Pros Slim, sleek, FM transmitter, 3.5 mm headphone jack
Cons Slower browser, no flash
Summary I owned the LG Voyager for a good 29 days and decided to trade it in due mainly to the touch screen and the slight delay the phone seemed to have.
So far, I'm pretty impressed by the Chocolate 3. I love the 1 GB memory for music. The FM transmitter has pretty good quality, there are a few times when it's fuzzy but that's what you get with most transmitters. Putting music on the phone is straightforward and fast. I have not used Rhapsody and I don't plan on adding another $15 to my plan.
One neat feature about this phone is Dashboard. It's fast and easy to use. The one channel I use the most is definitely Weather.
Call quality and reception is fine, no problems with that. Texting is good, just took a little getting used to coming from the Voyager but now it's easy as ever. Battery life is definitely better than the Voyager, I charge it every few days.
The menus are a lot more customizable and user-friendly than most Verizon phones. There are 4 display themes and lots of ringtones. The front screen, "click-wheel", all great, especially for viewing texts and controlling the music.
VCast Videos has decent quality.
Basically my only complaint so far about the phone is the browser-that isn't comparable with the Voyager. If you want a phone with a fast and easy to use browser, you may want to think twice about this phone. It's not slow but isn't 3G, and typing into a website can sometimes be difficult.
Otherwise it's an easy to use phone with plenty of features. Any questions? Just ask.
Pros Strong-signaled stereo bluetooth, adequate FM transmitter, easy-to-use music system, 3.5mm headphone jack (!!), expandable microSD slot, very helpful and convenient front screen, programmable shortcut buttons, small form size like the RAZR
Cons Front scroll wheel somewhat temperamental, a tad slow response on some features, fiip-phone spring not 100% durable after use, keypad not as pleasant to text on as RAZR, haven't found a way to set music you put on the phone yourself as ringtones
Summary First, anyone wanting the perfect balance between an mp3 player and a phone need go no further. I was originally in the market for a RAZR v9, but after reviewing the specs, I decided this was the phone for me. I couldn't be more happy!
Obviously, as the pros state, this phone has pretty much anything a music buff can need in a phone. Of course, it's not the world's greatest mp3 player, but it's all in what you're expecting. For me, I haven't found anything that an iPod can do that the Chocolate 3 can't; it even has the scroll-wheel like the iPod, except it's a more tactile feel. The wheel takes a little getting used to, but it's not rocket science.
The best thing about this phone to me is the variety of musical connectivity; loading music is easiest by plugging it into your computer's USB port and copy/pasting your music onto the phone. The phone also charges while loading, and automatically sorts songs by their ID3 tags just like an iPod. You can also load music via Bluetooth from your computer, as well as download from Verizon's VCast service. I don't use that because it costs more money, but it doesn't hinder my phone in any way.
In terms of music playing, the best feature ever is the built in 3.5mm headphone jack, something that is often taken for granted on cell phones. Also, stereo bluetooth (A2DP) is WONDERFUL... I recommend the Motorola S805 headphones for anyone who wants noise-canceling headphones with GREAT reception, sound, and still hands-free calling simultaneously. If you have no headphones, the built in speaker is acceptable enough to play while waiting on a midnight bus or whatever time you have to kill.
The phone itself is very similar in form and depth to the RAZR v9; I wasn't expecting it to be a good looking as it is. I have the light blue version, but the Black looks just as good. It's pretty sturdy, too; I've given it hell for the past three months, and it's still fine. My only complaint is the keypad itself... it isn't as smooth as the buttons on a Motorola phone, but it's just something to get used to.
One thing I really like that is unique to this phone is the ability to recieve and read text messages, view and play music and pictures, start and use the camera, and view calendar entries from the front screen... without having to open the phone. This may seem useless, but I've found it to be quite helpful, especially when you're in a place (such as class) when you want to stay inconspicuous.
The phone has all the basic features you'd expect... calendar, calculator, alarm clock, notepad... plus a fairly good camera (albeit no flash). The buttons on the phone are all laid out well, and the circular navigation arrows around the "ok" button are all programmable to a number of phone functions. When the phone is closed, there is an automatic lock-keys button to keep you from accidentally doing things to the phone while it's in your pocket. All you have to do to unlock it is press the button on the side, and you're good to go.
All in all, I strongly recommend this phone for anyone who likes bluetooth connectivity, listening to music without having to carry a separate mp3 player, and still have all the features of a good phone. The battery life lasts about three days on average, depending on what you're doing, and that makes it great for travel. One minor con is that the phone, while using USB, does not use the standard mini-USB port on the phone; there is a proprietary USB connection type on the phone side, which makes it annoying when you forget the cord that came with the phone. But overall, I'm glad I went with LG, and I'm glad LG went with a flip style for the next Chocolate!!
Pros nice glossy finish, easy to use, 1GB memory, good call quality
Cons FM signal strength low, Rhapsody software is trouble sometimes
Summary Fm transmitter was the whole reason why I bought it.
I've had it for two days. I'm not really happy with the FM transmitter quality in my car but it seems to work better in my wife's (2003 versus 2007 Elantra, after market stereo versus factory stereo). It plays fine over my home stereo system as long as it is near it. It is very sensitive to where you place it in the car, it makes noise when you move it around . And good luck finding an empty radio frequency in a city (manual recommend a frequency that is empty between other empty frequencies for optimal sound quality) ! It transmits over the radio station signal but there is more background noise. I've been able to get good stereo quality with varying luck, maybe I haven't found the right frequency yet, although I've tried a bunch. Signal quality keeps changing as I drive around and I don't like messing with the phone when I'm driving. I'm pretty sure that FM transmitter max signal strength is regulated by some agency, I hope that LG used the maximum allowed.
I would much rather connect it to an auxiliary port, easy enough with the 3.5 jack, but I don't have one in my car.
Picture quality is pretty good, it is easy to use. Rhapsody software is occasionally giving me hard time transferring my existing music to the phone though. It says 8 sec and 5 min later nothing is still happening. I haven't been able to figure out how to use Windows Media Player Sync option yet, it can't find the device. I think Rhapsody might be the only way to get the files on it.
I like the phone overall. I'll keep it if I am able to work my way around the quirks.
"One good phone!!!"on by jmburley
Pros Music player, great features, very good battery, clear reception
Cons Can't set songs as ringtone
Summary This is the best phone I've ever had, I've been a fan of LG for a while. I had a LG 1400i with AT&T but I dumped them and purchased this phone the first day it came out and I don't regret it. This phone is great, it holds it's signal so there won't be any dropped calls. It has a 2mp camera that is crystal clear, it's also a video camera. The sound quality is great, everything sounds so clear and loud. It's also a MP3 player which holds 1GB of music before you have to add a microSD card. The best thing about this phone is the FM transmitter. You set your home/car stereo on a dead FM station and you can play the songs on your phone thru the stereo.
The only thing I don't like about this phone is that you can't save any of your songs as your ringtone. You have to purchase VCast for an extra $15/month in order to set songs as ringtones. However I found a free website that will let you upload songs to their site and then they'll send it to you in a text. It's phonezoo.com and it's free. So now when people call me I can assign them their own ringtone. Also the outside of the phone looks like it can get scratched very easily so you may need a cover or holder to protect it. I'm also disappointed that Verizon can't transfer my address book from my old phone into this one, they say the new chocolate isn't in their database yet. They should have done this before they began selling the phone.
The battery on this phone is great, I can go 2 days before I have to charge it and that doesn't take very long at all. The speakerphone is cool as well, it's pretty loud so you can hear the caller very well. Other reviews mentioned that the buttons were kinda slick, well it's not something that you can't manage. They're not as slick as the RAZR, I have no problem punching numbers or texting with one hand.
The navigation wheel is pretty cool too, you don't have to open the phone to control the music player. This phone is just perfect for making calls, it's not too big to hold in your hand. It fits nicely in your pocket or on your hip if you have a holder.
Overall this is a great phone it has a lot of features that I'm sure everyone will enjoy. It's durable, dependable, sleek, and well built. Of course there will be people who complain about this or that but bottom line is if you are thinking about getting this go to a Verizon store and hold it and try it out. Once you do that I'm sure you will like it. That's what I did and I don't regret it, especially once they told me that I could get 2 of these for free!! I'm sold.
Pros Functional outer screen, pocketable (thin enough), acceptable camera quality, highly customizable interfaces, usable music software (unlike most phones), good call quality, exceptional speaker volume (external and earpiece), good overall reception.
Cons Easily scratched, menus can be a little too layered, software (version 5.0) is laggy in spots, sometimes hard to open one-handed, microphone is directional and can amplify breathing noises if held in left hand, "echo" effect with your own voice.
Summary As a Verizon customer, I originally hoped to find a do-it-all phone similar to the iPhone without sacrificing reception and call-quality with AT&T. After being immensely dissapointed with the Blackberry Storm (software), Samsung Omnia (lag), Motorola Krave (quirky), LG Dare (touchscreen), LG Voyager (touchscreen, BIG), and most of the other phones in Verizon's lineup, I decided on the LG Chocolate 3 as the best "standard" phone. This, combined with an iPod Touch for pretty much everything else, has proven to be a great combination of usability.
The Chocolate 3 is a solid phone, being reliable while also generally accomplishing what it set out to do: use a classic design that brings limited yet successful multimedia tools to the table. The music player is perfectly functional, audio quality is decent (but not great), and I've had plenty of success with the FM Transmitter. The menus and general layout of the phone are also highly customizable, and I will never discount a device for allowing it's user to change almost everything about it; customizability breeds comfort with the device. Every change made to the interface can be viewed before being applied, something I haven't seen on any previous phone and a brilliant gesture by LG.
The phone does suffer from lagging software occasionally, particularily when a call is being answered by flipping the phone open (can take up to a full second to show a connection). I would like to see a software update that can address this issue. I also noticed a quirk solely because I'm a lefty: when the phone is talked into when held in the right hand, percussive syllables (P's, B's, etc...) do not generate "air" noise in the microphone, but when held in the left hand they definitely do. I avoid this by tilting the microphone away from my mouth when talking with my left hand, but it's still something that should be checked out in-store if you're a lefty like myself. Call quality is generally good-to-very good, with a hint of the "echo" voice effect in the background.
The outer screen is very functional as a viewing device, being the exact size of pictures taken with the phone. Messaging inbox, calender, music, and the camera (for self-portraits) can also be accessed without opening the phone, and so far pictures and texts are the main usages. Could the phone do without this outer functionality? Sure, but it is easier to check these things one-handed and scroll around with the scroll-wheel. It's a quality of the phone that I originally thought would bug me but had turned out to be very usable in daily use.
Like all Verizon phones, I feel that the menu system and text-messaging layout could use a large update. Menus are often 3-4 clicks deep, and text messages are still separated into inbox/outbox format. If the software for threaded text messages exists, why not allow the option? It makes far more sense to me to organize conversations in this manner. This is not exclusive to the Chocolate but rather a call to Verizon to update ALL of their devices for this technology.
Transferring music onto the device is easy with the supplied USB cable, and I was even able to get downloaded iTunes songs to work on the phone. I recommend drag-and-drop over Rhapsody, the program doesn't really offer any options besides building playlists, and I could not figure out a way to auto-sync music to the device.
The Chocolate 3's multimedia options are not strong enough to replace an iPod or compete in smartphone territory, but it's multimedia functions do work very well for occassional use. As a phone it does it's job perfectly well, and makes a wonderful compliment to a device like an iPod Touch, which can handle nearly everything that an iPhone can. If you are in the market for a device like the iPhone but are stuck on Verizon I would recommend this combination over any of Verizon's iPhone competitors, as all of them are not as good as Apple's flagship. That being said, give all of these devices a try in the store and see which is right for you.