Ledger Nano S vs. X

Ledger Nano S is the better budget-friendly choice for beginners

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The Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X are both made by Ledger. The X is the newer, premium version of the Nano S, which has been one of the most popular and best-selling crypto hardware wallets to date. Both hardware wallets are primarily intended to be used for cold storage of crypto.

The Ledger platform lets users store crypto on their hardware wallets, send and receive transactions, and exchange crypto in the Ledger Live app. The exchange feature could come in handy for users who want to exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another. Frequent crypto trading is probably more convenient on other exchanges, though.

The Ledger Nano S is better for beginners who are new to hardware wallets or crypto in general. This wallet is more budget-friendly as well, costing 50% less than the Nano X. The Nano X comes with a few extra features and has a larger screen but otherwise offers nothing unique. Most new users probably won’t find the Nano X to be worth an extra $60.

We reviewed both wallets, comparing security, supported currencies, and other features to help you decide which wallet is right for you.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: How Do They Compare?

Ledger Nano S


Ledger

Ledger

Pros
  • More affordable at $59

  • Smaller and lighter than the Ledger Nano X

  • Allows for secure storage of crypto assets

Cons
  • Only capable of managing up to 3 crypto assets at once

  • No battery power

  • No Bluetooth capability

Ledger Nano X


Ledger

Ledger

Pros
  • Bluetooth functionality with the Ledger Live Mobile app

  • Ability to manage up to 100 coins at a time

  • Larger display size

Cons
  • Larger and heavier than the Ledger Nano S

  • More expensive at $119

  • Little added functionality for the price

Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X: At a Glance

  Ledger Nano S Ledger Nano X 
Type of Wallet Hardware (cold storage) Hardware (cold storage)
Currencies  100 
Purchase Cost  $59  $119 
Incorporated Exchange  Yes  Yes 
Device Size  56.95mm × 17.4mm × 9.1mm  72mm × 18.6mm × 11.75mm 
Mobile App  No  Yes 

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Ease of Use

Both wallets are rather simple to set up and use and designed for newer users. The Ledger Live app lets users interact with their hardware wallet via desktop, and in the case of the Ledger Nano X, via mobile as well.

The display of either device has two parts: the small screen on the device itself and the Ledger Live app on a computer or mobile device. Most of the action takes place in the app, with users having to push buttons on the wallet device to initiate certain actions.

For example, to confirm sending a transaction, users will have to push the physical buttons on the wallet. These buttons are also used to navigate between the different cryptocurrency wallets which are referred to as apps. Users have to install a specific app to manage each different crypto.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Security

Both wallets come with a 24-word backup recovery seed phrase, a PIN, and Certified Secure Element (CC EAL 5+) hardware. When setting up a new wallet, users choose a PIN that will be needed to access the wallet. A seed phrase will also be provided. 

This 24-word string can be used to restore all the private keys on a wallet. It’s best to keep that phrase somewhere safe and never store it digitally. Anyone with access to the seed phrase can steal the coins from your wallet. The PIN and seed phrase are standard among hardware wallets.

Ledger uses Secure Element chips, the same kind used to protect passports, SIM cards, credit cards, and the like. Ledger wallets are independently certified to have a high level of security. There are different degrees of Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL), and Ledger has achieved the level EAL 5+. There are only two levels above EAL 5. The company claims to be the only one to make hardware wallets that have achieved this level of security certification.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Features

For the most part, both wallets have the same features, allowing users to securely store crypto and buy or exchange crypto within the Ledger Live app.

The Ledger X just has a couple of extra capabilities, including a larger screen size, mobile app, Bluetooth compatibility, and support for 100 currencies at once as opposed to three.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Currencies

When it comes to the currencies these wallets support, the Ledger platform can be a little confusing. There are two things to be aware of, the number of currencies supported, and the number of apps that the device can use at once.

Ledger has limited storage capacity and each app takes a lot of memory. An app in this sense is simply a program native to the platform that can be used to manage the balance of a specific cryptocurrency.

For example, a Ledger user could install the Bitcoin (BTC) app, deposit BTC, then delete the BTC app. The BTC balance would remain on the wallet, but the user wouldn’t be able to do anything with that balance before reinstalling the appropriate app. The same goes for other coins.

When it comes to currencies, however, both wallets support over 1,800 different coins. But there’s a big difference in terms of how many crypto assets can be managed at the same time.

The Ledger Nano S can only hold three apps at a time while the Ledger Nano X can hold up to 100. Users who want to constantly manage many different cryptocurrencies without uninstalling old apps and installing new ones might find the Nano X a better choice.

Ledger Live does have an exchange built into it, so users can also buy and exchange numerous different cryptocurrencies.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Price

At $119, the Ledger X costs twice as much as the Nano S. For that higher price, users can use 100 different crypto wallets at once, interface with their hardware wallet from their mobile device, and power the wallet from battery power for up to eight hours.

In many cases, users might find it hard to justify paying an extra $60 for the Nano X when the Nano S does just about everything they need to securely store and manage their crypto. If someone only wants to hold a few cryptocurrencies, has no intention of using the wallet on the go, and doesn’t want a larger screen, then the Ledger Nano S might be a better option.

Ledger Nano S vs. X: Mobile App

Only the Ledger Nano X is compatible with the Ledger Live mobile app on both Android and iOS. The Ledger Nano S must be used on a desktop or laptop with the Ledger Live desktop app.

Some users complain about the fact that the Ledger Nano S only supports three cryptocurrencies at a time. This is certainly something worth considering, but people who want to trade many different currencies quickly and conveniently also have the option to use a variety of other crypto exchanges.

Final Verdict

The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X both have top-notch security, a simple app and interface, and a built-in exchange. The Nano X has the added benefits of support for up to 100 currencies at once (as opposed to three), mobile and Bluetooth compatibility, battery power, and a bigger screen.

Users who want to send, receive, and exchange a variety of cryptocurrencies often might prefer the Nano X simply because they won’t have to keep uninstalling and reinstalling apps to access different currencies (or just stick to three currencies and keep the same apps). For everyone else, the much cheaper Ledger Nano S should do the trick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X?

The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X are both hardware cryptocurrency wallets that make it easy for users to put their crypto into cold storage. The wallets can quickly be brought back online to make transactions. 

For the most part, both wallets are identical in their design and features. The only tangible differences include mobile app support, battery power, and the ability to work with 100 cryptocurrencies at once when using the Ledger Nano X.

How Do Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X Work?

Both wallets work with the Ledger Live app. Both have the same security features since they both use the same kind of hardware. With the Nano S, users can install up the three crypto apps at once, allowing them to send and receive those cryptos. With the Nano X, users can install up to 100 crypto apps at once.

Is the Ledger Nano X Worth It?

If you want to manage a number of cryptocurrencies and be able to use your wallet on the go, then the Ledger Nano X might be worth it. In most other cases, the Ledger Nano S will do.

Some users might find having to install and uninstall new apps for using different cryptos on the Nano S inconvenient. But if the goal is to hold large amounts of a few coins in cold storage (which is typically the main reason people go for hardware wallets), then there’s no need for anything extra.

Who Should Use Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X?

Just about anyone interested in a secure hardware wallet can use the Ledger Nano S. It’s one of the most popular wallets on the market, suitable for both beginners and more advanced users. For those who can afford it and want the extra features, the Ledger Nano X might be a better choice.

Methodology 

When reviewing the Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X, we compared each wallet based on ease of use, security, currencies supported, price, and device features. We also took into account the type of user who might find either wallet more attractive. 

The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X have a lot in common and both allow users to securely store and manage their crypto. For most people, and newer users, in particular, the Ledger Nano S seems like the natural choice. Those interested in trading lots of different cryptocurrencies through the Ledger Live app could consider the Ledger Nano X if they’re willing to pay twice the price of the Nano S.

Article Sources

  1. Ledger.com. "The Importance of Certification." Accessed June 4, 2021.