Friday , October 20 2017

LG puts a digital radio into a smartphone with the Stylus DAB+, launching next week for $449

lg-stylus-dabplus

LG today took the wraps off its Stylus DAB+ smartphone at a product launch on the rooftop of Sydney’s Austereo headquarters. The phone includes a digital radio DAB+ receiver – a world first – and is launching next week at major retailers for $449 outright. Optus and Virgin Mobile have also committed to carrying the new device.

The phone’s aiming to make a splash in the midrange market with its attractive price point, offering a large (5.7-inch, 720p) screen, a 3,000 mAh battery and the latest Android Marshmallow (6.0.1 was on the sample device at the launch event). The big feature of course is the built in DAB+ receiver.

Listening to commercial radio on smartphones has usually limited to FM broadcasts, leaving all the newer digital broadcasts out. That’s changed today, with the digital radio receiving hardware inside the Stylus DAB+ and the Digital Radio Plus app written by Commercial Radio Australia preloaded on the phone.

Receiving digital radio broadcasts has a couple of advantages for consumers – data usage and battery life. LG’s keen to point out that you’ll use less battery listening to a digital radio broadcast than you would streaming it, and of course the one-to-many nature of radio broadcasts means you won’t use any data to listen. The complete package is fully functional, receiving now/next and promotional text transmissions as well as station logos, pictures, breaking news, website URLs, and social connections to find the broadcaster on Twitter, Facebook and other services. It’s just like having a full fledged digital radio in your phone.

Specs on the phone are quite decent for a midrange device at the price point. The phone weighs just 145 grams and has a large 5.7-inch screen powered by a 3,000 mAh battery. Full specs (at least as much as we’ve got right now):

  • Display: 5.7-inch HD In-Cell Touch (1280 x 720)
  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core
  • Camera: Rear 13MP / Front 8MP
  • Memory: 2GB LPDDR3 RAM / 16GB ROM / MicroSD
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Size: 155 x 79.6 x 7.4mm
  • Weight: 145g
  • Network: LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.1 / USB 2.0
  • Colours: Titan

Notably, LG’s added a nice 13MP camera with Auto HDR functionality. While we didn’t pick up a review unit today we definitely got a chance to pick up and play with a unit, so some test snaps from Austereo’s rooftop are included below.

LG’s market research showed them that a good chunk of consumers believed they’d benefit from the addition of the DAB+ receiver, and many 18-39yo consumers would consider purchasing a phone with the feature.

Indeed, LG and their partners in the radio industry are pretty excited about the arrival of DAB+ receivers in phones. There’s a large advertising campaign planned to start the week after the phone’s launch that will include giveaways of 250 handsets.

On the software side, the Stylus DAB+ packs the latest Android release (Marshmallow 6.0.1) with a user experience fairly similar to that seen in the LG G5 flagship, launched last week.

Of course, bearing the name “Stylus” you’d think there’s a stylus packed away inside the device and you’d be right – to go with the big 5.7-inch display there is indeed a stylus packed into the right hand side of the device, accessible from the top. It wasn’t something we looked at (nor was it actually called out as a feature on the phone, actually) so we’ll see what software on the phone uses it.

The phone goes on sale May 2 at an impressive list of retailers – Allphones, Big W, Officeworks, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman – as well as Optus stores. On May 5 it’ll expand to Virgin Mobile where they will be offering the phone for $0 upfront on their $40 Phone Plan with Data Rollover ($960 min. total cost over 24 mths).

We’ve only spent a little time with the Stylus DAB+ at today’s launch event. A review unit will be on its way – look out for the full review soon.

Will you be looking for a DAB+ radio in your next phone? Tell us in the comments!

 

Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

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5 Comments on "LG puts a digital radio into a smartphone with the Stylus DAB+, launching next week for $449"

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dablistener
Valued Guest
dablistener

Yep I think I have found my next phone.

Member

Great to finally have a mid spec Note 5 alternative

Member
Adam J

Just so people know, DAB+ is only available in capital cities in Australia.

Member

I was going to say the same thing. Even Newcastle, which is not that far from Sydney and the second largest city in NSW has zero digital radio broadcasting.

Member

Hmm… love the idea of DAB+ in a phone, but I dunno if I can live with the rest of the specs. Hell, I love my Nexus 5X, but even its specs are starting to bug me in daily use.

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