LG Chocolate 3 Review
For the past two years, summer has meant a new Chocolate phone coming out for Verizon Wireless. This year is no exception, with the introduction of the Chocolate 3 (VX8560). Unlike the previous two versions which were sliders (VX8500, VX8550), the new model is a clamshell style, but is still is targeted as a music-centric device. It is currently available in both Black and Light Blue color versions, with more choices expected in the upcoming months. Its main competition is the Samsung Juke and LG Dare, as both have dedicated music players and are capable of multitasking.
The retail package includes the Chocolate 3 phone, 800mAh standard battery with cover, user manual, and a 2-piece wall charger / microUSB data cable.
You can compare the LG Chocolate 3 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Since the Chocolate 3 is a clamshell phone, it looks more like an update to the VX8600 than to the VX8550 slider. On the Black model, the front has a reflective coating similar to the Decoy, but is not as mirror-like, a soft-touch coating on the back, with the internal keypad also being black. The Light Blue model does not have the reflective coating on the front (making it less of a fingerprint magnet), with standard smooth plastic on the back, and a shiny chrome finish on the internal keypad. Other than the color differences, both versions offer the same features.
TFT display with 262k color support. It is larger than most external displays that we’ve seen, and is capable of viewing the music player, my pictures, camera, calendar, and the inbox. While this is a step in the right direction, we would like to be able to access more items on the front screen, such as Bluetooth. Directly below the display is a scroll wheel (similar to the one used on the VX8550) and is used to access and navigate through the different menu options while the phone closed. Pressing the center button takes you to the menu, where you can then move the wheel around clockwise or counter-clockwise to make different selections. It can also act as a d-pad, pressing on it up/down/left/right, depending on the program. The external navigation wheel works rather well, since it is easy to rotate and provides an audible sound when moved. However, sometimes it can be over-sensitive, as we would attempt to press the center button, but it would think we moved the wheel instead. Unfortunately, the phone lacks a sensitivity adjustment in the menu, which could help resolve this minor issue.
Located on the left side are the volume rocker, voice command button, microUSB port, and 3.5mm headset jack, with the lock, music button, and microSDHC card slot on the right. The overall feel of the device is “plasticy”, yet durable and solid, unlike the VX8350. Even though it’s not at thin as the V9m, it’s still easy enough to place in your pant’s pocket without it drawing too much attention. We had no problems opening and closing the phone, with the hinge working smoothly and without any creaking sounds.
The internal display is 2.20” diagonal 240x320 pixel TFT with 262k color support. Nowadays it is commonplace to see this type of display used on most mid-to-high-end phones, but this one comes with an integrated light sensor (similar to the Dare) to automatically adjust its brightness based on surrounding light levels. When used outside, the backlight will become brighter, but still can be difficult to see while in direct sunlight. While in a dark room, the backlight will dim down, but is a little too dim for our liking. Unfortunately, there are no user settings for manually adjusting the display’s brightness. Located on the bottom shell is the d-pad and numeric keypad with white backlighting. The d-pad is smaller than most other phones, but we didn’t encounter any problems using it. In contrast, the numeric keys are quite large and provide a good “click” sound and feedback when pressed. We able to use it for dialing and text messaging without issue.
1. jl3297 (unregistered)
For me, one of the key characteristics that made the phone a "Chocolate" to begin with was the fact that it was a slider. Without that aspect, calling this phone the next Chocolate is a huge disappointment/frustration for me. It just doesnt feel like a Chocolate. Sure it may be a nice phone technically and functionally but it should have stood alone as a different series and not the Chocolate family. Specifically in terms of this phone I like the sleekness of the exterior, but the interior just makes me cringe. It looks like the interior of a cheap $50 phone or one of the phones that Verizon gives you for free when you buy a more expensive phone. Bottom line for me, this is not an LG Chocolate.
i agree with you actually this should have been the next generation of the chocolate flip give it the slide form factor, and ill consider it part of the original chocolate line that i fell in love with seriously the phone looks amazing on the outside but the inside does look pretty ugly
3. wetwet (unregistered)
i would suggest using the 30day policy before you vent frustrations with the form of the phone. most people complained about the slider of the orig choco, which were somewhat resolved on the 8550, but still issue arose. making it a flip phone expands the audience since everyone can use a clamshell phone (some biz types might not want a slider, younger audience) plus the phone performs absolutely amazing. better than an iphone. just joking fanboys....calm down.....caaaalm down.
we arent saying that its a bad phone its just that we think it shouldn't be considered part of the 85xx series but part of the 86xx series since that was the flip form chocolate phone
5. izdale (unregistered)
There never was a Chocolate flip. The VX8600, contrary to what is thought, was NOT a chocolate flip. It was not released or advertised as a "Chocolate" phone. There are 2 things that made the chocolate the chocolate. 1. that it was a slider and 2. that it was a top of the line music player. The chocolate 3 may not be a slider, but it is still a chocolate in being such a great music player and in being able to multi-task. The Chocolate 3 is a great addition to the chocolate family. I never would have gotten a slider chocolate, but I love my chocolate 3.
6. Dan (unregistered)
I like this phone, but the people at the verizon store don't know a damn thing about it. So anyway, a few questions to any owners: first, can you drag and drop music files or do you have to buy the $30 verizon music kit? does it take 3.5mm or 2.5mm headphone or require the music kit adaptor? and i'd be interested to know anyone else's experiences with the FM transmitter?
I think all of your questions are anwered in the review if you take the time to read it.
10. Dan (unregistered)
Thanks. I read the article, but in instances in which the facts in the article conflict with facts told to me by Verizon salespeople, I thought it would be prudent to solicit the opinions of individuals who already own the phone. But apparently you were under the impression that I was soliciting smart-ass comments... Anyhow, thank you to the individual who added comment #9 for the input about transmitter.
8. RollerCoast (unregistered)
I just ordered a new Chocolate 3 and it should be arriving Monday. I'm so glad they finally made the first chocolate flip. I like slider phones but I wasn't crazy about the first chocolates. The first one seem to have all kinds of software bugs. And the second one although didn't have as many problems still wasn't something I could use. I didn't like the heat sensitive buttons it had on the front because when you were in a call and had the phone against your face the buttons constantly would vibrate and that can be extremely annoying. And because both of the previous two chocolates were sliders the keypad was very tight and small which could make it difficult to text even for me and I don't have huge fingers. Although the new chocolate may not be as flashy as the sliders it's replacing I think it's a step in the right direction. And I wanted to make a comment. I don't think the phone was called chocolate because it was a slider. I think it was called chocolate because everybody loves chocolate and it was more so a marketing ploy for LG to sell their new music series phone and now the name carries on no matter what the form factor is.
I've had this phone for a week and a half now and just got finished driving 1000 miles in a Budget Rental Truck. I used the FM transmitter extensively. The long and short of it is that you _really_ do need to have 3 channels clear in a row (for example, 88.1, 88.3, and 88.5) and go with the middle one (88.3). In that scenario it works perfectly. However, when we'd get into a large metropolitan area those channels were impossibly hard to find. Thankfully, I have Bluetooth in my real car (JVC KD-BT1), and the phone and audio functions work flawlessly there.
I currently have an LG 8300 and the only thing that is making me not want to change is that I have a bunch of ringtones I purchased and don't really want to have to buy them again. IBut since my phone is 3 years old, it doesn't have the updated VCast software so am very limited on what I can get as opposed to what is available on new phones. None of the phones that are currently offered really thrill me but this new "chocolate" has me thinking....if anyone has any thoughts they would like to offer, I am all ears! Thanks.
Too keep your ringtones call customer service. They will credit you for each of the ringtones so you can download them again as long as they are the same as before if you download a new one instead it will cost you. Download what you already had and there's no cost. They also credit you for the MB that you use to download previous ringtones.
I have had the phone for a month now and love it. The one thing I do hate is that there's too many damn radio stations in my town. I have to switch the FM transmitter back and forth for different parts of town. Besides that the phone is great.