Time for a new phone

My LG Nexus 5X is almost two years old and has already had a new motherboard fitted to fix the boot-loop of death. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until the phone starts boot-looping again, and things are starting to slow down. Most annoyingly, it will appear to take a photo but the photo never gets saved – yesterday this robbed me of a nice photo I’d taken of my son opening his birthday present.

As it’s almost inevitable that the boot-loop will happen again, it makes sense to replace the phone before it happens – that way, I can sell the phone and get more money for a working model. It also means I can transfer everything over to the new phone or backup photos etc. to my PC – it is next to impossible to do this once the boot-loop starts, as I know from painful experience!

I’ve spent a while deciding which new phone to get. I don’t like iOS so an iPhone is out of the question. I was looking at the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2, but I can’t bring myself to pay such a premium for them. So I started looking at phones at a lower price point. My considerations were:

  • Camera – I want a decent camera for taking photos, I don’t carry a standalone camera everywhere with me and it’s nice to be able to take photos of my family when we’re out and about. I’ve been spoiled with the Nexus 5X camera I think – obviously the Galaxy S8 and Pixel 2 have the best cameras but they’re also the most expensive.
  • Headphone socket – I have a headphone cable in my car to plug my phone, and one in the kitchen too. Bluetooth has its uses but sometimes I just want to plug my phone in and have it work straight away!
  • USB-C – I’ve become accustomed to using USB-C with the Nexus 5X and I don’t think I can go back to micro USB and having to insert the plug the correct way.
  • RAM – The Nexus 5X only has 2GB of RAM which these days is not brilliant – I’d like a phone with more memory available.
  • Storage – I’d prefer not to use a micro SD card but it’s nice to have the option. The Nexus 5X has 32GB storage which has mostly been enough for my needs.
  • NFC – I like having the option to pay for things with my phone – it comes in handy when out and about in London, for example, as you can use it with Oyster terminals.
  • Fingerprint reader – It’s so quick and easy to unlock with a fingerprint, plus it stops the kids being able to access my phone!

I was initially looking at the Honor 9, which has had some excellent reviews and covers all of the points above. However, when I went to see how much it was on Amazon it was out of stock and wouldn’t be available for shipping for at least a month. Whilst there I noticed that the Honor View 10 was reduced to £380 – only £80 more than the Honor 9, but for that extra money you get more RAM, storage and a better screen. £80 seems a decent premium for these features and it will hopefully future-proof the phone a little more, so I’ve gone for the Honor View 10. Sadly Amazon didn’t have it available for next-day delivery but it should come next week. I could have ordered it from elsewhere but if I buy from Amazon I’ll have a bit more peace of mind when it comes to guarantees, etc.

I look forward to trying out the new phone and will post my thoughts here in the near future.

Nexus 5X

I took the plunge and bought a Nexus 5X – in the end it was having vanilla Android that won out over the Xperia Z5 Compact, I know for sure that the Nexus 5X will always be updated quickly.

The box for my Nexus 5X

So far I am loving the phone – it is a massive upgrade from the Moto G (2014). Everything is smooth, I’ve not experienced any lag yet, and everything loads quickly and works as you’d expect it to. The phone only has 2GB of RAM but I’ve not come across any performance issues related to this, and it’s double what is in the Moto G.

I got the version with 32GB of storage – as the phone doesn’t have additional microSD storage I felt it was important to get as much as possible. This is obviously a massive improvement over the 8GB that the Moto G has, and I’m nowhere near filling it up. Being able to update apps without having to clear cache and delete things first is much better!

Having used the fingerprint reader on this phone I can’t now imagine having one without it – it makes life so much easier, both with unlocking the phone and for verifying my identity (LastPass uses it instead of a master password). I don’t need to set a PIN now to prevent the kids from using it!

The camera is also another massive improvement – I can finally take photos in low light conditions and expect the results to be usable. I also like that you can bring the camera up quickly when the phone is locked – just push the power button quickly twice and it brings up the camera. You can then use the volume buttons to take a photo. The panorama and photo sphere features are also very good.

To protect the phone I bought a screen protector and a case. I went for the PThink screen protector which is tempered glass rather than the usual cheap plastic cover. It costs a bit more but it is so much better than what I’ve used before – I was able to apply it first time with no dust getting underneath and the bubbles were small and easy to get rid of. So far it is holding up well and I’ve not got any scratches or marks on it yet.

I went for the SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle case which has a transparent back that shows off the Nexus logo. It fits well, although one thing to note is that the hole for the headphone socket is a little small – my headphones fit in but my car adapter is too thick to fit in – I’ll have to buy an extender to get it to fit.

So far I am very pleased with the Nexus 5X and would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a new phone.