Google Nexus 5X Review: A Model Of Efficiency

User Experience and Software

If you're looking for a clean, unadulterated copy of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, look no further. The Nexus 5X is amongst the first devices to ship with a clean version of Google's latest mobile OS. Now on Tap is a highlight feature, expanding upon Google Now cards by allowing you to vocally dig into just about any app -- first party or not. Now you can have a dialogue with almost any of your apps that support the new voice interaction service. For example, if a user says “play some music on TuneIn,” TuneIn will respond by asking “What genre?”.

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Furthermore, Doze and App Standby enables the phone to smartly fall the sleep and reduce battery drain from seldom used apps.

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Nexus Imprint is the Google version of Apple's Touch ID, but rather than the fingerprint reader being on the front, it's neatly tucked away on the rear of this phone. In practice, this enables you to grab the phone as one normally would, and in the conventional one-hand hold scenario, the unlock happens naturally as you rest your index finger on the rear casing for support. Beyond unlocking the phone, Imprint's software hooks also allow you to pay for apps, pay for physical goods via Android Pay, and authenticate other programs.

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Android 6.0 also gains Bluetooth stylus support, smarter text selection (including built-in undo/redo), inbuilt Google Translate support, a streamlined Settings hub, MIDI support, and added enterprise features courtesy of Android for Work.

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All in all, the latest version of Android runs remarkably well atop Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808. The freedom from bloat is apparent, and there's next to no lag anywhere in the system. Toggling quickly between heavy apps can inject a moment of pause now and again, but it's slight. This phone felt fast and responsive during normal use.

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