Google unveiled the long-rumored Nexus 5X on Tuesday, one of two updates to its Nexus line of smartphones and a cheaper alternative to Samsung's Galaxy line and Apple's iPhone. The device, which runs the latest Android operating system, Marshmallow, is a sequel to the 2013 Nexus 5, and was unveiled along with the more expensive Nexus 6P.
The appeal of the Nexus line has long been that the phone is one of the cleanest implementations of pure Android that is possible, but that doesn't mean what's on offer isn't exciting. The 5X comes encased in a plastic shell, coming in at 7.9mm thick. A 5.2-inch screen with 1920x1080 resolution won't be winning the resolution wars with contenders like the LG G3's 4K screen, but you'd be hard pressed to spot the pixels at normal viewing distance. And in practice, that's what actually matters.
The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with 2GB of memory. The 12.3 megapixel camera boasts an ultrawide f/2.0 aperture, optical image stabilization, two-tone LED flash and laser autofocusing. The camera was one of the main criticisms of the 5X's predecessor, so the upgrades should be a welcome improvement. The Nexus 5X also supports slo-mo video at 120fps and 4K video.
The phone comes with Google's new Android Marshmallow operating system, and takes advantage of the update's native fingerprint scanning by positioning a sensor on the back of the device. Nexus Imprint, as the company is calling it, can detect a finger in less than 600ms. The 5X also reduces the number of apps, listening to customer concerns about bloatware on smartphones. The company has also moved over a quarter of apps to the post-installation phase, meaning the user can remove them as they wish.
The 5X will be available for preorder next week in the U.S., costing $379 for the 16GB version and $429 for the 32GB version. Both phones will begin shipping later in October and work across major carriers in the U.S. and internationally. The device will also include a 90-day subscription to Google Play Music. Unfortunately, there is no option to upgrade via microSD, making the initial buying decision all the more crucial. The phone will be available in Quartz White, Carbon Black and Ice Blue.