Today we discuss what I think is the 5X’s biggest shortcoming. It’s not the 1080p LCD display, which could perhaps do better in bright sunlight but is otherwise fine. It’s not the speaker—even a single front-firing speaker sounds better to me than any of the bottom-firing speakers I’ve put up with prior to my Nexus 6.
No, for me the 5X’s Achilles heel is its battery. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not great.
The Doze feature in Android Marshmallow can certainly give you more time between charges. In the grab above you can see it doing its thing as my 5X lies dormant overnight.
Here’s the battery drain during daytime use. As you can see I didn’t put my phone down long enough for Doze to be of any significant benefit. Blame my favourite guilty pleasure, I guess. 😉 If you were wondering, screen-on time for this period was 3 hours, 5 minutes and 33 seconds.
I reckon you could safely squeeze about 12 hours of moderate use out of the 5X’s 2700 mAh battery. But heavy usage is going to be a problem.
I’ve seen a lot of discounted Anker portable chargers on Amazon as of late, and I think I understand why—3 Amp chargers seem to be the way forward for high-end Android devices. As a test I tried plugging a dead 5X into a 2 Amp charger; 5 minutes later it still wouldn’t power up. If you tried to top-up a 5X with anything less than 3 Amps it’s entirely possible that you’d deplete your battery faster than you could charge. And good luck finding a 3 Amp external battery, though I’m hopeful it won’t be a problem that lasts too far into 2016.
USB-C continues to be a minor nuisance, compounded by the compatibility issues mentioned in Monday’s post. Until these power and connectivity issues are sorted out it would be hard for me to recommend the Nexus 5X as a vacation phone, despite its excellent camera and LTE band support. Bummer.