The new Nexus 5X Android smartphone is Alphabet/Google's (GOOGL) updated version of the popular Nexus 5. Like its predecessor, the Nexus 5X is made by LG Electronics, but that's where the similarities end. The new version blows away its predecessor, even if it's at a slightly higher price.

Nexus 5X has a slightly larger 5.2-inch display than the original Nexus 5. The processor is a 1.8 GHz, hexa-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with an Adreno 418 graphics chip. The 5X comes with 2 GB of RAM and your choice of either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage. The cameras are now 12.3 MP on the back and 5 megapixels up front. The 5X recharges quite quickly via its USB-C port and included charger.

Included in the new phone are a fingerprint sensor below the rear camera and something Google calls the "Android Sensor Hub." This is a second, low-power processor that handles many tasks, like recognizing when you pick up the device, without needing to power-up the main processing chip. The idea is to ultimately extend battery life between charges, which in our test, it did.

One of the benefits of having a Nexus phone is they always run the latest version of Android. Android Marshmallow adds a new level of refinement and power management as well as new features, including "Google Now On Tap" a new generation of searching items related to what's displayed on the screen. In our tests, "Now On Tap" was sometimes slow to respond or refused to respond at all.

The Nexus 5X was wonderful to hold. It weighs just 4.8 ounces and easily fits in every pocket we've tried. The exterior is all plastic, but luckily, it's not slippery and doesn't feel cheap. In our tests, Nexus 5X was a terrific performer. Websites, videos and games all loaded quickly and ran without a glitch.

The biggest stand-out feature is the rear camera. For the first time, Google has blessed one of its Nexus phones with a top-notch camera. Every picture we took looks correctly exposed and our videos were among the best we've ever seen from an Android phone.

Nexus 5X works on all U.S. carriers with the insertion of the proper micro-SIM card for your network. The phone is also one of the first Androids to be able to take advantage of Google's Project Fi cell service. Project Fi automatically switches between Sprint (S) , T-Mobile (TMUS) and Wi-Fi networks for both data and voice calls. In the Nexus 5X, Project Fi seemed to favor Sprint's 4G network, but at lower speeds than we've measured on similar cellular devices.

The Nexus 5X is a worthy contender for best Nexus phone of all time -- except for its new big brother, the Nexus 6P. An unlocked Nexus 5X with 16 GB of storage sells for $379 and a 32 GB model runs $429.

Overall Score: 8.9/10

Find accessories for the Nexus 5X on Amazon here.


This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

More from Technology

Tencent Content Is Not King in China

Tencent Content Is Not King in China

Davos 2019: Salesforce Co-CEO Reveals What Keeps him Up at Night

Davos 2019: Salesforce Co-CEO Reveals What Keeps him Up at Night

IBM Stock Jumps After 'Cleanest Quarter in Years'

IBM Stock Jumps After 'Cleanest Quarter in Years'

Texas Instruments Rises After Beating Earnings Estimates, Missing Guidance

Texas Instruments Rises After Beating Earnings Estimates, Missing Guidance

Micron Stock Still Too Early to Buy

Micron Stock Still Too Early to Buy