Ledger Nano X Review: Is it worth the Upgrade?
In 2019, French hardware wallet maker announced their new device – the Ledger Nano X. Surprising this device is not made as an upgrade the widely used Nano S – instead designed to exist alongside the Nano S model. In this review, we’ll be looking at the technical specs, hardware design and cryptocurrency support of the Ledger Nano X to tell you if this device is worth purchasing or not. For Set-up and installation guides, check out our full Ledger Nano X guide.
Key Features of the Ledger Nano X:
- Large HD screen – Displays full cryptocurrency addresses without scrolling
- Mobile support – (Android and iOS) support via Ledger Live Mobile
- More storage space – Install up to 100 different apps for different coins.
- Rechargeable Battery – allows the device to be powered-on without a cable.
You can also check out my comprehensive video review below
One of the key reasons to buy Ledger hardware wallets is the firms reputation for security. The Nano X contains a two processor chips:
- Secure Element: ST33J2M0 (secure) is independently certified and stores the private key and signs transactions
- Operating system: STM32WB55 chip is responsible for Ledger’s BOLOS proprietary Operating System.
Secure elements are separate pieces of hardware (second layer of security) with their own storage and limited functionality that cannot be breached by hackers. This means that even if the Ledger Nano X is connected to a compromise device – like a hacked laptop or phone, the private keys (=access to crypto funds) is never compromised. Devices like the Trezor One and Model T do not have secure elements and only have a single layer of security.
The Ledger Nano X also has the same BOLOS operating system that is found on the Nano S. BOLOS ensures that addresses are displayed properly on the device and handles connections to external devices.
The Nano X has the addition of Bluetooth support. Unfortunately Bluetooth’s security record is not spotless, and presents a new vector of attack for the device. Ledger CTO Nicolas Bacca has stated during an interview that Bluetooth on Ledger functions assuming the connection has been compromised – at no point will it be able to take over the device.
5/5 Security Rating
Multi Currency Support
Ledger has one of the most diverse support for different cryptocurrencies such as NEO, Vechain and Monero. With their open policy to development from project teams, the Ledger nano X supports 1100+ different assets. Many of these assets like Vechain or NEO are not found on competitors like the Trezor Model T or KeepKey, making Ledger the only hardware wallet available for many coins. The rule of thumb here is that the Nano X will support the same assets as the Nano S.
One of the weakness of the Nano S is the lack of space for installed applications. A new app needs to be installed to interact with each different blockchain, depending on the blockchain, it might only be possible to fit 2-3 apps on the Nano S. The Ledger Nano X fixes this problem by increasing the internal memory to 2 MB. In our tests we were able to install 20 different apps on the device (Ledger claims up to 100+). It should be noted that app storage is a convenience feature – apps will still retain their accounts / cyptocurrency balances even if uninstalled.
One of our complaints is that Ledger Nano X has to enter each app separately account – something that is not necessary on the Trezor Model T.
5/5 Multi Currency Support
The new Ledger Nano X has two hardware buttons – hidden in the circular design of the cover pivot. These two buttons allows us to access menus (hold both buttons), make selections (press both buttons), and even input recovery phrases (use buttons to scroll). We found that entering PINs and recovery phrases to be tedious with only 2 buttons – perhaps a touchscreen or additional buttons could of helped.
Nano X has a larger screen with higher resolution. This means that full cryptocurrency addresses could be displaced without scrolling – something that was sorely lacking in the Nano S.
The Nano X uses a modern USB-C interface for charging and connecting to the PC. This is a welcomed upgrade as the computing world migrates to USB-C.
4/5 for Hardware Design
3.5/5 of Ease of Use
Ledger Nano X can be used with mobile devices, and transactions can be sent on the go using the Ledger Live app on mobile. We found this feature to be very situational. Whilst it is helpful to be sending crypto on the go with the security the Nano X provides, the convenience is lacking when compared to mobile wallets like the Enjin Wallet. A separation confirmation set is needed: unlock device via PIN, enter the cryptocurrency app, check and confirm the transaction. This feels tedious and not suitable for simple coffee purchases or small transactions. What does make sense is perhaps large purchases (a car or house?) or token sale investments. However, the question remains, how frequently do we need to send large amounts of crypto on the go?
Ledger Nano X worth the upgrade?
Coming at $119, the Ledger Nano X is not a budget device – it commands a certain price premium making the upgrade decision harder for many users. For many, the deal breaker convenience features – the large screen that displays full cryptocurrency addresses and larger storage for more apps. If these features are important for you, then the Nano X is worth the upgrade. However, if you only need a few apps, the budget friendly Ledger Nano S is a better option at $59.
At the end of the day, choosing between the Ledger Nano X and other hardware wallets is mostly based on 1 question – are the cryptocurrencies you want supported on the device. Support for a large number of coins has always been Ledger’s strong suite, along for browser support in Decentralized exchanges (Binance DEX, IDEX and Switcheo)
Reviewed on 19th May 2019 by Michael
Security Rating: 5/5
Multi-currency Support: 5/5
Hardware design: 4/5
Ease of Use: 3.5/5
To purchase a Ledger Nano X, click here
Final score: 4.4 / 5
Product Specifications (Technical Specifications)
Ledger Nano X Product Specifications:
|Processors||ST33J2M0 (secure) + STM32WB55|
|Compatibility||64-bits desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.8+, Linux) excluding ARM Processors. Also compatible with smartphones (iOS 9+ or Android 7+).|
USB Type-C , Bluetooth 5.0
72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm
|Supported Assets||1100+ Supported assets|