Google Nexus 5X lands in US, UK and other key markets

The new Nexus device carries on the tradition as a budget-friendly phone without the frills and features often added by Android device makers.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Will Google's new Nexus 5 offer the right features and price to woo buyers? Google

The Nexus 5X smartphone, one of two new beacons for those who want a "pure Android" device, became available Monday.

Made by LG for Google, the Nexus 5X is up for sale at the online Google Store and also via major wireless carriers and retailers in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, India, Korea and Japan.

Nexus phones don't offer all the add-ons and extra features typically found on smartphones made by Samsung, LG and other vendors, but that's the point. They're designed for people who want the Android mobile software without all the bells, whistles and tweaks imposed by the phone manufacturers as well as the wireless carriers.

The phones also come unlocked, meaning users can tinker with them. Plus, the cost is reasonable, especially these days when it's common to pay the full retail price of a new phone rather than get a discount that means being stuck with a two-year contract.

The 5X is priced at $379 (£339, AU$659) for the 16-gigabyte version and $429 (£379, AU$759) for the 32GB edition.

"Nexus devices are about having the newest, purest Android experience possible in an advanced package that doesn't break the bank," Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, said in a statement. "The Nexus 5X was designed from the ground up to live up to the expectations of the millions of Android purists worldwide who won't accept second best."

Google unveiled the 5X in late September along with the larger Nexus 6P, made by Huawei.

The 5X marks the third time Google has tapped LG to create a Nexus phone, following the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 . It sacrifices some quality in construction and design to achieve its budget-conscious price tag, according to CNET's review, though it boasts some flashy new features.

Powered by a six-core Snapdragon 808 processor, the Nexus 5X offers a 5.2-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel screen with a 12.3-megapixel rear camera. A USB Type-C connection allows for fast charging. A fingerprint sensor rests on the rear of the device so you can press it if you're holding the phone with one hand. And the 5X is the first smartphone on the market to come with the newest update to Android, version 6.0 Marshmallow. The phone is available in three colors: carbon black, quartz white and ice blue.

The 5X is also a return to the Nexus roots of smaller and cheaper. Last year's Nexus 6, made by Motorola, didn't take off with consumers. Analysts blamed the device's large (5.96-inch) display, but the Nexus 6 also carried a price tag of $649.

The new LG phone will travel to additional markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America over the following weeks, according to Google.

Google did not immediately respond to CNET's request for additional comment.