Taking a close look at the Google Nexus 5X

Taking a close look at the Google Nexus 5X
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  • Google Nexus 5X Photo: Special Arrangement

    Special Arrangement
    Google Nexus 5X Photo: Special Arrangement

LG and Google have had a successful partnership, with the Koreans now having made three Nexus devices for the Mountain View-based company. After the lukewarm reception received by the gargantuan Motorola-manufactured Nexus 6 last year, Google needed a turnaround, and they chose to target the discerning performance lovers with the powerful and premium Nexus 6P made by Huawei. But the company also realised that smaller, well-put-together phones have a following, and for that, they dusted off the blueprints of 2013’s runaway hit, the Nexus 5, and called LG to bring it back in a new avatar. Enter the Nexus 5X.
On the tech spec side, this is an update of the 2013 model, but unlike that phone, it does not offer the best hardware currently available. The 5X runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 processor (which LG has used as a safe bet since the higher-end 810 was plagued with overheating issues earlier), has a 5.2-inch 1080P IPS display, 2GB of RAM and 16/32 GB of storage with no micro SD card for expandability. Going with the trend for 2015, the 5X also packs in a fingerprint scanner on the back below the 12.3MP camera. The front camera is the 5MP variety. 

First things first – this phone is very, very light, but its decent footprint and polycarbonate build make it quite enjoyable to handle. The fingerprint scanner occupies the same location as the power button on recent LG offerings, falls to hand easily, and unlocks the device in a flash; the only annoyance being having to lift the phone to unlock it when it’s on a table.
The 5X also shows Google’s commitment to USB Type-C as the standard of the future, and the reversible nature of the port means no more having to check which way you plug in its charging cable. Speaking of cables, the phone comes with a fast-charging-capable adapter, and for some reason, a cable that has Type-C ports on both ends, meaning you cannot use it as a regular data cable or connect it to most portable Power Banks. All this speaks of Google’s plan to ensure that cloud storage and data transfer is the future, but with our slow data connections, this choice of cable is most annoying. Until the standard becomes ubiquitous, it is advisable to get a spare charger for your office, and a data cable that has regular old USB Type-A at one end to connect to computers and portable chargers.
On the performance front, the hexa-core processor holds up to day-to-day tasks as well as its octa-core counterparts, and regular games are handled pretty well too, though on occasion we experienced stutter that caused us to relaunch the game. The 2GB of memory available is probably to blame here, and while Android 6.0 in stock form is light and snappy enough to mask it, a little more memory would have been useful.
The Nexus line is a showcase for Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and the software really shines. It’s snappy, and transitions are fluid, showing that Android is catching up to Apple in this regard. Some interesting new features include the ability to individually control which apps have access to phone features like contacts and camera, and a battery-saving technique called Doze, which puts apps into a hibernative state when the phone is not in use. Doze works wonders for extended periods of inactivity, so if you forget to charge your phone overnight, the battery will still be in good shape the next morning.
The 2,700mAH battery may be insufficient for heavy users, who wake their phone too often for it to… pardon the pun, doze off. On the plus side, the fast-charging feature works incredibly well, with the phone going from 2 per cent to 34 per cent in about 15 minutes. Google Now also gets beefed up with the Now On Tap feature, which can scan whatever is on screen at a given moment and provide relevant information. It’s a bit hit-or-miss at the moment, but holds plenty of potential.
The screen is another strong point, with nice colour reproduction and enough range for comfortable bedtime browsing and visibility under sunlight. The camera, which is capable of 4K video, is not the fastest around, and prolonged use can cause some heating up, but image quality is consistently good in diverse lighting conditions.
All said and done, the Nexus 5X is a mixed bag. It looks and feels great, performs well, and provides the Android experience the way Google intended, which is hard not to love. However, a maximum available storage of 32GB and 2 GB of RAM are below par by 2015 standards, especially at an asking price of just over Rs.30,000 for the 32GB variant (the phone has received some significant price cuts last week). The omission of optical stabilisation for the camera and wireless charging (both present in the old Nexus 5) also make it seem like an incremental update.
The important point, however, is that this is a phone meant for those who want a device that is easy to handle, works well, and receives timely software updates, and it delivers on all those counts. Anyone complaining about the Nexus line not being up to par this year, may want to have a word with the Nexus 6P. 

* Easy to handle
* Great screen
* Stock Android with quick updates
* Fast fingerprint scanner
* Fast charging 

* RAM and internal memory could have been higher
* No expandable storage
* No optical image stabilisation or wireless charging
* Average battery life 

Source: TheHindu
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