A solid effort and probably LG's best phone so far. Might not appeal to all but definitely a step in the right direction.
Great looking chassis
High res and contrast screen
Improved touch accuracy
Sleek and glassy design
Poor battery life
Dual screen UI not used enough
Slight lag in the UI on a number of occasions
Menu and back button layout is frustrating
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Update: read our LG Chocolate BL20 review.
LG has brought another edition to its Black Label line, this time in the shape of the LG BL40 Chocolate. The world's first full cinematic screen mobile, the new Chocolate brings LG's richest feature set yet.
Given there's no phone out there quite like the BL40 Chocolate, it's hard to see who this phone is aimed at. LG maintains it's one for the fashionista, thanks to the Black Label tag, yet a full 21:9 (cinematic) screen is definitely one for the hardcore PMP lover.
You can tell by the styling that this phone is meant for the user who likes to enjoy looking at his or her phone as much as using it. The chassis is a combination of metal and glass, with vibrant red plastic at either end, with the top housing the 3.5mm headphone port and the power/lock key.
The left-hand side of the LG BL40 Chocolate has a dedicated music key to take you straight to your tracks, which needs to be held down for a while to get it working. It's embedded into the thin metal stripe running around the outside of the chassis, and is a nice look for the phone. There's also a hinged microUSB slot here as well, with a very solid-feeling cover, similar to the one seen on the LG Crystal recently.
A similar system is on place on the right-hand side too, where the volume up and down buttons are built into the chassis like a kind of wave, and the camera key is a raised, metallic ellipsis. It sounds very fancy, and to be honest, it very much is.
What's odd is there are no touch sensitive keys, like those we saw on the original LG Chocolate. It's basically a fully black front, save for the LG logo, the speaker and a small video camera.
The rear of the LG BL40 Chocolate is the equally shiny, but this time plastic, solid black cover, again very minimalist, with the LG logo, a small amount of lettering to let you know the lens is Schneider Kreuznach and the 5MP camera with LED flash. Overall it's a very well laid out phone (if not a little bit odd looking) and in the hand it works rather well.
The depth of 10.9mm feels very comfortable in the palm, and despite the early worries from some, fits fine in the male pocket. We're not sure if this is meant to be a phone aimed at the ladies yet, but if you're a guy hankering after a 21:9 phone, then this will fit you nicely.
Current page: LG BL40 Chocolate: Overview, design and feelNext Page LG BL40 Chocolate: Interface
Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.