X is better in the browser tests than in the benchmark programs. Solely Samsung's premium-range Galaxy S6 Edge and Apple's iPhone 6S Plus achieve better scores. A reason is likely the optimized Android 6.0.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
8202 Points ∼16%
Google Nexus 5
5416 Points ∼10%
Google Nexus 5
4722 Points ∼9%
Google Nexus 6
5271 Points ∼10%
LG G4
7832 (min: 6791) Points ∼15%
OnePlus 2
6955 Points ∼13%
Honor 7
4646 Points ∼9%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
15967 Points ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
8650 Points ∼17%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
657.13 ms * ∼7%
Google Nexus 5
1090 ms * ∼12%
Google Nexus 5
716.3 ms * ∼8%
Google Nexus 6
784 ms * ∼9%
LG G4
719 ms * ∼8%
OnePlus 2
739.6 ms * ∼8%
Honor 7
942 ms * ∼10%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
223 ms * ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
347.1 ms * ∼4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
4733.8 ms * ∼8%
Google Nexus 5
7852.3 ms * ∼13%
Google Nexus 6
6124 ms * ∼10%
LG G4
4770.8 ms * ∼8%
OnePlus 2
6585.3 ms * ∼11%
Honor 7
16876 ms * ∼28%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1743 ms * ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
4037.4 ms * ∼7%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
107 Points ∼13%
Google Nexus 5
88 Points ∼11%
LG G4
82 Points ∼10%
OnePlus 2
80 Points ∼10%
Honor 7
67 Points ∼8%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
190 Points ∼24%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
7553 Points ∼39%
Google Nexus 5
3032 Points ∼15%
Google Nexus 6
6559 Points ∼34%
LG G4
7818 Points ∼40%
OnePlus 2
7650 Points ∼39%
Honor 7
4736 Points ∼24%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
15529 Points ∼79%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
9334 Points ∼48%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
45 Points ∼13%
Google Nexus 5
29.4 Points ∼8%
LG G4
43.118 Points ∼12%
OnePlus 2
44.286 Points ∼13%
Honor 7
32.121 Points ∼9%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
118.7 Points ∼34%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
49.193 Points ∼14%

* ... smaller is better

LG installs a - compared with both former models - much faster 32 GB flash memory. In total, the Nexus 5X delivers write and read rates that can definitely compete with the upper-range comparison devices without achieving any new top rates.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
12.21 MB/s ∼5%
Google Nexus 5
0.84 MB/s ∼0%
Google Nexus 6
1.49 MB/s ∼1%
LG G4
15 MB/s ∼6%
OnePlus 2
13.94 MB/s ∼5%
Honor 7
11.3 MB/s ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
19.84 MB/s ∼8%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
24.8 MB/s ∼11%
Google Nexus 5
9.88 MB/s ∼4%
Google Nexus 6
7.85 MB/s ∼3%
LG G4
31.5 MB/s ∼14%
OnePlus 2
21.87 MB/s ∼10%
Honor 7
24.92 MB/s ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
77.43 MB/s ∼34%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
98.64 MB/s ∼17%
Google Nexus 5
15.52 MB/s ∼3%
Google Nexus 6
18.46 MB/s ∼3%
LG G4
153 MB/s ∼26%
OnePlus 2
125.51 MB/s ∼21%
Honor 7
86.99 MB/s ∼15%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
139.12 MB/s ∼24%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
245.19 MB/s ∼14%
Google Nexus 5
74.9 MB/s ∼4%
Google Nexus 6
25.78 MB/s ∼1%
LG G4
251 MB/s ∼14%
OnePlus 2
234.21 MB/s ∼13%
Honor 7
140.64 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
319.25 MB/s ∼18%
BaseMark OS II - Memory (sort by value)
Google Nexus 5X
1115 Points ∼15%
Google Nexus 5
628 Points ∼8%
Google Nexus 6
421 Points ∼6%
LG G4
1558 Points ∼21%
OnePlus 2
1297 Points ∼17%
Honor 7
1324 Points ∼18%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1124 Points ∼15%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1426 Points ∼19%

Games

Although the Adreno 418 GPU in the Nexus 5X is approximately 20% weaker than the Adreno 420 GPU in Google's Nexus 6 reference phone from last year, even demanding games like Asphalt 8 can be rendered smoothly on the Full HD screen using maximum settings. Consequently, less demanding games like Angry Birds 2 also run without problems.

The integrated position sensor and the sensitive touchscreen also function very well, making precise control in games possible. The Nexus 5X also collects plus points for the front-sided speaker that is not covered when holding the smartphone in landscape mode.

Screenshot Asphalt 8
Screenshot Asphalt 8
Screenshot Angry Birds 2
Screenshot Angry Birds 2

Emissions

Temperature

With idle temperatures of just over 25 °C, the Nexus 5X hardly heats up noticeably in idle mode. The handset is also unexpectedly cool under load despite the relatively strong SoC. The hottest spot measured reaches just 37.4 °C here - other premium smartphones often surpass 40 °C. The review sample can even shine with the lowest rates compared with its rivals.

But how does LG manage this balancing act between high performance and only moderate temperatures? The battery test of GFXBench unravels this mystery. It runs the T-Rex test thirty times in succession and records the achievable performance, temperature increase and battery consumption. A performance drop of approximately 20% is seen after the benchmark's sixth run, which increases up to 40% in the further course. That is particularly disappointing since LG managed a much more stable performance in the G4 with the same SoC.

GFXBench: performance
GFXBench: performance
GFXBench: frametimes
GFXBench: frametimes
GFXBench: battery life
GFXBench: battery life
Max. Load
 34.4 °C
94 F
34.2 °C
94 F
29.8 °C
86 F
 
 33.6 °C
92 F
30.8 °C
87 F
28.8 °C
84 F
 
 32.4 °C
90 F
31.2 °C
88 F
28.4 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 34.4 °C = 94 F
Average: 31.5 °C = 89 F
27.8 °C
82 F
30.4 °C
87 F
36.6 °C
98 F
28 °C
82 F
30.2 °C
86 F
37.4 °C
99 F
27.8 °C
82 F
30.2 °C
86 F
34.2 °C
94 F
Maximum: 37.4 °C = 99 F
Average: 31.4 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  25.6 °C = 78 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.5 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 37.4 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

According to the manufacturer's spec sheet, the Nexus 5X is furnished with stereo speaker/s for maximum music enjoyment. This allegation can confidently be seen as a pure catchphrase. While the maximum volume can still be called middling, that is only conditionally true for music playback. Music always sounds somewhat tinny and distorts increasingly in higher volumes. A stereo effect is also not audible since the sound only reaches the user's ear from the lower of the two perforated grilles.

However, the speaker is well-suitable for hands-free utilization; speech remains well-intelligible even in higher volumes. The positioning on the handset's front is also advantageous since the sound is not muffled when placed on a table or in the user's hand.

Connecting standard headphones or headsets is possible via the 3.5 mm jack; the sound was impeccable here.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

No surprises are discovered in power consumption. Solely the weaker Nexus 5 from 2013 and Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge with an AMOLED panel are considerably more frugal. The Nexus 5X is found in the midfield of the comparison devices in most tests. Only the maximum power consumption seems relatively high in view of the sooner compact screen size of 5.2-inches in the comparison field. Although no new records are set, this outcome can be called throughout solid.

The included power supply has a maximum output of 15 watts (5V, 3A) and can recharge the 2700 mAh battery completely within approximately 100 minutes. Half the capacity is reached in roughly 30 minutes. When connected to a conventional USB 3.0 port (Type A), the entire procedure needs about two-and-a-half times longer using a corresponding, not included cable. Wireless charging is not possible.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.36 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.55 / 1.44 / 1.9 Watt
Load midlight 3.36 / 9.76 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Google Nexus 5X
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Google Nexus 6
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
LG G4
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 7
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 935, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
0.55
0.3
45%
1.2
-118%
1.1
-100%
0.6
-9%
1.7
-209%
0.5
9%
0.5
9%
Idle Average *
1.44
0.8
44%
1.5
-4%
1.5
-4%
1.7
-18%
2.9
-101%
1.9
-32%
0.9
37%
Idle Maximum *
1.9
1
47%
1.7
11%
1.9
-0%
1.8
5%
3.3
-74%
2.2
-16%
1.3
32%
Load Average *
3.36
4.3
-28%
4.8
-43%
6.6
-96%
5.7
-70%
4.9
-46%
3.2
5%
3.8
-13%
Load Maximum *
9.76
8.4
14%
10.9
-12%
8.8
10%
6
39%
8.2
16%
6.4
34%
6.8
30%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Some new energy-saving features such as "Doze" and "App Standby" have now been implemented in Android 6.0, and they should lead to better battery runtimes. The test outcomes indicate that they might in fact have a positive effect. The Nexus 5X places itself at the top of the comparison field in both maximum load and idle mode and even outperforms devices with a nominally stronger battery. However, it only achieves midfield in both Wi-Fi browsing and video rendering. The Wi-Fi test rates of the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 can no longer be directly compared with those of more recent smartphones due to a modified, more demanding test procedure.

An energy-saving mode takes effect on the smartphone's power consumption either automatically or manually at a specified rest battery capacity depending on the settings. It reduces the handset's performance and potential background activities. The user also has to waive the vibration feature.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
29h 35min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 46)
6h 52min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 15min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 05min
Google Nexus 5X
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Google Nexus 5
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Google Nexus 6
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
LG G4
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 7
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 935, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
1775
1107
-38%
1153
-35%
1654
-7%
1393
-22%
888
-50%
1655
-7%
1349
-24%
H.264
555
652
17%
501
-10%
580
5%
553
0%
714
29%
417
-25%
WiFi v1.3
412
326
-21%
356
-14%
484
17%
513
25%
534
30%
Load
245
188
-23%
135
-45%
114
-53%
229
-7%
241
-2%
197
-20%
224
-9%
WiFi
734
601

Pros

+ decent build
+ USB Type C port
+ fingerprint reader
+ AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 & NFC
+ accurate GPS module
+ very good telephony features
+ sharp daylight photos
+ superb panel with very good color reproduction
+ decent battery life
+ Android 6.0 and direct updates from Google
+ good performance …

Cons

- … but throttles under permanent load
- maximum of 32 GB storage
- no wireless recharging
- no video output via USB port
- speaker's sound
- non-removable battery
- image quality decreases visible in low-light

Verdict

In review: Google Nexus 5X. Test model courtesy of LG Germany.
In review: Google Nexus 5X. Test model courtesy of LG Germany.

The at first glance relatively restrained-looking Nexus 5X conceals cutting-edge technology under its hood. Besides a modern Snapdragon SoC, all state-of-the-art wireless standards such as AC Wi-Fi at up to 866 Mbit/s, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC are on-board. A variety of mobile network standards is also supported. The integrated fingerprint reader that functions reliably and almost without delays and the very accurate GPS module are other technical treats. The screen also reaps in many plus points with its decent brightness, very good contrast rates, and accurate color reproduction.

The smartphone's primary camera shoots razor-sharp photos in bright surroundings and quickly finds the right focal point thanks to laser support. The bright dual-LED often cannot prevent the image quality from decreasing in dim light. However, image noise increases strongly without it or when the object is further away. Details are then also lost. The option of recording UHD videos is also great, but the tight storage capacity might quickly become a problem. Nexus 5X users will not have more than 32 GB; the base configuration even only offers a 16 GB flash memory.

The Nexus 5X scores in many aspects in routine use. It worthily treads in the footsteps of its indirect predecessor Nexus 5 with a decent battery life, always smoothly responding operating system, and a casing that shines with stability and high-quality build.

Nexus buyers do not have to worry too much about Android updates since they will receive them before many others directly from Google. In addition to the non-expandable storage, the price of 529 Euros (~$581) will likely be the biggest obstacle for the smartphone's success. Many competing products are presently sold at a considerably lower price or offer more for the money. For example, LG's G4 is now available for a price starting at around 450 Euros (~$494) and also lures with an expandable storage and larger 5.5-inch screen.

Google Nexus 5X - 12/23/2015 v4(old)
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
45 / 60 → 75%
Weight
93%
Battery
93%
Display
89%
Games Performance
67 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
52 / 70 → 74%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
65 / 91 → 71%
Camera
77%
Average
79%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Google Nexus 5X Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2015-12-13 (Update: 2015-12-13)