We're torn over the LG BL40 Chocolate. It's a very different phone and the most important thing is to commend a company for trying something different. These days all we see are iClones hitching rides in people's pockets, but LG has looked at the humble remote control and said: 'We could make a phone out of that.'
There's a lot to like on the LG BL40 Chocolate. A lot. Firstly, the high resolution and very vivid screen is exquisite and the capacitive element is very responsive (especially compared to other options in the S-Class family).
For movie watching, we particularly like being able to see things in 21:9. It's not essential, but then again this phone isn't anything other than a luxury device. The styling is very pretty, with the minimalist front and back flanked nicely by stylised buttons - we don't know if it's aimed at men or women, but both can appreciate it.
The interface is much improved as well, with the 3D navigation something that we really liked to have a play with and show off to friends.
The camera isn't too bad quality either, with the 5MP effort taking some decent photos and using the limited hardware on offer to good effect.
We're still not fans of the S-Class UI, and we're starting to wonder if we ever will be. The LG BL40 Chocolate is essentially a phone that works pretty well with a glossy skin over the top - there's nothing massively wrong with it exactly, it just doesn't float our boat.
The battery life is far less than we're looking for on a mobile phone of this calibre, and it will be interesting if LG manages to sort this out with future batches of the phone thanks to internal tweaking.
The OS lags a bit too much for our liking at times, and the audio could be a bit better on some occasions, considering Dolby Mobile is in there powering things. The internet is a bit clunky too, and the overall design of the software and hardware means you have to constantly keep re-adjusting your hand to get to the controls.
We'd also like to see the email system sorted out soon - it seems to us there might be an easy fix to get it running very smoothly and effectively, it's just not there yet.
The LG BL40 Chocolate is a great and bold step to be admired. There are some gripes to be had, mostly with the OS and battery life, but they're minor in the grand scheme of things.
The phone will certainly appeal to those who want to make a statement with their mobile and aren't afraid to use a little bit of tech now and again. If you can get your head around the multiple camera modes, are willing to fork out for a bigger memory card, want to watch a bit of video and are happy to learn to navigate the internet in a new fashion, then this phone should definitely be on your watch list when it comes time to renew your contract.
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