Pros Great design, mp3 player, 1.3megapixel camera, innovative touch screen interface, good presentation, stereo speakers, bluetooth, lightweight, small
Cons PC Sync is somehow hard to use, no expansion port, fingerprints easily,
Summary Maybe this will be an over rated review, since I had my previous cellphone for over 4 years, and when I received this one I was amazed.
-When you get your cellphone, the presentation is nice. I even kept the box, it's nice looking. You get many accesories; such as the PC sync software, headphones, charger, and a nice "velvet-like" cover in order to keep it clean.
-All of the media features; MP3, camera, pictures are great. The camera has a nice resolution (LED Flash integrated), the MP3 sound great (headphones or speaker, which sounds louder than my laptop).
-The touch panel is great and yet unique for any cellphone. At first, you need time to get used to it, but now when I use friend's cellphones is odd to use normal buttons.
-Many other features include different alarms setting, calculator, units conversion, worldwide time, etc.
-The design is simply great. When the cellphone is not on, or you're not using it, it looks completly black, and when you turn it on, or you slide it in order to open it, the keys and screen suddenly appear. Even for persons like me who hate fashion I have to admit this is very pretty. The cellphone is thin, small, you barely feel it in your pocket.
-I have to agree with a previous reviewer, writing a SMS is kinda hard.
-Even if I don't consider it a disadvantage, no expansion for 128mb of space may turn off buyers who wanted this as a real MP3 player. And it's sad since the quality is just great.
-Performing a PC Sync is kinda hard, too. Unless you read the manual and get to know how to do it using the modem feature.
Pros Good marketing strategy
Cons Read review from NYT
Summary Review from the New York Times
Author: David Pogue
Hyped Cellphone Won't Make You a Chocoholic
Chocolate, under the proper circumstances, can be a deeply satisfying treat for the senses.
It can also be a sticky mess.
Unfortunately, the heavily hyped Chocolate music player/cellphone (made by LG, offered by Verizon Wireless) resembles the latter more than the former.
What's nice about the phone: its looks. It's tiny, almost like an elongated box of Tic Tacs. It's shiny, clad in dark plastic. And it's a slider phone, meaning that the dialing pad is hidden except when you slide the halves apart.
The rest of the time, the front panel is supposed to look like an iPod, with a bright color screen above and a circular control pad below. The phone-call sound quality is good, and the price isn't bad: $150 (after rebate, and with two-year commitment), although you should also factor in the price of a Micro SD card to hold your music files ($50 or so for a 1-gigabyte card).
Music lovers should also note that the Chocolate is one of very few U.S. phones that can actually send high-quality music wirelessly to Bluetooth *stereo* headphones. And now, the sticky mess part.
Turns out the iPod dial isn't a dial at all; it's just four buttons arranged in a circle. That's OK in itself, but these buttons don't budge or even click when you press them; the only response you get, if any, is a reaction on the screen.
It's a bad sign that two pages of the manual are dedicated to listing warnings about these touch buttons. "Remove moisture from the surface of your hands," goes one. "Don't use the touch buttons in a humid environment." (OK, so what are we supposed to do when we're in Miami? Use a pay phone?)
"If you touch [a button] off-center, it may activate the nearby function instead."
And so on.
Listen up, LG dudes: I'm sorry, but if your primary control system requires seven warnings in your manual, maybe you should reconsider your system.
Sure enough, these buttons are a nightmare. They're balky, nonresponsive, slow to react and all-around infuriating (and yes, I tried all four sensitivity settings). The three people who tried my review unit had amazingly similar reactions, even after I told them to stop running their thumbs around the dial as though it were an iPod. One said he felt like throwing the phone "through the window," another "into the trash," and another "across the room."
More problems: The Send key is on the left of the front-but the End key isn't across from it, as on every other cellphone on earth; instead, it's a microscopic, vertically mounted button on the right edge of the phone. When the phone is sleeping, the screen goes completely black, so you can't even tell if it's on (you don't even get a clock). The phone works with MP3 and Windows Media files, but not with songs bought on iTunes and not with the Macintosh.
The camera is decent, but it's only 1.3 megapixels and you have to open the slider to use it. Worse, your picture gallery (and the Take Video command) are hidden, nonsensically, in the Get It Now menu, which is traditionally the cheesy commercial area of Verizon phones, where they try to sell you games, streaming video and so on.
And what kind of phone has a speaker this good, but no speakerphone?
Don't even get me started on the phone lock function, which disables all of the buttons after only *three seconds*. You can't use any of the buttons again unless you press a tiny side button twice. I couldn't find any way to disable this deeply annoying feature.
Whenever I review a product this badly designed, I just stare at the ceiling and try to imagine how it could possibly have gotten out the door. Haven't successes like the iPod and the Treo taught the marketers anything about making things work simply and well? It's stunning that nobody in a position of power at LG or Verizon actually tried this thing, tried pressing those infernal passive-aggressive buttons, and realized that the Chocolate is a usability disaster.
As it stands, people might buy this phone because it looks cool. But it's safe to say that not many of them will become Chocoholics.
Pros up to 2 GB microSD expansion, a2dp, sleek, nice screen
Cons navigating through mp3 player not as friendly as ipod
Summary I've had this phone for about 2 months so I am still learning some functions. I bought it mainly for it's mp3 playing. I also bought a 2gb micro SD card ($90-$100). I have almost 500 songs on it with about 400 megs remaining. Most of my songs are 64 bit and some are 128 bit. Both sound great. You choose which bitrate you want when you rip from cd which is extremely easy using WMP. Synching audio files from your PC to the phone is pretty easy but can be a bit tedious. You'll need to buy a kit for about $30 with the software and special cable to connect the phone to your USB port. It also comes with earbud phones with the special connector that attaches to the phone. They sound good and when you take a call with them the caller's voice (like the HT820's mentioned below) is in stereo. You can also answer the phone with these headphones while listening to music. If you do plan on using this phone for music play, like me, you will need to charge it daily. I plan on buying an additional battery. They have batteries that are 33% larger than the one that comes with the phone. What I like most about the phone is how it sounds with my Motorola HT820 bluetooth noise cancelling headphones. Chocolate supports a2dp which is a necessity in order to work with the HT820's. The music sounds awesome and no wires. If a call comes in, you can answer it which pauses the music. A microphone built into the right headphone works very good and is invisible. When your done with the call, press the right-side button again and the music picks up where you left off. Volume control, pause, and track advance control also on headset. Headphones are a bit bulky and alien-looking but comfortable. If you want a Chocolate for music I strongly recommend the HT820's. (I use Plantronics Voyager 520 as my primary bluetooth for conversations and it works great...no echo on either end and it can be turned up loud. This was the 3rd bluetooth I bought after the first two were very lacking) If you buy the case for this phone I suggest you cut out the square plastic piece that covers the dialpad. Trying to press the dial through the plastic is possible but annoying. The dial does not work like the ipod, they are press-enabled buttons not scrollable. Too bad. One thing I don't like is that when I have the player set to 'shuffle' it seems to go through a lot of the same songs each time I start the mp3 function. As for the phone the functionality takes some getting used to but once you do it is real easy to operate. I'll add more to this as I discover more.
Pros Great looks, I love the touchpad, great camera quality, great being able to play mp3s on my mobile (sad part are the 128 mb)
Cons Predictive text is not very intelligent, keyboard is not very comfortable for SMS, too few tones options for incoming SMS alerts, only 128 mb memory, sync software does NOT work, "slow" address book
Summary Ok, I just got this phone like 3 days ago, I very impressed by the package, its the first time that I get such a nice box for my mobile, as well as soo many accesories.
However things started to get ugly with I noticed the following "details":
- When I write an SMS, I find the keyboard to be uncomfortable for my fingers.
- The "predictive text" function is not as nice as my old Nokia´s 6230. It doesn´t recognize when I am writing a period (.) so I need to have a capital letter next... no, this phone doesn´t change that automatically, I have to change it manually (grrr..)
- Also, my old Nokia 6230 had "prebuilt" smilies, so I could choose to "insert" them in my SMS... well, there are none of those here (or I haven´t found them)
- I could NEVER make the sync software work with my PC... I could, yes, copy MP3s to the phone just like if it were an USB drive, but I had to manually add my contacts since I just couldnt get the included software to work.
- When I am browsing my contacts list, my old Nokia would instantly display the ones under a given letter typed by me, now it takes around 1 or 2 seconds between my input and actually seeing the filter work... I find it annoying.
- When I send an SMS, seconds after the "send" screen has dissapeared, I get a "message sent" notification, annoying as well.
- The phone looks very attractive and stylish, however it also gets dirty and messy VERY easily.
- It doesn´t support VBR (variable bitrate) MP3 to use as ring tone.
- I haven´t managed to get a conversation through the speakerphone (if possible, I didn´t find anything about this in the manual), and I loved this feature of my old nokia 6230.
What I DO like:
- I can finally listen MP3´s on my mobile, I don´t have a portable MP3 player so even with 128 MB I can live with that.
- Photo quality is very good.
- The touchpad navigation can be tricky at fist, but I have found it to be very comfortable after getting used to it.
- I can setup many alarms (something my old Nokia 6230 didn´t do).
If you ask me why I changed my mobile from my so loved Nokia 6230 to this one, pretty much because I wanted to be able to listen music while I travel by bus within my city. I dont want to buy an Ipod and I couldn´t afford a Sony-Ericsson W810... so I got this phone.
Eventually I guess I will get used to the new system and everything, the only thing that really bothers me is the NOT working pc sync software included... LG should do something about this.Updated
When I wrote my review I was talking about the LG Chocolate MG800, which aparently is an older (and less functional) version than the VX8500, so please take this into account when reading my review.
Pros pic/video quality, signal, features, design
Cons low battery life, touchy softkeys, not so great for texting
Summary After a few days of getting used to the chocolate, I am now a convert. I graduated from another LG that was a little more friendly for texting, but the chocolate definitely has it beat in the picture/video category. The quality is the best I've seen on a cell so far. The keypad is a bit small and even as a female I often hit duplicate numbers/letters when dialing/typing. Once you get it down, however, it's no big deal. The softkeys are a bit sensitive, even with the sensitivity turned down, and it takes some time to get used to navigating. All the reviews I have read claim that the chocolate does not have a speakerphone but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it in fact DOES, even though that is a feature that I hardly ever use. It is simple to employ and is oulined in the user guide so I am confused as to why so many claim there is none on this phone. I love the design although you will be constantly cleaning it to keep up its sleek look if you aren't using a bluetooth or headset. The battery life is disappointingly low, and I saw no alternative battery offered when I bought mine intially, but I guess that's the price you pay. Be ready to never have it in your hands when you are around others, as everyone I see wants to see, touch, look at, play with, and experiment with mine.