Is the Nexus 5X the best-value smartphone ever?


Google's Nexus 5X is ready for ordering. It may not give the iPhone 6s a run for the money --- but is it the best-value smartphone ever?

With service providers including Verizon abandoning phone subsidies in order to lock people into long-term contracts, people now see the full prices they pay for phones. And that means that they're going to be more conscious than ever about what they pay. The Nexus 5X has been perfectly designed for that world.

With a $379 price for the base 16 GB model, the Nexus 5X seems to be an ideal blend of price and performance. After all, the iPhone 6s comes with 16 GB of memory for the base model, and it sells for $649.

But you get a lot more than just memory with the 5X. The screen is a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD, with 423ppi. Not, that's not top of the line, but it's more than good enough. It's got a 5-megapixel, front-facing camera and a 12-megapixel back one. There's a USB Type-C port and some clever work going on underneath the hood, notably the Android Sensor Hub. This is a low-power processor that's always on and that handles data streaming in from its sensors including the accelerometer and the gyroscope. What's the point? It can gather fitness and other data without the main processor being woken up, saving on battery life. Oh, and it also uses the latest version of Android, Marshmallow.

There's also a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 1.8GHz hexa-core 64-bit processor, an Adreno 418 GPU and 2GB of RAM. There's a fingerprint sensor as well, a surprise in a budget phone. As an extra it also works with Google's Fi carrier service, which relies primarily on WiFi for calling and data, but also uses Sprint's and T-Mobile's networks. The basic Fi plan comes in at only $20 per month.

So is the Nexus 5X the best value phone ever? It looks to be, especially if you use it with Google Fi.

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