Ledger Nano X Review (2019): Is it worth the Upgrade?

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Ledger Nano X is the next generation of Hardware wallet with smartphone support, a larger screen and more storage space for Apps. The Ledger Nano X is great for newcomers or experienced traders trading more than 3 types of cryptocurrencies at at time or large volumes on the go. If more apps and mobility isn’t a big concern, stick with the Ledger Nano S.

In this review, we’ll be looking at the security, 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:

Ledger Nano X Video Review
  • Larger 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.

To purchase a Ledger Nano X, click here

Security features

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.

Ledger Nano X Teardown
Ledger Nano X Teardown showing CC EAL 5+ Secure Element Chip

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.

Similar to the Nano S, users can set up wallets protected by a passphrase in addition to your primary PIN code. So say a thief demands you to unlock your device, you can give them the PIN code to access wallets with fewer funds. Whilst hiding the bulk of your crypto assets behind passphrase protected wallets.

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.

Ledger Nano X Bluetooth Control Panel
Bluetooth can be turned off on the Ledger Nano X

5/5 Security Rating

Multi Currency Support

Coins Supported By Ledger Nano X
Full list of supported coins on Ledger can be found here

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 Ledger Nano S.

One of the weakness of the Nano S is the lack of space for installed applications. The Ledger Nano X fixes this problem by increasing the internal memory to 2 MB. In our tests we were able to install all 73 available 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.

Ledger also recently added a native Ethereum Wallet to Ledger Live that adds support for all ERC-20 tokens. This allows for direct access to tokens and ethereum whilst on the go without the need for a 3rd-party interface like MyEtherWallet.

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

Hardware Design

Ledger nano X PIN entry interface
Input is made with the two circular buttons

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

Mobility

Ledger nano X

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.

Ledger Nano X compared Trezor T

Ledger compared to other Hardware Wallets

The biggest difference between the Ledger Nano X and the Trezor Model T is the screen and supported coins. The Trezor Model T has nice touch screen which helps with entering PIN and the security phrases. However, the Trezor has fewer supported coins and usually projects tend to release Ledger support first. The following table is a comparison between various hardware wallets, including the release date, external security certification (if any), release date and our review rating.

Ledger Nano XLedger Nano STrezor OneTrezor Model TKeepKeyEnjin Wallet
Price $119 $59 $78 $159.9$79Free (iOS, Android)
Release Date201920162014201820152019
Security Certification CC EAL 5+ CC EAL 5+XXXORU audit
Review Rating (out of 5)4.43.93.754.253.54.5

Verdict:

Ledger Nano X Review: Is it worth buying?

To purchase a Ledger Nano X, click here

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 23rd May 2019 by Michael Gu

Security Rating: 5/5
Multi-currency Support: 5/5
Hardware design: 4/5
Ease of Use: 3.5/5
Final Score: 4.4/5

To purchase a Ledger Nano X, click here

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+).

Connector

USB Type-C , Bluetooth 5.0
Battery
100mAh battery
Size
72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm
Supported Assets1100+ Supported assets

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you keep your coins when upgrading from the Ledger Nano S to Ledger Nano X?

Yes. When doing the upgrade, choose to “restore” option during setup and enter the 24 word recovery phrase from the Ledger Nano S backup

Can you turn Bluetooth Feature Off in Ledger Nano X?

Yes, Bluetooth can be disabled in the Control panel. You can access the panel by holding down both buttons for 3 seconds.

Can many apps can you install on the Ledger Nano X?

We tested and installed all 73 Apps.

Further reading

Ledger also posts up reviews from other YouTubers, which you can check out here.

10 COMMENTS

  1. You didn’t write that the ledger nano only supports 23 crypto through the accounts. You can download a ton of apps, but you need the account to correlate with the app in the live app. They don’t tell you this. So, a lot of crypto will not be stored on this. This is a piece of metal I bought for $100 until they fix this and add more accounts.

  2. Can it be charged using an USB-C phone charger (like the one which comes with Pixel 2) or does it require to be charged from a computer?

  3. Is that true the bluetooth communication works only when talking to the mobile app? I mean, it does not work with the desktop app?

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