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Honor 5X vs Nexus 5X: Two Excellent Android Options

Know Your Mobile logo Know Your Mobile 09-02-2016 Know Your Mobile
Honor 5X vs Nexus 5X: Two Excellent Android Options© Honor 5X vs Nexus 5X: Two Excellent Android Options

Do phone manufacturers feel awkward when they release a phone with the same name? I mean, designing a device with a lot of inpirational cues from a rival is one thing, but when two devices are literally entitled the same way, does everyone on the development teams just cringe? We reckon so. And if that's the case, then it seems a bunch of people at Google and Huawei are probably both cringing like crazy right now, because the current Honor flagship (built by Huawei) is called the Honor 5X, while one of Google's latest Nexus phones (made by LG), is guessed it...the Nexus 5X.

Aside from the name, they've got to be pretty different devices though, right? Well we aim to have a look and find out for you.

Google Nexus 5X vs Honor 5X: Design

Google's latest Nexus 5X looks very much like the previous Nexus 5, both being made by LG and featuring that pretty standard Nexus look; a somewhat generic "tab" shape with rounded corners and a smooth plastic shell material made from decent quality polycarbonates. The bodywork is largely only interrupted by two circular shapes towards the top-middle of the rear panel - a porthole for the camera sensor, and a fingerprint scanner immediately below that. Other than this, the Nexus 5X is a suitably thin handset as they go, and it's available in black, white, or an eye-catching pale blue.

Meanwhile, the Honor 5X seems to be a bit of a mashup of design styles. We can see some iPhone in there (punched speakers in base), some Samsung Galaxy S6, a hefty dollop of HTC One (brushed metal, endcap and antennae design), and even a pinch of Sony (it's quite angular overall, you see). Despite (or perhaps because of) this mixture, the Honor 5X does end up with its very own style that looks rather interesting to the eye and plenty premium enough for our tastes. It's also worth noting that the Honor 5X is a good deal larger than the Nexus 5X with a 5.5in display and a bigger chassis at 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2 mm.

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Google Nexus 5X vs Honor 5X: Software

One issue I have with the Honor 5X, however, is its software: Huawei’s custom UX is bloody awful in practice and a pain to use in comparison to the simplicity and good looks of stock Android. 

Nevertheless, Huawei does ship the Honor 5X with an unlocked bootloader, so you can tinker with the software until your heart’s content. This is a pretty big deal actually too, as plenty of OEMs prefer to keep things locked down in this regard. 

The EMUI UX is awful, so if you do get this phone, you will definitely want to bone up on how to install custom ROMs like CyanogenMod. 

These are the basic steps for unlocking the Honor 5X’s bootloader: 

Visit the EMUI global site - Unlock BootloaderSign in to Huawei IDAccept the unlocking agreementEnter device information and click SubmitGet code and enjoy

The Nexus 5X doesn’t really need any introduction in this regard; it has just about the best software experience you can get on any phone, bar none, with its stock implementation of Android Marshmallow. 

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Google Nexus 5X vs Honor 5X: Specs & Hardware

Nexus 5X:

Dimensions: 147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm Display: 5.2in IPS LCD 1080 x 1920 pixels (~423 ppi pixel density)

OS: Android Marshmallow

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801

Memory: 2GB

Storage Options: 16GB/32GB

SD-Support: No

Imaging: 13 MP, f/2.0, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash

Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 2700 mAh battery

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Honor 5X:

Dimensions: 151.3 x 76.3 x 8.2 mm Display: 5.5in IPS LCD 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)

OS: Android Lollipop

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 615

Memory: 2GB/3GB

Storage Options: 16GB

SD-Support: Yes, up to 128GB

Imaging: 13 MP, f/2.0, autofocus, LED flash

Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery

Both devices seem to be fairly well matched when it comes to the camera hardware and battery cells, although the Honor 5X edges out ever-so-slightly in front with a full 3000mAh. Google's handset has more varied options for onboard storage, but lacks microSD expandability, while the Honor 5X packs support for a full-size 128GB microSD.

But probably the most important difference comes in the processor and software. Naturally being a Nexus device the Nexus 5X uses the very latest version of Google's Android system - version 6.0 Marshmallow - and will be continually kept bang up to date. The Honor X is a little bit behind on Android Lollipop, although it's still a competent software setup. Google has a slightly more competetive processor though, with the Snapdragon 808, though neither are top of the line, you can nonetheless be sure that the handset coming with the Nexus branding will be about as well-optimised as it's possible for a phone to be!

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