This month David Dungay reviews two devices which reside at the lower end of the market. LG are trying to take market share away from Samsung with their Stylus 2 offering whilst Sony has attempted to make a stylish cheap smartphone which will have mass appeal. See how they got on below.
LG Stylus 2
This mid-to-low end phablet type is trying to have a crack at a segment of the market Samsung has long ruled over. Big screen, medium specs and low price. Apparently people are still getting excited about poking their smartphone screen with a tiny stick and for those types of users they will beam when they find the LG “stick” neatly slid into the top right hand corner. Is the stylus packed with tech to wow… no, it’s just a stylus. Saying that, the phone will alert you if you start moving around and the stylus slot is empty, this should prevent you losing it at least.
To the phone itself, the screen is a 5.7-inch HD (720p) display pushing the dimensions to 155 x 79.6mm. It’s bright enough but isn’t the main attraction. Under the hood you will find 1.5GB of RAM and a paltry 16GB of storage, luckily there is a microSD slot. The battery is fairly sizeable at 3,000mAh but interestingly it is removable. For business users this may appeal as it’s easy to swap in a fully charged battery when out and about.
Surprisingly, LG have managed to pack a couple of decent cameras into the Stylus 2 with a 13MP sensor on the rear and an 8MP ‘selfie’ camera on the front.
The device runs Android’s Marshmallow OS with its own interface overlay which won’t suit everyone but LG has spent some time over the years tidying up their offering and it is a lot more user friendly these days.
The BIG question… should you buy one? At £165 it is good value but there is quite a lot going against it. The competition for one, there are better options out there if you are willing to spend just £50-80 more… a lot better options. The stylus is a pretty niche requirement for most users these days and although some people enjoy the accuracy it provides on-screen the reality is those are the exception, not the rule.
Sony Xperia E5
Has Sony thrown another lemming into the bear pit with the Xperia E5? It’s another cheap (£120) low-end Android offering with some stiff competition. When I first picked up the device I was instantly confused, it looked and felt great. Sony has developed something here which doesn’t look out of place sitting next to its flagship devices. If style and design is important to you then this is definitely worth a look.
Inside you will find a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, which is paired with a Mali-T720 graphics processor and just 1.5GB of RAM. The general consensus is that Sony has underpowered the device considerably, there are competitor device in the same price range with far better specs. However, Sony has included NFC which is rare at this end of the market.
In the battery department the E5 is only packing 2,500mAh which is going to leave users thoroughly unsatisfied, it barely makes it to the end of the day with normal use. It is only powering a 5-inch 720p display which is lucky as other phones in the segment, notably the Moto G4, have struggled to power much bigger displays.
The bottom line, if you are into looks over performance and you are on a budget, this is the phone for you.
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