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Google unveiled a pair of new Nexus smartphones late last month and now, the embargos have lifted on the first wave of reviews. How do they stack up against the best smartphones currently on the market? Here’s a sampling of what people are saying about the Nexus 5X and its bigger brother, the Nexus 6P.
Right out of the box, the Nexus 6P impressed ZDNet’s Matthew Miller:
The Nexus 6P itself is rather stunning. The device is encased in aeronautical-grade aluminum with beveled edges, flat glass face, subtle antenna breaks in the aluminum, a slightly raised back upper portion for the camera and antennas. When you pick it up you can immediately feel the quality and expect it to be priced at the high end of the market.
Conversely, Raymond Wong from Mashable spoke highly of the Nexus 5X:
Though not made of premium materials, the 5X's polycarbonate construction feels solid in the hand. The back cover is a matte finish, which gives it a touch more grippiness and downplays oily fingerprints. For a plastic phone, the 5X's quality is great. The pieces all meet flush together with no seams jutting out where they shouldn't be.
With its earlier Nexus devices, Google notoriously neglected certain key features such as camera quality and battery life. Those concerns are a thing of the past says Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica:
Before, buying a Nexus meant you had to deal with a bad camera or poor battery life, but the Nexus 5X and 6P are the first Android devices built with few to no compromises. The one thing you could complain about is the lack of wireless charging, but we can deal with that. The camera on a Nexus is finally good. The 12.3 MP cameras can hang with phones that are nearly twice the price of the 5X.
A slightly revised version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 SoC powers the larger Nexus 6P and although it won’t win every benchmark battle, Engadget claims its no slouch:
The results were a mixed bag compared to the rest of this year's most powerful Android phones, although the Nexus 6P generally fought them to a standstill when it came to graphics. Make no mistake, though: The Nexus 6P still feels fast. The combination of unfettered Android and high-end silicon makes for a seriously buttery experience as I leapt between lots of running apps and swiped through long web pages.
The Nexus 5X, meanwhile, is outfitted with Qualcomm’s hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chip with Adreno 418 graphics. How does that handle everyday tasks? Liliputing’s Brad Linder explains:
But here’s the thing: in terms of real-world performance, it’s very hard to tell the difference between the phones (versus the Nexus 5). Launch the same app on each phone and they’ll both take about the same amount of time to load. Reboot the phones at the same time and you’ll get to the lock screen at about the same time. In fact, sometimes, the Nexus 5X actually seems a tiny bit slower (although at other times it seems a little bit faster).
Not everyone is onboard with the cheaper Nexus 5X, however, including Drew Olanoff from TechCrunch:
I’m not going to say that the Nexus 5X is a bad phone, because it’s not. If you’re set on having its screen size and are dead-set against going bigger with the 6P, I’d suggest going after the latest Samsung Edge phone. It (the Nexus 5X) just doesn’t do it for me.
Olanoff had much better things to say about the Nexus 6P and Marshmallow in general:
If you’re a Nexus 6 owner, you might want to start filling out your Craigslist ad now. If you’re an iPhone-lover, nothing may ever change your mind. If there’s a phone to do it, it’s this one, though. It’s solid as far as design, hardware and software. The base price of the Nexus 6P is $499, going up if you choose to add more storage. It’s beyond worth it. You’ve probably never experienced a version of Android’s operating system quite like this.