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LG's budget-friendly stylus phone is back (hands-on)

The third-generation Stylus from LG is the answer for savvy doodlers looking for a (non-exploding) phone.

Luke Lancaster Associate Editor / Australia
Luke Lancaster is an Associate Editor with CNET, based out of Australia. He spends his time with games (both board and video) and comics (both reading and writing).
Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Luke Lancaster
Lynn La
2 min read

If you're after a phone with a stylus that won't burst into flames like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, LG wants to show you what it's got. Announced ahead of huge trade show CES 2017, the Stylus 3 is the third in the South Korean tech giant's affordable stylus range.

The phone has a fairly impressive feature list, with a removable battery, expandable storage, fingerprint scanner and Android 7.0. This isn't bad at all, considering LG is billing the device as mid-tier(the Stylus 2 sold for just a couple hundred bucks).

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The stylus itself has also gone through a bit of a facelift, with a more sensitive, narrower fiber tip to give that real pen feel and finer point of contact. There are a few of those de rigueur stylus features rolled in as well, including a proximity sensor if your phone strays too far from the stylus, screen-off note-taking and automatic memo apps.

The LG Stylus 3 in all its affordable glory

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Keep in mind, however, that the device isn't as premium and doesn't have as many features as the Samsung's Note line. The Stylus has a plastic (though well-made) construction, a 720p display, and its processor isn't as fast. Other specs include:

LG Stylus 3 specs

  • 5.7-inch, 1,280x720-pixel resolution screen
  • 3GB memory
  • 16GB storage (expandable to 2TB)
  • 8-megapixel front camera, 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 3,200mAh removable battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 155.6 mm by 79.8 mm by 7.4 mm
  • 149 grams
  • Stylus
  • Fingerprint scanner

Ignoring its glaring safety issue, the Note 7 had an elegant, glass body that was water resistant, and top-of-the-line specs. It's stylus, known as the S-Pen, and accompanying software packed in way more features and tools too, like eye-tracking software and productivity apps.

Of course, all those features came at a pretty steep price, and the Note 7 went for about $850, £700 and AU$1,349. In comparison, the Stylus is likely to cost around $200 (which converts to £162 and AU$275), though pricing and availability haven't been announced yet. Still, LG's phone packs a decent amount of hardware for a low price, and users looking for a phone that also packs a pen should consider it as an inexpensive alternative.

Follow CNET's coverage of CES 2017 here.

All the cool new gadgets at CES 2017

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