Overall our main design niggle with the Chocolate phone is that the glossy casing, which according to LG has a special coating to minimise scratches, does scratch very easily. There's also the issue of fingerprints and sweat easily accumulating on the surface of the phone making it look dirty. A carrying pouch is provided in the box, but unless you want to take it in and out of the pouch each time you make a call, it's not the perfect solution.Features
After all the fanfare that comes with owning a phone that looks like this one, it is a bit of a let down in terms of features. The touchpad takes some getting used to and the feature set isn't inspiring in the same way that the Nokia N80's is. With phones like the Samsung E900 popping up on the horizon, it's starting to look like the Chocolate phone may melt in the heat of these better featured handsets. What you can't forget though, is that this was the first phone of its kind and even though it may suffer a little in the specs department, it more than makes up for it in sheer style, elegance and originality.
The Chocolate phone is marketed as a stylish phone with multimedia capabilities and it does have a camera, MP3 player and 128MB of internal memory. The camera lets you change the white balance, use a timer, add effects, choose size and resolution and it lets you turn the flash on and off. It only has a 1.3-megapixel sensor, which is great for MMS messages and wallpaper photos but flounders against the quality of the almost year-old Sony Ericsson's K750i's 2-megapixel camera.
In contrast, the MP3 player performs very well and features equaliser settings, a shuffle mode and even animations. It works particularly well with the included headset that also lets you plug in your own headphones, control the MP3 player and answer calls, without needing to take the phone out of your pocket.
If you want to take photos and store MP3s on the Chocolate phone you're going to need lots of memory and, as previously stated, you get 128MB of internal storage space. Unfortunately, that's it for memory space and unless you're happy with around 20 to 30 songs and a few photos on your phone, you're out of luck as there's no expandable memory card slot.
One solution we found for this lack of memory was to regularly back up and change any data we had on the phone with the provided USB cable. The phone is automatically recognised by Windows as a mass storage device and you can simply drag and drop files into or out of the phone with ease. While this is a very useful feature we would have preferred more internal storage space or an expandable memory card slot.
We were also disappointed by the included PC software that didn't seem to work on any machine we loaded it on to, and didn't recognise the phone when we plugged it in. This meant that we couldn't take advantage of the synchronising capabilities that the software claims it provides, though this may have been a specific problem to our software or computer.
Another niggle we had was that the T9 text input system wouldn't automatically change the letters to upper case after a full stop even though we had it set to T9Abc. This meant that we had to manually change the T9 setting back to Abc instead of abc every time we started a new sentence, which we found very frustrating.
There's also no speakerphone, which means no conference calls or handsfree facility. We found this strange since you can play music on the speaker -- you can always use the included headset for handsfree calls but we were dissatisfied by the lack of speakerphone function.
Aside from that everything else worked fine and there were small details that made using it straightforward. For example, we particularly liked the ability to search recent recipients of texts when sending messages. This meant that rather than searching through a list of contacts every time we sent a message, we could simply search the 'recent list'.
Other features include a WAP browser, MMS and SMS messaging, Bluetooth, email client, video recorder, photo album, video album, voice recorder, calendar, memo, calculator, unit converter, world time and sudoku (Java) game.Performance
The audio on calls was clear and we didn't have any problems with background noise or sound distortion.
The camera took decent quality photos and video for MMS messaging and viewing on the phone, but compared to the K750i, they were more distorted and pixellated when we printed them out.
Battery life was acceptable -- it's quoted at around 360 minutes' talk time and 200 hours on standby.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield