LG BL40 Chocolate review

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

The LG BL40 Chocolate
The LG BL40 Chocolate

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We were probably most excited to try out the media player on the LG BL40 Chocolate, mainly because anyone that's ever seen a movie played on Philips' 21:9 TV will know true widescreen is just breathtaking.

We weren't disappointed by the video player on the LG BL40 Chocolate either, giving high resolution options with a variety of video playback formats. Most of the options we dumped on the phone were AVI and MP4 files, but it can also handle DivX and Xvid according to the spec sheet as well, so it's a fully functional PMP as well as a cool mobile.

LG bl40 chocolate

If your video is in the normal 16:9 aspect ratio, you can choose to stretch it out by simply double tapping to fill up the screen. Some videos will look better than others in this mode, but it's cool to have the opportunity anyway.

You can watch videos in both portrait and landscape modes, with the former obviously a lot worse than the latter for seeing the action in sharp detail. However, one glitch we noticed was the phone would un-pause itself when moving between the modes, so if you sat down or stood up, music would suddenly start blaring out of the speaker or your headphones. It seems like a little problem though, and something we anticipate LG fixing shortly.

LG bl40 chocolate gallery

The gallery function is interesting, as you can view your content in a 3D list when you're flicking through it in landscape mode. Not only that, but you can move the view around to see the icons from the side or above, which is pretty cool.

However, you can't see the filenames, which means you have to be really familiar with the thumbnail of the movie or song you want to use, as otherwise you'll just be blindly stabbing in the dark.

LG bl40 chocolate

The 3.5mm headphone jack is obviously a nice touch for such a slim design, and is well complemented by the addition of Dolby Mobile, which adds a nice amount of improved sound quality to proceedings.

We found that Dolby's sound improvement worked better on videos than for music for some reason, adding a somewhat unnecessary amount of bass to the tunes (although we're being picky here - the sound quality is more than adequate for day to day listening).

LG bl40 chocolate music

There's only 1GB of storage onboard the LG BL40 Chocolate don't forget, which is fine for a few albums but you'll need to buy a separate memory card if you're going to extend this further with a few films.

We're not great fans of the way music tracks are laid out with the LG S-Class system, but that's changed slightly with the new LG BL40 Chocolate.

LG bl40 chocolate lock

LOCK NOTIFICATIONS: You can see which song is playing even when the phone is locked

You can look at them in the boring old list mode, or you can use the vertical cover flow to spin through you albums as well.

If that's not enough for you, flipping the phone into the landscape mode will bring up a spinning dial with all the discs laid out for you to browse through too. It's not going to change the way you listen to music, and to be honest, there are easier ways to find your music. However, this is a cool way to do it, and for a phone that's already embraced the unconventional, such design ideas make sense.

LG bl40 chocolate fm radion and transmitter

The FM radio needs a headset to work, but we are treated to a spot of RDS and of course that cool scroll dial to look for new stations. Again, it's a nice feature to have but hardly a deal breaker, although the sheer amount of stations you can add is a pleasant positive, especially as it doubles as a transmitter too.


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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

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.