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Highlights

LG X Power Review




LG has recently released a budget device this past Holiday season in the form of the X Power, a 5.3-inch smartphone with a 4,100mAh battery to boot. Is it worth your money? Here’s our review.

Released in the local stores last October, the X Power poses to challenge current monster battery smartphone contenders such as the Motorola Moto E3 Power and the Asus Zenfone 3 Max to be the longest-lasting device in its price range.

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Opening the rather usual LG box are the basic accessories: a 1.8A charger with a round plug (you’ll need an adapter for it to be compatible to local sockets), a USB cable, a SIM tray ejector, a pair of in-ear headphones, and the device itself.

Design and Construction

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The X Power carries the design aesthetic of its X series contemporaries such as the X5 — sleek, bold, and surprisingly thin for a device with a huge battery capacity. The front presents itself with a black slab of glass which may make you think it’s all the screen it has, but a modest percentage of it are bezels to hide the 5.3-inch IPS display when in sleep. The usual sensors are at the top, and the 5MP front camera is situated at the upper-left part.

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Flip the device over and we have the device in its golden matte polycarbonate chassis that encompasses a minimal look — it just bears the logo at the middle, with the edges easily curved out for an easier grip. The 13-megapixel rear camera is also situated at the upper-left corner and is accompanied by the lone LED Flash, while a small stereo speaker sits out at the lower-right part.

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The left side of the device houses the volume rockers and the hybrid card tray which can house either two nano SIM cards or a SIM and a microSD card. On the other side houses the power/lock button. The sides have two chrome-colored linings that add sophistication to an otherwise plain colored design.

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The bottom part has the 3.5mm audio jack which cuts a portion of the back cover, but in no way ruining the overall design. There’s also the microUSB port at the middle, with the microphone just beside it. The corners are curved in as they were at the sides, to provide a better grip to the smartphone.

Overall, we are pleasantly surprised with the lightness the device bear compared to other devices such as the ASUS Zenfone 3 (5.2), which is roughly at the same weight. The choice of polycarbonate is reasonable to compensate for the battery heft. The X Power has a nice grip to it but the void left by the rather straight back leaves a lot to be desired.

Display and Multimedia

The X Power employs a 5.3-inch IPS display with an HD resolution. Viewing angles are good, but the colors are a bit dull compared to other devices, but still is well-represented. Brightness is okay both in dim and bright environments but is not enough to be seen on a high noon. Noticeable ghosting can also be seen even when switching pages on your home screen.

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Multimedia is decent as a result. The speaker can produce audible output at its brightest on busy environments, and listening to music via the provided 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth headset has been generally good as well.

Camera

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A 13-megapixel rear camera is the main optic of the X Power with LG’s own camera UI and software built in, and the results on various shots are generally good, even on few low-light instances where the shots appear to be less noise. Colors are vivid and focusing is fast for a device without Laser AF. Various modes and live filters are also available to help with your photography.

While its rear camera can be seen as a strength, the other camera is a bit on the disappointing side. The output from the front camera doesn;t look like a 5MP output at all, given that it has a ‘beauty mode’ function enabled throughout, and pixelated instances. It also uses screen light to mimic a ring flash for low-light scenarios. Here are some sample shots:

Likewise, the videos appear to be well-balanced at Full HD resolution. Here’s a sample clip:

OS, UI, and Apps

If you’re a fan of LG’s home-baked UI over Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow similar to the one in the flagship G5, you’re in for a treat as it’s present in the device. By default, you’ll use the new home screen — no app drawers are visible, and all default apps are organized in folders on the home screen. LG’s notable features are also present in the device such as Knockcode, ability to restore uninstalled applications in the past 24 hours, battery management, Quick Capture, QSlide apps, and LG’s own backup service.

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On-screen buttons are present on the device, and it’s customizable — you can add more buttons (up to five) and rearrange them on a layout you’re comfortable with.

With Google’s own service and a few social media apps on board, coupled with LG’s slew of proprietary features, you’d have around 8.4GB to store applications and media files.

Performance and Benchmarks

We’d normally expect global brands to cut corners to get the most out of their affordable prices, and this is where it hit the X Power. Instead of Snapdragon chips they normally equip their mid-range devices in the previous years, the X Power houses a lower mid-range 2015 chip in the form of the 1.3GHz Mediatek MT6735 with Mali-T720 GPU and 2GB RAM onboard.

In chip-per-chip comparison, though, the MT6735 easily beats other lower-range chips such as the Snapdragon 410, and this has been evident: Overall performance with the X Power is good even in multitasking, and only occasional lags have occurred when playing casual games such as Zombie Tsunami or Hungry Shark Evo. Tolerable heat is felt when the phone is stressed out to the max, which happens to be at the lower back part. Here are some sample benchmarks:

AnTuTu – 32,549
GeekBench – 544 (Single Core), 1621 (Multi Core)
3D Mark – 130 (Slingshot Extreme)
PCMark – 2196 (Work 2.0), 1898 (Storage)

Connectivity and Battery Life

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There were no issues with connectivity on the X Power as we tested it for more than a week. Calls received are loud and audible, and same goes with the other party hearing us clearly with the device’s microphone. I’ve encountered issues connecting to my home WiFi with this device but generally works fine everywhere else. 4G connections open really fast, and other wireless options such as Bluetooth and GPS work decently. The SIM tray is hot-swappable, by the way, since the phone does not shut down when it pries open. There’s also support for USB-OTG for transfers on the fly.

As for its battery life, we’ve experienced two to three days of battery life on a single charge with moderate usage — that includes calls and texts, internet connection via WiFI or 4G, and occasional game playing. Living up to its name, it lasted 15 hours and 24 minutes with PCMark’s battery test, while it clocked a lot higher with our video loop test at 17 hours and 41 minutes.

Conclusion

Global brands are now making their effort to catch up with local bang-for-the-buck competitors, and the LG X Power is indeed a surprise for us as it’s a phone unexpected for a global brand> At Php8,495, the phone can compete with other devices in its price range with its long-lasting power, good rear optics and capable performance.

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Despite those, evident lapses have been seen on the device which could also justify the cheaper price tag: there’s that plain-looking black area on the phone’s face, and not to mention the IPS display that emits washed-out colors and ghosting. If that does not seem to be a problem with you, then this is your best bet for a device from a Korean tech company early this year.

LG X Power specs:
5.3-inch IPS LCD display @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 277ppi
1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6735
Mali-T720 MP4 650MHz GPU
2GB LPDDR3 RAM
16GB internal storage
up to 2TB via microSD
13MP AF rear camera with LED Flash
5MP front camera
4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS, A-GPS
FM Radio Tuner
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
4,100mAh Li-Ion battery
148.9 × 74.9 × 7.9mm (dimensions)
139 grams (weight)
White, Gold

Pros:

  • Outstanding battery life
  • Nice body heft
  • Decent overall performance
  • Great rear camera

Cons:

  • Hybrid Dual SIM Tray
  • Washed out colors on display



Get in touch with Carl at @lamielcarl on Twitter or visit his website for more updates!

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