LG X Power Review: I like big batteries and I cannot lie

Alex Kidman 27 October 2016

LGXPower6_450

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
OSAndroid 6.01 ("Marshmallow")
Screen size5.3in
Resolution1280x720
Display density277ppi
Storage16GB
Weight139g
ProcessorQuad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
Rear camera13MP
Front camera5MP
Battery4100mAh

LGXPower_5_450

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.
    HandsetGeekbench 3 Battery Test DurationGeekbench 3 Battery Score
    LG X Power14:50:305714
    Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge11:55:007150
    Huawei Mate 811:14:406659
    Apple iPhone 7 Plus11:11:206713
    Samsung Galaxy J210:05:202689
    Samsung Galaxy S710:01:206013
    Motorola Moto X Force9:46:503914
    Motorola Moto 4G Plus9:44:103977
    Motorola Moto G Play9:36:003840
    Alcatel Pop 49:20:302490
    Google Pixel XL9:14:205543
    Sony Xperia XZ8:24:205042
    Samsung Galaxy Note 59:18:005580
    Alcatel Idol 4S8:14:204943
    LG Stylus DAB+8:11:403278
    LG G57:36:104561

    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.

LGXPower_4_450

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:
    HandsetGeekbench 4 CPU Single Core (higher is better)Geekbench 4 CPU Multi Core (higher is better)
    Apple iPhone 7 Plus33745649
    Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge13595333
    Samsung Galaxy S713784718
    Apple iPhone SE24494171
    Apple iPhone 6s24654052
    Google Pixel XL16294051
    Motorola Moto Z14773853
    Sony Xperia XZ16363604
    Google Nexus 6P12933594
    Motorola Moto X Force13523581
    Motorola Moto Z Play7992648
    Sony Xperia X11222626
    LG X Power5541482
    Motorola Moto G Play5221334

    Here’s how it stacks up with 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test:

    Handset3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited Result
    Alcatel IDOL 4S18186
    HTC One X916877
    Motorola Moto Z Play13958
    Oppo R911053
    Motorola Moto G4 Plus9757
    Oppo R7s8390
    LG X Power4953
    Motorola Moto G Play4475
    LG Stylus DAB+4321
    Alcatel Pop 43863
    Samsung Galaxy J23469
  • 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.

LGXPower_450_3_450

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.

LGXPower_2_450

Where can I get it?

The LG X Power is sold on an outright basis through Harvey Norman stores for $349.

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