Last year we didn’t get a smaller-sized Nexus phone. Since the Nexus 5 came out, if you wanted a Nexus phone any smaller than the Nexus 6, well, you bought a Nexus 5. And since the Nexus 5 is over 2 years old at this point, it makes sense that Google would make 2015 the year that it introduced two handsets — one for those that still want or need a smaller phone in the form of the Nexus 5X, and one for the rest of us in the metal-bodied Nexus 6P.

We told you about the latter, higher-specification brother earlier today, but here’s what people think of the former…

When it comes to the decision to go with polycarbonate rather than metal with the Nexus 5X, Engadget says that while the phone won’t win any design awards, it’s more than acceptable:

The Nexus 5X is by no means a premium smartphone. Its polycarbonate, lightweight shell and vanilla design make it feel more sporty than posh; more family sedan than luxury sports car. Compared to the larger, all-metal 6P, the 5X and its plastic hardware seem downright homely. Still, taken on its own, the 5X isn’t exactly lacking in the looks department. On the contrary, it’s rather adorable, with gently rounded corners, a slender profile and smooth, curved edges that lead to an incredibly comfortable feel in the hand. I like the look of the creamy white backplate — which also comes in a beautiful robin’s egg blue and the standard black — especially in contrast with the black front frame. Sure, it won’t win any design awards, but for an affordable phone, the 5X’s simple style is more than acceptable

ZDNet really likes the soft touch of the polycarbonate:

I love the feel of the Nexus 5X and the back smooth plastic reminds me of the HTC One X, which used my favorite plastic material ever. It has a matte finish and is tough for me to stop sliding my fingers over it. I was sent the white, aka quartz, model with 32GB of memory to test out.

As mentioned in our earlier roundup, ArsTechnica says in a 3-page review that the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P are the best Nexus phones ever made, and that they make improvements where Nexus has traditionally been weak.

Google and its partners have finally nailed two of the things Nexus devices have traditionally been poor at. The camera is actually good—great, even—and can hold its own against the best mobile shooters out there. And the battery life is just as good as any other flagship as well.

When it comes to the device’s cameras, TechCrunch had this to say in their review:

Google did the right thing by having LG and Huawai on the same page for cameras. It’s a real powerhouse. The front-facing camera is an OK 5 megapixels. Not horrible, but if you’re a selfie-machine, look elsewhere.

PocketNow’s Michael Fisher took to YouTube to compare both new Nexus phones, in a video you can see below. The most striking difference, according to Fisher, is the display. The Nexus 6P’s AMOLED display simply blows it out of the water:

Mashable agrees mostly with this sentiment, saying that blacks could definitely be deeper on the 5X, but that the screen is definitely “more than sufficient” for a smartphone:

A 5.2-inch screen spans almost the entire front of the phone. Google went with a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution panel, which is more than sufficient for a smartphone. Lots of smartphones play the resolution and pixel density game, almost to a silly degree, at the expense of battery battery life. In that regard, it was wise of Google not to go with a QuadHD screen. The screen is crisp and renders most colors accurately without any of the artificial saturation and color-boosting other phones have. The blacks could be deeper and the viewing angles could be wider, though.

As for Nexus Imprint, the fingerprint reader on the back of the device, Liliputing is sold:

Honestly, I kind of thought fingerprint scanners were gimmicky unless you wanted to use your phone for mobile payments, but now I’m sold: the Nexus Imprint sensor makes it super easy to unlock the phone or to login to apps like LastPass that take advantage of Google’s fingerprint recognition system.

Overall most agree that these are the best Nexus phones ever, but Ron Amadeo in particular sums up my feelings. I don’t just think these are the best Nexus phones, I think they’re the best Android phones you can buy — and will remain as such for quite some time.

This year, we see a gap widening between Nexus devices and every other Android phone. If you’re buying an Android device and want the fastest updates, the longest update support time, the best security program, zero crapware, the best software design, a cohesive app ecosystem, and the latest features from Google, you need to buy a Nexus. Every other Android phone pales in comparison to the Nexus 5X and 6P.

If you want more than just a second generation Nexus 5, though, I would go with the Nexus 6P for sure.

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.