Do we have a good one for you today – the always-popular LG Nexus 5X goes up against the new, all-metal, ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe. The LG brand and the Nexus products have a great reputation and a loyal following. ASUS, while a well-known brand for computers, is trying to make a name for themselves in the smartphone world. ASUS' latest offerings are a huge step in the right direction – covering the mid-range, high-end, and the phablet markets.
LG was the perfect company to manufacture the Nexus 5X – after all, they had two prior stints that were quite successful. Knowing they were building a more mid-range Nexus, they had to cut corners somewhere and the most obvious is in the plastic body. It is very different from the all-metal ZenFone 3 Deluxe that cleverly hide the antenna lines in the sides of the device – gone are those antenna lines that normally adorn the backside of a metal smartphone. Let's look at some of the similarities between these two devices before we look at each one individually.
The Nexus 5X and the ZenFone 3 Deluxe do have a few things in common, but not much. Both devices use the Full HD (FHD) display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but are different sizes and technologies. Both use a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but different models with different GPUs to handle the graphics. The RAM and memory are totally different, as are the camera areas – both good, but they go about it in a different way. They both have a fingerprint sensor and NFC (the Deluxe is the only one of the three models that sports NFC) so they can both authorize mobile payments via the fingerprint sensor. Both devices have non-removable batteries and the usual suspects are there – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, and a Type-C reversible connector for battery charging and data transfer.
Please take a careful 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 are a different sort of smartphone buyer than say, a Samsung buyer. They are more interested in running pure vanilla Android than they are about the latest bells and whistles – no party tricks for them, just a solid device at a reasonable cost. The LG Nexus 5X delivers on both accounts with a price tag of $349 (16GB) to $399 (32GB). After the huge 6-inch Motorola Nexus 6, with flagship specs and a flagship price, the Nexus 5X is exactly what users were looking to own. However, along with those mid-range specs and mid-range price comes mediocrity and it starts with the polycarbonate body – it is rugged and looks okay, it can certainly not compete with looks and feel of the all-metal Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe.
The Nexus 5X sports a 5.2-inch (the sweet spot for many) FHD LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) For the Nexus 5X, LG chose the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexacore processor with four cores clocked at 1.44GHz and two cores clocked at 1.82GHz and an Adreno 418 GPU for graphics. The Nexus 5X is packing only 2GB of DDR3 RAM (due to limitations of the processor) with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory and no expansion available. We are comparing the 32GB model to make it a fairer – and more realistic – comparison. It is highly doubtful that someone would get a 16GB model when there is no room to expand.
The Nexus 5X camera still does not have OIS, but it uses a 12.3MP Sony IMX377 sensor for the primary camera with a large 1.55µm pixel size, laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. The Nexus 5X takes some astounding photos for the most part. For its front-facing camera (FFC) it uses a 5MP for selfies and video chats. The Nexus 5X has a 2700mAh non-removable battery to power the device with rapid charge capabilities, provided you use the proper cord.
The LG Nexus 5X comes with one very important Nexus feature – it runs pure vanilla Android. Because of that you can be guaranteed to get the fastest updates possible each time Google updates the OS. Because the Nexus 5X has a fingerprint sensor and is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, the newest Android OS, you can also authorize Android Pay purchases with your fingerprint sensor. The Nexus 5X also uses the newer reversible microUSB Type-C connector and a large, single, front-facing speaker that can put out some good sounds. 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.
ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe
The ZenFone 3 Deluxe is the true flagship of the new trio of phones from ASUS – it comes with an all-metal body, the antenna hidden in the frame of the device, it packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM, and utilizes the new and faster USF 2.0 internal memory. The ZenFone 3 is improved in every way over last year's ZenFone 2 models. It would still be nice if ASUS would jump into the QHD world of resolution, but at least the Deluxe model does use a Super AMOLED display for better contrasts and outdoor viewing. Let's look and see how it holds up to the Nexus 5X in this comparison.
The ZenFone 3 Deluxe comes with a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD display with a resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels and a somewhat respectable 386 PPI. ASUS also included the 'always-on' feature design to help save battery life. In the Deluxe model, ASUS chose the best 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. For those demanding graphics, it uses the Adreno 530 GPU. The model we are looking at is the 6GB DDR4 RAM with 64GB of memory – later ASUS claims there will be a 6GB DDR4 model with 256GB of memory. Both versions have room to expand 128GB via a microSD card, and both models are using the new and faster UFS 2.0 memory.
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe uses a Sony sensor, 23MP ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 camera, with a sapphire crystal lens cover, an aperture of f/2.0, dual LED flash and 4-axis OIS and 3-axis of EIS for incredibly steady shots. The FFC is an impressive 8MP sensor with an 85-degree wide-angle lens for selfies or video chatting. A 3000mAh non-removable battery powers the ZenFone 3, and it utilizes Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology.
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments thanks to its NFC and Marshmallow. While it does pack 6GB of RAM, nobody is exactly sure how the ZenFone 3 Deluxe will utilize that RAM. It is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and will use ASUS' own ZenUI 3.0 running over the top. It measures 156.4 x 77.4 x 7.5mm and weighs in at 170 grams. The colors available are Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver, and Sand Gold, and it will cost about $500 for the 4GB/64GB model. There is no pricing or availability yet on the 6GB/256GB variant.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
The winner of this comparison has to be the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe. While it is true that the displays are both only FHD, the Deluxe uses the Super AMOLED technology for better contrasts. For only $100 more, you get sharper looking, all- metal design, a larger display, much better processor, and GPU, more and faster RAM and room to expand the internal memory via a microUSB card, and a slightly larger battery.
The Nexus 5X is – well, a Nexus – and that says a lot on its own with the pure vanilla Android and fastest updates possible. However, the LG Nexus 5X was designed as a solid, mid-range device, and that is exactly the result. If you must have a Nexus device at a reasonable price (I am comparing the price of the 32GB model at $399 to be fair), then the Nexus 5X should make you happy. Just remember you are getting a much slower processor, worse GPU, only 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, with no expandable storage option.