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LG Stylo 3 Review

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LG Stylo 3 Review

James Shisiah

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What We Love

  • Useful Stylus
  • Expansive display
  • Impressive battery life
  • Expandable storage option
  • A powerful octa-core processor

Overview

LG has made great attempts in bringing a Stylus enabled phone to the lower end market tier. This was heavily manifested in their earlier release of the LG Stylo 2. With the release of the LG Stylo 3, which is a successor of the LG Stylo 2, LG made some improvements such as memory, more Stylus functionalities, battery capacity, and processor. Big ideas need big screens to work with, and LG proves worthy in this sector. Just like the LG Stylo 2, the LG Stylo 3 similarly sports a 5.7-inch display.  Improved features include a 1.4GHz octa-core processor, 16GB storage, 13MP camera, a longer lasting battery, and a more recent Android version. Let’s dive into details as we go along.

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Unboxing

The LG Stylo 3 smartphone is available from Tracfone, Sprint, Total Wireless, Straight Talk and Simple Mobile wireless carriers. Being in the lower end tier, the packaging is quite minimal. We have the version from Simple Mobile, which came in half-black half-greenish box. Opening the box reveals the LG Stylo 3 safely embedded to the right. Other contents in the box include the battery, standard USB cable, travel adapter/wall charger, and a quick setup guide.

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Design

“If it looks good, keep it.” This line goes well with LG, as there’s no much of a change in the exterior design of the LG Stylo 3 when you compare it to its sibling the, Stylo 2. One noticeable change is the button placement. The volume rockers have been moved to the left edge, leaving only the power/lock button on the back cover. The circular home button also doubles up as the fingerprint scanner. Other items on the back cover include the camera, LED flash, and the handsfree speaker grill. The back cover comes off to reveal the battery compartment and slots for the SIM card and memory card.

All round we still have the polycarbonate body with a silver finish frame that makes the LG Stylo 3 feel more premium in hand. The bottom of the display has a headphone jack and the standard USB port. The top edge has an opening for the Stylus, which integrates so well into the frame that you won’t notice that it is even there. There’s no button whatsoever on the right edge.

The phone is quite slim and lightweight, hence making it easier to operate, despite being an expansive 5.7-inch gadget; it weighs just 5.3 ounces. This certainly won’t weigh down your pocket or hand. The front panel has your display with floating navigation keys on the bottom. The upper part has the LED flash, front-facing camera lens, ambient light sensor, and the earpiece. That sums up our tour around the hardware.

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Display

The expansive 5.7-inch display is a feature to behold. It’s not only bright but also quite responsive. With a resolution of 720 x 128 pixels and a pixel density of 258PPI, the phone can comfortably handle high definition content with a resolution of up to 1080p. The large display is perfect for reading PDFs, playing games, watching videos, and enjoying YouTube content. I have to point out that you will need two hands to operate, since it is a large display. If you would like to work with one hand, LG Stylo 3 has got you covered. It includes the Mini View mode; this feature shrinks the home screen, making it easier to operate with one hand.

The IPS LCD technology used on the display helps boost outdoor visibility. While in sharp sunlight, the phone becomes incredibly bright allowing you to see everything clearly. With the ambient light sensor, the phone auto-adjusts its brightness depending on the light in the immediate surrounding. This ensures the screen dims in the dark and brightens up in well-lit environments.

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Battery

The LG Stylo 3 ships with removable a 3200mAh battery. This is a step up from the 3000mAh battery on the LG Stylo 2. The battery is rated to hold up to 13 days of standby and up to 20 hours of talk time. The battery performance is surprisingly impressive for a phone this big. Battery usage optimization is something LG has heavily invested in and it proves to be good in most of their phones. Take for instance the LG X Power that promises up to two days of usage. Now back to the LG Stylo 3, the battery delivers a little over a day of usage. It was able to take me through a day of medium to heavy usage and still had over 30% of juice left. This can be attributed to the efficient power management of Android 7.0 Nougat and the optimized processor. For basic usage, the phone is likely to last up to two days.

Most recent smartphones are embracing the nonremovable battery structure. We are glad to have a removable battery on the LG Stylo 3 as it makes it easier to simply swap it with another full battery when it runs out. In terms of power management, the LG Stylo 3 has the default Android Power Saver mode which kicks in when the battery reaches a certain minimum percentage. This can keep your phone on for several hours even with 15% of charge. It’s highly unlikely that your phone will get to this low battery percentage though, thanks to the phone’s decent battery life.

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Camera

The LG Stylo 3 is quite stunning in the camera department. It has an incredible 13MP shooter on the back and a 5MP front selfie camera. We find this to be a major improvement from the Stylo 2’s 8MP back camera. With the 13MP camera, you can capture every brilliant moment in high quality. The camera employs a quick launch action from anywhere by double pressing the volume down button twice. A similar feature is present in the high-end Samsung flagship the Galaxy S7 in which you can launch the camera by double tapping the home key twice in quick succession.

The camera interface is pretty simple to master and use. It has main controls outlined on the left of the camera interface which include flash turn on or off, swap camera to swap between the front and the rear lens, film filter effect to add diverse film adjustments, mode to choose mode from auto and panorama, and settings. The default camera settings will allow the camera to adjust itself and capture images based on the subject background. However, if you tap on the Settings button, you can adjust things like photo size, cheese shutter, steady recording, timer, tag locations, and more. The front camera has additional options such as gesture shot, auto shot, and gesture view.

For everyday shooting, the camera performs impressively. It packs an autofocus feature that intelligently adjusts the camera lens to obtain focus on the subject. This is important as it ensures quick capturing of an image. The rear camera has a bright LED flash to ensure you get to capture nice moments even in low light conditions. You can switch between front and back camera with a finger swipe. The camera is also capable of digital zoom up to 4x.

In video recording, the rear camera can capture 1080p and 720p videos with a great color balance. The front camera can capture up to 720p videos. A cool feature is where the camera lets you take photos of scenes while shooting a video. So, if you are ever in a situation where you are not sure whether to take photos or videos, why not take both? Good thing, the phone has expandable storage option. Overall, the camera performance is more than I could expect on a lower end tier smartphone.

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Storage

The LG Stylo 3 comes with 16GB of internal storage, with about 10GB, available to the user. This is fairly good for a lower end smartphone. Basing on the impressive camera and the expansive display, one would want to have more storage onboard. Luckily, the LG Stylo 3 has a microSD slot that supports a memory card of up to 256GB for external storage expansion.

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Performance

The LG Stylo 3 ships running Android 7.0 Nougat, which is a more recent Android version. It has everything updated to ensure a great user experience. On top of the Android is the LG UI skin which is quite light hence no lagging when navigating between apps. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.4GHz octa-core processor, which is also a major upgrade from the quad-core on the LG Stylo 2. This is coupled with 2GB of RAM. Due to LG’s optimization, the phone can handle most of the daily stuff.

Multitasking capabilities are taken to the next level thanks to the able Android 7.0 Nougat and the support from the octa-core processor. The LG UI efficiently supports running two apps side by side, although this may limit the number of background processes because of the limited 2GB RAM. High-end gadgets like the Galaxy Note 8 which boasts 6GB of RAM can run two apps simultaneously with several apps running in the background and you will not experience any lagging. Of course, we expect more if we are paying close to $1000 for a gadget. Our LG Stylo 3 performance is acceptable for the lower end price tag.

The Stylus brings onboard additional functionalities. It allows you to jot down notes, perform some sketching, write down quick memos, and more stuff you would enjoy doing with a real pen. The Stylus feature is activated once you take out the Stylus from its slot. The feature activates a pen-like icon and a few apps that are stylus enabled. More apps that work with the LG Stylo 3 stylus are available on Google Play Store.

Other typical features to expect on modern smartphones include 4G LTE, which ensures fast internet browsing. The phone has 4.1 Bluetooth for quick file sharing or listening to music through a Bluetooth speaker. The GPS chip will ensure you navigate accurately on Google maps. Other necessary sensors to make the phone aware of its environment include an accelerometer, proximity, gyro, and compass. The LG Stylo 3 is supported by several wireless carriers as we discuss the pricing plans in a section below.

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Specifications

  • GSM / CDMA / 4G LTE / Wi-Fi.
  • Display: 5.7-inch, 720 x 1280 pixels resolution, 72.1% screen-to-body ratio.
  • Display Type: IPS LCD.
  • Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • Processor: 1.4GHz Octa-core.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 435.
  • GPU: Adreno 505.
  • Back Camera: 13MP(f/2.2), autofocus, LED flash. Video recording at 1080p@30fps.
  • Front Camera: 5MP.
  • Internal Storage: 16GB; supports memory expansion up to 256GB with a microSD card.
  • RAM: 2GB.
  • Battery: 3200mAh, Removable Li-Ion.
  • Stylus Support.
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), proximity, accelerometer, gyro, compass.
  • Bluetooth 4.1.
  • NFC.
  • GPS A-GPS.
  • Hearing Aid Compatible.  

LG Stylo 3 Accessories