Do we have a good one for you today – yesterday we compared the Nexus 6P to the HTC 10, and many cried "foul" because of the larger display on the Nexus 6P, and asked for a Nexus 5X versus the HTC 10 comparison. Apparently, some readers think that the Nexus 6P's larger display was an advantage when it clearly lacked the other specifications as well. However, we must understand that the Nexus crowd (sorry folks) is much like the iPhone bunch – it is the best smartphone because it is a Nexus…period. We had some nasty comments concerning yesterday's comparison when I picked the HTC 10 as the winner, and there will be even more today if I crown the HTC 10 as the winner in this comparison. Let's first take a quick look at what these two smartphones have in common and then look at each one in more depth.
The Nexus 5X and HTC 10 have a few things in common, starting with their physical dimensions, which are almost identical, although the metal-bodied HTC 10 weighs in at 25 grams heavier. They both have a 5.2-inch display and both use the LCD technology, but sport different resolutions. They both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but totally different models. Each device has a 32GB model available, but only the HTC 10 is expandable. The Nexus 5X and HTC 10 use a similar sized main and front-facing camera (FFC), but use completely different technology to process photos. Both devices have a non-removable battery, but only the HTC 10 offers Quick Charge 3.0. The Nexus 5X and HTC 10 both sport a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device and to authorize mobile payments.
The Nexus 5X and HTC 10 have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, a reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer, as well as a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and authorizing mobile payments with Android Pay.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two 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 device in greater depth 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
LG has long been a friend to Nexus ever since they built two successful and well-liked models, the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013, so it made perfect sense for Google 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 $349 – $399 (16GB to 32GB), it makes the Nexus 5X a true mid-range device. Cutting specifications is a necessity when prices are low and LG started on the outside by using a polycarbonate body – while rugged, it does not have the premium feel of the HTC 10's all-metal body. Inside, components were carefully selected to offer up good performance while not breaking the bank, but does it have enough to compete with the newest HTC 10?
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 423 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Nexus 5X uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.44 GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82 GHz. The Nexus 5X packs only 2GB of DDR3 RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available.
The Nexus 5X uses an excellent 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. The Nexus 5X has a smaller 2700mAh non-removable battery and offers no rapid charge feature, however, both devices should make it through a full day.
The LG Nexus 5X does not have much that the HTC 10 does not already possess. It does sport a single, front-facing speaker. The biggest difference is the immediate updates with the latest Android OS. The available colors are Carbon, Quartz and Ice and the Nexus 5X will cost $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 32GB variant. It measures 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 136 grams.
Although not as radical as Nexus lovers, HTC does have a very loyal following of its own. Just like many Nexus owners, HTC owners will defend their devices even when they continued to use FHD displays after QHD was the norm, settle for less RAM…as long as that BoomSound was the best out there. There is no arguing that BoomSound is the best, but it is still not a reasonable assumption to buy a smartphone based strictly on sound. I am glad to say that HTC loyalists finally have a reason to be genuinely excited about their new HTC 10. It has it all – a beautifully carved aluminum body, the best technology out there when it comes to processor, GPU and memory, finally a great camera and while it is not the original BoomSound, it still looks like it may have the best sound out there.
HTC finally moved on to a QHD resolution and the HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. HTC went with the top processor on the market – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with a dual-core clocked at 1.6GHz and a dual-core clocked at 2.15GHz. This processor pairs up with the Adreno 530 GPU, and it should satisfy even the most avid gamer. The HTC 10 packs a full 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microSD card.
HTC has fiddled around with their cameras the past few years…never getting it quite right. However, that nonsense stops with the HTC 10 as they are using a 12MP for their primary camera that uses UltraPixels to capture more light and image. They added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, an aperture of f/1.8 and OIS – this all adds up to a DxOMark score of 88, equaling the Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge as the tops in mobile photography. They added a 5MP FFC with a f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle lens, screen flash and even OIS to ensure great selfies and video chatting even in low-light. The HTC packs a 3000mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0.
The HTC 10 comes with BoomSound Hi-Fi sound with two separate speakers, but not on the front as previous renditions. The woofer is placed on the bottom of the device, and the high-end sounds originate from the earpiece. It also has Dolby Hi-Res music for your earphone enjoyment. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $699 for 32GB of memory.
…And The Winner Is…
Basing the winner purely on specifications, there is not doubt the HTC 10 is the CLEAR winner – it has a much more premium look, the superior display, faster processor and GPU, double the RAM, expandable memory, and better camera.
But then that price factor – the Nexus 5X for $399 versus the HTC 10 at $699. That is a $300 difference for those niceties, and I must look at it from a customer's standpoint. The Nexus 5X has a great display, good processing power and memory for running pure Android. Battery life is good, and photo quality is excellent. One has to ask themselves what are they giving up by purchasing the Nexus 5X and what are they gaining ($300). I asked myself this and decided the Nexus 5X is the winner – and believe me I am not a Nexus fanboy in any sense of the imagination. Meanwhile, I argue in my head:
Yes, I realize the price difference, but this is a comparison of specifications. The Nexus 5X is a midrange device going up against a high-end device – there is no question that the HTC 10 will win this comparison…that is what I keep telling myself.