LG BL40 Chocolate review

LG's new Chocolate is the latest addition to its Black Label line. But is it any good?

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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.'

We liked

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 disliked

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.

Verdict

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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Tech Specs

Product TypeCellular Phone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1.10 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, GPRS
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product ModelBL40 Chocolate
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Weight (Approximate)129 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), EMS, MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height128 mm
Width51 mm
Depth10.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time400 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameChocolate BL40 Cellular Phone
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberBL40.AGBRBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The new LG Chocolate BL40 Cellular Phone has a 4.0-inch wide HD LCD screen with 800x345 pixel resolution to maximize visual experience. The wide HD LCD "Real VGA" screen presents a vibrant range of natural colours, allowing photos to appear sharper, videos more true-to-life, games naturally vivid and documents more readable.