Second Opinion

Second Opinion is a reviews show about anything and everything under the sun. If we can experience it, we can review it.

Nexus 5X

Episode #4The Fringe #362

Ryan Rampersad grills Ian R Buck about his experiences with his Nexus 5X.


  • Size

    • Just a tad larger than perfect
    • Still feels well-balanced
    • Way lighter than Nexus 5
  • Buttons

    • Placement is suboptimal, but not terrible
    • I miss the ceramic buttons of the Nexus 5
  • Fingerprint sensor

    • Really fast!
    • No false positives, relatively few false negatives
    • Placement is good; when holding a phone this size, you don’t want to have to hold your thumb on the chin of the phone
    • I trained it to recognize three fingers: both indexes, and right middle finger
    • I am conflicted about the fact that unlocking with the fingerprint sensor skips the lock screen. I have to decide whether or not I want to see and/or interact with my notifications BEFORE I take the phone out of my pocket. So I still have some of the Smart Lock features on so I don’t have to worry about the pattern when I open a notification instead of using the fingerprint sensor.
  • I like the matte plastic

    • Doesn’t slip out of the hands
    • Doesn’t feel cheap
  • Camera

    • Camera bulge actually was incorporated into the design of the phone
    • Flash is really good
    • Camera app takes a moment to open
  • Headphone jack is on the bottom! Halleluiah!

  • USB Type C

    • The future is now
    • Having a reversible connector is REALLY nice
    • You want to get a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cord so you can use the vast majority of charging bricks
  • Speakers

    • Front-facing
      • Only the bottom one is a proper speaker
      • Great for watching things
      • Less great for hearing notifications when it is in the pocket
  • Notification light

    • Very clever placement in the middle of the bottom speaker grille
  • Screen

    • Perfect size
    • I am glad that they did not go up from 1080p
    • Not AMOLED is a bummer
  • Battery life

    • Good!
    • Lasts most weekdays with over 15% left at the end.
    • Playing Zombies, Run! on the way home from work has changed that. Often charge it during my nap.
    • Rapid charging goes up about 1% per minute.


  • Always has the latest version of Android

  • Ambient display

    • Black-and-white view of the time and notifications
    • Doesn’t have the best sense for when I want to see the time vs. when it is just being jiggled
    • Activates when a notification comes in, à la iOS
  • Always listening for “Okay Google”

    • The setting sometimes gets turned off for no reason
    • Has trouble (I think when Doze is throttling the phone)


  • No significant difference from the Nexus 5
  • Has trouble with the same types of situations

    • Doing several things at once
    • Link Bubble in use
    • Keyboard stutters
  • 32GB storage is still fine, but doesn’t let me go crazy installing everything.

Nexus Protect

  • Haven’t broken my phone yet, so I don’t know how smooth the system is
  • Has given me the confidence to forget about getting a screen protector