Promotions, Promo Codes and Deals
What we love
- A built-in stylus for added functionality
- 4G LTE high-speed internet connectivity
- Decent front and back cameras
- Extended battery life.
- Large high-definition display
- Slim and lightweight
- Support for large capacity external microSD card
Meet the LG Stylo 2 L81AL, a phablet from LG Electronics that comes packed with all the specs you would love in a budget phone. The LG Stylo 2 L81AL is a 5.7-inch gadget that comes running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. Apart from its large display, one other impressive feature is the built-in stylus. If you are looking for an affordably priced device with incredible performance that supports sketching and jotting down notes right on the screen, you will love this phablet.
LG Stylo 2 L81AL is GSM phone that will be activated on the AT&T towers, so before making an order, be sure to check that you have AT&T network coverage in your home area. There is also LG Stylo 2 L82VL, which is the CDMA variant that will work on the Verizon network. Leaving the networks aside, the two phones are similar in specifications and design. So, moving on with the LG Stylo 2 L81AL review, we are going to the unboxing.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL is available for ordering from the Straight Talk website. The purchase box includes the LG Stylo 2 L81AL gadget, battery, wall adapter charger, a standard USB cable, activation card, service guide and a quick setup guide. Once you’ve inserted the battery and powered on the device, initial setup is pretty easy and straightforward following the screen prompts. From here, we are moving on to the hardware tour in the next section.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL is a 5.7-inch gadget. It's quite large for one hand but excellent for reading and watching movies. The phone is very slim and feels lightweight. Like most LG phones the layout is beautiful to behold. There is no button whatsoever on the edges of the device. Talking of the edges; there's a nice aluminum trim going around the phone giving it a premium look. On the upper edge, you get your noise cancellation mic and a port for holding the stylus. The lower edge has the headphone jack, your microphone, and the microUSB charging port.
The impressive large display sits on the front with navigation buttons on the lower part of the screen. This being an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop device, it doesn't have the physical navigation buttons but the floating ones. Their arrangement is such that; the back button is on the left, the home button at the center and the recent apps button on the right. On the upper part of the display, you will find your earpiece, the ambient light sensor, and the front camera. The screen appears to be slightly raised which I think looks pleasant.
The back cover is home to the power button, volume rockers, which are placed just below the back camera and the LED flash. The design of putting buttons on the back cover is common on LG phones, and I think it makes them stand out. The lower part of the back cover holds your main speaker. The back cover is removable to reveal the battery, and SIM and microSD slots. The microSD card slides in just above the SIM slot. So, let's check out the features that make up the LG Stylo 2 L81AL.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL packs a very powerful 13MP back camera and a 5MP front camera that capture decent photos and videos. Both cameras shoot 1080p videos at 30fps which I think is one impressive feature about the camera. Why? Because it's highly unlikely to find devices in this price range with cameras that shoot at such high resolution. With the presence of a LED flash, the back camera performs very well in low light settings. Personally, I have heavily used the camera, and I loved the features it boasts.
I will start with the Voice capture feature which I found to be very useful. It works both on front and back cameras, but I used it mostly in taking selfies. When operating your device with one hand, it can be tough to press the capture button since this is a pretty large phone. But with the voice capture feature turned on, you just say 'cheese,' or 'LG,' or 'whiskey,' and the phone takes a shot automatically. It also comes in handy when you want to capture a group photo with your friends or family. In group selfies, I noticed the pictures come out straight when I use the voice capture than when I strain to find the capture button.
Ever been in an event where you are not sure whether you want to shoot a video or take photos? With the LG Stylo 2 L81AL, you can capture photos while shooting a video and this turned out to be incredible. One other feature I loved is the gesture shot which allows you to take a picture with a hand gesture. It works in two ways; you raise your hand in a clenched fist until the camera detects it. When a box appears on the display, unclench your fist to start the timer, allowing you to get ready. The second way is by raising your hand with an open palm until the front camera detects it. When a box appears on the display, close your hand into a fist to start the timer, allowing you time to get ready.
From the camera UI app, you will notice a menu (3-dot button) on the left; tapping on it launches the camera in simple mode showing only the basic features. Tapping the menu button again shows the other menu options and settings you can adjust. When you press the 'Mode' button, you will see two mode options the camera supports: Auto and Panorama. In the Settings menu, you can adjust the pixels, show a grid, set a timer, turn HDR on/off. Both cameras have 4x digital zoom.
The camera supports burst shots; you press and hold the capture button to take as many photos as you would like till you release it. The front camera can take interval shots where you tap and hold the capture button to take 4 selfies in a row. Additionally, you can launch the camera app by pressing the volume down key twice. When the camera is on, pressing the volume down button will capture a photo.
Overall, I found this camera to have all the features I wanted and the fact that it shoots high-resolution videos and photos.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL boasts an expansive 5.7-inch display, with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. This is a phablet sized phone that gives you a broad view of whatever you are doing on the screen; be it reading a novel, playing games, or watching movies.
Photos show up brightly on the device. The video quality is impressive. As a YouTube fan, I really enjoyed watching content on the LG Stylo 2 L81AL.
The phone does come with an ambient light sensor, so it's able to adjust brightness automatically. When you are in a low light environment, the intensity reduces. Similarly, when you are outside in the sunlight, the screen brightens up so that you can see items on it without straining.
Outdoor visibility is great since the phone has a quality screen. Also, viewing angles are great; characters don't appear to be washed out. I didn’t find any issues with the screen.
I found the battery life on the LG Stylo 2 L81AL to be strong enough to last over a full working day and still have some juice left. It has a powerful battery with a capacity of 3000mAh that gives you a talk time of up to 13 hours and a standby of up to 10days. Using data and intensive applications like live map navigation and video streaming usually drain a battery faster. Despite the LG Stylo 2 L81AL having a large and bright screen, I found it to withstand up to 6 hours of video streaming which is very impressive. While playing video saved on the device, i.e. not streaming, the phone could go up to 12hours.
Another good thing is the battery is removable. So if you are planning a long trip and would like to enjoy watching content throughout the journey, then you can carry a spare battery.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL ships with 8GB of internal storage. Out of this, you get 4GB of memory that is usable. Given this phone has some great features like a powerful camera and great display that encourages having much content to watch on it, this storage capacity may appear to be a limiting factor. Good thing though, it supports an external microSD card of up to 128GB. Imagine how much you can store in all that space. You will shoot so many videos and photos, store videos and songs, and have as many games and apps as you would like - all on your phone. The capacity to accommodate such large capacity external microSD card truly impressed me.
In performance, the LG Stylo 2 L81AL from Straight Talk is a powerhouse. It ships running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop that has a very fluid User Interface and support for thousands of free and paid apps on Google Playstore. The LG custom UI runs on top of the Android OS, but that's all, it doesn't get in the way of you enjoying the impressive features that ship with the device. The LG Stylo is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz Quad-core processor paired with 1GB RAM. With these resources, the phone can handle anything you put it through; from the necessary tasks, playing high-resolution videos, to intensive gaming.
I liked how responsive the phone is. From the speed of launching apps and the smoothness of animations when navigating through different screens, I found the performance to be excellent. The phone does come installed with the usual Google apps like Chrome, Google Plus, Hangouts, Gmail, Maps, Photos, Play Music, and YouTube. As well, you will find a few other third party apps which don't eat much into your memory.
The phone supports multitasking; from the recent apps button on the navigation, you can switch between recently launched apps quickly. The phone can also hold several apps in the background without slowing down.
Just like most LG phones, the LG Stylo 2 L81AL supports double tap on the screen to wake the phone, or double tapping the screen to lock if the screen is on. The screen is very responsive from edge to edge; I noticed this from playing games and the way it handles fast processing, thanks to the quad-core processor.
The LG Stylo 2 L81AL is a 4G LTE enabled gadget, so internet load speeds are just amazing. YouTube videos load in seconds with no buffering while still within your Straight Talk Data plan - more on the wireless plans later. I also like how Google Maps application is very responsive, in combination with the GPS and the bright and large display, it makes live navigation enjoyable. I was able to zoom in and out of places smoothly and the location data populates real fast because of the 4G LTE capability.
So now we are going to look at the Stylus - it's probably what the name 'Stylo' was derived from. The Stylus gives you additional functionalities. With the Stylus, you can jot down notes, quick memos, do some sketches and probably anything you would have loved to do with a real pen. The LG Stylo 2 L81AL comes with a few apps that support the Stylus, but you can download more from Google Play store. When you take out the Stylus from your handset, a small pen-like icon shows up on the top right corner that gives you a list of options and icons you can use. The LG Stylo 2 L81AL being already an affordable gadget, I think the Stylus is a useful bonus.
Other typical features of the phone include Bluetooth 4.1, Accelerometer, Proximity/Ambient Light Sensor, and GPS.
I can say the LG Stylo 2 L81AL is a unique device that is affordably priced while giving you incredible performance and added functionalities.
- 4G LTE/Wi-Fi/GSM.
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
- 5.7-inch Screen.
- Camera: 8MP back. 5MP front.
- Stylus support.
- Battery capacity: 3000mAh. Talk time up to 13 hours. Standby up to 10 days.
- Internal Memory: 8 GB. Supports microSD with capacity of up to 128GB.
- Dimensions: 6.10'' (Height) x 3.13'' (Width) x 0.29'' (Depth) inches.
- Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Technology.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Quad-Core.
- A-GPS Capabilities.
- Proximity/Ambient Light Sensor.
- Hearing Aid Compatible.
Additional Info and Sources