For the next two weeks (I think) I have both the LG Nexus 5X and the Huawei Nexus 6P in my possession. As the means exist to root and theme Android’s latest iteration, I’ll be making each Nexus my full time device in turn, and reporting my findings here. Remember, I don’t do phone reviews—instead, consider this an ongoing journal of observations from a hard-core Nexus user.
I’m starting with the 5X. I’ve already indicated a fairly strong bias towards this year’s non-phablet Nexus, and want to see if that opinion holds after 5 days of use. I spent about two hours setting it up yesterday; here are my findings thus far.
My preparation for these extended tests began last week, with a search on Amazon for appropriate device protection. I generally take good care of my phones and part of that regime includes a good TPU case.
At the last HoFo meetup user HC no “i“ hipped me to a company called Diztronic, who sell through Amazon and have cleverly registered the domain tpu-cases.com—unfortunately their Nexus 5X case is not yet available in Canada, so I went instead for the cheapest option with the fastest delivery: a rubberized case with hard plastic shell from Moko. I had a case like this for my Galaxy Nexus back in the day; it’s a bit overkill but better than nothing.
I got the same case for the 6P; they’re due to arrive tomorrow.
New Nexus 5X owners—especially those who want to unlock the device’s bootloader straightaway—are going to be seriously inconvenienced by the fact that there’s no USB-A to USB-C cable included in the box. Fortunately for me it was included with the 6P, but it’s a pretty short cable.
If you’re shopping on Amazon for a way to connect your 5X to your computer, be on the lookout for the Google engineer who’s flagging incompatible products. Or just order your cable direct from Google.
After less than 24 hours I’ve already come to realize that the build quality of LG’s 2015 5X is absolutely not up to the same standard of their 2013 Nexus 5. There’s a very noticeable rattle when you shake the phone. I thought it might be loose power or volume keys; held them down and the rattle was still present. I’m hoping it’s the SIM card tray; it’s definitely muted with a SIM card in place, but it’s still there.
There’s also a surprising tendency for the chassis to creak, especially when you press down along the edges of the screen. On devices I’ve tested in the last few years I’ve only ever seen this on the Xiaomi Redmi 1S that I bought back with me from Hong Kong. That phone cost me less than $150 CAD; a creaky chassis on a $500 CAD Nexus is definitely not cool.
Here’s a real slap in the face for Android modders… you’re going to see this warning each and every time you boot up your rooted Nexus 5X. Who knew that one day Nexus would need an equivalent to Triangle Away?
Strike two for the 5X. And strike one for the 6P, I’m guessing.
Finally a bit of good news: This 5X is the lowly 16GB model, but with all my apps and podcasts loaded up I’ve so far managed to use less than 5.5 of the available 10.67GB. If you’re planning on recording lots of 4K video the 5X clearly isn’t for you, but for me? So far, so good…