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Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P Reviews Arrive (arstechnica.com) 190

An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, Google announced its new Nexus phones — the 5X built by LG, and the 6P built by Huawei. The phones are starting to ship, and reviews for both devices have landed. So far, they're largely positive. Ars Technica calls them the Android phones to beat, though criticizes them for having fairly large bezels and no wireless charging. Android Police says the 6P's form factor is an improvement over the Nexus 6, being slightly narrower and taller. Meanwhile, most publications report that the 5X does a good job at carrying on the legacy of the excellent Nexus 5. It's their lower end phone, and most reviews mention that it feels that way in the hand — but battery life is reportedly excellent. The Nexus 6P's battery is capable, but doesn't last as long. Fortunately, the worries about overheating with its Snapdragon 810 chip seem overblown.
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Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P Reviews Arrive

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  • 16GB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:35PM (#50759149)

    " Starting at $379 for a 16GB version, the Nexus 5X is nearly as cheap as the 2013 Nexus 5, which started at $349."

    I wish Nexus had taken a different tack than Apple, marketing a 16GB phone as entry level when few people are going to be happy with that. I understand that some suits somewhere told them to hit a certain price point, but 16GB is not going to leave users happy.

    And on the high end, only having a 16GB and 32GB option are not going to leave power users very happy. Some of us might want a lot of storage for music and other media, but not want a phone that's too large to use one handed like the "P" phones.

    • I have 16gb, so does my wife. I'm not so into apps, but my wife has like a hundred. Neither of us has any problem (and anyway, doesn't it allow a micro-SD card?)

      Just Googling, it looks like 91% of iPhone users have 16gb or less.

      While 16gb isn't enough for everybody, it's enough for most people.

      • 91% of iPhone users have 16GB of less because it costs an extra $100 for the next model up, and it already costs around $650 to begin with. I don't have any hard statistics, but the vast majority of people I know with phones that have SD card slows have an SD card in there. Most of them have 16 or 32 GB cards in there on top of what's already in the phone. Also, a large percentage of people I know with an iPhone constantly complain that there is too little space for them to store their stuff.

      • 16GB works fine if you have cloud backup, unlimited data plan, and are always close enough to a 4G cell tower. Otherwise, you're probably going to need more memory, especially if you're constantly taking pictures and videos like my daughter. Of course, if you only use your phone for phone calls, you also don't need much memory.
      • and anyway, doesn't it allow a micro-SD card?

        No, they don't. These are just like Apple phones that way. That's the whole problem.

        • In terms of modern android phones, only the LG G4 and the lesser known OnePlus Two still have microSD. It's a shame because marshmallow finally is treating external storage correctly instead of a red-headed stepchild.
          • Re:16GB (Score:4, Informative)

            by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 19, 2015 @02:46PM (#50760335) Homepage Journal

            In terms of modern android phones, only the LG G4 and the lesser known OnePlus Two still have microSD.

            bollocks. You're forgetting Motorola, it seems like pretty much all of their big phones have them, and most of them are available in dual sim versions — even the sub-$200 Moto G.

            • Re:16GB (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Geeky ( 90998 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @04:56PM (#50761415)

              And Sony, at least on the Xperia Z5. I know Sony isn't popular around here, but I like the fact they also offer a compact version for people who want a pretty decent spec phone that will actually fit in a pocket.

            • These Moto phones look interesting; I'll have to keep them in mind next time I'm in the market for a phone.

              With a dual-sim in the US, is it possible to use multiple networks, such as Sprint & T-Mobile? I really haven't heard much about dual-sim phones before.

    • I have a phone with 8GB, and I'm perfectly happy. But only because it has an SD card slot where I can store my music and pictures. I don't know why everybody thinks it's such a good idea to not have an SD card slot. Personally, I thought I was making a compromise because my phone only came with SDHC and not SDXC. I really don't care what reasons they come up with. I will never buy a phone without expandable storage options.

      • Everyone thinks it's a great idea because everyone thinks you should just store all that data in "the cloud". Then you can pay extra money to access it at 4G data rates.

        • Everyone thinks it's a great idea because everyone thinks you should just store all that data in "the cloud".

          Who is "everyone"? Plenty of manufacturers offer SD cards in their devices and plenty of manufacturers offer large amounts of built-in storage. It often is a good idea to store data somewhere other than a smartphone that can be lost, stolen or destroyed pretty easily. Indeed taking photos and sharing them online is one of the key uses of smartphones these days as is using streaming music services over buying, maintaining and synchronizing your own music collection.

          Then you can pay extra money to access it at 4G data rates.

          Convenience and security costs money, thank

    • Or, you know, you could just include a microSD card slot, and sell the phone with no flash memory at all for even less...
    • Get over it, 16GB is more than enough for most buyers. It's always the most popular option. For $379 including free shipping (shipping was extra on Nexus 5), it's hard to beat.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      16GB is enough for me, I use KDE Connect for fast exchange of data with my computers and other Android devices.
    • but 16GB is not going to leave users happy.

      It would be plenty if users could delete the bloatware they'll never use and didn't want.

    • So they decided not to include a removable SD card storage, huh? Unfortunate.

      I looked at the Nexus phones when I decided I needed to replace my aging HTC "Vivid", which was becoming pretty unreliable. I looked at a LOT of phones, including ones made by LG and Huawei. Samsung was at the top of my list, but even the previous gen phones were a little over my budget. I ruled out HTC because of their awful updates (or should I say lack of them). It was still running Android 4.0.4 - same thing it had when I

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      I wish Nexus had taken a different tack than Apple, marketing a 16GB phone as entry level when few people are going to be happy with that.

      I'm not.

      Also I think you're seriously overestimating the number of people who require a lot of storage on their phones. I'd bet that the only reason that people get larger capacity phones is because they're offered to them at the same price with their contract.

      Making a small capacity phone that is cheap is a very smart move by Google, there's a lot of people like

  • Support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:48PM (#50759263)

    So, how long will a $400-500 phone last us?

    Google supports Nexus phones with major updates for "at least two years" now, and security updates for "the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store," which is better than any other Android OEM out there. After the Stagefright vulnerability cropped up, Google instituted a monthly security update schedule, and so far Nexus devices have gotten OTAs in August, September, and October, right on schedule.

    It's good to see this stated up front. I'm hoping that this becomes a trend in the industry. The expected lifetime of the phone is going to be a very important factor when deciding on my next one.

    • So, how long will a $400-500 phone last us?

      Google supports Nexus phones with major updates for "at least two years" now, and security updates for "the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store," which is better than any other Android OEM out there. After the Stagefright vulnerability cropped up, Google instituted a monthly security update schedule, and so far Nexus devices have gotten OTAs in August, September, and October, right on schedule.

      It's good to see this stated up front. I'm hoping that this becomes a trend in the industry. The expected lifetime of the phone is going to be a very important factor when deciding on my next one.

      I have a Nexus 4 that has been getting major updates for about 3 years now. If you look at Apple's compatibility chart for iOS 9 you'll see that it supports devices about as old as the Nexus 4. So it looks like they are maintaining status quo with Apple.

      • I have a Nexus 4 that has been getting major updates for about 3 years now. If you look at Apple's compatibility chart for iOS 9 you'll see that it supports devices about as old as the Nexus 4. So it looks like they are maintaining status quo with Apple.

        Perhaps a bit better in that Google is committing to updates for a defined duration. Apple has done a good job with deploying updates to older devices, but they don't actually make any promises about what they'll do in the future, as far as I can tell.

        I'm hoping Google's move here will start an industry trend to specific support commitments, across and perhaps even beyond the Android ecosystem.

        • I think the reason that Apple still supports these older devices is the iPad 2. They have a bunch of education contracts that require them to make devices available to school districts for a specific price (replacement devices for iPad 2). If they stop manufacturing the iPad 2 then they have to supply newer hardware to schools at the same price, thereby decreasing their profit margins. This is pure speculation on my part, however.
  • by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @12:49PM (#50759275) Journal

    First, the actual comment from TFA was:

    Daily battery life was nothing short of astounding and ranks among the best any modern smartphone can offer. The larger battery certainly helps and it’s likely that optimizations within Android 6.0 Marshmallow are doing quite a bit of work here too. I was able to get over 6 and a half hours of screen on time here with normal web browsing, chatting and video watching during a full day. This is among the best battery life you’ll find on any smartphone regardless of the specs, you’re looking at something truly magical here.

    Second, as discussed extensively on reddit [reddit.com], it's way too early to draw any conclusions about the battery. Nobody has had the phone for more than a few days.

  • I like bezels and I wish my phone had a bigger one. I like to be able to lean back or lay down but I'd rather use my thumb and finger to push the phone up by using the bezel instead of having to hold it from the sides.
  • While there are advantages to wireless charging, the drawbacks for mobile phones make it somewhat less practical. I suppose the penultimate goal is that your device is charged all the time while in your pocket while you are in an area. The reality is that inductive charging 1) requires the device to be somewhat close to a charging station, 2) is less efficient than wired charging, and 3) takes more time than wired charging.
    • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

      It's convenience. It's easier to lay your phone on the charging pad in a car, for example, than plugging in a micro-USB cable. Plus you don't have cables lying around everywhere, in the car, in the house, at work, etc.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Lack of wireless charging is a huge loss. I'd have pre-ordered a 6P if it had wireless charging. Not only an I used to it now, but I've got a lot of chargers.

        It really marrs an otherwise great product.

    • by alcmena ( 312085 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @01:34PM (#50759729)
      I like it because it doesn't create any wear on the USB connector.
      • I like it because it doesn't create any wear on the USB connector.

        It's also a nice solution for devices whose USB connectors are broken. For a lot of Android devices with removable batteries (not Nexus devices) you can get after-market charging antennas to install inside the back cover and make it possible to charge a device that would otherwise need a potentially-expensive repair.

    • by msevior ( 145103 )

      Wireless charging is an awesome feature. Its really easy to slot my Nexus 5 in and out of the cradle of my car system. Bingo! No fiddling to things connected etc. I can't believe they dropped the feature. My partner has an iPhone 6P and she's really jealous she can't do that with a phone that costs 3 time more than mine.

  • I was disappointed by the lack of wireless charging and "only" 32GB for the Nexus 5X so am holding onto my Nexus 5 for now. Are there any other good options for a pure android phone (I bought a Samsung S5, but sold it after a month since I couldn't get used to their Touchwiz interface)? I don't really want to go down the route of Cyanogen mod or other releases where I have to flash the phone myself and some features may or may not be supported.

    I'd really like the better camera of the 5X, but don't want to g

    • by mrops ( 927562 )

      MOTO X Style (Pure) is awesome.
      Xperia Z5, particularly the Compact comes to mind, Sony is going to go minimalistic on the UI.
      Oneplus 2 also come to mind, but thier invite system leaves much to be desired.

  • I'm sill on Android 4.4.4. This phone has never had an update, This phone was released in June 2014. Hardly an old phone. It was the flagship phone then.

    The built in file manager shows all of my files stored in internal memory. All of my pictures etc are actually stored on the sdcard. When I remove the sdcard I can view these files on my pc.

    The alarm works most of the time. The snooze button works once then the second time fails.

    With this in mind I was very surprised that Google thought this was a good idea

    • Google releases the updates to nexus phones, so it doesn't matter who the manufacturer is. As long as the hardware is good, then that's all that matters for a nexus phone.
  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Monday October 19, 2015 @01:36PM (#50759749)
    I have a Gen1 Moto G and given it is on the POS Verizon network, I have all but two of the Stagefright vulnerabilities and no doubt will until the sun explodes. The normal advice is to get a new phone that has a chance of a decent length of support, meaning Apple [insert walled-garden retching sounds here] or the Nexus line.

    But the enlarged heart of the problem is the GIGANTISM that still runs amok among capable phones. I don't want anything larger than what I have (needing a backpack to lug around what are now basically phablets that won't fit into even American-sized pockets), which leaves me virtually no choice than the screendoor security I already have.

    I guess I could try the hacked ROM path, but even now it seems so patchwork and stable as a house of cards (nightlies? for a fucking phone?) and I just can't imagine such rag-tag bands has perfected true security, leaving one open for the next lucrative zero-day (or taking a big check from organized crime to build-in a backdoor).
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Has there been a single instance of Stagefright being exploited in the wild? It really seems to have been massively overblown.

      You could install Cyanogenmod too. 12.1 is supported and includes a fix for Stagefright. You download a single app and it installs automatically, no hassle at all.

  • No MicroSD is a dealbreaker for me.

    No removeable battery is a dealbreaker for me.

    These have both flaws. Will not buy, at any pricepoint.

  • [The Nexus 5X is] their lower end phone, and most reviews mention that it feels that way in the hand — but battery life is reportedly excellent. The Nexus 6P's battery is capable, but doesn't last as long.

    In both battery benchmarks in the article, the Nexus 6P scores better. 631 vs. 548 and 277 vs. 207. It would seem at least from this article that the 6p battery situation is just better than the 5x, contradicting the article summary.

  • The only reason I've been considering this phone is to let my family join the Google Fi project, because of the reasonable plan $ options ($20/month, and good data rates), and the ability to roam globally without extortionate fees. (and just to stick it to the major carriers assholishness).

    However, regardless of how good the phone may be relative to past versions of Nexus, they're all familiar with iPhone and iOS now, and to break out of that is a big hurdle in itself. The tie-ins of iMessage, ease of
  • I guess my run of always buying the latest Nexus phones is over. Wireless charging is just to damn convenient to give up. I just can't go back to plugging in every time I return to my desk/couch, or risking a flat battery. If it hasn't got wireless charging it isn't a premium phone, it is just another compromise product.
  • Will Google be paying the Microsoft Android tax on these Google Nexus mobile devices?
  • The Nexus 5, like the Nexus 4, like the Galaxy Nexus, was a 5" device that fits into a pocket. I've used the same sleeve case for all three.

    The 5x is bigger. It's too big.

    Given the Nexus 6 debacle I'd hoped Google would realise that there are a bunch of people that don't want to walk around with a fucking handbag just to hold their phone. Who find holsters inconvenient, awkward and uncomfortable. Who want a sensibly sized fucking phone.

    But no. They want you to buy the humungous 6p or the stupidly oversized

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