LG Stylus 3 Review; Affordable Way To Note - TeknoGadyet
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

LG Stylus 3 Review; Affordable Way To Note

LG Stylus 3 Review; Affordable Way To Note
LG Stylus 3 Review; Affordable Way To Note

INTRODUCTION:

Stylus is a very prominent part of smartphone about a decade ago when phone's displays are mostly, if not entirely made of resistive touchscreen, especially in the era of Windows Mobile. As years go by, its popularity becomes less and less, that Apple even assured that its existence is long dead. But, things changed when Samsung released the Galaxy Note series, which we all know became a huge hit.

However, the said devices from Samsung are expensive, that is why another Korean mobile manufacturer sees an opportunity to capitalize on a similar feature, yet with a price point way lower. Meet the LG Stylus series, and the latest in the line is simply named as LG Stylus 3.


PHYSICAL:


LG Stylus 3 Unboxing and Hands-on

The LG Stylus 3 looks glamorous and sexy at a distance, the brushed metal finish will surely make an impression that it is a pricier handset. The curvy sides, corners and edges deviate it from the usual bar phone. It is also quite slim at just 7.4mm, it is as thin as the OPPO F1s (7.38mm), and around 0.2mm thinner than the Vivo V5s (7.6mm).

LG Stylus 3 Review - Front
Front

In terms of length and width, it measures 155.6mm x 79.8mm, which is just 1.1mm taller than the OPPO F1s, which is pretty much amazing, since its display is more than 5mm larger (5.7-inch versus 5.5-inch). Using on-screen buttons and placing the fingerprint sensor that doubles as the power button on its back help achieving it. Moreover, it only weighs just 149 grams, which is quite lightweight when compared to the competitors, such as the Huawei GR5 2017 (162 grams), Vivo V5s (154 grams), Vivo V5 Plus (158.6 grams), OPPO F1s (160 grams) and OPPO F3 (153 grams).

LG Stylus 3 Review - Back
Back

However, things become slightly different when you hold the phone. You will immediately realize that it is not as premium as it looks. It feels plasticky and fragile, especially that there isn't much heft to it. Nonetheless, it is still pretty good, and if you put into perspective that it has a built-in slot for the stylus, it has removable back cover and battery, it is definitely a remarkable feat.

LG Stylus 3 Review - Display Information
Display Information

Going back to the display, it has a capactive IPS LCD that measures 5.7 inches diagonally and has 720p resolution, which translates to about 258 pixels per inch. Yes, the PPI is a bit low, but it person, the display just looks fine, just do not expect it to be as sharp as the phones with Quad HD or even Full HD resolutions. The viewing angles are good, brightness is OK, while direct sunlight legibility tends to be a little reflective at times. Aside from the stylus support, it can accommodate up to 10 fingers at the same time. Moreover, it comes with added features, such as Comfort View to reduce eye strain, ability to adjust the size of the items, Mini View for one-hand operation, and Knock ON to turn on/off the display by double tapping the screen.

To learn more about its physical appearance, please watch the unboxing video above.


SOFTWARE:

LG Stylus 3 Review - LG UX 5.0+
LG Stylus 3 Review - Software
Software

The LG Stylus 3 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with LG customized skin on top called UX 5,0+, its look and feel is really far from stock Android. The usual Google Apps come pre-installed, along with Facebook, Evernote, Instagram and some other LG apps, which are very minimal.

The default skin has no app drawer, all items are placed in the home screen, and the only way to organize them is to create folders and group the apps accordingly. However, there is another one hidden deep in the settings called Home UX 4.0. You need to download it from the Settings>General>About Phone>Common>Update Center>App Updates. Once downloaded, it gives you the option to choose the default interface or a another one with app drawer. 

LG Stylus 3 Review - Home UX 4.0 + Button Combination
Home UX 4.0 + Button Combination

Swiping from the top shows the quick toggles, the brightness slider, and notification tray (if there is any active notification). If you swipe downward one more time or pressing the expand icon will reveal more settings that you can edit, re-arrange, or hide depending on your preference. Moreover, the on-screen keys at the lower part of the interface can also be customized depending the users need.

Overall, the LG UI is clean, neatly organized, and relatively easy to use. Of course, there is a learning curve in the process, but it is very minimal


STYLUS and UX PEN POP 2.0

LG Stylus 3 Review - Stylus Pen Options
LG Stylus 3 Review - Stylus and UX Pen Pop 2.0
Stylus and UX Pen Pop 2.0

As its name implies, one of the main selling points of this handset is having a stylus that is nicely hidden and blends well with its design. Once the user takes it out from its slot in the upper right corner, the UX Pen Pop 2.0 automatically appears with four different ways to take notes, namely Pop Memo, Capture+, Pop Scanner, and Quick Memo. Our favorite is the Pop Memo, it is basically a floating notepad that allows users to take down note wherever or whatever they are doing with the phone, it simply goes at the top of whatever application is open.

The stylus with its 1.8mm fiber tip, generally works well as it should, you can adjust how thin or how thick it writes on the screen (from 1 to 60), change the transparency from 0 to 99 percent, and change its color. If you are an artist or loves to draw, you can easily do some sketches with the stylus easily. Yes, it is not as great as pressure-sensitive stylus, but it gets the job done.


PERFORMANCE:

LG Stylus 3 Review - CPU Z Information
LG Stylus 3 Review - CPU Z Information

The  LG Stylus 3 is powered by 1.5GHz octa core MediaTek MT6750 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM. It is the same chipset found on popular Chinese smartphones, namely the Vivo V5s, OPPO F3, Vivo V5 Lite, and OPPO F1s. So, most likely it will also have a similar raw processing performance with the said competitors, which is proven by the benchmark scores below.

Antutu - 39,193
Quadrant - error
NenaMark2 - 59.9fps
Geekbench - 599 (single core)
Geekbench - 2,402 (multi core)
Geekbench - 1,503 (renderscript)
PC Mark - 3,210
3D Mark Sling Shot - 449
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 305

LG Stylus 3 Review - Benchmark Results
LG Stylus 3 Review - Benchmark Scores
LG Stylus 3 Review - Benchmark Scores

In real life usage, it is able to complete day to day tasks smoothly, even if there are several apps that are running in the background. There is no noticeable lag when switching between applications, browsing web pages is a breeze, and even playing light to moderate games are OK (Mobile Legends, Dead Trigger, and Modern Combat). We already reviewed several handsets with identical chipset, and just like before, it is already a proven performer. Of course, there are still some resources-heavy games and applications that can slow it down. But then again, users must be reminded that MediaTek MT6750 is a mid-range chip, designed for low to mid-range devices like this one, so do not expect it to be as blazing fast as upper mid to top tier phones.

By the way, out of the 16GB internal storage, 6.75GB of it is used by the system upon startup, which leaves users about 9,25GB available space. Yes, it is not that much, that is why LG is bundling additional 16GB in the form of micro SD card.

The call quality is clear, both ends can hear each other quite well, and the secondary microphone helps reduce background noise too. The loudspeaker is fine, but won't give you the WOW factor, same is true when you use the included earphones, we just hope that it has Quad DAC like the LG G6, but we know that is too much to ask.

Moving on, the fingerprint sensor mounted on its back work just fine, it is fast and accurate with some added functions such as double-tap and hold to take a screenshot, and as a shutter button when taking selfies. The latter feature is great, but the former sounds more of a gimmick, and a bit hard to execute, so we recommend you stick with the old school way of taking a screenshot, or better yet, use the stylus to do so.


CAMERA:

LG Stylus 3 Review - Camera UI
LG Stylus 3 Review - Camera Interface
Camera Interface

The camera interface is also skinned with LG UX, however, the UI looks pretty basic with functionalities similar to that of the stock Android interface. The top part shows on-screen buttons for settings, mode, filters, toggle, and flash options, while in the lower portion are the back button, camera and video shutter, and thumbnail of the last item taken. It lacks versatility, features and shooting modes are limited (only auto and panorama). There is no auto-HDR, and switching it on and off needs extra steps than usual, while most phones have a toggle switch in the main interface to do that, in Stylus 3, you still need to go to settings click HDR then select on or off. Quite long right?

LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Night (with HDR)
Night (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Lap Pool (without HDR)
Lap Pool (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Lap Pool (with HDR)
Lap Pool (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Hallway (without HDR)
Hallway (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Hallway (with HDR)
Hallway (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Kiddie Pool (without HDR)
Kiddie Pool (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Kiddie Pool (with HDR)
Kiddie Pool (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Afternoon (without HDR)
Afternoon (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Afternoon (with HDR)
Afternoon (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Late Afternoon (without HDR)
Late Afternoon (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Late Afternoon (with HDR)
Late Afternoon (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Night (without HDR)
Night (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Hallway at Night (without HDR)
Hallway at Night (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Hallway at Night (with HDR)
Hallway at Night (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Batman (without HDR)
Batman (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Batman (with HDR)
Batman (with HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Close-up (without HDR)
Close-up (without HDR)
LG Stylus 3 Review - Rear Camera Sample - Close-up (with HDR)
Close-up (with HDR)

The main shooter is equipped with auto focus 13-megapixel sensor and f/2.2 aperture. It takes decent pictures, whether indoor or outdoor under good lighting conditions, the colors are accurate, details are there, and highlights are resolved properly when HDR is on. Low-light performance is serviceable, but is not something that will blow you away. However, things are different at night or when there is really poor lighting, the focusing speed  is noticeably slower than usual, the images are grainy, and noise is really evident, even HDR does not helps a lot. But, it is not that bad at all, the outputs are still OK for social media sharing.

Sadly, there is no manual mode nor other shooting options, so, you are stuck with the basic 'point and shoot' system, and hopes you get nice output after the shot.

LG Stylus 3 Review - Front Camera Sample - Pogi
Pogi
LG Stylus 3 Review - Front Camera Sample - Gwapo
Gwapo
LG Stylus 3 Review - Front Camera Sample - Pogi Pa Din
Pogi Pa Din

Meanwhile, the front snapper comes with an 8MP selfie machine, and just like the main camera, good lighting conditions usual equates to good output images. On the other hand, shooting in low-light or not so ideal environment usually yield mediocre outcome, yet still usable photos. It has a beauty mode, and screen flash option, which are expected for phones these days.


CONNECTIVITY:

The LG Stylus 3 covers the basic when it comes to connectivity, it supports dual SIM with 4G/LTE capabilities, including the 700MHz frequency. Moreover, it is also good to note it has dedicated slots for SIM and a micro SD card, which means users do not need to choose between having two working SIMs or storage expansion. Other items are NFC, WiFi, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth, micro USB with OTG function, 3.5mm audio jack, and FM radio receiver.


BATTERY:

LG Stylus 3 Review - PC Mark Battery Test Result
PC Mark Battery Test Result

Underneath the back cover is the 3,200mAh battery, it is worth noting that its power source is removable, which is pretty rare these days. As usual, we run the PC Mark Work Battery Life Test, wherein it got 11 hours and 23 minutes, which is at par with the competitors. For comparison purposes, the Huawei GR5 2017 with 3340mAh battery scored 11 hours 56 minutes, while the Vivo V5s with 3000mAh got 11 hours and 2 minutes.


CONCLUSION:

The LG Stylus 3 has enough fire power like most of the mid-range smartphones in the market that fall in a similar price range. It is a good alternative for those who are keen of smartphone with a huge display. Add the dedicated slot for storage expansion, removable battery with good up time, the built-in stylus, and it becomes a solid offering.

Speaking of stylus, those being offered by the other Korean manufacturer are far more superior, but they are also way more expensive. With little competition in this segment, the Stylus 3 is a great option, and much more affordable way to note.

LG G3 Stylus Specifications:

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports LTE connectivity including 700MHz band
  • 5.7-inch IPS capacitive HD (1280x720) touchscreen display
  • Stylus Pen
  • Dimensions: 155.6mm x 79.8mm x7.4mm
  • Weight: 149 grams
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX
  • 64-bit octa core CPU Cortex-A53 (4x1.5GHz + 4x1.0GHz), ARM Mali-T860MP2 GPU, MediaTek MT6750 chipset
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via micro SD, uses dedicated slot
  • 13MP f/2.2 auto focus main camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • 8MP secondary camera with screen flash
  • Multimedia player
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
  • Bluetooth v4.1
  • NFC
  • Sensor: fingerprint, accelerometer, light, proximity, gyroscope, compass
  • Battery: 3200mAh Li-Ion, removable
  • Colors: Pink Gold, Titan
  • Price: Php12,990
  • Freebies: 16GB micro SD card

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