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LG G Stylo

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Sprint, T-Mobile, Boost, MetroPCS
Manufacturer: LG

What's Hot: Affordable, big screen, has a pen, removable high capacity battery with good battery life. Nice cameras.

What's Not: Sprint/Boost Mobile version has little internal storage. A ton of bloatware on Sprint model.


Reviewed July 9, 2015 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

LG G Stylo

Here's a trend in Android smartphone releases:

1) A manufacturer releases a new flagship model with a great specs and a high price to match.

2) A month or two later that manufacturer releases a mid-price, midrange phone with a larger but lower resolution display that has design echoes of the flagship.

And thus the LG G Stylo is born, but happily with a twist: it adds a stylus for jotting notes, sketching and scratching that hard to reach itch on your back. The pen has a tiny rubbery tip like a capacitive stylus, but it doesn't work on other capacitive screens, so it's not a traditional capacitive stylus and it adds a nice perk: palm rejection (you can rest your hand on the screen while you write). It's not as fancy as the Samsung Galaxy Note's Wacom S Pen, but it gets the job done. The stylus is amply sized and it lives in a silo at the top of the phone. LG tried their hand at a few pen-enabled phablets (super-sized phones) a few years back, but the G Stylo is a more mainstream size and shape. It's just a hair bigger than the LG G4, which is impressive considering that the G4 is one of the most compact 5.5" phones. The Stylo has a 5.7" IPS 720 x 1280 display and a tapered and curved back with rear buttons like the G4. It's a nice looking phone with a faux metal plastic back that I personally find more appealing than the G4's fake metal back, and the front is dominated by the display for a clean and modern look. That back is removable and grants access to the user swappable 3,000 mAh battery, microSD card slot and SIM card slot.

The LG G Stylo is available on Sprint (we use that model for this review), Boost Mobile, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. The specs are a bit different between the Sprint/Boost model and T-Mobile/MetroPCS models. All four models run on the 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad core CPU, have 4G LTE, a front 5MP camera that can shoot 1080p video, dual band WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. The Sprint/Boost version has slightly lower specs for RAM, storage and rear camera (1 gig RAM, 8 gigs internal storage and an 8MP rear camera). The T-Mobile/MetroPCS version has 2 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of storage and a 13MP rear camera, which is quite nice given the low full retail price of $249 ($288 on Sprint). All models have laser auto-focus for the rear camera.

LG G Stylo


Though 1280 x 720 might not sound very good for a phone display when high end models have QHD 2560 x 1440 or 1920 x 1080 resolutions, the 258 PPI Stylo display is fairly bright, has good contrast and pleasing colors. Those colors don't pop as they do on the LG G4 or the Super AMOLED Samsung Galaxy S6, and viewing angles are a little weak for an IPS display, but I can't imagine anyone looking at the LG G Stylo's display and saying "yuck". It's pleasing, especially for the price.

Performance and Horsepower

The 1.2 GHz Snapdragon CPU with Adreno 306 graphics is powerful enough to allow Android 5.0 Lollipop with LG's UI to run smoothly. Our Sprint version's 1 gig of RAM puts a cap on powerhouse multitasking, unlike the T-Mobile model with 2 gigs of RAM. In everyday use, we didn't encounter undue lag, and the phone really didn't feel meaningfully slower than the much faster LG G4 when navigating the OS, loading web pages or using Twitter and Evernote. Today's most graphically intensive 3D games do have slower frame rates, and though they're playable, games that require high frame rates for best gameplay like first person shooters are a bit harder to play well.

LG G Stylo


  Quadrant 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test (lower is better)
LG G Stylo 14,559 unsupported phone 21,542 1545(Chrome)/ 1031 (webkit)
Asus ZenFone 2, 1.8 GHz 18,410 16,300 41,594 692
Alcatel Idol 3 22,198 7775 31,006 1188
OnePlus One 23,958 18,370 37,235 1135
Moto E 2nd gen 13,741 4481 22,057 1296
LG G4 23,730 18,655 46,043 760
HTC One M9 22,323 16,658 36,309 831
Samsung Galaxy S6 33,355 21,160 61,873 420 (webkit)/1025 (Chrome)
Nexus 6 13,595 23,520 49,961 795
Samsung Galaxy S5 23,643 18,329 35,357 398
Moto X (2nd gen) 22,170 19,924 44,340 776
HTC One M8 24,527 20,896 36,087 776
Nexus 5 8808 17,828 27,017 718

Geekbench 3: 459/1413


Deals and Shopping:


LG G Stylo Video Review



The front camera takes sharp selfies, and it has a wide-angle lens that lets you get your buddies in the shot, but also exaggerates facial features like noses. Pro tip: hold the phone at arm's length or prop it up on something and then use gesture capture for a more flattering look. The 1080p video provides more natural and detailed video chat footage. Our unit's rear 8MP camera with LED flash and laser autofocus took very good photos and colorful and clear 1080p video. We noted some overexposure of sunlight areas in outdoor sunny day photos, but given the price range and competition, it's nothing we'd call poor. Most shots were actually very detailed with some aggressive noise reduction in combination with sharpening that's only visible if you zoom in to 66% or 100% (this creates a watercolor effect). LG's camera software is very good and there's a decent level of manual control available, though most will likely stick with the capable auto mode.

LG G Stylo

Calling and Data

Call quality on Sprint's network in Dallas was clear and earpiece volume was generous. The rear speaker is surprisingly loud and fairly full. Data speeds will depend on carrier and location. Here in the Dallas area, Sprint's 4G LTE coverage is wide but data speeds are poor, averaging 5.5 Mpbs down and 5.8 Mbps up (about one third to one quarter of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon's LTE networks in our area). The phone supports HD Voice and Sprint Spark.

Battery Life

Here's when it's good to not have a super-high resolution display or the fastest CPU: battery life. The 3,000 mAh battery is big enough to power a phone with much higher and more power hungry specs, and as you might guess, the LG G Stylo outlasts them. The phone routinely lasted us a full day on a charge with average use (9am to 11pm). In fact, with light to moderate use, it lasted two days with auto-brightness and Wi-Fi enabled (Wi-Fi uses less power than LTE).


There's a lot to like about the LG G Stylo--it has a big display that's easy on the eyes, and it offers reasonable performance and a pair of surprisingly good cameras for the price. The big removable battery, expandable storage and LG G4 lookalike styling are strong points as well. The pen is handy and the G Stylo is much less expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for those who covet that feature. Our only concern is the 8 gigs of storage with 3.4 gigs available on the Sprint/Boost model. That's easy to fill with several games and a few videos. You can store videos, music and photos on a microSD card, but moving applications to a card is a mixed bag in Android 5.0. In general, the T-Mobile version of this phone has better specs than the Sprint model, for that matter.

Price: $250 to $288 full retail, varies by carrier


Related Reviews:

LG G4 Review

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 Review

Asus ZenFone 2 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Moto X (2014) Review

Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

iPhone 6 Review


LG G Stylo

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Display: 5.7" IPS display. Resolution: 1280 x 720. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: 3,000 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable.

Performance: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad core CPU with Adreno 306 graphics. 1 gig RAM (Sprint/Boost), 2 gigs RAM (T-Mobile/MetroPCS). 8 gigs internal storage (Sprint/Boost), 16 gigs internal storage (T-Mobile/MetroPCS).

Size: 6.07 x 3.12 x 0.38 inches. Weight: 5.8 ounces.

Phone: Dual band digital CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A 3G and 4G LTE (Sprint and Boost Mobile). GSM quad band world phone with EDGE 2G. 3G and 4G LTE (T-Mobile and MetroPCS). Sprint model supports HD Voice and Spritn Spark.

Camera: 5MP front camera that can shoot 1080p video. Rear camera with LED flash and laser auto-focus. 8MP (Sprint/Boost) or 13MP (T-Mobile/MetroPCS).

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Android OS 5.0 Lollipop with LG UI.

Expansion: 1 microSD card slot, compatible with cards up to 32 gigs.


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