While current Nexus 6 owners may be cautiously wondering if the upgrade is worth it, Nexus 5 owners have plenty to be excited about. LG returns to build the new-generation 5" Nexus - 5.2" actually - and it brings it up to par with 2015 expectations.
True, it's a bit late to win the flagship game, but they've kept it aggressively priced against the various "flagship killers" coming from young companies. Also, it comes at just the right time for people looking to upgrade from their 2013 Nexus 5.
With a competitive price tag, LG and Google settled on a polycarbonate unibody. The phone has grown taller than its 5" predecessor. Unlike the 6P the Nexus 5X can't point to stereo speakers as the reason for the size increase. Nevertheless, it feels amazingly light and thin.
The camera has moved to the centerline on the back and it sits on a slight hump. Since it's only the camera lens rather than a ridge like on the Nexus 6P, it's not much of a bother.
The focus on low-light shooting continues with the Laser autofocus. Specs-wise, the camera is quite like the one on the 6P - a big update over the old Nexus 5 though we still don't understand why they cut OIS. The camera can record 2160p 4K video as well. The front snapper however is only 5MP instead of 8MP.
The fingerprint reader is below the camera and it's paired with Google's new security software. Until now makers had to implement their own APIs for fingerprint readers, but now that Android supports them natively we may see wide-spread adoption by developers. To start it will be used to secure Android Pay and Google Play transactions.
The old Nexus punched above its weight with a Snapdragon 800, the new one moves into the 64-bit computing era with a Snapdragon 808. The chipset was chosen by LG for its G4 flagship too and in certain circumstances it gets within striking distance of the more powerful 810. Either way, compared to the old model there will be a definite speed bump, especially in graphics. The RAM stays at 2GB, though, which is a little disappointing.
The 808 is built on a more advanced process (20nm vs. 28nm) and it has CPU cores designed specifically for low-power use. Combined with Doze we expect to see improved battery life - the 2,700mAh battery helps too. Let's be honest, the old Nexus 5 was never known for its great battery life.
We snagged a few camera samples with the Nexus 5X.