If you want a phone with a built-in stylus but don’t want to spend too much cash, LG’s Stylo line is a good place to start. People are usually fixated on getting a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or 10, but that series, while excellent, is awfully expensive at nearly $1,000. Stylo phones are a fraction of the cost yet offer decent specs and quality performance. The latest model in the lineup is the Stylo 5, which is currently available on Best Buy at a its usual price. Upgrade to this Alexa-compatible stylus phone for just $200 instead of $300.
The first thing that we noticed about the LG Stylo 5 is that it’s a large phone. It’s also fairly thick, which is understandable because it has to accommodate the stylus. It also carries a large 3,5000mAh battery, which can power this phone for as many as two days with normal usage. The phone’s body is made of aluminum and plastic, which isn’t the most luxurious, but it does feel sturdy. Thankfully, there’s no giant notch on the display, and there’s a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack. One sacrifice that this phone has to make for having a built-in stylus is that its single speaker grill is weak. This is not a phone for listening to music. Flip the Stylo 5 and you’ll see a 12-megapixel rear camera with a flash, and right beneath it is an extremely responsive fingerprint sensor.
The Stylo 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 450 processor paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable memory, which is pretty standard for a phone at this price. Running apps and multitasking with it is generally very good, although it does tend to struggle with more graphically demanding games like Fortnite. Still, it works perfectly fine for web browsing, messaging, checking social media apps, and playing Minecraft occasionally.
LG is notoriously bad when it comes to software updates, so it came to no surprise that the Stylo 5 still runs with the older Android 9 Pie even though it had just been released in June. Anyway, LG has added a few useful utilities that you can use with the stylus, including a memo pad, a screenshot markup-cropping tool, a GIF creator, and for the young at heart, a coloring book. The stylus works remarkably well, which makes drawing in third-party apps like Google Keep a lot of fun. You can also access Alexa by double-pressing the power button so you can set appointments, play music, ask a question, and manage smart home devices.
For a budget phone, the Stylo 5 takes good photos. Not great, but good. It’s not the best in low-light conditions, but with ample lighting, you won’t be embarrassed to upload photos taken with it on Instagram.
The LG Stylo 5 offers decent performance, Alexa compatibility, a fantastic digital pen, and incredible battery life. Get yours today for $200 on Best Buy.
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