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Review: LG Stylo 4 for Cricket Wireless

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  1  

Aug 6, 2018, 8:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The Stylo 4 is the most affordable Android phone to include a stylus. Using the pen and huge screen together, you can do all sorts of creative and fun things. Here is Phone Scoop's in-depth review.

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Is It Your Type?

The LG Stylo 4 is an enormous Android phone that's augmented by a stylus. If you want one of the biggest screens in the market and enjoy the added creativity boost thanks to the stylus, the Stylo 4 is one of the only affordable options on the market.

Body

The LG Stylo 4 is a budget Galaxy Note. It's about one-third the cost of Samsung's flagship and relies on the included stylus to set it apart from other big-screened phones. It's made from a mix of glass, metal, and plastic. It's the most stylish Stylo yet.

A smooth metal frame wraps around the outer sides of the phone. I like the gentle curve and the reflective chamfer on the front-facing edge. It's a pleasing frame that gives the Stylo 4 plenty of strength. The front glass is fitted flush with the frame.

Stylo 4  

LG opted for a plastic rear panel. It has a glossy finish over a faux metallic pattern. I managed to scratch the rear panel pretty quickly. Consider yourself warned. From a distance, the Stylo 4 looks flashy.

This phone is about the same size as the Galaxy S9+. It's tall and wide, making it a two-handed device for sure. Some may find its 6.3-inch height and 3.06-inch width too much. I'd just call it hefty. The profile makes the phone obvious in your pocket. I didn't have any trouble cramming it into my jeans or shorts, but some might. The smooth surfaces make it easy to drop in.

Previous generations of the Stylo series were more obviously plastic, which cheapened the appearance some. The design of the Stylo 4 is far classier. The metal frame is solid and the glass front and plastic rear panels are pressed in snugly. I didn't spot any uneven seams. The Stylo 4 is well-made.

Hand Fit  

The front reminds me just a bit of the LG-made Pixel 2 XL. The corners are rounded somewhat squarely. The display fills most of the front, but there's still a bit of a chin and forehead. The slit cut into the glass for the earpiece is hardly visible at all, as is the user-facing camera. There are no physical buttons or controls, nor any logos painted onto the glass; it's a clean black surface.

The screen lock button is placed high on the right edge. It's a tad small, though the profile is good. Travel and feedback are excellent. The volume buttons — two separate keys — are opposite, on the left side. The offer the same size, profile, and feedback as the screen lock button (very good.) The tray for SIM and memory cards is also on the left edge. It holds the cards side by side, so the tray is rather large. The USB-C port, headphone jack, and speakerphone holes are on the bottom edge.

The Stylo 4's stylus is tucked into the bottom right corner of the phone. There's no fancy spring action to pop it out; instead, there's a notch for your fingernail so you can pry the stylus from its home. It snaps in firmly. The phone vibrates when you remove the stylus or return it to the slot. The stylus itself is fairly short. It's a simple metal stylus and doesn't include an action button like the one of the Galaxy Note 8.

The rear panel cannot be removed. I like the curve of the plastic and the faux metal look. I think it would be better off without the glossy finish, but the finish gives it plenty of shine. It doesn't collect too many fingerprints. The camera, flash, and fingerprint reader are aligned vertically near the top. The fingerprint reader doesn't have much of an indentation and can take a second or two to find. I wish it were more distinct.

The phone is not waterproof, nor is it rugged.

LG designed a fine phone in the Stylo 4. It's a big step up from previous generations in looks, materials, and build quality. It could easily pass for a much more expensive phone.

Screen

The Stylo 4 has a 6.2-inch, full HD+ (2,160 by 1,080) display with a 2:1 aspect ratio. LG calls this FullVision. LG typically uses LCD panels and that's the case here. There's no question that it's sharp. The resolution and size combine for a pixel density of 390ppi, which is very good. Everything on the screen looks crisp and clean. It's very bright. I was able to use the phone outdoors with no problem. The screen does lose brightness when tilted; viewing angles aren't the best.

The color may be a smidge off. Whites tend to skew to blue just a little bit, giving the screen a cool look. Unfortunately, this cannot be adjusted, but there is a basic nighttime mode (blue light filter).

Signal

The Stylo 4 for Cricket runs on AT&T's LTE 4G network, (since Cricket is owned and operated by AT&T.) I tested it around the New York City metro area and found it performed on par with other Cricket-branded phones.

The Stylo 4 held onto AT&T's LTE network everywhere I took it, and was able to consistently hit the maximum speed allowed by Cricket (8Mbps). I didn't run into any trouble streaming standard definition music over the network, but watching YouTube videos (even standard resolution) via LTE led to some buffering. Browsing the web and social media apps was mostly smooth.

The phone connected all calls on the first dial but dropped one when in a moving car.

Sound

I'd call the Stylo 4 a solid phone for holding conversations. The earpiece produces calls that are loud and clear. You can easily hear callers at home, in the car, at the mall, and on city streets. Clarity was very good and voices had a nice tone to them. People said I sounded "just okay" when I spoke to them via the Stylo 4.

The speakerphone delivers a rougher experience. It's very loud, so you'll have no trouble hearing calls wherever you go. But clarity isn't great and the speaker will distort badly when turned all the way up.

Ringers and alert tones are spectacularly loud.

Battery

LG gave the Stylo 4 a 3,300mAh battery. It's a good-sized power cell and does a decent job at pushing the phone from breakfast to bedtime. The phone generally made it through a day, but only just. It typically had between 10% and 15% left by the time I plugged it back in at night. You can extend battery life a bit using the included power saver mode.

The phone does not include wireless charging, and the included charger does not charge the phone rapidly.

Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, WiFi

Bluetooth functions well. The phone paired with a range of Bluetooth accessories, including headsets, speakers, and my car. The device delivered average quality calls through headsets and my car's hands-free system. Music sounded decent via Bluetooth speakers.

Using Google Maps, the Stylo 4 was able to field my location in a few blinks of an eye. Accuracy was never better than about 25 feet. Still, Google Maps worked well enough as a real-time navigation tool.

The WiFi radio worked very well. The Stylo 4 does not have NFC.

There's an FM radio so you can listen to your favorite local stations as long as you plug in some headphones.

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terryjohnson16

Aug 6, 2018, 8:34 AM

T-Mobile Stylo 4 has NFC and Band 71

The Tmobile version has NFC and LTE Band 71, and 2GB RAM, while the cricket version does not have NFC, Band 71. It also has 3GB RAM
 
 
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