LG's G3 Stylus has low-res 5.5-inch display and 13-MP camera

The smartphone will cost between US$200 and $300 without a contract when it ships next month

The G3 Stylus is an affordable version on the G3.

The G3 Stylus is an affordable version on the G3.

The G3 Stylus from LG Electronics doesn't come close to its big brother, the G3, on performance. But LG is hoping the pen-enabled smartphone will attract budget buyers with its big screen and 13-megapixel camera.

LG continues to introduce new affordable Android-based 3G smartphones ahead of the IFA trade show in Berlin next week. Following last week's launch of the L Bello and L Fino, the company added the G3 Stylus to its portfolio on Tuesday.

Like the name promises, the smartphone has some similarities with the G3 when it comes to design and software features. It has buttons on the back, and uses the same plastic-based "metallic skin" for a similar look and feel, according to LG.

The G3 Stylus is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and the 5.5-inch screen has a 960 by 540 pixel resolution. With the stylus, users will be able to take notes and sketch on the screen. There is also 8GB of integrated storage that can be expanded using a microSD card and 1GB of RAM.

The smartphone is expected to cost between US$200 and $300 without a contract, which is about half of what the G3 costs. So LG has had to make some compromises to get it down to that price range.

Still the low screen resolution is somewhat disappointing. LG makes its own screens and should be able to come up with a way to make an HD screen economically feasible. However, the resolution combined with a removable 3,000mAh battery should help the smartphone go for a long time between charges.

LG has instead prioritized the camera in a bid to differentiate the G3 Stylus. The smartphone has a 13-megapixel camera on the back, which is rare for a device in the Stylus' price range. There is a 1.3-megapixel on the front, as well.

Users can also take pictures by tapping anywhere on the screen to focus and shoot, or open and close a hand in front of the lens to start a three-second countdown before triggering the shutter.

Another key feature on the software side is Knock Code, which lets users unlock their smartphone by tapping a personalized pattern on the phone's display. Knock Code as well as the camera functionality are part of LG's strategy to make software features from the G3 available on more affordable products.

LG plans to debut the G3 Stylus in Brazil in September followed by countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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