Ledger S vs X in 2021

When it comes to securing our cryptocurrency, you really can’t do better than a reputable hardware wallet that stores your currency off-line and keeps your private keys and public addresses completely secure. Within the hardware wallet space, few names are bigger than The French hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, who have dominated with the Ledger Nano S — a sleek and easy-to-use hardware wallet that you couldn’t go wrong with. Now, however, we have the Ledger Nano X, its bigger brother, and a few new features on offer (alongside a new price tag). Down below will take a look at exactly what the S and X each have to offer in comparison and make a recommendation to help you decide which Ledger Nano is right for you.

Ledger Nano S vs X Comparison

While both devices obviously share some significant overlap in their features, there are a few key differences that can help differentiate them for the individual user. Down below you will cover the most salient differences in the price, design, and features of both the Ledger Nano S and Nano X and take a look at the security of each device. 

Price

Ledger Nano S vs X - price

The first and most salient difference between the Ledger Nano S and X is certainly the price tag. The Ledger Nano S retails for $59, while the Ledger Nano X goes for just about double at $119. Though Ledger Nano X is a newer and more feature-dense product, as we’ll go into, whether or not it justifies a doubling of the price tag depends on the interests and usage of the individual user. Even if price is not an issue, it still may be worth your time to consider the different use-cases that either option caters to.

Design

Outwardly similar from afar, both devices possess a plastic body with a small LED screen and a rotating, burnished steel case.

The Ledger Nano X, design-wise, outperforms the S with a larger screen at double the resolution (128 x 32 vs 128 x 64). But considering it’s a hardware wallet and not a smartphone, this may not be as meaningful a distinction as Ledger brands it as considering you won’t be consuming any media on the device and resolution itself may not be a deciding factor.

However, there is a distinct utility afforded by the bigger screen on the Ledger Nano X in that it can display entire public addresses without any need to scroll. This is actually more important than it sounds when it comes crucial step of verifying addresses during a transaction. There’s no point in keeping your crypto secure if you’re going to send it to the wrong place by accident — especially since there’s no way to reverse a crypto-transaction once completed. 

The Ledger Nano S has two navigation buttons that jut out slightly from the device’s body, just peeking out from under the steel case when stored. The Ledger Nano X, on the other hand, has two circular touch buttons (one on the body, and one at the hinge of the steel case) that are easier on the hands and preserve a sleek silhouette. It certainly takes some getting used to, navigating menus and inputting addresses with only two buttons, but is certainly more intuitive with the Ledger Nano X given the location of the two buttons on the front. 

For sitting in your pocket (which isn’t recommended anyway) the Ledger Nano X features a softer design with rounded corners on both the steel case and the device’s body itself that won’t poke you when keeping the device in your pocket and make it easier to hold during use. Overall, the Ledger Nano X makes some significant improvements over the S, but if you’re comfortable with a smaller screen it’s not certain that everyone will be willing to shell out for both. Especially considering they’re both just as durable. 

Features 

Ledger Nano S vs X Features

It is in the arena features that the Ledger Nano X starts to leave the Ledger Nano S behind. While both the Ledger Nano X and S both support over 1100 cryptocurrencies, the Nano X has an increased storage capacity that allows users to keep up to 100 crypto-apps on their device as opposed to the Ledger Nano S and its upper limit of 20. This is of course subject to the average size of each app but the moral is that the Ledger Nano X has five times the storage capacity of the S.

The Ledger Nano S has no battery and requires a cable for use. This makes it significantly less portable though the device remains perfectly adequate for infrequent transactions. The Ledger Nano X, however, goes out of its way to differentiate itself for mobile users with a 100 MAH battery and Bluetooth connectivity that allows traders to make transactions on the go using the Ledger Live mobile app. This lends itself extremely well to users making use of frequent transactions and is the defining characteristic of the X.

In terms of support, both the X and S support the same lineup of cryptos, so (unlike with Ledger’s major competitor, Trezor) you won’t be at a loss at either pricepoint in terms of support.

Security

Ledger Nano S vs X Security

For any user, security is paramount and should, of course, take primacy over all other considerations when choosing the best hardware wallet to store your crypto. However, when it comes to keeping your assets secure, both devices are essentially equivalent. Hardware wallets by Ledger are generally considered to be top of the line in the hardware wallet market and you can’t really go wrong with either when it comes to protection.

The X uses the ST33 security chip while the S relies on the ST31, but both chips have been rated CC EAL5+ by ANSSI, France’s Cybersecurity agency and are considered essentially equivalent. Some have erroneously stated that the Ledger X’s wireless connectivity can pose as a vector of attack — fortunately, this is false. Only public data is transmitted via the Bluetooth connection and your keys are perfectly safe. 

This leaves you free to consider the aforementioned differences in design, features and price while resting easy that your crypto will be taken care of with either device. 

Ledger Nano S vs X Conclusion: What to Choose

Ledger Nano S vs X - Conclusion

Choosing between the Ledger Nano S and X should first be made according to price. The $119 price tag of the X might be enough to close the debate for some users. But If the $60 price difference isn’t a factor for you, the decision really boils down to what kind of trading you plan to do. If you’re planning on going long and holding for months or years with just a few cryptocurrencies, the Ledger Nano S is a perfectly adequate security tool that will keep your crypto safe for the long term.

That said, if you’re planning on frequent transactions and playing with many currencies, the Ledger Nano X is the way to go. For the extra $60, users will be able to conduct transactions on the go using the X’s battery and wireless connectivity, justifying the price difference pretty quickly. 

Thus, if you’re a frequent trader, especially a swing or even day trader, the Nano X is simply it. Being able to quickly make a transaction wherever you are is the biggest advantage that the X has over the S.

Otherwise, in terms of security, both wallets are perfectly adequate and can keep your crypto safe from would-be attackers, While the aesthetic differences are subtle, in the context of a hardware wallet they’re pretty unimportant.

Which hardware wallet are you planning to go with? Let us know in the comments down below!

 

 

Posted by
Will

Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.

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