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LG G4 Stylus review: A Massive but toned down LG G4
LG has a very predictable way of bringing new devices in the market. Last year, soon after launching the G3 smartphone, the South Korean tech giant released a series of other devices at a considerably lesser price but with the G3 moniker lingering on every devices name, like the G3 Stylus, etc.
Likewise, this year, soon after the company launched its leather-clad G4, it has launched the lighter and down-sized version of the G4 with a Stylus. However, don't think the device is small when I say down-sized. You can say that this is Specs-wise the stripped down version of the LG G4.
Priced at Rs. 24,990, the new 5.7-inch big LG G4 Stylus has quite a lot to offer. This particular model is the average device which stands in the middle price range because the company has also launched another member in the G4 family - the G4c.
Due to the massive size, using LG G4 Stylus wasn't easy (at least to me and I don't have a small hand!!). However, these phablet sized devices do achieve mileage in the market especially in India. Anyway, GizBot has thoroughly used the device for more than a week now and here we are with a full on review of the handset. Let's reserve the comment for the climax but for now, let's see the device's worth part by part.
To be frank, the LG G4 Stylus's back panel looks better than the G4 which comes with a cheap looking leather clad back panel with a stitch running vertically on it. The iconic button placement on the rear side adds yet another significant attraction point on the device. Despite the panel is made out of plastic, the fine dents on it give the panel a very metallic look and the curves on the edges are very classy and fits lush to the metal frame of the device making the phone very smooth when held with hand.
The shiny silver texture on the back panel that gives LG G4 Stylus a more luxurious look, also compliments the entire camera and other buttons setup on the rear side. To remind you, the LG G4 Stylus features the camera on the top end of the device and just below it is the volume rocker. In between the volume rocker lies a lock/power button. On the either side of the camera module, there is laser autofocus and LED flash. Slightly further down, at the center, you can see the LG logo, and at the bottom left, the speaker grille is what you will see.
The sides of the LG G4 Stylus is devoid of any buttons. However, the top edge features a Stylus holder, Microphone and headphone jack, while the buttom edge hosts a primary microphone and a microUSB port. On rotating the phone, you will see a LED indicator, earphone, proximity and light sensors, and the front camera are all lined up above the screen. Another LG logo can be found below the display. You won't find a capacitive buttons this time around in the device but onscreen ones.
The LG G4 Stylus is all about the stylus and although it doesn't come with an advanced functionality, it sure does make a difference to some extent to the users. The 10.5 cm tall pen is extremely light and the rubbery texture on the nib is pretty amazing as it jells well with the display.
Honestly, the LG G4 Stylus is a pain when it comes to operating it with one hand. The massive 5.7-inch capacitive multi touch IPS display uses an in-cell touch display. Offering a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 258ppi (pixels per inch), the display is pretty sharp and crispy. However, it's not the best in the industry and is not even Full HD leave the QHD one which the original LG G4 employs. Owing to the use of the IPS technology, the tweaked down version of the G4 has an acceptable viewing angle too.
As far as the brightness is concerned, which most people think of as a definitive factor to determine the quality of the screen, the LG G4 Stylus won't be a disappointment. The maximum brightness of the display is 375 cd/m2, which is a high figure in its league. The sunlight readability factor is quite impressive in this device. The contrast ratio is very good which you can notice in the Icons and images. The display has a very quick touch response too. Despite the large size display with just an HD resolution, I liked the way it has been used to match the devices falling in the same price category.
Power and Performance
Most would be disappointed with the way LG has stripped down the processor in the G4 Stylus. Thankfully, the South Korean tech giant has at least chosen the same premium chipset maker - Qualcomm. LG G4 Stylus is powered by Snapdragon 410 processor that we've seen employed in many mid-range devices.
If you think that it is not a suitable CPU, I believe you are wrong. The price that LG is offering for this particular device is quite suited for it and additionally, there are other novice features as well that your money is being accounted for. The Snapdragon 410 has 4 Cortex-A53 cores, operating at clock frequency of 1.2GHz, is far from close if you compare with the flagship devices being launched off late. The processor is accompanied by an Adreno 306 GPU, which helps you in the gaming department.
On a serious and disappointing note, 1GB RAM, which is accompanying the CPU is not enough at all. This is where the company has made a huge mistake. However, what was interesting was that despite the mediocre RAM, the device managed to run Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2 with ease.
Perhaps, when you multi-task on the device with several apps opened at the same time, you will have to endure lags, blips and screen freeze.
As far as the benchmark is concerned, the AnTuTu tool awarded it 21680 points, which is not much of a commendable number.
LG G4 Stylus is blessed with all the goodness of Android 5.0 Lollipop and features almost all the functions of its parent device - the G4. Native apps and features like KnockON and KnockCode, Dual Window and much more can be found in this large device.
However, the LG's user interface is pretty heavy for a GB of RAM to handle which ends up slowing the device. The appearance and UI tweaks in the device is phenomenal in the device, which I personally like.
Storage and Connectivity
As far as the storage is concerned, we were not so pleased with the device. The LG G4 Stylus only offers a 16GB built in memory, out of which, if you are fond of using new apps, 6 or more GB will be just taken by apps. However, you get the memory expansion facility using the microSD card.
One of the greatest factors that make the device a "wanna have" device is an array of connectivity options in it. In this device you will get to use 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and NFC.
LG G4 Stylus features 13MP rear camera with LED Flash, Laser Auto Focus and a 5MP front-facing snapper. Though the laser focus works really fast while taking a shot, the picture quality is not always good. However, provided that you have a steady hand and well-lit condition, the images turn up really impressive. Low light photo quality is pretty challenging. However, it does pull in an average quality there too.
One of the disappointing facts about the LG G4 Stylus was that there were no modes as such. Just the two. Comparing that with the newly launched Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe, which has really great quality offering shooting modes, LG does lack in this aspect.
Moreover, not much can be done with the camera of the LG G4 Stylus but take a regular pictures. If you like playing around with the camera, this is not the phone that you would be looking to buy. However, that doesn't mean it shoots bad. It's just that there are not a lot of settings that you can play with in this device.
Since display of the smartphone is where most of the battery is consumed, the smartphone manufacturers should consider the battery capacity of the device according to the size and quality of display used in it. LG uses a 5.7-inch (1280× 720 pixels) HD IPS in-cell touch display, which is pretty big and also consumes quite a lot of juice. And the company has only blessed 3000 mAh battery to it, which is not quite a complimenting pack. While we used it, with minimum usage the phone didn't die until two days, which is good. However, with extreme usage, including playing games, watching YouTube videos, web browsing and listening to music it didn't last more than 8 hours 44 minutes.
LG has produced phenomenal devices over the years and the G4 was one of the latest which hit the right chord with the trend. However, the stripped down version of the device, the LG G4 Stylus didn't match up the standards of the company. Not that the device has disappointing features but just that it could have been far better than what it is now. Beginning with the admiration, the device has a pretty good display quality (ignoring the size for a while). It has an optimized brightness level, suitable for all kinds of light condition. The thing that makes LG G4 Stylus more likable is that it comes with a Stylus. The stylus is function-wise quite efficient.
The unfortunate part is that, the company has not actually blessed the device with right hardware, which makes it a challenging device. Powered by Snapdragon 410 the G4 Stylus is a mid-range device with average power and surely you can't do a hardcore gaming, multi-tasking and others at the same time in this device for a long duration.
Camera is also good but it can't be said that it has the best camera. There are many things that lack in the camera but it does shoot more than average pictures.