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12 Tips, Tricks and Hacks for the Nexus 5X

The Nexus 5X is packed with features and tricks that you can use to improve your experience, and most will only take a few minutes, (or a few taps) to sort out.

What’s the point of getting a new device if you’re not going to utilize its full potential?If you’ve just turned on your new 5X and you want a comprehensive list of the best tips and tricks for the device, look no further.

1. Quick Launch the Camera

There’s nothing worse than missing out on a photo opportunity because you couldn’t get to the camera in time. The Nexus 5X allows you to open the camera as quickly as possible, with a shortcut that’s easy to remember.

If you double tap the home button your phone will quickly launch the camera, which should give you enough time to snap and film those special moments.

2. Get More Accurate Battery Readings

It can be difficult to tell exactly just how much battery you have left from the main icon, so make sure to change the settings so you can see just how much juice you have left by adding a percentage indicator.

You can do this by;

Step 1: Opening your Notification Menu and holding down the Settings gear for a few seconds.

Android Settings Gear

Step 2: This will allow you to access System UI Tuner in your Settings. Find it, and tap it to open up a new menu.

Step 3: There’s an option called Show embedded battery percentage. Adjust the toggle on the right and you’re good to go.

You should be getting roughly a day’s use from your 5X. Is your device is suffering from battery problems? We have a number of guides available on the subject.

3. Manage Permissions

Android Marshmallow gives you the opportunity to manage your permissions, which means that you have full control over what apps are allowed to do on your device.

To manage your permissions;

Step 1: Go to Apps in the Settings menu.

Step 2: Tap on any app, and tap on Permissions from the menu.

Step 3: From here, you have full control over what sort of access apps will have on your device.

Of course, certain apps may not work properly if you fiddle with their permissions, but you can always change them back if necessary.

4. Nexus Imprint (Fingerprint Scanning)

As you may have guessed, the Nexus Imprintis actually the new fingerprint scanner which can be used for a number of tasks, including unlocking the device and paying for items.

To set up the scanner;

Step 1: Go to Security in your main Settings menu.

Step 2: Tap Nexus Imprint, and tap Add fingerprint.

Step 3: You’ll be prompted to make a backup password now.

Step 4: Follow the instructions, and you should now be ready to use the scanner.

(You can add additional fingerprints afterwards.)

5. Power Saving Modes

One of the most asked questions about handsets is how to prolong battery life. The 5X is no different, and it’s often easier to enable the inbuilt power-saving options.

Step 1: Open your Settings, and tap Battery. Tap the menu button (three dots in a line) and tap Battery saver.

Step 2: Turn the switch/toggle on to enable the settings.

Step 3: You can also set your device to go into power saving mode automatically when your battery is low. Tap Turn on automatically from the Battery saver menu to enable it when you most need it.

The top and bottom of your screen will turn orange while the mode is active.

6. Google Fit

Considering that it’s a pre-installed app, Google Fit is better than most of the bloatware that you usually find on a new phone. It’s a fitness tracker, with decent reviews on the Play Store.

google play button

If you want a rough idea of the amount of exercise you’re doing each day, it’s a decent option, although it’ll never be as good as dedicated fitness hardware.

We also have a list of the best fitness apps on Android if you would prefer an alternative.

7. Easy Unlocking via Trusted Locations

Setting up a trusted location will allow you to use your phone without having to unlock it while you’re at home. If you’re going to use trusted locations on your phone, make sure that your device will be secure at all times. (Unless you like the idea of people going through your phone.)

Step 1: Firstly, go to Security in your Settings.

Step 2: Tap Smart Lock, and enter your PIN when prompted.

Step 3: Tap Trusted places, and you can enter the address from here. You can also set up multiple locations from here.

Your phone will lock automatically when you leave the location.

8. Customize your Quick Toggles

The Quick Settings menu is incredibly handy, (how did we ever get by before?) but you can tailor it to your needs for even better

Step 1: Access the System UI Tuner by opening your Notification Menu and holding down the Settings gear for a few seconds. The Tuner will appear in the main Settings menu.


Step 2: From this menu, you can rearrange the icons and settings shown in the pulldown bar, by heading into Quick Settings.

You will also find a number of other features in this menu that will allow you to further customize your device.

9. Managing Notifications Shown on the Lock Screen

If you want to keep your personal data away from prying eyes, you can manage what sort of information is shown on the notification panel while the screen is locked.

This can be done by:

Step 1: Going to Sounds and Notifications from the main Settings menu.

Step 2: Tap Notifications, and from here you can manage the alerts you receive when the device is locked.

10. Shoot 4K Video

If you want to shoot videos in stunning 4K, you’ll have to enable it in the Settings first.

Step 1: Go to the Settings in your Camera. Tap Resolution & Quality, and choose the Back Camera Video.

Step 2: Tap UHD 4K and you’ll be ready to start filming in 4K.

11. Tap and Pay


If you want to leave your credit and debit cards at home, Tap & Pay is another great feature that allows you to make purchases with contactless verification.

Step 1: Firstly, switch on NFC (near field communication) from Wireless & networks in your Settings app.

Step 2: Once you’ve downloaded and installed a payment app, go to Tap & pay in your Settings and select it as your default payment app.

12. Turn on your LED Notification Light

Without the LED notification light on my phone, I would probably never reply to messages when I’m busy with online multiplayer on my PS4. The Nexus 5X has an LED light, but you’ll have to enable it first in your settings.

To turn on the LED light:

Step 1: Go to Sound & notification in your Settings app.

Step 2: Toggle the switch next to Pulse notification light.

You won’t be able to customize the alerts any further without downloading an app such as Light Flow from the Play Store, but it’s definitely worth turning on the LED for normal alerts.

google play button


The Nexus 5X has had a number of bugs and issues since launch, but it’s good to be able to focus on the positive aspects of the device when it does work.

If you have any problems, or you think we’ve missed out on a great feature, let us know in the comments below.We also have a guide with some of the best cases for the device.

What’s your opinion of the Nexus 5X? Are you impressed by what it offers, or are you having trouble with it? Let us know in the comments below, or you can also send us a message, (or a follow) on both Facebook and Twitter.

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