Phone Comparisons: HTC One M9 vs LG Nexus 5X

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Do we have a good one for you today – the tried and true HTC One M9 goes up against the new LG Nexus 5X in the battle of specifications.  Does the new Nexus 5X have what it takes to win this comparison, after all the One M9 was released in March 2015, but is still HTC’s flagship model.  Can the all-metal One M9 still compete against the new polycarbonate Nexus 5X – it certainly can in looks and build quality, but what about the innards that make it all happen…the display, processor, memory, camera, etc.  We will look at what these two smartphones have in common and then take a more detailed look at each individual device.

The HTC One M9 and the LG Nexus 5X have a few similarities – for starters, they are very close in physical size, although the One M9 is thicker by 2mm and weighs in at 157 grams heavier versus the 136 grams of the Nexus 5X.  They both use LCD displays, also close in size, with the One M9 coming in at 5-inches, the Nexus 5X at 5.2-inches, and they both use a Full HD (FHD) resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.  They both use a 64-bit Snapdragon processor, but difference models.  The both have non-removable batteries with quick charge features and they both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.1 in the One M9 and 4.2 in the Nexus 5X), GPS, NFC and a microUSB port (v2.0 in the One M9 and Type-C on the Nexus 5X) for charging and data transfer.

Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details.  After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons.  From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.


HTC One M9

AH HTC One M9 Batch 2-6The HTC One series has been all-metal since their original One M7 and was praised by the critics and created a loyal following.  However, two generations later, the critics and many customers were already tiring of the same design.  On the One M9, HTC did not make many changes in the outward appearance of the case, but did include a subtle redesign around the sides of the body and added a small lip to provide better gripping.  The nicely curved back is still there, making it a pleasure to hold.

The HTC One M9 sports a 5-inch FHD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – the Nexus 5X has a 5.2 FHD LCD display with 424 PPI.  It is interesting that both flagship devices are still using the FHD technology when QHD is now more prevalent among flagship smartphones.  HTC selected the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz to power their flagship.  The Nexus 5X bypassed the 810 model and instead went for the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor – whether it was to save a little money or stay away from the overheating rumors, we may never know.  The One M9 packs 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage and has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB.  The Nexus 5X offers 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with no room to expand.

HTC has been playing around with the cameras on their One model since it came out and they just do not seem to know how they want to handle this particular area.  For the One M9 they made another big change, and while they succeeded in making it better, it still does not include OIS.  HTC took the old 4MP UltraPixel camera and moved it around to the front, which should provide great selfies and video chatting while allowing you to take good low-light pictures.  HTC replaced the main camera with a 20MP sensor with autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash.  This compares to the 12.3MP main camera on the Nexus 5X, along with a large 5MP FFC.  The One M9 uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery, which is slightly larger than the 2700mAh non-removable battery in the Nexus 5X.  Both devices support Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to their Qualcomm processor and neither one offers wireless charging.

The HTC One M9 retains the dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound, a built-in IR Blaster, and stereo FM radio.  It comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink.  It is running Android 5.1 Lollipop and pricing is around $600.

LG Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X Hands On AH 1The LG name is well known to Nexus users – back in 2012, LG built the Nexus 4 and in 2013 the delivered the Nexus 5.  Motorola jumped in last year and built a huge 6-inch Nexus 6, which was too large by most users’ standards, as was the price.  Google decided to ask LG back to make the mid-range Nexus 5X and LG did exactly what Google wanted them to do.  With a 5.2-inch display, it makes the Nexus 5X a great size and at a cost of only $379, a great price.  To obtain that low price, LG had to make a few cuts and the use of a polycarbonate body is the result – it is rugged, but not very premium looking.

The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI.  This goes up against the 5.0-inch FHD LCD display on the One M9 with 441 PPI.  The Nexus 5X uses the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82GHz and the One M9 uses the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor.  The Nexus 5X packs 2GB of RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available.  The One M9 comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card to expand that an additional 128GB.

The Nexus 5X uses a Sony IMX377 sensor – 12.3MP main camera with laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, with no OIS.  It has a large 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats.  This goes up against the One M9’s 20MP main camera and a 4MP (UltraPixel) FFC.  The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700mAh non-removable battery and the One M9 has a larger 2840mAh non-removable battery.  Both devices should make it through a full day and both have quick charge capabilities.

The LG Nexus 5X has a few items that the One M9 is lacking – the most important feature would be the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as making mobile purchases via Android 6.0 Marshmallow – the newest Android OS.  With Marshmallow, you will be able to use the fingerprint sensor to authorize Android Pay purchases.  The Nexus 5X also uses the newer microUSB Type-C reversible connector.  The colors available are Carbon, Quartz and Ice.  It costs $379 for the 16GB model and $429 for the 32GB variant.

…And The Winner Is…

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This was a real tough one to decide because both devices are quite similar technology-wise, but I am giving the edge to the HTC One M9.  It has a much better-built quality with its all-metal case and superior sound from the BoomSound front-facing dual stereo speakers.  It also uses the faster and slightly more advanced Snapdragon 810, has more RAM and its internal memory can be expanded via a microSD card.  It also packs an IR Blaster and FM stereo radio.

The LG Nexus 5X is a great little device and competitively priced at $429 for the 32GB model, but it has a plastic case and no expansion of internal memory available.  It does have the fingerprint sensor and comes with the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow, however, as an One M9 owner, you can still make Android Pay and other mobile purchases, just not with the fingerprint sensor for verification.

If you will not settle for anything but the pure Nexus experience and fastest updates possible, then the Nexus 5X is for you, but if you seek a better looking and sounding device with expandable memory, then the HTC One M9 is your baby.

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