Thanks to The Nexus 5x, Nexus is Dead To Me

The Nexus 5x is Not A Good Enough Phone To Justify The Cost

This article originally appeared on Techaftermidnight.com. Read it here.

As a phone nerd, I take the decision of which phone I am going to own very seriously. I can’t bring myself to own an iPhone. It’s some irrational contrarian within me that is forcing this decision. That leaves Windows and Android as potential smartphone solutions. If you’ve read my blog posts about my experience with Windows mobile devices, you’ll know that this relationship is tortured. I love the OS but I can’t stay due to the app issue. Therefore, I’m on Android.

My current phone is my Nexus 5x and I cannot in good faith recommend it to anyone. Coming from someone who, up until now, would swear by the Nexus brand name this is a big deal. As far as I’m concerned, this phone is barely a step above the $79 prepaid special at your local mall kiosk. It’s laggy, glitchy and to top it off,Google doesn’t give a darn enough to fix it or even acknowledge the problem.

In the Spring of 2015, I was long overdue for upgrading my phone. I had been sporting my Nexus 4 since February 2013 and it was definitely showing its age. Frequent random battery drains, and forced reboots were wearing my patience rather thin. A smartphone is very much a productivity device for me and a phone that doesn’t do the job is worthless. For better or worse, I decided to jump off the good boat Android and board the sinking ship Windows Phone. I bought a Lumia 930 and by and large I loved that phone. It was quick, beautiful, had a great camera and the battery worked well for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that there are apps that I have to use for work that aren’t available for Microsoft’s platform I would still be using that phone. You know where this story goes, the app issue was a rude awakening, and like the prodigal son, I returned to the Android family and purchased a Nexus 5x.

I have said before that I find the phone uninspiring. However, considering that I had already spent $400 on a Lumia 930, granted I did recoup $235 when I sold it, I couldn’t justify buying the more interesting and powerful Nexus 6p. I had to get something that was fairly powerful and worked well. Looks be darned.

At first my Nexus 5x did its job without complaint but it was nothing to write home about. Lauding it’s performance would be like lauding a recent college graduate for paying his or her student loans on time. They don’t get a pat on the head for that. It’s something that’s simply expected.

And then the lag started…

The lag was most pronounced with the camera. Any functions related to the camera would bog down my phone so bad I started having flashbacks of the final days of my old Motorola Droid 2. I would have to wait for 30 seconds or more to regain any sort of responsiveness on my phone. Simply unacceptable in 2016. I once clocked 53 seconds. It was really bad.

So I contacted Google to see if they could do anything to help. I should mention that before I contacted Google Support, I tried everything from uninstalling apps one-by-one to clearing the cache to factory resetting the device. Nothing stuck. The support tech recommended that I exchange the device for a new one, which I did.

My new Nexus 5x performed at a solid C+ level like the previous one had. This period of relative phone compliance was extended due to Google’s Android 6.0.1 update. For the most part, the phone was doing its job just fine. Until about a month and a half ago.

While the phone is not nearly as bad as my first Nexus 5x, the gremlins are definitely back. In some ways I wish I would have stuck with my Windows Phone and figured out awkward, duct tape solutions to its app deficiencies. Then again, that would be its own world of hurt and I’m not ready for round two quite yet.

For now, regardless of the lag, I’m better off with my Nexus 5x than my Lumia 930. I know I won’t have any compatibility issues and I’ll have all the apps I need to do whatever it is that I do. But if you are looking to buy a new phone that doesn’t break the bank, don’t bother with the Nexus 5x. For what it is, it is overpriced, even for $299 at BestBuy. I would recommend looking at something like the Alcatel Idol 3. You can have it starting at $179 depending on the specific configuration.

I am going to be keeping my Nexus 5x for the time being. Frankly, I’m hoping that within a year or so Microsoft will have enough of the right universal apps in its store that they’ll be worth looking at again. It’s a long shot, but a guy can dream right?

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