LG Chocolate BL20 review

Smooth and slim - but is this a case of style over substance?

The definitive LG Chocolate BL20 review
The definitive LG Chocolate BL20 review

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LG chocolate bl20

The Chocolate BL20 has a reasonable camera for this class of ultra-slim, mid-priced style-heavy device. A press of the side button has the 5MP shooter ready for action in just a couple of seconds.

It has a two-step autofocus system and an LED flash. The autofocus system provides a bit of versatility in getting crisply focused shots on particular subjects in a composition, enabling you to get an item in focus and hold focus before taking the shot.

However, the camera shooting button on the side isn't the best for doing this, as it has an almost touch-like action, barely depressing when focusing and shooting.

LG chocolate bl20

LG chocolate bl20

The lack of 'feel' when pressing means heavy-fingered users could snap before they're ready, and it requires a delicate touch to get it right. It's a bit too fiddly for our liking, with the shutter lagging when pressed, so you can easily miss that shot of your friend 'hilariously' falling out of a window.

The user interface is mid-level LG, not offering the raft of neat features used on its higher grade camera phones. There's the usual supply of effects, white balance tweaking, brightness and basic ISO settings plus night mode, timer and multi-shot options.

In addition, a Text Scan option enables you to take snaps of handwritten memos or drawings by converting shots into bright, high contrast black-and-white images from close-up shots.

LG bl20

Bright background: The 5-megapixel camera on the LG Chocolate BL20 is capable of achieving decent results. Here, shooting into a rising sun, colours are bright and subtle in places

The LG Chocolate BL20 delivers decent image quality. Colours are bright and well balanced, and there's sufficient detail in images for acceptable prints.

Contrast and exposure are also handled capably by the auto-metering system. It's not comparable to the best 5MP camera phones however, and would likely be slapped down in a techno-cage fight with standalone 5MP cameras.

LG bl20

Decent detail: The camera does provide a decent amount of detail for this grade and longer range images are reasonably sharp

Low light performance is not particularly impressive, and the flash offers only limited illumination over short distances – although that's perfect for capturing far off, blurry photos of possible UFOs late at night.

LG bl20

Darker side: In lower lighting conditions, the camera doesn't perform as well. The flash can deliver short range illumination brightly, but images aren't as crisp

The BL20's video facility is limited to capturing MPEG4 video at QVGA resolution at maximum 15 frames per second, so self-recorded footage is mediocre on playback.

You can watch sideloaded or downloaded video clips too, although the phone is limited here, too, supporting 30fps playback of just MPEG4 and H.263 files – DivX fans, you're sadly out of luck.

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.