Tech Review: Google Nexus 5x

Tech Review Nexus 5x header

I bought the Google Nexus 5x smartphone about a year after its initial introduction to the market, and I wasn’t disappointed with it. The smartphone did everything I needed it to do, but it didn’t last as long as I’d hoped it would. So in case any of you are looking to purchase a new smartphone, let me share my experience.

Google Nexus 5xThe Product

The Google Nexus 5x smartphone is generally considered a great all-around purchase for smartphone users. It doesn’t have top-of-the-line software or hardware, but it’s a solid Android phone.

The camera is high quality (rear camera is 12.3 megapixel; front camera is 5 megapixel), and the 5.2-inch display is a really durable screen (Gorilla Glass). The phone automatically connects and syncs with your Google accounts, including Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar, YouTube, Maps, Photos, and more.

Nexus 5x also has a fingerprint scanner for increased security.

Important Dates

  • December 2015 – Nexus 5x smartphone released for the public using Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system
  • January 23, 2016 – Date I purchased my Nexus 5x
  • August 2016 – Android 7.0 Nougat operating system for Nexus 5x released
  • May 10, 2017 – Date my Nexus 5x gave up the ghost
  • September 2017 – Guaranteed date that Google will supply Android updates for Nexus 5x smartphones

Why I went with Nexus 5x

smartphone I started my own copywriting business in February 2015, and at the time I had an old smartphone (an LG Spectrum II) leftover from the contract plan I’d signed with Verizon two years earlier. The old phone did its job mostly, and I had no real complaints, other than how slow it took to do everything. So when my own Spectrum II bit the dust, I knew I needed to upgrade, but I didn’t want another contract plan phone. And I didn’t want to make monthly payments. I also wanted an unlocked phone.

Once I decided to go with an unlocked, contract-free phone, I knew my options were going to be fairly limited. I wanted something that was well reviewed, high quality, dependable, and easy to use. Also, since I wasn’t made of money, I wanted something reasonably priced.

I stumbled on to the Nexus 5x after doing some research online. I read several reviews on CNET and PCMag, which are both reputable companies when it comes to technology research. All of them were in agreement: The Nexus 5x wasn’t the best smartphone on the market, but it was the best value. It would do everything I needed it to do reliably, and it wouldn’t break the bank. And that’s all I really wanted.

The Damage

When I bought my Nexus 5x in January 2016, it was priced at $349. With tax, the total I paid was $376.92. That sounds like a lot for a phone, especially since you can get “better” phones for free with two-year contracts. But I didn’t want to be locked into a contract, and other unlocked smartphones range in price from $500 to $800. So under $400 was a bargain.


LG Nexus PhonesMy Nexus 5x could run several apps at once without slowing down its processing speed at all. It had all the features of a standard smartphone, and it included some nice perks that I didn’t expect. I didn’t really expect the connection to my Google accounts to be useful, but I was wrong. Being able to access my documents directly and share documents, photos, and spreadsheets instantly turned out to be extraordinarily handy.

At first, its battery life was pretty spectacular. It would go for a really long time without needing a charge, and when I did need to charge it, I could get almost a full day’s charge in like 30 minutes. Of course, that decreased with time, but until the day it died, I could still get most of a full day’s hard use out of one charge.

Its level of connectivity and phone signal was nice too. Part of that could be Verizon’s excellent service, but I think the phone was just really easy to use for calling. The camera was easy to use, and while I never used the fingerprint security, I’m sure it would have been intuitive.


Nexus 5x PhonesFor all the things I loved about my Nexus 5x, there were a few things I didn’t much care for. The most irritating aspect was the charger. Part of the reason it was able to charge so quickly came from the type of USB connection it used, a Type-C charger. It’s fast, sure, but there were no other devices in my collection that used the Type-C charger. And if I wanted to use my external battery to power my Nexus 5x, I had to get a separate adapter. It worked, but it was a headache.

Also, the Nexus 5x only comes with 16MB of memory. Granted, that was twice what my old Spectrum II had, but 16MB isn’t that much when you think about it. And there was no way to expand the memory. So more often than not, I had to either delete apps or clear out my photos. Now, Google Photos allowed me to back everything up in the Cloud, but still, it would have been nicer if I could have had a Micro SD Card slot to expand the memory.

Another issue, the Nexus 5x did not provide easy access to the battery. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in my experience, when a smartphone freezes up or starts acting weird, sometimes you need to pull the battery out and put it back in. That wasn’t going to happen with a Nexus 5x.


Google Nexus 5x smartphone reviewI loved my Nexus 5x, and I would recommend it again to anyone looking for a reliable smartphone. But I will caution you that after two years of hard use, you might need to look for a replacement.

I was really sad when it kicked the proverbial bucket. But I’ve moved on now to a Moto G5 Plus, much to my personal chagrin. I despise their commercials, but the phone was reasonable and well reviewed. So you can expect a post on my new phone in a few months, assuming it continues to work and doesn’t get me stranded somewhere.


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