Smartphone Review: LG Stylus 2. Using a stylus on screen with a smartphone feels somewhat of an act from yesteryear. Small fiddly little pointy tools that you needed to do a lot on screen. However, you only have to look at the Samsung Galaxy Note line of devices to realise the popularity of such.
The Stylus 2 is not really a Note competitor. It is not as powerful or feature rich. It is more of a mid-range bank balance friendly device, but one that actually performs well. Some key specs are shown on screen now. Plastic might well be a love or hate material for smartphones but at well under $300 and with the specifications the Stylus 2 offers this is an expectation really.
It looks and feels very good. Using the termpremium might be pushing the boat out, but at 145g and 7.4mm thin, the Stylus 2 has apolished silver edging and the back cover has a smart, lightly ridged texture to it.
The screen shows a few fingerprints and it would be nice if the bezels were a bit smaller, but they are not all bad. The screen is big and it needs to be for writing, drawing and more on screen. Whilst possible, writing on screen with the stylus does not really feel or induce you to cram as much into the same area as you would if it was paper and pen, but it’s good and perhaps the best balance of size and practicality.
The screen boasts HD resolution of 720 x 1280 which equates to 258 pixels per inch. More detail and crispness to images would be better, but the Stylus 2 is about productivity and fitting a need I could rattle on for a while when it comes to the software on the Stylus 2, but I will try to keep this short and sweet.
What is available on here for me is comparable to a flagship or more premium handset. The number of options and power of the OS is superb. With Android OS installed, the latest Android 6 at that, you have all the latest features and then are then LG’s customisations. These additions are more than skin deep. LG’s modifications to the core apps suchas the dialler, contacts and messaging are useful in their own way.
The pull down notification bar gives access to customisable quick settings for turning on and off WiFi through to changing the screen brightness and volume.
Dig a little deeper and you can changes things such as the vibration type (creating your own if you like), switch on or off the notification light, enable reader mode and change the blue light emitted from the display.
You can configure the rear volume keys to act as shortcut buttons, swipe across the screen to reduce the display size for one handed use and even switch on Dual Window so you can use 2 apps side by side.
You really do not appreciate all the extra value bits until you use the phone. So, the star of the show, the stylus.
As you pull it out a little menu is appears,you can have it launch straight into the memo app if required. Select one or not and the menu collapses and leaves a floating icon that allows quick access to that menu again.
Writing on screen can take a bit of practice,but can for some be quicker and more fluid. The capture+ is particularly good for annotating screenshots, maps and more.
Your particular use cases may differ. A really neat feature, if switched on is the ability to write on the screen, without turning the screen on. Just pull out the stylus and start writing and pop the stylus back. Remove it again and begin writing again. When you have time, edit, act upon the notes or removethem the choice is yours.
The 2G,3G and 4G data connection as well as WiFi. Bluetooth, GPS and NFC. Connectivity is covered as you would expect.
Few smartphones really blow your socks off when it comes to audio performance. The Stylus 2 has the typical front facingearpiece and rear mounted loudspeaker. It passes the test on both falling very muchin the average category.
It is quite easy to muffle the loudspeaker when holding the phone. The saving graces comes in the form of an FM radio and what is a bit of a novelty, a DAB+ radio. You need to connect a set of headphones to enjoy this, the headphone cable acts as the antenna. Depending on your location will depend on your signal. The audio quality was good, it was easy to lose it and for distortion to occur.
The camera application is fairly limited. It lacks the wow factor and does little to innovate and excite you to want to capture images and video. It records full HD video which really should be a must nowadays. The resulting images are fairly balanced on colour, being flatter in the colour tones rather than over-saturated, which many do not like. 4x digital zoom is available but this and post capture zooming soon loses detail quickly. Auto-focus worked, but it was not super quickand close up macro shots seemed to be a struggle. The 8 megapixel selfie camera is not all that much better.
A user removable 3,000mAh battery sits underthe back cover of the Stylus 2. The screen whilst large is not particularlypower hungry so this goes in favour of the stylus 2. It is common place to charge daily and I don’t think the stylus 2 is an except ion to this for most users, to ensure you can get through the next working day. No obvious power drains and within the software there is the optional battery saver as well as the app restriction facilities to limit unnecessary battery drain.
The stylus 2 is for those who want and need to get things done. For those who like the look of Samsung Galaxy Note devices, but cannot justify the expense can gain a lot from this phone.
It is solid, performs well with quite a few value added software features with a stylus that on the whole has been well implemented.