Do we have a good one for you today – the LG Nexus 5X goes up against the new Sony Xperia X. The Nexus owners/lovers against the Sony owners/lovers – you could not get any more radical fanboys than these two…well, maybe OnePlus owners. The users of these devices are passionate about them and are not afraid to let you know that fact. LG had a good history with Nexus products, so it was a no-brainer for Google to ask LG to do the Nexus 5X. Yes, it is the cheaper of the two Nexus devices, but the Nexus 5X is the heart and soul of the unofficial Nexus motto – build a reasonably spec'd device and sell it for a reasonable price. Sony changed their tried and true design with the new Xperia X – gone is the glass and metal body, replaced by an all-metal design. The Xperia X did away with another Sony tradition – it is no longer waterproof and battery life went way down, even though it still uses an FHD display. Let's look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The Nexus 5X and the Sony Xperia X do have a few things in common – for starters, they are very close in physical size with the 5X being ever so slightly larger, but weighing in at 17 grams lighter. Both devices use the IPS LCD technology and both are using the Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Both are running Android Marshmallow on a 64-bit Snapdragon processor, but different models. They both have most of the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, microUSB port (Type-C on the 5X and v2.0 on the Xperia X) for charging and data transfer. Both have a non-removable battery. For some reason, Sony did not include a fingerprint sensor in their US version of the new Xperia X – which makes no sense at all.
Please take a thoughtful 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 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
Nexus users expect decent specs at a reasonable price, and that is what they got up until the 2014 Motorola model – it was big, with high spec'd and so expensive that Google allowed the carriers sell the model so that customers could space out the payments. LG had built two other models, the Nexus 4 in 2012 and the Nexus 5 in 2013, so it was only natural to ask LG to make the mid-range Nexus 5X in 2015. With a 5.2-inch display and priced at only $349 – $399, it makes the Nexus 5X a true mid-range device and takes Nexus back to its roots. However, a lower price means that specifications must be cut somewhere along the line and LG started by using a polycarbonate body. While it is rugged, it does not have the premium feel or look of metal, glass, leather or wood.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 424 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 with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory with no expansion available.
The Nexus 5X uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for primary camera with a large 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash and no OIS. It has a 5MP FFC for selfies and video chats. The Nexus 5X has a 2700mAh non-removable battery to power the device with rapid charge capabilities – providing you use the proper cord.
The LG Nexus 5X comes with a fingerprint sensor and is running Android 6.0.1, the newest Android OS Marshmallow. You can also enjoy authorizing Android Pay purchases with your fingerprint sensor. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer reversible microUSB Type-C connector and a single, front-facing speaker. 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.
Sony Xperia X
With its large top and bottom bezels and very rectangle look, the new Sony Xperia X model looks the part of a Sony smartphone with a few notable exceptions – most visible is the new metal backing, although it looks and feels like plastic. The fingerprint magnet glass of years past is gone, but the Xperia X also loses its IP68 certification as well. Slight modifications to the edges create a smoother look and make it easier to handle the device. The designated US unlocked version is missing one very important design feature – just as mobile payments are starting to take off, Sony removed the fingerprint sensor from the US version, which makes no sense at all. Rather than put in a top processor, they chose a midrange Snapdragon 650 hexacore processor. Yet, Sony will sit there and scratch their head wondering why their devices do not sell well in the US.
The Xperia X sports a 5.0-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 441 PPI. The Xperia X uses a 64-bit Snapdragon 650 hexacore processor with dual cores clocked at 1.8GHz and a quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz. It packs 3GB of the slower DDR3 memory, due to the limitations of the Snapdragon 650 processor. There is 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
Sony used the same primary camera in the Xperia X that was use on the Xperia Z5 – however, according to our reviews, the 23MP with f/2.0, PDAF, and LED flash, did not fare as well in testing as it did on the Z5. Sony increased the FFC from 5.1MP to 13MP and gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22mm lens for selfies and video chatting. A 2620mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
What was once a Sony bragging point for years – its IP68 certified dust and water-resistant – is gone, thanks to the new metal casing. The Xperia X does retain the dual stereo front-facing speakers. Another shining example of Sony's lack of marketing – the Sony Xperia X, model F5121, is the US model that comes without the fingerprint sensor. Yet, model F5122, which is the International model, does come with a fingerprint sensor. However, the redeeming feature is that both of these models use the same spectrum, so it should not matter which model you use in the US. It measures 142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 153 grams. It is offered in White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and will cost you about $550.
…And The Winner Is…
I am going to pick the Nexus 5X as the winner of this comparison – not because I am afraid (okay, maybe a little) of the Nexus fanboys, but because it can easily compete with the Xperia X for $150 less. The only two things that the Xperia X has going for it over the Nexus 5X are the all-metal versus plastic body and the expandable memory.
The Nexus has a slightly larger display, is the same resolution, almost on par processor (even better in the LTE scores), only 1GB of RAM less (but it's running pure Android), as good a camera, a fingerprint sensor, and reversible Type-C connector. You get all of that for only $399 for the 32GB model.
The Sony Xperia X does have the metal backing (that feels like plastic), 1GB more RAM, expandable memory, stereo front-facing speakers, and Quick Charge 2.0. – but you will pay at least $550.
When comparing these two models, the Nexus 5X shows me good specs and pure Android updates sooner than the Xperia X for less money. If you can get past the 32GB of storage with no expandable storage, then the Nexus 5X is a great buy for you.