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.
UPDATE: The Nexus 5X is involved in a class-action lawsuit against LG. This suit claims that the Nexus 5X suffers from a hardware issue in which the CPU soldering cracks under normal use, causing the device to get stuck in a permanent boot loop. Ian R Buck and Ian Decker both had this problem with their phones, and had to get them replaced. In Buck's case, even the replacement device succumbed to the issue after only two months. You should not buy a Nexus 5X, but we are leaving our original review here for you to listen to because the other aspects of the device still merit discussion.

Hardware

  • 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.

Software

  • 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)

Performance

  • 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

Attributions