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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.

Now Playing: Watch this: LG's new Stylus phone is a cheaper, non-exploding Note...
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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).

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.

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.

Where to Buy

LG Stylus 3 (titan)

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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