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LG Stylo 6
What we like
What we don't like
LG Stylo 6
Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has long been the cream of the crop when it comes to stylus phones. However, you have to be ready to drop some serious cash to bring one home. On the other hand, LG is ready to put a stylus-toting phablet in your pocket for less than $300. How well does the Stylo 6 stack up against its closest rivals? Find out in our LG Stylo 6 review.
See also: The best budget phones you can buy
What you need to know about the LG Stylo 6
- LG Stylo 6 (3GB / 64GB): $249 / £179 / €249
The LG Stylo 6 landed as the OEM’s latest stylus-toting device in May 2020, replacing the Stylo 5. It brought a serious design overhaul to the line and tripled the number of rear-mounted cameras. You’ll only find the Stylo 6 in a single 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage configuration, though it carries a microSD slot in case you need extra room. The phablet is available in white unlocked, or Cricket Wireless offers the Stylo 6 in Holographic Blue and Titan Gray. Our Stylo 6 arrived with Android 10 on board, and it has not received an Android 11 update yet. There’s no word on future support, though with LG exiting the smartphone business it’s unlikely to receive security updates long-term — keep that in mind before parting with your cash.
Related: The best LG phones you can buy
LG ditched Qualcomm when it launched the Stylo 6 — instead opting for MediaTek’s Helio P35 processor as the star of the show. It’s a slight upgrade over the Helio P22 you’ll find on the LG K51 and other entry-level devices. We’ve already mentioned the RAM above, and the Stylo 6 packs a 4,000mAh battery to keep you moving. The huge 6.8-inch IPS LCD panel offers a Full HD+ resolution, and the only interruption is a U-shaped notch for the selfie camera.
Inside the Stylo 6’s box, you’ll get a white USB-A to USB-C cable and charging block. There’s a quick start guide along with your typical warranty information, but no headphones to tap into the headphone jack.
The LG Stylo 6’s closest rivals include the Motorola Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus, as well as the OnePlus Nord N200. All three come in at just over $200, though the Nord N200 adds 5G to the mix. If you want extra speed to accompany your stylus, you can always try the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G.
The LG Stylo 6 is one big boy, which is great for catching up on your favorite shows. Its 6.8-inch display boasts Full HD resolution, which easily tops LG’s other budget options, and you get stereo speakers to boot. The 20.5:9 aspect ratio means that you’ll have the best experience with widescreen content.
Almost all of LG’s budget devices offer decent build quality and hand-feel, and the Stylo 6 is no exception. The sides are thick enough that you can keep a solid grip, and the glass rear panel feels more premium than the price tag would suggest.
The Full HD display and stereo speakers are a budget-conscious binge watcher's dream.
We also have to talk about the Stylo 6’s defining feature: the built-in stylus. It hides away along the bottom edge until you’re ready to use it, and then it’s as simple as clicking a pen. The stylus itself is slim and made of metal, and the soft tip is responsive, with good palm detection. You can also hop right into a memo pad if you release the stylus while your Stylo 6 is locked, which I found myself using frequently.
The Stylo 6 also offers great battery life. No, the 4,000mAh cell isn’t the largest among stylus phones, but I had no trouble breezing through more than a day of usage. After all, it doesn’t have to use extra juice hunting for 5G speeds, so the Stylo 6 can just focus on keeping the lights on.
What’s not so good?
Although the Stylo 6’s huge display is great for streaming, it can be difficult to use in day-to-day life. Granted, I don’t have the largest hands, but one-handed use is pretty much out of the question if you need to reach the top of the display. You need two hands to work the stylus anyway, but it would be nice to reach more of the screen without unleashing said stylus.
Also, this stylus is no S Pen. It’s spring-loaded, and the back end makes a nice click, but it doesn’t offer much functionality outside of tapping the display or writing notes. It does the job, but don’t expect Samsung-like features to go with it.
Related: The best stylus apps for Android
LG made a few interesting software choices on the Stylo 6 — namely the fact that there is no app drawer by default. The app drawer is one of my favorite things about Android, as it lets me keep my home screen nice and tidy. You can, however, bring the app drawer back, but you’ll have to hunt around in the Settings menu for it.
The bigger problem I found on the Stylo 6 is bloatware. It comes with five games preinstalled, Facebook, Instagram, Tubi TV, Hotels.com, and more. LG also puts its management features like an update center and smart cleaning into their own apps when they could easily be part of the Settings menu. All told, those apps take up nearly 4GB of storage on top of an already hefty 18GB system which means that you’ve already lost 22GB of your 64GB of storage. You can, at least, delete the games and non-LG apps if you don’t want them, though.
The stylus is handy, but it's no S Pen.
The Stylo 6 sometimes finds itself too big for its internals, too. MediaTek’s Helio P35 chip and the lowly 3GB of RAM can’t always keep up, especially when multitasking. I couldn’t hop between Twitter and YouTube without slowing both apps to a crawl. Even tasks as simple as launching an app and immediately opening the keyboard caused some delays.
I appreciate that LG tripled the number of rear cameras for its Stylo 6, but it didn’t necessarily nab the best set. Most shots work fine in good lighting, but you’ll notice that they give up on details as soon as you zoom in. The 5MP ultra-wide lens is particularly guilty of this. The camera app falls victim to the Helio P35’s weaker performance with long waits for shots to process and images often look far worse in the live preview, making it harder to know if your shot will turn out okay.
LG Stylo 6 camera samples
LG Stylo 6 specs
|LG Stylo 6|
1,080 x 2,460 (20.5:9)
MediaTek Helio P35
Rear triple camera:
Shipped with Android 10
LG UX 9.0
171.2 x 77.7 x 8.6mm
Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
LG Stylo 6 review: Should I buy it?
The LG Stylo 6 offers a great screen, a handy stylus, and excellent battery life. You’ll also find that the build quality is far above the asking price. However, the MediaTek Helio P35 holds it back once you start to work too hard. It’s a good phone if you want to stream your favorite widescreen shows with stereo speakers, but it’s not a phablet for the power-hungry. LG’s exit from the smartphone industry also means you shouldn’t expect long-term security updates.
The Stylo 6 goes big on the display, the battery, and more.
If you really want a phone with a stylus that doesn’t cost too much, you’ll have to look at Motorola. The Moto G Stylus ($299) and Moto G Stylus 5G ($399) are great picks, and they offer more competitive specs than the Stylo 6. On the other hand, you can always ditch the stylus altogether and tap into the Motorola Moto G Power ($249) with its 49MP main camera and 5,000mAh battery instead.