Switching from a Samsung Galaxy Notice 9 into an LG Stylo 4 is analogous to Moving from a Ferrari 812 Superfast to Some Kia Optima. They’re both 2018 smartphones with styluses constructed in, plus they both operate the same version of Android (Oreo 8.1). But other than that, they could not be more distinct.
The Stylo 4 includes a quarter of this Note 9’s internal storage (32GB versus 128GB), is made from plastic instead of glass, and is powered with a far slower processor. And it doesn’t have wireless charging or a dual camera or a WQHD+ touchscreen display.
And as I utilized the $250 handset (the lowest priced Android phone I’ve used in a while ) as my primary device for a fortnight, I began to see exactly how narrow the lines between premium, funding, and mid-range phones really are. I didn’t scale back my use (actually I put up the Stylo 4 from my ruling backup), and while I’ll acknowledge the Note 9 ran circles around the Stylo 4 at nearly every speed test, once you break it down, the 2 phones really are not all that different.
So, do we really need to invest $900 or $1,000 to get the best Android phone? Or to put it another way: Is your Galaxy Notice 9 really 400 percent greater than the Stylo 4?
Ever since the very first Android mobile came, we’ve been conditioned to expect a significant speed increase every 12 weeks. But while the development is apparent in the high end of the market, with all the Snapdragon 821, 835, 845, etc., it’s a little more muddled for low-end and mid-range phones.
The Stylo is powered by a Snapdragon 450 processor from 2017, and its own age surely reveals. So it is clearly slower than the Snapdragon 845 inside Note 9, and significantly so. The Snapdragon 636 will be slower too, but not as apparent.
The biggest problem is with graphics functionality. Normal Android Oreo animations that would usually require less than a half-second on the Note 9 frequently hang for a second or more about the Stylo 4. It is something I was especially attuned to since I’d literally changed into the Stylo 4 from the Note 9. Nonetheless, after a week, it wasn’t quite as annoying.
Programs which were initially slow to load became quicker after their initial starts, and even with just 2GB of RAM, switching became noticeably less syrupy following a day or 2. Additionally, I began to anticipate when the machine would hang, so my palms didn’t jump to a new undertaking and slow down things even more.
But overall, the images were a nuisance than a hindrance. The slowness is compounded by LG’s UX skin, which adds unnecessary clutter and port oddities throughout. I can’t help but wonder how much faster the Stylo 4 might feel if it conducted Android One like the G7 One. That said, I have a new appreciation for its Note 9’s Adreno 630 GPU, which makes matters buttery simple even though the Samsung Experience UI.
Everyday speed performance can be noticeably slower than it’s on Note 9, but again, I adjusted my expectations after only a couple of days. I’ve been utilizing Snapdragon 845 phones for the greater part of 2018, so I guessed the Stylo 4 could be slow to the point of unusable. Nevertheless, it was not. I overlooked the speed of the Note 9 for certain, but it didn’t feel like a 750 difference. Besides, most people buying a Stylo 4 will be coming from a comparable class of phone, and also the Stylo’s Snapdragon 450 is certainly faster than the Snapdragon 429 or 210 they are probably switching from. The Stylo 4 could be slow, but it is by no means unusable.
I was most impressed with the Stylo 4 battery life. Having a 3,300mAh capability, I anticipated it to become so-so, especially coming out of Note 9’s impressive 4,000mAh battery, but I was pleasantly surprised. Rarely did I have to plug in the Stylo 4 until the end of a day, and even then, I generally had more than 10 percentage staying. Benchmarks weren’t so kind, showing approximately 7 hours, but this type of case where real-world usage is vastly superior.
Unapologetically plastic sheeting breakable glass
As you’d expect, the Stylo 4 is made from plastic rather than the Note 9’s all-glass design, and while it definitely feels less substantial compared to Samsung’s thousand-dollar flagship, it’s a nice build that feels far from cheap. The curved screen and plastic rearrests comfortably in my hand and pocket compared to Note 9, and I was not nearly as worried about dropping it without a case. At 160 x 77.7 x 8.1 mm, it’s a bit smaller than the Note 9’s 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm framework, and the Stylo’s 6.2-inch display is smaller than the Note 9’s 6.4-inch display as well.