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LG Chocolate 3 Review

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Home screen - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Main menu - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Phonebook - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Home screen

Main menu

Phonebook

Software / Features:

The main menu is basically the same as all other Verizon non-smartphones, with categories for media center, messaging, contacts, recent calls, and settings & tools. There are four themes included (slick black, white, dark chocolate, orbis) and you can change the layout of each between tab, list, and grid view. All of the themes operate quickly and without any noticeable delay.

The Phonebook allows up to 1000 entries to be stored, each with their name, mobile 1, home, work, email 1, group, picture, ringtone, mobile 2, fax, and email 2. After a contact is saved, you can assign them to one of 999 speed-dial locations.

Camera interface - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Camera interface - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Camera interface

The Chocolate 3 has a 2MP camera instead of a 1.3MP, but the picture quality is still sub-par. Images taken outside looked over-exposed and slightly out-of-focus, with inside images looking dark and grainy. Even though the camera is not the major selling feature of the device, it would still be nice if it produced better results (such as the enV2 or V9m).

Camera settings:

  • Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, Picture ID
  • Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
  • White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Glow
  • Shutter Sound: Shutter, Silent, Say Cheese, Ready 123
  • Color Effects: Normal, Negative, Aqua, Sepia, B&W
  • Night Mode: On, Off
  • Save Options: Internal, External
  • Photometry: Average, Spot, Spot Multiple
  • Preview: Actual view, Full screen

LG Chocolate 3 Review
LG Chocolate 3 Review
LG Chocolate 3 Review
LG Chocolate 3 Review
Outdoor images - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Outdoor images - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Outdoor images - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Outdoor images - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Outdoor images

Strong light - Indoor samples - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Low light Dark Mode OFF - Indoor samples - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Low light Dark Mode ON - Indoor samples - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light Dark Mode OFF

Low light Dark Mode ON

Indoor samples


LG Chocolate 3 Review
LG Chocolate 3 Review
Since this device carries the Chocolate branding, it should come as no surprise that music is one of its main selling points. Not only is it capable of using 8GB microSDHC memory cards, but it also has 1GB of internal memory for storing music files (mp3, wma, acc, acc+). You can sync the phone directly with Windows Media Player (and other capable programs), or copy/paste files directly to the SD card and internal memory. The player can be launched and viewed by either the internal or external display and will show files according to playlists, artists, genres, and albums. Unlike the Dare, which lists album songs alphabetically, the Chocolate 3 lists them according to their ID3 track number. This is the way most people like their music organized (in the same order as it is on the CD) and we are glad that the Chocolate 3 offers this. There is also the option of selecting three player types (album art, large album art, visualizer). When a song begins playback, it will show the track information on the screen along with a visual counter. On the bottom are icons for rewind, pause, and fast-forward, which can be accessed by the internal or external control pad. You can choose between 6 different sound effects, but we found that “flat” sounds best. While the song is playing, you can return back to the home screen, but the internal display will replace your standard wallpaper with an image of the album art, or the external display will show a colorful animated graphic. Since the player allows for multitasking, you can send/receive messages and use the browser without having to stop playback. Music quality through the stereo speakers (located in the bottom of the front flip) was quite good and better than we experienced with the previous Chocolate models, Samsung Juke, LG Dare and enV2. The only thing lacking was bass,
Internal display - Music player - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Internal display - Music player - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Internal display

External display - Music player - LG Chocolate 3 Review
External display - Music player - LG Chocolate 3 Review

External display

Music player

but this is to be expected do to the small speaker size. Not only can you use a Bluetooth stereo headset, or wired 3.5mm earbuds, but it also allows you to transmit music via an FM signal so that it can be heard on any near-by FM radio. We first tested this out on our home radio, but we experienced a lot of distortion if we moved the phone more than a few inches away from the receiver. We then tested it with our car radio. The instructions say that it works best to transmit on a frequency with no channels on either side of it. Unfortunately, there are dozens of radio stations in the South Florida area to contend with. After about 10 minutes of trying different frequencies, we found that 102.1 worked best, but there was still some static that could be heard. Because of this, we found the FM Transmitter to be more of a novelty than a feature to be used daily, as it also does not work with calls, VZ Navigator, or other programs.


The Chocolate 3 is also the first Verizon phone to come with the new Dashboard software, powered by Adobe. When launched, it shows you a list of “channels” that you can scroll through (mobile web, search, VZW showcase, news, music, games, tones & extras, community, entertainment, weather, business, ESPN, and get channels). Choosing one of those selection, such as news, will show the top stories of the day and can link you to other news outlets via the mobile web. Selecting the channel for weather will show the current temperatures in three preselected cities, which can be customized by typing in a zip code or city and state. Going to the Get Channels menu allows you to add or remove channel listings. A total of 10 basic channels can be added and viewed at once, even though 15 are available. This means that 5 channels cannot be viewed, but at anytime you can replace a current channel with one of those 5. There is also a category for Premium channels, but the list is currently empty. Once premium channels become available, they are billable monthly, if you select one of them to be added. Overall the Dashboard is a nice addition, as it shows content and information categorized into different themed channels. One option we found missing was the ability to change the order of the channels on your list. Unfortunately, because of the addition of the Dashboard software, the Chocolate 3 can only be purchased and activated on one of Verizon’s Nationwide calling plans. This is due to the data that is used for “pushing” information to the channels. Current Verizon customers who have older plans, such as America’s Choice, and are looking to purchase this phone, must change to a Nationwide plan.

Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review
Dashboard - LG Chocolate 3 Review

Dashboard


Other software features include Mobile Web 2.0, VCast Music and Ringtone downloads, VCast Video streaming, and VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions. You can also download a wide variety of games and other programs using the Media Center. Applications open fast and there is no noticeable delay when using them. Since the browser is a standard WAP, it cannot properly render or display most HTML sites. We also tried using it with the Mobile YouTube site, but it was unable to stream video.

13 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

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.

posted on 24 Jul 2008, 12:36

2. (unregistered)


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

posted on 24 Jul 2008, 19:41

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.

posted on 25 Jul 2008, 00:38

4. (unregistered)


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

posted on 25 Jul 2008, 12:39

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.

posted on 26 Jul 2008, 14:37

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?

posted on 26 Jul 2008, 15:10

7. (unregistered)


I think all of your questions are anwered in the review if you take the time to read it.

posted on 29 Jul 2008, 16:46

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.

posted on 26 Jul 2008, 23:27

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.

posted on 29 Jul 2008, 10:07

9. (unregistered)


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.

posted on 24 Aug 2008, 14:58

11. (unregistered)


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.

posted on 26 Sep 2008, 11:55

12. (unregistered)


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.

posted on 26 Sep 2008, 11:57

13. (unregistered)


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.

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Display2.2 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (182 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size3.87 x 1.94 x 0.64 inches
(98 x 49 x 16 mm)
3.36 oz  (95 g)
Battery800 mAh, 4.5 hours talk time

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