Hardware

Hands-On Review of the Ledger Nano X Hardware Wallet Prototype

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Ledger’s latest hardware wallet improves almost everything you love about the Nano S. Now equipped with Bluetooth, you can securely manage your crypto assets with a new mobile app. Ledger sent us an early access prototype, so here’s a quick look at the Ledger Nano X.

Ledger Nano X: First Impressions

While Dan had a first look at the Nano X during CES, it’s hard to get a feel for a product from a trade show booth. Holding one in person, it’s similar yet different to the Nano S.

Ledger Nano X

The Nano X retains the hinged metal cover and single color display of the Nano S, but it has a new and exciting overhaul. The control buttons have moved from the rear edge to the front panel. They have also increased in size, and are far easier to use than the small buttons on the Nano S. The larger screen sits alongside a built-in battery, and USB Type-C charging port.

The screen is now flush with the front casing, rather than inset, and the increased memory and storage capacities make the Nano X easier than ever to use. The wallet operates through apps, installed over Bluetooth with the Ledger Live companion app. No keys are ever transferred over Bluetooth and the credit-card style secure chip prevents unauthorized access or tampering.

Ledger Nano X

In every way, the Nano X feels like a worthy upgrade to the wildly popular Nano S. Despite being a prototype (and a fantastic one), ledger assure us that many features are changing before release, including:

  • Battery life
  • Build quality
  • Firmware
  • Screen brightness

We can’t wait to see how Ledger improve this prototype, as it’s already excellent in our opinion.

Using the Ledger Live App

Ledger’s Live app has been around for a while across all desktop operating systems. The Nano X companion app is brand new. Available on Android and iOS devices on January 28, it offers a compelling way to securely send, receive, and store your crypto, and is the main way you’ll interact with the Nano X.

Ledger Live mobile app

Gone are the days of connecting the Nano to your computer and firing up the desktop app. With the Nano X’s Bluetooth, it’s a very simple process to manage your assets. While the intuitive two-button control system on the wallet itself allows you to change basic settings, it’s the app which does all the work.

As the Nano X supports over 1000 different cryptocurrencies, each different token operates through a Nano app. These install via Ledger Live onto the Nano X itself, and as there is more memory available to the X, there’s more room to install many apps at once. On the Nano S, it’s limited storage meant you often need to uninstall apps to make room for new ones. You don’t lose your coins or settings, but it was an inconvenience.

Ledger Live mobile app

The app itself is simple to use. The clear interface provides everything you need without appearing cluttered. Whenever the app needs to talk to the wallet, you’ll need to connect over Bluetooth and unlock using your PIN code. The whole process works quickly and seamlessly.

Is It Worth Upgrading to Ledger Nano X?

We think the Nano X is a fantastic wallet, but whether you should buy it is a different matter. As it’s not yet available to the general public, you can’t buy it no matter how much you would like to. If you don’t own a hardware wallet yet, or you want to securely store your coins but have quick access to them, the Nano X is a solid choice.

Ledger Nano X

If you own a Nano S already, then the choice is tougher. If you can live without Bluetooth, then you may as well keep what you have already. If you must have Bluetooth or dislike some of the Nano S limitations, then the Nano X is a good upgrade path.

Finally, there’s the reputation and security aspect to consider. While Ledger has a solid reputation for reliability and software updates, the Nano X is still a new product. It may build upon the solid foundations laid by the Nano S, but it’s not been battle tested. Ledger’s excellent track record should alleviate some of those concerns.

Ledger Nano X closed

Overall, the Nano X is a solid and worthwhile improvement on the original Nano S. The fact Ledger are continuing to sell the Nano S (albeit at a new reduced price), shows where this wallet sits in the market. If you want the best, buy the Nano X. If you’re looking to save some cash, and can live without the latest-and-greatest features, the Nano S is still a solid choice.

Joe Coburn
With a background in software development, Joe quickly realized the potential in blockchain technology when it first hit the scene. He started a personal blog (RIP) about cryptocurrency developments way back in 2010, and since then he’s been fascinated by the concept of decentralized currency.

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