CNET First Look
Google's Nexus 5X is a wolf in sheep's clothingThe smaller Nexus flagship won't break the bank, but might cramp your style.
[MUSIC] The 5.2 inch Nexus 5x doesn't look like anything special. It's a plastic phone and it feels cheap, rough edges, shallow buttons. I can even hear something rattle inside when I shake it. Why would you possibly want this phone? Because for $379 it is Is cheap, and yet, it feels nearly as powerful as Samsung's latest Galaxy. It all starts around the back of the phone, right under your index fingertip. That's where the new Nexus fingerprint sensor lives. One touch and you're ready for action. No need to hit the power button. No need to shift my grip. On other phones, the fingerprint sensor can sometimes feel like a bit of a stretch [UNKNOWN]. There is a new use for the Nexus power button, though, you can press it twice to launch the camera, even if the phone's asleep. And gosh, is this new 12.3 megapixel Nexus 5x rear camera so much better than the ones on previous Google phones? I've gotten great pictures even in low light. It's the same camera you'll find on the more expensive Nexus 6P right down to the laser auto focus system. What really makes this phone feel fast though is clean, pure Android. There are no unwanted apps or services bogging down the Nexus' speedy, hexa-core, snapdragon 808 processor, and 2 gigabytes of RAM. Only the new Android Marshmallow operating system. Just don't expect a lot of great new Android features. I'm a big fan of the new vertical app tray, and I like telling my apps which permissions they can use. But, I wouldn't buy a phone just to get Marshmallow and those features. The biggest new feature, now on tap, supposedly let's you Google anything you see on your screen without interrupting your flow. But it takes longer than I'd like to bring up too few results. I'm also not a huge fan of the new USB Type-C charging port you'll find on the bottom edge. It charges fast, and you can plug it in upside down, but it won't work with any of the micro-USB chargers you probably have lying around. This is also not the phone to take for watching movies with a friend. The 5.2 inch 1080p screen is pretty crisp, but the single speaker, yes, just one, sounds pretty awful to me. [NOISE] I'm mostly a fan of the Nexus 5X. It's fast, cheap, lightweight, and works on any U.S. cellular carrier. You can even use it with Project Fi, Google's own service, that combines multiple networks to give you more reception in more places. I just wish the Nexus 5X looked and felt a little better in my hands. The original Nexus 5, which came out two years ago, was cheaper than this phone, and it felt better with the silky smooth soft touch rear cover and a nice design. Surely, the new Nexus is a far faster phone, but why should we sacrifice comfort and style? I'm Sean Hollister for CNET. And you can read more about the Nexus 5S in my full review. You'll find it at CNET.com. [MUSIC]