The Good The LG Stylo 3 has a stylus and costs a fraction of the price of the Galaxy Note 8. Its removable battery lasts a long time.
The Bad It’s easy, sluggish and nowhere near Note 8. There’s also no NFC for mobile payments.
The Bottom Line If you want a stylus phone, the LG Stylo 3 is your only cheap option. Just don’t expect the high-end features.
Let’s get one thing straight: the LG Stylo 3 doesn’t even come close to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. For one, it doesn’t have two 12-megapixel Note rear cameras, a proven Snapdragon 835 processor or water resistance. And the LG phone stylus, which can be stored inside the phone like the S Pen Note 8, will not be able to perform programmatic focuses, such as selecting text to translate or creating animated messages.
However, if you want to take notes, record quick memos and logos, or just take a break using the touch screen, Stylo costs just $ 130 on Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile. That’s a whopping $ 800 less than the cheapest Note 8 price (seriously, it’s like seven Stylo 3s for the price of one Note 8).
Here’s a breakdown of what can be done and what can’t:
LG Stylo 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8
|LG Stylo 3||Samsung Galaxy Note 8|
|Pop-up menu for stylus shortcuts||✓||✓|
|Pen untethering detection||✓||✓|
|Screenshot a portion of the screen||✓||✓|
|Take notes on homescreen||✓||✓|
|Take notes on lockscreen||✓||✓|
|Multiple note pages on lockscreen||X||✓|
|Pin note to lockscreen||X||✓|
|Stylus cursor hover||X||✓|
|Create animated GIFs||X||✓|
|Multifunction button on stylus||X||✓|
|Selects text to translate||X||✓|
|Scroll in the browser window||X||✓|
|Hover to see menu options||X||✓|
LG’s Stylo 3 is a stylus phone for small budgets
Other Things to Know About the LG Stylo 3:
- In our first test to drain video from a cyclic video battery, 16.5 hours were enough. This is seriously impressive.
- Its Snapdragon 435 processor is not very powerful and can be a bit tight. I sometimes had to wait when I scrolled through web pages or started programs and closed them.
- The phone’s 13MP camera is good because it is, but not great. The brightly lit photos were clear, but in full resolution they looked dim. Low-light photos also looked blurry at times, and there was a lot of digital noise.
- Through a slow processor, photographing anything that moves fast (such as a lively dog) will get blurred.
- There were many pre-loaded programs in our Boost Mobile review section. You can uninstall some programs, but not all.
- There is a fingerprint reader on the back to unlock the phone, but since there is no NFC on your phone, you cannot use it for Android Pay.
Again, if you want Notes 8 and all its cool features , be prepared to cough up money. If you want a built-in stylus to be cheap, the LG Stylo 3 is your only choice. (True, you can buy a separate stylus for any phone, but it won’t be as convenient as storing it inside the phone itself.)
If you don’t care much about the stylus, your other option is the Motorola Moto E4. It also costs $ 130, but it’s splash-proof and the front camera has its flash. Although its battery life doesn’t last long (about 14.5 hours on the same test), and it has an 8MP rear camera compared to the 13 megapixel Stylo arrow, you can get it even cheaper – $ 70 for a Verizon subscription , or $ 100 from Amazon with ads.