Google Nexus 5X review: Google’s 2015 phone will NOT get Android P or any more major updates

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Google Nexus 5X review: USB Type-C and fingerprint reader

You can probably tell that the Nexus 5X is not for the fashion-conscious user – it’s a jeans and T-shirt smartphone to the Samsung Galaxy S6’s white Armani suit. One thing it does deliver, however, is all the latest in smartphone technologies.

There are two aspects of this you’ll notice right away. First, the Nexus 5X has a USB Type-C socket, a new type of charging and data transfer port, located on the bottom edge of the phone. Second, it has a fingerprint reader, which sits on the rear of the phone, just below the slightly-protruding camera housing.

From a design perspective, the decision on Google’s part to implement both technologies is to be applauded. I much prefer Type-C’s physical design to the ubiquitous micro-USB. It’s reversible so can’t be forced in the wrong way, and it engages with a more positive click than most micro-USB ports do. You’ll need to budget for spare cables, though, and purchase an adapter straight away if you want to plug it into a laptop or your car charger. Bizarrely, the cable in the box is a double-ended Type-C cable, which can’t be connected to most modern chargers and computers.

Google Nexus 5: USB Type-C port

The fingerprint reader (dubbed Nexus Imprint) works beautifully. It allows you to purchase Google Play content quickly and simply, without having to type in a password. Its position on the rear means it falls naturally under your index finger as you pick up the phone, but it doesn’t work as well when your phone’s resting on a surface. I found it more than a little annoying having to pick up the phone to unlock it, then put it back down again. 

Still, it’s quick and easy to register your fingerprints, and – so Google claims – will also learn and become more accurate as you use it. Frankly, I’m not sure it needs to. The only time the Nexus 5X failed to recognise my fingerprint was when I placed my finger half-on and half-off the sensor, and even then it worked most of the time anyway. On every other occasion, it worked flawlessly and quickly. For reference, it’s roughly on a par with the iPhone 6s’ Touch ID sensor in terms of how quickly you can unlock the phone with it. It’s that rapid.

Given all this cutting-edge technology, it’s a touch disappointing that Google continues to omit one of the more humdrum elements – expandable storage – from its Nexus handsets. Once you’ve bought your 16GB or 32GB Nexus 5X, you’ll be stuck with it, so choose carefully when you buy or you’ll find yourself running out of space in no time flat.

Google Nexus 5X: Rear

Google Nexus 5X specifications

ProcessorHexacore (dual 1.8GHz and quad 1.4GHz), Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Screen size5.2in
Screen resolution1,080 x 1,920, 424ppi (Gorilla Glass 4)
Screen typeIPS
Front camera5MP
Rear camera12.3MP (f/2, laser autofocus)
FlashDual LED
Memory card slot (supplied)No
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2
Wireless data4G
Size (WDH)73 x 7.9 x 147mm
Operating systemAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
Battery size2,700mAh

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