February 16, 2017

LG X Style (L56VL) Tracfone Review

Tracfone LG X Style (L56VL) Review - Android Smartphone

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The LG X Style is a recently released (early 2017) Android powered smartphone with 5" touchscreen, Android 6.0, and 4G LTE capability with Tracfone Wireless service. In this review you will find full specs and features for the X Style, pro's and con's, and comparison to other Tracfone smartphones. 

This device is another smartphone in a growing list offered by Tracfone that feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Samsung Galaxy Sky and Samsung Galaxy Luna are two other smartphone options, which we will compare to the X Style further along. A newer Android OS such as 6.0 means less vulnerabilities and newer features.

The LG X Style is an exciting blend of good specs and a small, sleek body that make it seem more expensive than it is, at just over $100. One of the drawbacks for this device is the lack of internal memory, with just 8 GB. 

Let's take a look at our pro's and con's fr the X Style

LG X Style Quick Facts:
The Good:
-1.5 GB RAM
-1.3 Ghz Quad Core Processor
-Sleek, Curved device (feels more expensive than it is)
-Gorilla Glass 3 Screen Protection

The Bad:
-8 GB Internal Memory (less than 4 GB Usable)
-5 MP Rear Camera
-Plastic Construction
-No Triple Minutes for Life (it appears Tracfone is phasing this out, and any smartphones with Android 6.0 or newer will not have Triple Minutes for Life. More information coming soon.)

The low internal memory may be a deal breaker for many, who need the space for storing apps, photos, videos and music. But the X Style does have a Micro SD card slot for extra storage.

Of course, for those looking for more internal memory, the best options might be bringing an unlocked smartphone to the BYOP program. There are a number of great smartphones with 16 or sometimes 32 GB memory available for $200 or less. Visit our list of the Best Unlocked Smartphones for Tracfone BYOP to learn more about these options.

With any budget smartphone, the manufacturer has to balance performance with price. Has LG got this one right? We shall find out in this review. Let's begin with the full list of Features and specs.

Please note that there are two versions of this phone, one uses CDMA service while the other uses GSM. Currently the CDMA (LG L56VL) version is the only available device.

Tracfone LG X Style Features and Specs

Below are the features, followed by the X Style's technical specs
lg x style specs
LG X Style Specs
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 4G LTE capable 
  • LG L53BL uses GSM (ATT/T-Mobile) network
  • LG L56VL uses CDMA (Verizon) network
  • WiFi (802.11b/g/n)
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 5 MP Rear Camera and 5 MP Front Camera
  • Headsfree speaker, Alarm Clock, MP3 Player
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps on Google Play
  • Caller ID, Voicemail, Voice Dialing
  • Triple Minutes for Life (on regular airtime cards)
LG X Style Technical Specs
  • Size: 5.70" x 2.81" x 0.27"
  • 5,0" Touchscreen with 1280x720 TFT HD Display and Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.3 Ghz Quad-Core Processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon)
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 8 GB Memory (up to 3.7 GB Usable) (Micro SD card slot for up to 32 GB extra storage)
  • Battery: 2100 mAh with 9 hours talk time/ 10 days standby (battery removable)
A removable batter is a popular feature for some, and the X Style allows that. Also notice that there is a GSM and CDMA version of the phone, so be sure to choose the device that is right for your location.

The X Style comes with Triple Minutes for Life (as do all smartphones from Tracfone) but that only applies to regular airtime cards. We recently shared the Best Deal on Tracfone Airtime (using Auto-Refill) so take a look if you want the best deal on minutes.

Tracfone LG X Style Review

What we Like about the X Style
The processor, RAM and sleek appearance of the X Style are all selling points, and we want to share why:

LG X Style L56VL tracfone
Tracfone LG X Style Front, Side and Back

Is your smartphone slow or does it lag when you try to open apps? This is usually caused by a lack of power from the processor or RAM. The LG X Style brings 1.5 GB RAM, and a 1.3 Ghz quad core processor that are a nice combination for keeping this phone fast and smooth.

By comparison to many mid to high-end phones, this isn't a lot (the Moto G4, for example, has an octa-core processor and 2 GB RAM). But compared to older Tracfone devices, this is a good improvement. Only a small number of Tracfone smartphones have 1.5 GB RAM, most only come with 1 GB RAM (or less).

The exterior of the X Style is likely the biggest selling point (hence, the name). Despite the plastic construction, the phone looks and feels like a much more expensive device. It is thinner than many smartphones, including the iPhone 6S, and the 5" HD touchscreen has Gorilla Glass 3 protection for extra durability.

There are a lot of extra features on this phone that make it a viable upgrade for those in the market. It is a step in the right direction compared to some of the other recent LG phones, such as the Rebel and Treasure, which didn't 'wow' in any particular way.

But let's look at a few negative aspects about the X Style before we conclude.

What we Don't Like
There are two main drawbacks about the LG X Style that the average consumer would want to know, and that is the lack of internal memory, and the low-res rear camera.

We've already mentioned the low internal storage on the X Style. It comes with 8 GB of total space, but the operating system and pre-installed apps take up around 5 GB, leaving you with only 3 GB for apps, pictures, music and anything else.

For consumers who only use a small handful of apps anyway, this likely won't be a big deal, and the option of up to 32 GB external storage via a Micro SD Card is a nice possibility. On some Android 6.0 smartphones, the external storage can be treated like internal storage, allowing significant expansion of the on board memory. We have not tested this on the X Style yet, but this feature did not work on the Samsung Galaxy Sky, which uses Android 6.0. More details coming soon on this.

The 5 MP rear camera on the LG X Style is fairly standard on a phone in this price range. We would have liked to see something more advanced, perhaps an improved 8 or even 12 MP camera would have grabbed more attention, although storage would have been an issue.

In the end, the 5 MP rear camera is fairly good for what it is, and has a variety of features including full HD photos, HD video, panorama, voice control, and a handful of additional features for both the rear and front facing camera.

That concludes our key pro's and con's for the X Style. It is a sleek, and well designed phone, but doesn't excel or surprise in any areas.

LG X Style Compared to Samsung Galaxy Sky

If you are considering a new Tracfone device, the X Style and Galaxy Sky are fairly similar smartphones released about the same time by Tracfone. They share a number of similarities, including screen size, Android 6.0, 1.5 GB RAM, and more.

But they also have a few differences. The Galaxy Sky has 16 GB internal memory, while the X Style only has 8. The Galaxy Sky also has longer battery life.

The X Style has a slightly faster processor, is thinner, and has a 5 MP front camera compared to only 2 MP in the Sky.

These phones are very similar, but for many the deciding factor will probably be the internal memory, or the price (both phones have been available for $99 with airtime bundle).

The X Style surpasses other LG phones like the Rebel, Treasure, Sunset and Ultimate 2 with newer Android OS, faster processor and more RAM, and a few other improvements, but none of the advances are major breakthroughs.

LG X Style Overview and Where to Buy

Overall the X Style is a phone that feels like a high-end device in some ways, and has some great features, but also lacks the storage space many will need.

Find the LG X Style on:
HSN with airtime bundle for $99 (on sale)

For covers or cases, we found a number of options on Amazon.

Take a look the interactive tutorial for additional information.

Leave a comment with your thoughts or questions.

We created a Guide to Activating or Transferring a Tracfone Smartphone with step by step information to help anyone with questions about the process.

And you may want to see Four Ways to Check your Tracfone Airtime on a Smartphone which is one of our most popular posts.

Don't forget the Promo Codes! Here are the latest Tracfone Promo Codes. While they are not meant to work on smartphones, it is worth a try as sometimes they do work.

Thanks for visiting!


HOODY said...

The Phoenix 2 still has it over this one and you can get it for 50 bucks at Best Buy.

Anonymous said...

50 bucks at Best Buy is more expensive than being paid $10+ to take it (with a year of service for $70 to 90 on HSN when the year of service alone usually costs $100).

Besides, what point is there in suggesting a Phoenix 2 at Best Buy when it's not for Tracfone network? Do you know what website you are on?

Also this phone definitely needs more memory, though not for videos, pictures, MP3, etc. it needs it more for apps with bloat like Google Maps offline, though you can set Google Maps to put the data on the mSD card.

BTW, I've seen more than one source claim it supports up to 32GB mSD which is the memory limit when typically implies a device can do SDHC but not SDXC, but this is incorrect. Mine is working fine with a 64GB mSDXC card, so it probably works with mSDXC cards larger still.

One thing I wish it had was the multi-color LED backlit button on the bottom center like LG Ultimate 2 has. TF now has more expensive phones with that button, but it's not worth THAT much more.

Anonymous said...

The HSN deal for $99.95 looked great, since I would have to pay that for a years's service anyway. Be aware that returning it will cost you shipping, regardless of fault.
After some issues, I managed to transfer my existing number and minutes from the LG Rebel to the LG X style, but for over a week, cannot get my balance in any way shape of form. That includes Account Page on the Web site, Tracfone app on the phone, or the 611611 text massage "BALANCE". All report errors.
Endlesss calls, chats, emails, talk to supervisor, failed. Calls , data, text works, even though one supervisor gave me a whole double talk about connection issues with this phone etc.
3.4gb available is pathetic.
Anybody have any useful suggestions for a reliable BYOP for use with CDMA Verizon?

Unknown said...

Whether this phone memory can be expanded to act like internal memory was not tested! Seems like a really important issue to me. In fact it would be a deal breaker. Please add this test.

Anonymous said...

I got the Samsung galaxy J3 from HSN and day one it quit..i spent a couple hrs.getting it set up..etc..charging..within about first hr.screen went bonkers with wild colors..then was ok for about half hr.then it went black.i couldn't change screen,turn off..finally after half hr it let me on screen and I quickly reset phone to clear off all my info..its going back..they sent me a prepaid label to return..im just sick about it.so I'm going with the lg x style..many love it..getting from tracfone..

Anonymous said...

I have the lg x style phone..l56vl..love it.the only thing I'm confused on is theres no page with all the apps..can't find how to put apps in alphabetical order.theres no app icon on bottom of phone as normal,with phone,contacts,browser icons.phone is fast..takes good photos, wifi good..

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, Go into your settings. Scroll down to "Storage & USB" Tap it and you will find "Apps" Tap it and it will show you the Apps on your phone.

Anonymous said...

I have the LG X Style™ Android Smartphone (L56VL). Can someone please explain in full how to delete photos from this phone? There is NO delete button. LG or Android does not make it easy to use their Apps. It should be a simple process.

In case it matters, the shin on the pads of my fingers are always thick, flaky and hard. The phone does not respond to a LIGHT tap.

Any help will be greatly appreciated as I accidentally take photos without meaning to, by turning on the camera.

Anonymous said...

My phone was recently water damaged, I got it fixed and it worked fine, the next day my screen turned black, the screen was unresponsive and five dots on the top right of the screen moved until all I saw was the date,the battery and the time.
I can turn off the phone off but it's not the same power off option. I think I somehow got a virus on it, erasing everything seems to work via the google play website. but I want to know what the deal is

Unknown said...

I just bought the LG X style L56VL (needed to upgrade from my old ZTE)on Tracfone's site, specifically because this review states "Triple Minutes for Life (on regular airtime cards)". Apparently, this is no longer true; just bought another card and did not get triple minutes. Just a caveat..

Gale said...

I bought LG Xstyle and am unable to format SD for internal storage. No option to do so is offered. Can't recommend unless someone has a solution.

Anonymous said...

The LG 56vl rocks

Anonymous said...

I have this phone and I added a regular airtime card today (January 4, 2018) and I got triple minutes. Maybe people who bought this phone before tracfone stopped triple minutes get to keep having triple minutes? (I got this phone in January 2017)

WH said...

Loss the free WiFi everywhere...and the 4g icon is not highlighted....what's going on?

RMcD said...

My LG X Style is still getting Triple everything when I add a regular minutes card

Anonymous said...

I still have an X Style that is getting triple minutes for life.

Realize there are two factors.

1) When you bought it, was it advertised as triple minutes? If so, you better have proof if you need it. In my case, it states it right on the retail box. This is a Term Of Service that they cannot deny later, as long as they're selling minutes cards. If not, then you bought it through an alternate source that did not offer triple minutes or after a certain date when they stopped offering triple on ANY new phone purchase, but I mean that they packaged as such, any new phone packaged previously but old stock still for sale, has triple minutes before that cutoff.

2) Tracfone may screw up. It has happened to many people that they don't get the minutes they were supposed to and have to contact customer service. Customer service will often INSIST they are right and not budge an inch, until you have PROOF. It is very irritating when they sell you a triple minutes phone then insist it is not until you prove it to them, because they are only looking at what their website/etc states for the phone model NOW, not when you bought it.