LG chocolate bl20

While the LG Chocolate BL40 was a stunning-looking touchscreen headline-grabber, the Chocolate BL20 is more a mid-tier style phone.

That's not to say the BL20 hasn't got plenty of design pizzazz to make people sit up and take notice, but its features rundown marks it as a steady mid-range 3G handset than anything more wow-worthy.

Visually, it certainly has a glossy chic appeal about it, though the glow-through touch navigation pad maybe doesn't have quite the shock of the new that the original Chocolate had.

Style-conscious users who aren't drawn to the obvious fashionable touchscreen contenders may find this sleek slider attractive, particularly at its mid-range price point.

We liked

The bodywork design of the LG Chocolate BL20 is impressive – minimalist chic that's given a distinctive look by the glowing touch-sensitive controls.

Its responsive slider number pad makes texting a breeze, and the menu system and interface will be intuitive for most mobile users.

The 5MP camera, while not top of the camera-phone class, produced decent enough results too for a style-majoring handset.

The music player performance through the supplied earphones was okay too, and the 3.5mm headphone adaptor enabled us to improve that significantly by adding our own headphones.

HSDPA connectivity was welcome, and it presented pages reasonably well for a feature phone like this.

We disliked

Some people love touch sensitive controls, others feel the opposite way.

We found that they were generally fine for navigation, though they could get accidentally brushed in passing during everyday use, inadvertently selecting options or opening functions. Not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but a trait that's not so common in more conventional slider phones.

As an upgrade to LG's Chocolate range, we'd have liked to have seen a few more high-end features – such as Wi-Fi and GPS – to make it stand out from other 3G mid-rangers for more than just its looks.

We'd have preferred, too, a dedicated 3.5mm headphone socket on the bodywork rather than an awkward side-mounted multi-connector for earphones, but at least LG supplies an adaptor in-box.

Verdict

As sweet-looking as the LG Chocolate BL20 is, it's not as tempting as it might have been had LG stacked it up with more functionality to go with its fine design.

Its feature rundown is decent enough for a mid-level 3G phone, but it's not innovative or particularly exciting, and touch sensitive controls, while eye-catching, aren't as in vogue as touchscreen operation.

Nonetheless, the design is still distinctive and stylishly elegant, and this will no doubt draw many admirers looking for a minimalist chic alternative at a mid-range price.