Hands on: LG X Power review

Exclusive: a mid-range Android with a battery that goes the range

What is a hands on review?
TODO alt text

Our Early Verdict

LG X Power is exactly like its name suggests, an Android phone made to last well beyond the end of the day. It's promising to deliver battery life and at a mid-range price with most LG interface features, but not all.

For

  • Huge 4,100mAh battery
  • More affordable price

Against

  • Bigger bezel stands out
  • Doesn't have all LG UX 5.0 features

Update: Mediatek has announced that it will be providing the chipset to LG's X power, which will debut at Sprint next week and today for Boost Mobile subscribers.

The chipset in question is called the helio P10 and, in a few words, it brings high performance at a low cost. It comes with a 1.8GHz octo-core processor and the Mali-T860 GPU, which boasts a clock speed of up to 700MHz.

You can read more information about the chipset and the collaboration right here. And for an eye-opening look at Mediatek's climb to the top of the silicon ladder, read our interview here.

Original hands-on follows below.

The LG X Power is out to solve my biggest complaint about smartphones: poor battery life. And it's doing it within the less expensive mid-range category.

It's an issue that hits close to home when I'm far away, like when I traveled to Seoul, South Korea to test out the X Power and LG X Mach at LG's headquarters.

My other phones were constantly running out of juice throughout the day, with constant GPS use and hours spent looking up places to visit during my short visit.

With a 4,100mAh battery capacity, the LG X Power not only breaks through the 3,000mAh ceiling we see from some of the best phones we've tested, it goes beyond the 4,000mAh attic ceiling.

While there's no price available yet, it's supposed to fall into the mid-range category and arrive in Korea later this month. Here's what we thought of this phone so far.

Design and display

LG X Power

The LG X Power is designed with a little bit of extra heft to accommodate that big battery, but it's a fair trade off since you're still able to hold it in one hand.

Its dimensions are 148.9 x 74.9 x 7.9mm and weighs a reasonable 139g. I was expecting something worse when it was first described to me. It's actually not as thick as the speedy LG X Mach.

LG X Power

There's a pretty standard 5.3-inch HD display, which means that it runs at 720p and skips out on the Quad HD revolution happening among today's top phones. Not a big surprise from a mid-range device.

Pixels on the screen don't stand out - it looks good enough at its size. But the bezel on the white version I tested is noticeable. Luckily it comes in all-black for a better blend. There's also Indigo, Gold and Titan.

Specs and camera

There wasn't enough time to run a Geekbench 3 benchmarks on the LG X Power and that wouldn't be too fair. LG did remind me that both this phone and the LG X Mach were still considered unfinished.

LG X Power

However, I walked away knowing that it runs a 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. There's also 16GB of internal storage, but it's not the super-fast SSD variety, it's eMMC.

LG X Power

There's a 13MP camera on the back and I found a 5MP selfie snapper on front. Of the two phones, it seems like the X Mach had the more advanced camera, if you're mainly looking to share photos.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is here and so is the LG UX skin that runs overtop of all the South Korean company's new phones. "Most" of the LG UX 5.0 features are here, according to LG reps showing it off.

The battery, of course, is the hallmark feature at 4,100mAh and, even when it does run out of juice, it's quick to charge thanks to a microUSB port (not USB-C) on the bottom that supports fast charging.

Early verdict

We got an early look at the LG X Power, and it delivers on its promise of packing a huge battery thanks to the 4,100mAh capacity inside. That's a really significant number.

LG X Power

Truth be told, we can't be sure of how meaningful that is until we run it through our lab tests, but it's bigger than most other mid-range phones. A lot bigger.

The design is appealing if you can look beyond the bezels (or skip the white version) and all of the specs seem to echo its mid-range category.

We're also waiting on the US and UK price and availability, if it makes its indeed makes its way out of Asia. Then we'll see if this affordable Android handset has the right extra capacity for our best budget phones list.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

Tags