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Nexus 5X vs Nexus 5

Five reasons the Nexus 5X is not as good as the old Nexus 5

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If you read the initial feedback online to the announcement of the new Nexus from the technology focused media, you’d probably believe that the Nexus 5X is the best thing since sliced bread. Truth be told, it is not all that great.

From what we could gather online regarding the specifications of the Nexus 5X phone, we found out that many features were either similar or worse than the two-year old Nexus 5. Weird considering both phones are manufactured by the same company, LG.

Here’s a listing of what’s worse, similar, better and debatable in the Nexus 5X.

THE SETBACK

1. No Wireless Charging 

The beauty of just placing your phone on a charging pad is no longer available with the Nexus 5X (or even the Nexus 6P). You have to use a USB Type-C cable, which honestly most people have not even seen in real life. In sharp contrast, the 2013 Nexus 5 charges both wirelessly as well as through a micro-USB charger that you will find at almost any work place or airport today.

2. No Optical Image Stabilisation 

While the rear camera has received a major bump, a basic feature that’s a mainstay on all high-end cameras is sorely missing. The lack of optical image stabilisation could mean that recorded images on the new 5X may not have the same stability as the old 5X.

3. Marginally Heavier 

Even though there is no physical component for wireless charging or optical image stabilisation, the weight of the new Nexus 5X has actually increased to 136 gms from 130gms. Even though this is marginal, it is still baffling.

4. Decreased Screen-to-Body Ratio 

While most phone manufacturers focus on increasing screen to body ratio, the Nexus 5X has actually managed to decrease it from the respectable 70.8% in 2013 to the not so acceptable 69.8% in 2015.

5. Decreased Pixel Density

Believe it or not, the number of pixels per inch in the new phone is also lesser than the in old Nexus 5. The 2013 model has 445 ppi and in comparison the new Nexus 5X has a reduced 423 ppi.

WHAT’S SIMILAR?

  • Both are LTE models (5X is Cat 6 while 5 is Cat 4) 

The LTE is actually faster (300/50 compared to 150/50). But then, is this really a big differentiator for the average consumer?

  • Gorilla Glass 3 (5x has oleophobic coating) 

The 2015 model still uses Gorilla Glass 3 and not Gorilla Glass 4. Albeit they give you oleophobic coating. Again, does that make it significantly better?

  • No Memory Slot Expansion 

One thing that Android does better than the competition is to allow memory card expansion. Yet it doesn’t offer this feature.

  • Similar Storage – 16 or 32 GB 

Really? Only 16 and 32 GB options? No 128GB option? Not even 64GB?

  • 2 GB RAM

Android may run fine on 2GB of RAM. But after two years can’t it at least be increased to 3GB? I mean, Asus gives 4GB for much less.

WHAT’S BETTER?

  • Fingerprint sensor 

There is a fingerprint sensor at the back and if it works as well as it does in the Samsung S6, it is a great feature to help you access the phone quicker. It is also a great security feature to have (I think).

  • Better Cameras 

Even though there is no image stabilisation and the photos may not match that of the iPhone 6S or Samsung S6, we think the new camera will perform much better than the Nexus 5. After all, the one thing where the old Nexus 5 does a not-so-impressive-job is clicking photographs.

  • Faster Charging with bigger battery

The battery size has increased from 2,300 mAh to 2,700 mAh. Also there is a fast charging feature that Google is proud of. This definitely makes the new model better than Nexus 5.

 DEBATABLE IMPROVEMENTS

  • Hexa Core processor rather than Quad Core 

How much of a difference does a 1.8 Ghz hexa-core 64-bit in the 5X make when compared to 2.26 Ghz quad-core in the old Nexus 5? Am not too sure.

  • Type-C rather than Micro USB for charging 

Type-C is the future. But then Micro USB is the present. There is an advantage to having either one.

  • Nano SIM rather than Micro SIM

I doubt iPhone 6 users will be jumping to switch to the 5X. And with the poor upgrade, all those using a Micro SIM may think twice before switching.

 

The 2015 Nexus 5X may be a better phone than the 2013 Nexus 5. But the Nexus 5X is not as compelling a buy today compared to what the Nexus 5 was when it came out in 2013 or the Nexus 4 was when it came out in 2012.

 

 

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Taurus is a technology and automotive enthusiast

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