Slightly underwhelming for $350.

Started Mar 19, 2016 | User reviews
They call me Hans
They call me Hans Regular Member • Posts: 468
Slightly underwhelming for $350.

I've had this phone for almost a month now, figured it's time for a review.

Currently, I'm using the Google Fi beta network in the Portland metro area. Because of this, there are only two Phones you are able to purchase: The Nexus 5X, and it's big brother the 6P. I opted for the cheaper 5X, figuring any phone is going to be better than my crappy Samsung Galaxy Lite. And that is what the majority of this review will be based upon, my experience with that 2.5 years older, cheaper, slower phone.

First and foremost, looks and handeling. This is, indeed, a very good looking phone (eat your heart out, Apple?). And surprisingly solidly built. Though the construction is that of plastic, no metal in the shell at all, it feels well put together. the edges are rounded with rectangular sides, so it doesn't feel like you're holding a slmon if your palms are a bit sweaty. It's light enough that I sometimes forget it's in my pocket (I'm a skinny jean wearing hipster, so that's saying something), but also heavy enough that I don't feel as if I'm going to bend it if I hold it wrong. Tac on a otter box knock-off case and it feels like a tank. But a slim one. That would look great in a bikini. Compared to the Galaxy lite, which was a small, round everywhere, plastic nightmare, this is a welcome upgrade.

4.5 out of 5.

Now let's move on to performance.

The android 6.0 OS, like the phone itself, is very pretty. Actions are very fluid and timely, and the three button system on the bottom of the screen (one for back, one for home, and one for recent page selection) is nice. Coming from the galaxy lite, it took some getting used to to not have a physical home button to use when trying to exit or select an app, but within a few hours of use I had adjusted. Using the apps on the new android platform is fun and more enjoyable than the clunky OS on the galaxy, but I started noticing a couple things in the first few days...

1: Battery consumption. This thing eviscerates your charge if you begin using social media, especially that of Spotify and Snapchat, even quicker than my old phone, and that surprised me. I'd hoped that with newer technology we'd have improved upon battery life, but no, we just improved on the charging. Yes, with the fast charger I can go from 0-100% charge in roughly an hour, which is fantastic, but constantly worrying about the battery life, making sure I'm near an outlet, especially when I'm sometimes on call for work, isn't fun. Not to mention frequently charging this is going to impact the longevity of the battery. I didn't pay $350 for something that's going to wear out quickly.

2: Slowing and freezing. This is my biggest gripe. Do not rapid fire message on apps with this phone. Be sure to give the phone ample time to load the app, the thread, and your keyboard, otherwise it's going to slow down quite a bit, if not freeze the phone altogether. The one thing I could depend on with my old Galaxy is that it wouldn't slow down if I was using the phone too much. I could open up facebook messenger as quick as I can and fire off a message within the span of 10 seconds, and not worry about freezes. It irks me that I have to baby my brand new middle-of-the-line smartphone from this problem. And the freezes generally require a hard reset with the power button, making me feel like I'm shoving a pillow in my phone's face and whispering "It'll all be over soon...". The Dude does not abide.

Now, granted, this doesn't seem all that uncommon with brand new smart phones these days. But widespread mediocrity is still mediocrity, and nothing will be fixed if the issues aren't heard. So even though, overall, the performance is on par or better than my old phone, I still think, with the money that was spent on the product, that it should be much better.

2.5 out 5.

Finally the Camera: Excellent. When the front facing camera has the same quality as the back mounted one on your old phone, you know it's gonna be good. The 13mp back camera is fantastic for on the go photos, and I'm now questioning why I have a second camera with me all of the time. controls are intuitive, the AF is intelligent (for a phone), and the images are crystal clear. No complaints what so ever.

5 out of 5.

Final word: It's nice to finally own a current generation phone. Overall it's solidly built, and when not under a lot of stress, performs well. Certainly well enough for texts, calls, and photography. But again, try not to over use the social media apps, else risk getting frustrated. Is it worth $350 with Google Fi? Not in my opinion, but others may differ.

-- hide signature --

"You buy an (Mazda RX-7) FD for the same reason that you shoot with a manual lens, when an auto focus will do just fine...you do it because it's hard. Because it's a challenge."
-Regular Car reviews

 They call me Hans's gear list:They call me Hans's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II Rokinon 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Google Pixel 2
Google Nexus 5X
5.2 screen • 12 megapixels (rear) • 5 megapixels (front)
Announced: Sep 29, 2015
They call me Hans's score
3.5
Average community score
3.5
Skipper494 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,264
Re: Slightly underwhelming for $350.

I got the ASUS ZenPad 8S Z580CA yesterday, 2.3GHz quad, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and find it excellent. When I compare it with the Metals Research Quantimet that I used to sell and service back in 1965, it is quite a miracle. Now if only I can find a case for it.....

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads