Google just announced the Nexus 5X and 6P a few hours ago, and anticipation was stellar before the event. Alongside the new Chromecast, Pixel C and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the two new smartphones were announced as the flagship devices that would make Android even more accessible, affordable and powerful. While there are few doubts about that happening in the future, the fans of Nexus seemed a bit disappointed at the keynote and on the web, mostly when thinking of the Nexus 5X.
Google tried reinventing the Nexus 5X this year after it found out that the 2013 version of the handset was a crowd favorite and the Android community wanted more. The company listened to the feedback it got after the original phone and went straight back to the manufacturer, LG to make the next one, which turned out to be the Nexus 5X. Similar in design and price, but that’s where commonalities end.
That raises the question why comments online on articles about the Nexus 5X are more negative than we could have anticipated. There are plenty of good things about the Nexus 5X and its place in the food chain of technology, but fewer when it comes to the fans. The Nexus 5X might be a smooth operator with an excellent track record, but early impressions suggest Google botched things up with the storage.
Nexus 5X specs include a 5.2-inch QHD display (1440*2560), a fingerprint sensor (aka the Nexus Imprint, as per Google) on the rear where the Motorola dimple is on last year’s Nexus 6, a plastic chassis that looks very akin to that of the original unit, a Snapdragon 808 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage for the base model, with a 32 GB model also available, a 2700 mAh battery, a 12.3 MP camera optimized for indoor shooting and low-light conditions, complete with laser autofocus, an 8 MP wide-angle camera on the front, a USB Type C port for charging and a new sensor coprocessor Google is calling Android Sensor Hub (essentially, voice and gesture control).
That’s all folks! a much-improved version of Lollipop, but there’s nothing special about the Nexus 5X. The device isn’t the innovation some expected it to be, but it is Google and Android in their bare skin. Stock Android and a simple user interface, from which you can uninstall bloatware by the way is the definition of Nexus devices – and what people wanted from the Nexus 5 originally.
The main and most common problem with the original Nexus 5 was its camera, which was rubbish in low-light conditions and indoor environments. Google promised that they fixed that with the Nexus 5X camera and early previews suggest they did. The battery life is an uncertainty at this point and we’re probably going to have to wait a few more days to get testing going. Nonetheless, the 2700 mAh juicer should make the Nexus 5X battery life good if not great. Most are expecting about 6 hours of on-screen time. What do you expect?
With the Nexus 6, Google introduced new features and a phone that was awesome, albeit too large. The problem last year was that the Nexus 6 was too expensive. So this year, Google made sure to make the Nexus 5X price as affordable as possible. With that in mind, the search engine giant will start selling the Nexus 5X in the store for $379. That’s the base model, unlocked mind you and that means only 16 GB of storage and that’s where the problem is this time.
Although paying $380 for a Nexus 5X sounds pretty neat, when one thinks about the 16 GB of internal storage that that money buys, enthusiasm seems to dim. The 32 GB model of the handset will go for $429 in the store, which is still relatively cheap. Nonetheless, when considering that apps are becoming larger and larger (Google increased the limits of app sizes in the Google Play Store, from 50 MB to 100 MB, which means developers can now upload larger apps), 16 GB is not enough.
Some advocate that the missing feature from the Nexus 5X would be the microSD card, but that is not true. Google was never a microSD card kind of company, not when it comes to phones. Regardless of company politics, microSD storage won’t help in the long run if internal storage is small. Storing media like photos, music and videos will work with that, but apps that can’t be moved to an sd card (they’re many) will be restricted to internal storage.
Android users are more focused on apps than ever and getting content online has become the prevalent way we consume media. Cloud storage is an everyday occurrence, music and video are streamed, photos are automatically stored in the cloud and files are saved in the same place. Most of the storage that is used on phones is occupied by apps, and most of the apps can’t work with SD storage with factory settings.
The 16 and 32 GB storage options that are available for the Nexus 5X are seen by many in the Android community as a stupid move, because we use more and more apps on a daily basis and developers have their own benefits when it comes to storage space. More and more commenters point out that the Nexus 5X, even though more of a mid-ranger, cannot do well with so little storage. Google should have at least offered a 64 GB model, but a 128 GB one would have been neat, too.
There are many good things about the Nexus 5X features: a high-resolution, optimal size display, a small footprint, a good camera and presumably, a good battery. Android 6.0 Marshmallow looks pretty sweet and we’re hoping it won’t be as buggy as Lollipop was when it came out. But the Nexus 5X isn’t the ideal phone Google promised, and it all comes down to internal storage. People are mad about that, apparently.
It’s not a total loss, however. Although the Nexus 5X isn’t the bundle of joy people had hoped it would be, its sibling is. Google should be happy, because in just a few hours after the launch, the Android community seems enthusiastic about the Nexus 6P and the Huawei collaboration. The large screen is enticing, the camera is ugly, but sounds awesome, the price is more than alright ($500 for the base model), and we’ve a lot of storage and better performance.
The Nexus 5X might be the losing family member, but at least business stays within the family this time. Although it’s too early to say, the Nexus 6P has made waves, heading in the right direction. Google’s event has been a success, even though it might have seemed poorly orchestrated at times. All that is left is to get to go up close and personal with all the new tech.