Phones

Stylus jazzes up mid-range phone

The stylus glides very easily over the LG Stylus 2 Plus' screen, and it is also slightly pressure- sensitive.
The stylus glides very easily over the LG Stylus 2 Plus' screen, and it is also slightly pressure- sensitive.PHOTO: LG

The LG Stylus 2 Plus, which was released in Singapore last month, fulfils a gap in the smartphone market as one of the few mid-range phones with a stylus.

The $498 phone is called the Plus because it is the upgraded version of the LG Stylus 2. Both phones have a 5.7-inch screen, but the Plus has a beefed-up processor and a higher screen resolution.

At under $500, the Stylus 2 Plus is markedly cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 ($1,088), the go-to flagship phone for users who want a stylus.

For that bargain price, users get what they pay for, with firmly mid-range specs. The Stylus 2 Plus has a 1.4GHz Octa-core processor, a 1,920 by 1,080-pixel display and a plasticky phone body.

While that lack of power does rear its head when browsing or running demanding apps, it is more than sufficient for everyday use.

At 145g (the Galaxy Note 5 is 171g), the Stylus 2 Plus feels very light in the hand. My review set had a pin-striped grey back with matching sides, which was a refreshing change from the usual solid colours of many phones.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $498

    PROCESSOR: 1.4GHz Octa-core processor

    DISPLAY: 5.7-inch Full HD

    CAMERA: 16-megapixel (rear) and 8-megapixel (front)

    OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 6.0

    MEMORY: 3GB RAM, 16GB storage

    BATTERY: 3,000mAh (removable)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Like its predecessor, the LG G4 Stylus, there are no buttons around the edge of the phone. Instead, the volume keys and power button are on the back of the phone, just below the rear camera.

The 10.7cm-long stylus, which has a fine mesh-covered tip, can be slotted into the top right corner of the phone. As the metal stylus is round and not flat, it can be a little slippery to hold.

The stylus glides very easily over the phone's screen, and it is also slightly pressure-sensitive.

Tracking is accurate, though not the fastest.

The Stylus 2 Plus comes with several pre-installed note-taking programs. By default, when a user pulls out the stylus, a pop-up menu appears with programs such as Pop Memo, which acts like a virtual Post-it note, and QuickMemo+, a full-screen sketching app.

There are also other ways to make use of the stylus. For example, Screen-off Memo opens up a memo if the pen is removed when the screen is turned off, which makes jotting down quick notes a breeze.

The Stylus 2 Plus has a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front one. Both cameras are comparable to the ones found on other mid-range phones, and come with handy features such as HDR and Film, which lets users see filter effects in real time.

The front camera has an LED flash, an uncommon feature. The front camera can also be triggered by gesture recognition or voice recognition, which makes taking selfies a lot more fun.

•Verdict: If you want a mid-range phone with a stylus, look no further than the LG Stylus Plus 2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'Stylus jazzes up mid-range phone'. Print Edition | Subscribe