• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Samsung has had a lot of luck with its Note range, combining a big screen with a stylus, and thereby making it so much easier to write, sketch and do other work or creative tasks on your phone. Despite its success few other phones have attempted the same thing, but LG has with its lesser known Stylus range.

The LG Stylus 3 is the latest of these and it ticks many of the same boxes as the Samsung Galaxy Note range. It has a big screen and a stylus for a start. But it also ticks at least one box Samsung’s flagships don’t, by sporting an affordable price tag of just £170.

So is the LG Stylus 3 the perfect mix of price and features, or have too many corners been cut to keep the cost down?

Screen

LG Stylus 3

Other than the stylus, which we’ll discuss below, the screen is arguably the highlight of the LG Stylus 3. It’s a big 5.7-inch one, so this is a true phablet, and while not super sharp it’s still reasonably crisp at 720 x 1280, giving it a pixel density of 258 pixels per inch.

That size and resolution combination gives you a clear view of web pages and photos, and the space you need to work on them fairly comfortably with your fingers or the stylus.

There are sharper screens of course, but for this sort of money you’ll be hard pushed to find one as big as this with a higher resolution.

Design

Although not the most stylish phone you’ll ever see, quite a lot of effort does seem to have been put into the design of the LG Stylus 3.

For a start, it’s slim at just 7.4mm thick, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that it includes a slot for the stylus.

 

And its back, while plastic, has a brushed metal look, giving the impression of a pricier handset. Finishing off the look, the Stylus 3 has jewel-cut sides, which leaves it looking slightly less plain than some mid-rangers.

Power

The LG Stylus 3 has an octa-core 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750 processor and 2GB of RAM. Those are mid-range specs and are along the lines of what you’d expect for a phone of this price, but still somewhat impressive given that LG has managed to pack in a big screen and a stylus as well.

Don’t expect cutting edge performance, but there’s enough power here for productivity tasks like editing documents and sketching, which is what the Stylus 3 seems mostly designed for.

General operation is usually smooth too and most games should run well, though won’t look quite as good as they would on a sharper screen.

Camera

LG Stylus 3 Review

The LG Stylus 3 has a 13MP rear camera, and though it doesn’t have any fancy features it is designed to perform well even in low-light. The phone can also record video in 1080p at 30fps and has a 5MP front-facing camera.

All of this is fairly standard for a lower mid-range handset, and you can find better cameras elsewhere, so the Stylus 3 isn’t the phone to buy if photography is one of your main concerns, but nor is it a disappointment in this area, it’s simply average.

Features

Now we get to the important bit: the stylus. This has a precision tip, for accurate sketching and handwriting that doesn’t feel too far removed from using a normal pen or pencil (though using it on glass does take a bit of getting used to).

As well as drawing and writing you can also use the stylus to select or mark up content, and it lives in a slot in the phone, so it will never be far when you need it.

In fact, the LG Stylus 3 is even smart enough to alert you if the pen wanders too far from its slot, and there are some other clever features too, like the fact that a menu will pop up as soon as you take the stylus out of its slot, providing thumbnail previews of recent notes and a selection of things you’re likely to want to do with the stylus, like writing a memo.

But you don’t even need the screen to be on to jot down notes – you can write them straight onto the blank display. All in all, the stylus is a genuinely useful feature that you might wonder how you ever did without.

The LG Stylus 3 also has a fingerprint scanner on the back, but as well as securing the phone this can also be used to take a photo (with a tap), or capture a screenshot (with a double tap).

Battery life memory and connectivity

The LG Stylus 3 has a 3200mAh battery. That’s a fairly average size and good for a day of moderate use, but if you plan to use it extensively for productivity tasks you might find yourself reaching for a charger by early evening.

The good news is that it’s a removable battery, so if you are a heavy user you can always carry a spare.

There’s 16GB of storage, which won’t go all that far, but with a microSD card slot which supports cards of up to 256GB there’s plenty of room for expansion.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.

Verdict

The LG Stylus 3 is an accomplished phone and, thanks to its stylus, one which has very little competition. The Galaxy Note range is higher end and generally better, but also a lot more expensive. If you don’t need top-end specs then the Stylus 3 is a great, far more affordable option.

Its main selling point is definitely the stylus, so if that doesn’t appeal you’re best off looking elsewhere, but if you want to power up your mobile productivity skills this will do the trick, and it’s decent in most other ways too, with a solid build, a respectable amount of power, a handy fingerprint scanner, a big screen and expandable storage.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 155.6 x 79.8 x 7.4

Weight (g): 149

Battery capacity (mAh): 3200

Colours: Titan, Pink Gold

Screen size (inches): 5.7

Resolution: 720 x 1280

Pixels per inch (PPI): 258

Processor: Octa-core 1.5GHz

Processor make: MediaTek MT6750

RAM: 2GB

Internal storage: 16GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 256

Camera: 13MP (5MP front-facing)

Operating System: Android 7 Nougat

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