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Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: Which one should you buy?

Florence Ion | Nov. 5, 2015
It's the toughest dilemma Android fans have faced in ages, but we can help you choose one of Google's great new Nexus phones.

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Credit: Florence Ion

Life is full of difficult decisions, and as Android fans we’re facing our most difficult decision yet: choosing which Nexus device to buy.

If you think I’m kidding, then you haven’t read our reviews of the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X. These two smartphones are the full package, complete with the latest version of Android Marshmallow and powerful hardware to back it up. Their camera abilities are actually pretty decent this time around, too, and both phones feature lightning fast fingerprint scanners that rival Apple’s and Samsung’s. Not to mention that these are Google phones, so they’ll be the first to get every major Android software update. 

We've never had to make this choice before. Google has always released one new Nexus phone each year, but now, with two on offer, the question naturally arises: which is the best choice for me?

Before you go putting a Nexus device on your credit card, consider the following criteria to help you figure out which Nexus device to adopt in your life.

Big or small?

Do you have big hands? Small pockets? Do you mind if your phone is a bit heavy? These are all things to consider before choosing between the Nexus 6P and 5X, because both phones cater to slightly different smartphone users.

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The Nexus 5X is a light phone with a plastic build. It’s pretty easy to wield or put in your pocket. Credit: Florence Ion

The Nexus 5X serves not only as fan service for those that loved the Nexus 5, but for those of you who’d rather wield a smaller, lighter device. It weighs only 136 grams—that’s the same weight as the original 3.5-inch iPhone—though it’s also made of plastic, which makes it feel a bit cheap. That doesn’t mean it isn’t solidly built, however, and in our testing it didn’t twist, bend, or flex. Its smaller size also ensures your thumb can easily reach the power and volume buttons, and it fits more easily into pants pockets and smaller purses. 

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If you like bigger, premium phones, you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 6P—though it might not fit in your jacket pocket. Credit: Florence Ion

The Nexus 6P is a much larger phone, though not as gargantuan and unwieldy as last year’s Nexus 6. Its 5.7-inch screen puts it into phablet territory. You should expect that it won’t easily fit into most pants pockets, though its larger size is better for multitasking and long-form reading. I can more easily read through an ebook or an article online than I can with the 5X, though one-handed usage is a bit more tricky. There have been too many times I’ve felt like I was going to drop the 6P because my fingers couldn’t grip it tightly enough.


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