I’ve tested several mid-range LG devices over the past year, so i was very interested to see how their latest device stacked up. Here’s my first impressions of the LG Tribute Dynasty.
What’s in the box?
Like most phones being released now a days, the Tribute Dynasty comes with the bare essentials. In addition to the phone, you get a micro USB adapter and device manual. No headphones or any other accessories. I’m fine with not having another pair of headphones, but a micro USB adapter? With USB type-C becoming the standard on most newer phones, it would have been nice to see LG make the switch with the Dynasty.
Having tested the LG Tribute HD, i immediately noticed a difference with the Dynasty. I felt the Tribute HD had a thin, flimsy, plastic feel. I wasn’t a fan of how HD felt in my hand but not so with the Dynasty. Even though much of the device is made from plastic, it still had enough heft in my hand to be comfortable. On the appearance side, the Dynasty has a glossy black front and a muted gold back. Minimal buttons adorn the device with your standard volume buttons on the side and a power button on the back of the device below the camera. I initially thought this was a fingerprint scanner and was disappointed when i realized it was not. I understand that LG wants to keep costs down, but with the LG Stylo 3 having a fingerprint scanner, there really is no excuse for LG not to include it on all of their mid-range devices going forward. What I was not expecting though was the inclusion of both Calling Plus and LTE Calling beta. I realize that both of these features are being tested on smaller devices first, but it’s still nice to have them. Lastly, the Dynasty comes with Android 7.1 and follows the same user interface approach as other recent LG devices which allow the user to add different themes. Overall though, I liked the minimalist approach that LG has taken with the Dynasty’s appearance.
If you’re looking for a premium display you won’t find it here. What you will find though is a pretty good 5 inch 720p display. I must admit, i’ve been spoiled by my previous phones displays so it took some getting used to the lower resolution. That being said, the Dynasty does a good job of what it has. I frequently watch videos and play games on my phone and the Dynasty was more than up to the task with this. Colors were good, blacks had nice detail and I didn't see any negative artifacts in the videos i watched. Overall, a pretty good display but LG had an opportunity to really stand out in this area and it’s a shame they didn’t take advantage of it.
The Dynasty comes packed with a 1.5 GHz MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. On the storage front, the device has 16GB of memory which can be expanded with a micro SD card. On paper this looks pretty good for a mid-range device, but in actuality i found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. Opening and switching between apps was lag free as were swiping between screens. Most programs worked well, but i did find that graphic intensive games really pushed the processor to its limits. To help with this, LG has included a neat feature where you can adjust the graphics/frame rate to help improve game performance. As for storage, 16GB might have been sufficient a few years ago, but with things like system data taking up 6GB of the devices storage, you’ll definitely want to invest in some sort of expandable memory. This one area that i’d like to see all manufacturers improve on this year.
As cameras go, the Dynasty will get the job done but that’s about it. You get an 8MP camera on the rear and a 5MP on the front. All the standard features come with it such as filters, voice activated shutter, and a timer. I did however appreciate that LG added an HDR setting. For those that like to shoot video, the Dynasty gives you the ability to capture in 1080p. Just like i mentioned above, while it will get the job done, its by no means the best i’ve seen in a mid-range device. Lastly, I was curious to see how the camera worked in low level light so i took the phone to my local art history museum and put it through its paces. What I found was that while i could increase the amount of light coming through the aperture, it was hard to keep the object in focus, so a lot of my pictures came out slightly blurry. If your someone who doesn’t take a lot of photos then this may not be a big issue but if you are like me and you post on instagram regularly, then this may not be the best camera for you.
The Dynasty comes with a removable 2500 mAh battery which will get you through most of your day on normal use before it needs to be recharged. If you are a heavy user or like to play a lot of games, then be prepared to charge the phone a couple times a day. To counter this, LG has included battery saving and optimization options. I’ll be testing out how well this works and writing about it in a future blog in the coming days.
Having used the Dynasty for a couple of weeks, my initial impressions are mixed. It has some really neat features but falls short in some other areas. Is it a step up from the LG Tribute HD? Yes. The Dynasty in my opinion achieves what it sets out to be and that is a good entry level phone for those just starting out or for those looking to stay within a certain budget. Have you picked up the LG Dynasty? Leave a comment below on what you liked or disliked. I’d love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee