Hands on: LG X Style review

Exclusive: LG's latest mid-range is a slim Android phone

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

LG X Style is the more elegant looking mid-range Android phone. But like a lot of fashionable things, it lacks true power compared to other X Series phones.

For

  • Slim and stylish design
  • Gently curved glass
  • Removable battery

Against

  • Still made of plastic
  • Lacks powerful specs

The LG X Style is determined prove that just because an Android phone is logged in the mid-tier doesn't mean it has to be a chunky plastic eyesore. It can have class too.

Okay, the LG X Style that I tested in Seoul, Korea is still made of plastic, but it remains thin and light compared to a lot of monster-sized budget phones that we've reviewed. It's down to 6.9mm.

That's the standout feature of this LG X Series handset. LG X Power touts a bigger battery, LG X Mach faster networking speed, LG X Cam two cameras and LG X Screen a second display.

LG X Style

This may be the more attention-grabbing phone when someone walks into a store looking for a cheap Android phone, one that looks like a flagship but doesn't cost a lot of money. Here's how to handles.

Design and display

It's all about looks with the appropriately named LG X Style. Its has a thin and light design and 5-inch display size at 720p, which most phone owners find reasonable to hold in one hand.

LG X Style
See the elegantly curved top and bottom

The X Style dimensions are 144.8 x 71.4 x 6.9mm, which makes it thinner than the iPhone 6S (7.1mm). It's a bit lighter too, at 122g (instead of Apple's 143g). As elegant as it looks, it's still just plastic.

It has subtly curved edges that slope off the top and and bottom of the phone. It's nowhere near as dramatic as holding the curved Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge sides, but it's a nice touch nonetheless.

LG X Style

It's so thin, in fact that the bottom hardly fits the 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port. New phones like the Moto Z and Moto Z Force eschew the jack, and so might the iPhone 7. Thankfully, LG didn't go the same route.

LG has announced three colors so far: Titan, White, Gold. However, I spotted a fourth, possibly Indigo, color when testing out the new LG X Style phone earlier this month. Stand by for confirmation.

LG X Style

Specs and camera

You're not going to find a lot of horsepower behind the LG X Style. Like a lot of things in life, looks are fleeting. This doesn't have the LG X Power battery or LG X Mach faster chipset.

Instead, the LG X Style specs gets away with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. It has 8GB of internal storage, but it's of the slightly slower eMM variety.

LG X Style

The good news is that this LTE phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow just fine from what I saw at the LG offices. It also has an NFC chip inside, but so far that's only destined to work in South Korea.

LG X Style has an 8MP camera and 5MP front-facing camera. That's about par for the course on a mid-range Android phone. If you're looking for something extra, go with the dual-lens LG X Cam instead.

LG X Style

The X Style has one more thing in common with the current LG G5 flagship: a removable battery. You have to take it out the old-fashioned way (by peeling off back the cover).

Even at a 2,100mAh capacity, this phone should still get you through a full day given the fact that the specs aren't going to be taxing the battery life over 24 hours.

Early verdict

LG X Style

The LG X Style looks and feels closer to a flagship phone thanks to its thin and light design and curved top and bottom edges. There's definitely some flair to this plastic mid-range handset.

It's not going to fool anyone into thinking you have a top-tier phone, and the specs really don't match the top of the line handsets from LG and Samsung. It can, however, run Android 6.0 Marshmallow just fine.

We'll have to dive deeper into the LG X Style performance when the phone becomes available. It'll roll out to Korea first, then Eastern Europe and Latin America and no pricing details have been made available.

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.