LG's Stylo 3 Won't Make You Forget the Note 7

LG is getting a jump on smartphone news at next month's CES show in Las Vegas, taking the wraps off five mid-range phones it plans to roll out in 2017. LG didn't announcing pricing or availability for its new phones, but we do have a better idea of what kind of specs these devices will feature when they make their CES debut.

The most eye-catching of the bunch happens to be the largest — the 5.7-inch Stylo 3. It ships with a stylus that features a 1.8mm fiber tip, which LG says will feel like using an actual pen when you scribble notes on the Stylo 3's screen.

Don't think of this as a stand-in for Samsung's discontinued Note 7, though: the specs on the Stylo 3 are decidedly more modest. Start with that In-Cell Touch display and its 1280 x 720 resolution, a far cry from the Note 7's 2560 x 1440 quad HD panel. An octa-core MediaTek MT6750 CPU powers the phone, which also features a removable 3,200 mAh battery. You'll find a 13-megapixel camera on the back of the Stylo 3 and an 8-MP shooter up front. The phone will feature Android Nougat when it ships.

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It may not be the big-screen phone that power users have been looking for since Samsung pulled the Note 7 off the market, but the Stylo 3 figures to appeal to phablet fans who like their phone screens to double as mobile notepads.

As for other LG phones debuting at CES, the four remaining models are new versions of the company's K-series of budget handsets. LG's K10 phone is the largest of the bunch with a 5.3-inch 1280 x 720 display. Like the Stylo 3, it features an octa-core MT6750 CPU, and it'll run Android Nougat. The 13-MP rear camera is the same one used in LG's flagship G phones, the company said. (There's a 5-MP camera on the front of the K10.)

LG's K8 and K4 are both 5-inch phones, though the K8 has higher resolution at 1280 x 720. (The K4 features a 854 x 480 screen.) The K8 uses a Snapdragon 425 processor while the K4 makes do with a Snapdragon 210. The K8 also has a better rear camera — a 13-MP shooter versus the 5-MP camera on the rear of the K4. If you need another clue the K8 is the more advanced of the two models, it will ship with Android Nougat; the K4 debuts with last year's Android Marshmallow operating system.

The LG K3 is the smallest of the new phones, with a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 display. It's got the same Snapdragon 210 processor as the K4, as well as a 5-MP rear camera. It's only got a 2-MP front camera, though, compared to the K4's 5-MP selfie cam. Like the K4, the K3 will feature Android Marshmallow.

Most phone makers save their biggest reveals for Mobile World Congress in February, but there will be some mobile news out of CES next month. It's good to see LG get the ball rolling on new smartphones for 2017.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.