LG Stylus 2 review: A smartphone to take note of
Speaking of which, the Stylus 2’s 3,000mAh battery should provide plenty of power for heavy media users. It lasted 11h 30m in our battery life test with the screen brightness set to our standard measurement of 170cd/m2.
Admittedly, I was hoping for a little more, especially as it doesn’t have a high-resolution screen to power, but even the Note 5 only managed an hour more under the same conditions.
The LG Stylus 2 is surprisingly light for such a large phone, weighing just 145g and measuring a rather svelte 7.4mm thick. It’s still quite a handful to hold, particularly with its rather slippery finish, but otherwise, the plastic chassis is fairly inoffensive.
As with almost every other LG phone, with the exception of the LG G5, the Stylus 2 has its power and volume buttons on the back of the phone. This can take some getting used to, but I didn’t find it took much getting used to.
Sitting just above the rear buttons is the Stylus 2’s 13-megapixel camera. This isn’t nearly as advanced as the G5’s camera, with only basic auto, HDR and panorama modes to play with, but it can still take pretty decent shots whether you’re shooting indoors or outside.
Even on a grey, rainy day, its photographs looked colourful, bright and natural and there was a very high level of detail on show. There was a little grain in places, but I didn’t find this overly problematic. Enabling HDR mode improves things further, as this not only gave colours more punch, but it also brightened the whole image, introducing more contrast to really make the image pop.
Indoor performance was surprisingly good, too. There was a noticeable amount of noise and speckling on our white background when our studio lights were turned off, but otherwise, colours were rich and vivid. Object outlines were a bit soft and over-processed in places, but its warm flash quickly sorted this out.
The Stylus 2 also has another rather intriguing bonus feature, and that’s its DAB+ radio. It’s the first phone to support the DAB+ standard, but it only works when you’ve got a pair of headphones attached, as it needs these to double up as the radio’s antenna.
There’s plenty of choice to be found here, though, and you can tag your favourite stations so they always appear at the top of the list.
Overall, the LG Stylus 2 is a decent budget phablet, but a lot of its appeal will rest on whether you really want the stylus or not. It certainly fills a hole left by the lack of new Note devices from Samsung, and the DAB+ facility is an intriguing extra.
At this price, however, disregarding the stylus for a moment, there are better options. The 5.5in OnePlus 2 instead is much faster, more adept at web browsing than the Stylus 2, has a superior screen and 64GB of storage. There’s also the 5.5in Moto X Play to consider, which beats the OnePlus 2 on battery life and camera quality, but is a fraction slower.
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