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LG VX8500 Chocolate Review

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Camera:

The Chocolate continues the tradition of incorporating a 1.3MP CMOS Sensor Camera built into the phone.  In order to use it, you must first slide the phone open because it is located on the back on the Display.  Then press the button with the camera icon on the right side of the phone.  There are several different choices in the Options menu.  Resolution allows you to change between 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144, and 160x144 - we recommend using the highest setting of 1280x960, despite the fact that the digital zoom does not work in this resolution.  The Self-Timer cen be set to 3, 5 or 10 seconds, Brightness ranges from -9 to +9, while White Balance has five preset modes - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, and Fluorescent.  The Auto setting worked well except when taking outdoor pictures during the day.  The White Balance seemed to have a problem in Auto and would make the image appear to have a lot of “blue tinting”.  Because of this problem, we had to manually change the White Balance to Sunny when taking pictures out-side during the day.  Most phones do seem to have a problem when it comes to the White Balance being set to Auto and being used ourdoors.  Hopefully Verizon will address this problem in a software upgrade.

You have four choices for the Shutter Sound and they are Shutter, Silent, Say Cheese, and Ready 123, whereas the Color Effects are standard ones - Normal, Sepia, Black & White, Negative, and Solari.  Night Mode can be turned On and Off, which slows down the shutter speed to allow more light to enter in the shutter when taking pictures in darker environments.

We were surprised to see that there was no flash on the Chocolate.  Almost all camera phones sold have a LED Flash.  There is no reason why a Flash should not be included in the handset.  Because of this, the camera is useless except for usage in areas where there is a decent amount of light.  Since the Chocolate is designed more as a Music Phone, not a Camera Phone, it is not surprising that the camera is only a 1.3MP CMOS and there aren't as many Camera Options as on the Samsung A990.

Since there is no Auto-Focus, there is no lag time when taking pictures.  Once a picture is taken, you must choose to Save it, Erase it, or Send it, because the phone will not auto save pictures.  The total amount of time to take a picture and save it is 4 seconds, which can be saved to the phone's internal memory, or to a Micro SD card.

Outdoor pictures had a blue tint to them because the Auto White Balance setting was having problems.  Once we changed the White Balance to Sunny, the problem was fixed.  When using the Sunny option, the outdoor pictures had nice color, but lacked detail.  This is because of the low quality 1.3MP CMOS sensor that is used.  Indoor pictures taken under incandescent light were grainy and also had little detail.  Because of these issues, and lack of a flash, we do not feel that the camera on the Chocolate is worth using except for taking quick pics.  A CCD Sensor, like on the VX8000, and a Flash would make the camera more useable.

LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review

The Camcorder mode allows you to record and save videos, with a resolution of 176x144, to the internal memory or to the MicroSD card.  One nice thing about using the MicroSD card is that videos can be recorded for as long as there is available memory.  But in order to send videos as Flix Messages, you should limit it to a maximum of 15 seconds.  When playing back the recorded videos on a computer, the image quality is poor, colors are blotchy, and the sound quality is very bad.  Even though you can record long videos with this phone, it is pointless since the quality is so bad.

Multimedia:

The Chocolate can play MP3 and WMA music files that are stored on a MicroSD card.  First you must purchase a MicroSD memory card and USB Card Reader.  Place the MicroSD card in the phone and go to Menu, Settings & Tools, Memory, Card Memory, Options, and Format.  Once this is done, connect the USB reader to the computer and insert the memory card into it.  On the computer, you will see the MicroSD card listed.  Then simply Copy and Paste your MP3 files to the My_Music folder on the MicroSD card.  After the files are transferred, remove the MicroSD card from the USB Reader, insert it back into the phone and press the Music Button on the right side.  The other option of getting MP3 files onto the phone from a computer is by purchasing Verizon's Music Essentials Kit.  Included in the kit is a USB data cable that will connect the phone directly to the computer, Software to enable transferring MP3 files, and a set of 2.5mm Stereo Earbuds.

The circular keypad is used to change between Playlists, Artists, Genres, Albums, and All Songs.  There are two Themes for the Music Player: Rock'n Roll and Jazz.

LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review


When you select a song and click OK, it will start playing, and the Display will show the Song Title, Artist, Time Remaining, and Volume.  Pressing and holding the left and right arrow buttons will Fast-Forward or Rewind the current song.  If you press and release, it will skip to the next song.  While the song is playing, you can click on the Clear button (sideways U) and it will exit the music player screen, but the song will still be played.  You can then use other features, such as sending a TXT Message, while listening to the song.  Overall we were very happy with the quality of the Music Player and didn't have any problems.  Music playback is loud, but gets distorted if turned up too high.  We were disappointed because there is only one mono-speaker on the phone.  There should have been Stereo speakers (like on the VX8300 and A990) because this would have greatly improved the sound quality.  We recommend using 2.5mm Stereo earbuds, but you must use the included adapter.  The other option would be to spend money on a Bluetooth Stereo headset to allow music listening without wires.  It is unfortunate that LG does not have Stereo Speakers built into the Chocolate since Verizon is advertising it as their “Music Phone".

LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review


Like all other Verizon phones, the Chocolate uses Qualcomm's BREW format for applications.  There are no preloaded games on the phone.  They must be downloaded from Get it Now, and range from Action, Sports, TV/Movie, Classic, Puzzle, Casino, Strategy, and 3D V Cast.  Most cost under $3 per month or $10 for unlimited use.

Verizon also offers V Cast service for $15 per month (unlimited Mobile Web is also included).  V Cast has pre-recorded video clips, updated daily, that you can play on the Chocolate.  The main categories are News, Sports, Entertainment, and Weather.  The resolution of the video clips is 176x240 and the quality is somewhat lacking.  V Cast provides a useful service when on-the-go and you need to access this information.  It does not compare to Sprint's new Media Service which has access to live TV broadcasts, since V Cast videos are all prerecorded.  In 2007 Verizon plans to launch their MediaFLO network, which will allow users to view live TV broadcasts.  However, since MediaFLO is not released, it is unclear if current Verizon phones will be able to access this service. 

Navigator:

VZ Navigator is a new service available from Verizon.  The program uses the GPS locator in the Chocolate to give you turn-by-turn directions by simply entering in an address, and the application will tell you where you are and how to get to the destination.  If you do not know the address, you can also enter in the Street Intersection or Airport.  When used while driving, the screen shows you the next turn and street, while a voice will tell you what to do.  If you happen to miss a turn, the application will then recalculate the map and tell you how to get to the destination.  I used this program in Southeast Florida and when traveling to Kissimmee.  It is very useful when in an area that you are unfamiliar with.  The directions on the screen are easy to follow, but the best part is having the voice guide you.  You can download a free month trial of VZ Navigator on the Chocolate, but after that it is $10/month.  Airtime is also used when downloading maps and directions.  When used in a car, I highly recommend using a car-charger to power the phone.  It took 3 hours to drive from Ft Lauderdale to Kissimmee and the battery was almost empty after sing the Navigation.

LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review
LG VX8500 Chocolate Review

5 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Chris K. (unregistered)


This is an awesome phone inside and out. It only took about 1 full day to get used to all of the soft touch buttons. The only real complaint that I have is the battery life. It's only natural for a phone that plays videos, music, sounds, etc. , to have only mediocre battery life. I thought that my phone was the only one that had an 8 hour battery life (with extended battery). Sometimes I would just look at the clock on my phone or took pictures once or twice a day and by the end of the day, my phone would be dead. Sometimes it would just die in my pocket....I have an easy fix for all of you. If your wallpaper is being run off of your mini SD card, that means that your mini SD card is being run continuously all the time which results in the battery being drained faster. To fix this, just switch your wallpaper picture to your "phone memory" and run it from there. I hope this helped.

posted on 07 Oct 2007, 19:43

2. (unregistered)


grand phone if you want it to make phone calls with out you. Or if you want it to freeze up and the screen turn white

posted on 03 Jan 2008, 17:40

3. Rikimaru (unregistered)


The lg-vx8500 is a cool innovative phone.. however its software and physical flaws overwhelm is nice look... aside from it calling randomly.. this phone has been know to have white screens of death and keypad issues up the wazzu.. most phones stay in circulation for over a yr.. look at the razor. however this phone was being sold for barely 6 months when lg realized there booboo and realized the child lg8550 choco.. which in its right is a much better phone, eliminating alot of the software issues and the keypad issue

posted on 21 Sep 2008, 18:14

4. (unregistered)


yo is there ny way ta fix da fone if dat happens

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 10:04

5. (unregistered)


This is the worst phone a have ever had!!! 1st it wouldnt work (so verizon gives me a new one) 2nd My camera on it breaks 3rd 4th My screen goes white and a cant use it 5th it wouldnt hold charge 6th it went white again IT SUCKS!!! Dont get this phone

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Display240 x 320 pixels TFT
Camera1.3 megapixels
Size3.80 x 1.88 x 0.69 inches
(96.5 x 48 x 17.5 mm)
3.53 oz  (100 g)
Battery800 mAh, 3.5 hours talk time

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