Can't afford a Samsung Galaxy Note? Well, LG has got you covered. The super low-budget LG Stylo 2V is a Verizon exclusive smartphone with a stylus and a promise that it can do much of what a Galaxy Note can. Can it fill such large shoes?
Well, sort of.
The Stylo 2 V is wholly unremarkable as phones go: it's a budget phablet with a 5.7-inch display, 13-megapixel camera, 3,000mAh battery, a generation-old Android Marshmallow OS, and 16GB of storage. It does come with a stylus, however, and sells for a scant $240. You can use the included pen-like stylus to write, draw and take notes, as well as touch and tap with precision. The nano-coated, hard fiber tip gives better control and better lines than your finger, and overall the pen does look quite classy. This little pen comes in handy time to time, but it's not as useful as the Note's S-Pen.
There's not much going under the surface either. It comes equipped with a Snapdragon 410 CPU, which is an entry level chipset from 2013 that has no place on a modern smartphone. Despite the underwhelming power it provides, basic functions on the Stylo 2 V are smooth and without many hiccups. It can handle gaming quite well, surprisingly, but the poor graphics system won't drop and jaws. The 720p display is bright and images are crisp, but it's nothing impressive. The single, small, rear-mounted speaker is also lacking. Clearly, LG didn't put much effort into making the Stylo 2 V an entertainment device, compared to the better LG K8.
Unfortunately, there is also a fair amount of bloatware brought to you by LG and Verizon. The Android Marshmallow OS is nice, but the thick, heavily customized LG skin is just plain ugly. It lacks restraint, polish, and just plain good taste compared to its rivals, and certain key features (like the app drawer) have either been completely removed or needlessly changed.
While the Stylo 2 V certainly isn't an impressive smartphone, there are a few things I actually liked about it. The 13 MP rear camera takes surprisingly decent photos with HDR on. The removable battery is also extremely long-lasting, with an estimated 30 hours of usage time. The price is also quite attractive, and the specs (while underpowered) are quite remarkable compared to other smartphones in its class.
For more reviews and recommendations for LG smartphones, go here!