LG X Power Review: I like big batteries and I cannot lie
LG’s budget X Power phone has an exceptional battery, but it’s otherwise a rather plain phone.
When you buy a cheap phone, you accept all sorts of compromises compared to devices that play in the mid-range or over $1000 premium space. Cheaper processors, cheaper design, and, all too often smaller battery capacities are the norm in this space.
That clearly wasn’t the case with the LG X Power phone. While it retails for an affordable $349, its key selling point is the inclusion of a 4,100mAh battery, way above what you would usually expect from a phone at this price point. But does the LG X Power deliver beyond its huge battery?
LG X Power: Specifications
|LG X Power|
|OS||Android 6.01 ("Marshmallow")|
|Processor||Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53|
Upsides: Why you’d want the LG X Power
- Battery is a monster: The LG X Power is well named, because that 4,100mAh battery is easily the best reason to pick one up. Single day battery life is ridiculously easy to attain, and multi day use should be quite feasible. Running Geekbench 3’s battery life test over the LG X Power saw it utterly destroy every other phone we’ve run that test over previously in terms of battery life, including models that cost triple its asking price.
Handset Geekbench 3 Battery Test Duration Geekbench 3 Battery Score LG X Power 14:50:30 5714 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 11:55:00 7150 Huawei Mate 8 11:14:40 6659 Apple iPhone 7 Plus 11:11:20 6713 Samsung Galaxy J2 10:05:20 2689 Samsung Galaxy S7 10:01:20 6013 Motorola Moto X Force 9:46:50 3914 Motorola Moto 4G Plus 9:44:10 3977 Motorola Moto G Play 9:36:00 3840 Alcatel Pop 4 9:20:30 2490 Google Pixel XL 9:14:20 5543 Sony Xperia XZ 8:24:20 5042 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 9:18:00 5580 Alcatel Idol 4S 8:14:20 4943 LG Stylus DAB+ 8:11:40 3278 LG G5 7:36:10 4561
To put it in perspective, the LG X Power managed more than double the battery life of LG’s own G5 premium smartphone, and while it did so with a much lower power processor, it also beat out the next nearest budget competitor, Samsung’s otherwise entirely unremarkable Galaxy J2.
- Looks decent (from a distance): Most budget to mid-range phones tend to look plain, and while we’d never call the LG X Power a real looker, it also manages to look a little better than you’d expect at this price point, with a rear dimpled case that reminds us a lot of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and nicely rounded edges.
- Simple integrated launcher: If you’re shifting from iOS and you don’t like the app drawer approach of Android, LG’s inbuilt launcher will appeal, with a straight flowing set of app icon pages that stack to the right.
- The price is right: There’s little doubting that budget phones sell on their price. The LG X Power isn’t the cheapest phone you can buy, but it’s priced to sell given the feature set on offer.
Downsides: Why you might not want the LG X Power
- Terribly ordinary performance: The X Power’s battery has impressive life, but that’s only partially down to the size of the supplied battery. The other factor in its battery life is the Mediatek MT6735 processor that runs the whole show. It’s not a processing powerhouse by any definition, and you’ll soon find that out when using the X Power, as it can be downright slow. Predictably, this led to some very ordinary benchmark scores. Here’s how the X Power compared using Geekbench 4’s CPU test:
Handset Geekbench 4 CPU Single Core (higher is better) Geekbench 4 CPU Multi Core (higher is better) Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3374 5649 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 1359 5333 Samsung Galaxy S7 1378 4718 Apple iPhone SE 2449 4171 Apple iPhone 6s 2465 4052 Google Pixel XL 1629 4051 Motorola Moto Z 1477 3853 Sony Xperia XZ 1636 3604 Google Nexus 6P 1293 3594 Motorola Moto X Force 1352 3581 Motorola Moto Z Play 799 2648 Sony Xperia X 1122 2626 LG X Power 554 1482 Motorola Moto G Play 522 1334
Here’s how it stacks up with 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test:
Handset 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Result Alcatel IDOL 4S 18186 HTC One X9 16877 Motorola Moto Z Play 13958 Oppo R9 11053 Motorola Moto G4 Plus 9757 Oppo R7s 8390 LG X Power 4953 Motorola Moto G Play 4475 LG Stylus DAB+ 4321 Alcatel Pop 4 3863 Samsung Galaxy J2 3469
- Feels cheap: From a distance the X Power looks acceptable, but as soon as you pick it up it’s clear where corners have been cut. We will give it the accolade of being surprisingly light, so much so that when we first picked it up we figured the battery hadn’t been installed. That light feeling does mean that you can feel just how plasticky the sealed body shell is. This isn’t helped by very thin and indistinct power and volume buttons either.
- Sealed battery, but not water resistant: LG’s been notable in sticking to removable batteries for the LG G5 and V20 phones, but the X Power’s battery is sealed in place, which means that when it goes, you won’t be able to easily pop in another battery pack. For all that, it's also not rated for any type of water resistance. Boo!
- Outright sales only: The LG X Power’s price isn’t so cheap that it would be beyond reason that a low-cost carrier (or a carrier looking for a low-cost phone for its entry level plans) might consider it, but no. If you want the X Power, you’ll have to stump up the cash upfront in one hit.
Who is it best suited for? What are my other options?
The X Power lives and dies on that remarkable battery performance, and that makes it a decent choice for anyone who’s very forgetful about charging their phone on a regular basis, because you simply won’t need to do so quite as often.
That being said, it’s otherwise a plain and unremarkable phone, and you’re not spoiled for choice at this kind of price bracket for phones that offer a little more in either performance or features, and sometimes both. Consider perhaps any of Oppo’s mid-range offerings, or for that matter Huawei’s. If you’re seriously cash-strapped and still want long battery life, consider the Galaxy J2, which is even cheaper, but at the cost of being considerably worse in the performance department compared to the X Power.
Where can I get it?
The LG X Power is sold on an outright basis through Harvey Norman stores for $349.
Latest phone reviews
The reborn Nokia's first new premium phone is a fine handset, but uninspired design and a less than premium camera detract from its value proposition. Read more…
Huawei's Y5 2017 won't worry your wallet much, but you'll spend a lot of time waiting for it to respond. Read more…
The Nokia 6 is not the premium return of the Finnish brand you were hoping for. Read more…
Oppo's R11 is an impressive phone, especially if you're keen on a dual lens camera but not the premium prices they usually command. Read more…
Sony sells the Xperia XZ Premium on the back of its amazing slow-motion ability, but there's a lot more to this premium handset. Read more…