Do we have a good one for you today – the mid-range LG Nexus 5X takes on the new flagship from LG, the LG G5. Google went back to its Nexus roots this year with the LG Nexus 5X and yet still spread its wings by releasing a high-end model in the Huawei Nexus 6P. We have already compared the Nexus 6P and the LG G5, but now it is time for the Nexus 5X to take on the LG G5 and see if that plastic Nexus 5X can stand up to the all-metal LG G5 – after all, there is much more to a smartphone than its outside covering. Let's take a look just to see what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each individual device.
One thing that the LG Nexus 5X and LG G5 have in common is their physical size, with the LG G5 coming in just slightly larger and 23 grams heavier – most likely from the metal casing. Both devices use a nearly identical sized display – 5.2-inch vs 5.3-inch – the same IPS LCD technology, but sport a different resolution. The devices both use a 64-bit Snapdragon processor, but certainly a different model. They both offer a 32GB variant for internal storage and they both sport a fingerprint sensor. They have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC and a Type-C microUSB port 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.
LG Nexus 5X
Nexus users have come to expect decent specs at a reasonable price until the Nexus 6 in 2014, when Google and Motorola rocked the house with a 6-inch, high-priced monster. Even though Google skipped LG in 2014, they built two other successful models, the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013, so it was a great idea to go back to LG and ask them to make the mid-range Nexus 5X in 2015. With a 5.2-inch display and priced at only $379 – $429 (each now reduced by $50), it makes the Nexus 5X a true mid-range device. A lower price means that specifications must be cut and LG started by using a polycarbonate body – while rugged, it does not have the premium feel of the LG G5's all-metal body.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) This goes up against the 5.3-inch QHD IPS LCD "always-on" display on the LG G5 with 554 PPI. The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. The LG G5 went with the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of DDR3 RAM with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available. The LG G5 doubles the amount to 4GB and uses the faster DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory with expansion via a microSD card.
The Nexus 5X uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for its main camera -with large a 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS. It has a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chatting. This goes up against a new 16MP main sensor and an 8MP wide-angle sensor on the LG G5 and an 8MP FFC. The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700mAh non-removable battery while the LG G5 has a 2800mAh removable battery. Both devices should make it through a full day and both devices have rapid charge capabilities.
The LG Nexus 5X does not have much that the LG G5 does not already possess, although it does sport a single, front-facing speaker. The available colors are Carbon, Quartz and Ice and the Nexus 5X will cost $379 for the 16GB model (currently available for $349.99) and $429 for the 32GB variant (currently available for $399). It measures 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 136 grams.
LG did a complete makeover of the LG G4 and changed just about everything when they designed the G5. We knew that G5 would have an awesome camera and there were enough leaks we could see the all-metal body was a given. LG G5's big news and innovation are the modules the device can use. By pushing in a button on the lower side, you can slide out the battery and slide in different modules. There was the promise of many types of modules down the road, but one available now adds a larger battery and camera controls – it makes taking pictures easier by giving you a bulge to grab and offering up physical camera controls. LG kept its built-in IR Blaster and LG finally added a fingerprint sensor where the rear set of buttons used to reside. The sensor clicks inward and acts as an on/off switch, but the volume controls return to the side of the device. LG also followed Google's lead by starting to use the Type-C USB port on the G5. Let's take a closer look at the new LG G5 and see just how the specs and design hold up to the Nexus 5X.
The LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch IPS LCD QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 554 PPI that is slightly larger than the Nexus 5X's 5.2-inch IPS LCD FHD display and 423 PPI. The brains come from the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory, expandable to 2TB via a microUSB card. This goes up against the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no means to expand.
LG made big changes in the G5's camera area by taking the 16MP sensor from the LG G4, adding another 8MP wide-angle sensor for dual cameras and adding new software, while retaining the 8MP FFC from the G4 for selfies and video chatting. This goes up against the impressive Nexus 5X camera area that uses a 12.3MP sensor and a 5MP FFC. LG decreased the battery size from the 3000mAh found on the LG G4 to 2800mAh, but it is still removable and has quick charge capabilities, although loses its optional wireless charging due to the metal case. The Nexus 5X has a slightly smaller, non-removable, 2700mAh battery but it has quick capabilities.
The LG G5 gains the always-on display, has a built-in IR Blaster and FM Radio. It measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 159 grams and comes in Silver, Titan, Gold and Pink. It should be available in April, with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and Best Buy. It will be running Android 6.0 with LG's UX skin on top. Pricing will probably be around $650.
…And The Winner Is…
As much as we like Nexus smartphones and especially considering the Nexus 5X's value – it is just not as technically advanced as the LG G5 and therefore, I have to choose it as the winner of this comparison. Just because it won, does not mean that the Nexus 5X is far behind the LG G5 – especially with a price tag of only $399 for the 32GB model. Sure it has an FHD display, but still provides 423 PPI. Yes, it only has 2GB of RAM, but running a pure Android OS that is all it should need, as well as the hexa-core processor. However, when you start looking at the technology and options on the LG G5, it definitely deserves the win.
Even if the QHD display or Snapdragon 820 and Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of DDR4 RAM do not convince you of its superiority, what about its all-metal body, expandable storage, removable battery, built-in IR Blaster or the FM radio? If that is not enough, how about the new and exciting camera or the ability to swap out modules? The LG G5 just has too many specifications in its favor – sure, it will cost you and extra $200 – $250, but good specs and a premium device always do.