LG VX8500 Chocolate ReviewLG Chocolate 5.1
Update: LG Chocolate gets Speakerphone!
Even with all the advantages of the Chocolate, and the impressive built-in MP3 player, the most important feature of any phone is the voice and call quality. Despite the phone having an internal antenna, the call quality of the Chocolate was good and on par with other LG phones that have an external antenna (such as the VX8300). This proves, once again, that it is possible to manufacture a phone that has good call quality without the antenna sticking out on top. While using the Chocolate and talking to a person using a land-line, their voice quality was quite good. When reversed, the person on the land-line said that they could tell a cell phone was being used, but it was still good quality. The speaker volume is loud and a setting of Medium or Medium-High was loud enough to hear in most environments. When used in fringe areas, the Chocolate had difficulties trying to place and receive calls. Since the Chocolate is a Digital only phone, it will not work in Analog only service areas. When comparing the call quality of the Chocolate to the A990, the Samsung is the definite winner, due to it being able to place calls in fringe areas, where the VX8500 could not.
One huge disappointment about the Chocolate is the lack of a Speakerphone. It is unimaginable that this phone does not have one since most phones do. The speaker on the back could work as a Speakerphone if the option was built into the software. We strongly suggest that Verizon should have this function implemented in the next Software Upgrade because there are many people that would use it. Since the Chocolate currently does not have a speakerphone, it is a serious feature-loss that may prevent people from buying it.
We were overall happy with the performance of the Chocolate. Call quality is good and the earpiece speaker is clear and loud. The Chocolate uses the new FlashUI menus that allow more choices than the Standard Verizon UI. When using the included 800mAh standard battery, battery life is rated at 3.5Hr Talk Time or 16 Days Standby Time. We got 2.5Hr of Talk Time or 3 Days of Standby Time. Since the Display on the Chocolate has more pixels, it requires more battery power than most other phones. LG and Verizon advertise this phone as getting 16 days of Standby time when using the included battery, but there was no way which we could find to accomplish this. Most cell phone manufactures will over rate their battery life, but 16 days of standby on an 800mAh battery is beyond believable. We feel that the 800mAh battery is not powerful enough for this phone and the included battery should have been at least 1100mAh.
It is our opinion that the LG VX8500 Chocolate is a nice quality phone that is designed and targeted at younger users in their teens to mid 20's that are not looking to spend a lot of money. If you have the cash, the Samsung A990 or LG VX8300 is a much better choice. The Chocolate is well constructed, but the shiny black plastic is a magnate for fingerprints, and gives the phone more of a toy look, than a high-quality device. If the phone were made from matte black plastic, it would look less like a toy and not have a problem with fingerprints. The Chocolate fits comfortably in the hand and is only slightly noticeable when in a pocket, thanks to the slim design and internal antenna. The 1.3MP Camera provides decent pictures when you need to grab a quick pic, but it is not as good as other phones in this price-point. The QVGA Display is excellent quality and is a pleasure to look at. New FlashUI Menus are a welcome change from the sterile standardized VerizonUI, and the touch-sensitive buttons are a nice idea, but not in practice because they are over sensitive. Voice Commands are very convenient when driving and when using a Bluetooth hands-free device. The Music Player works well and songs sound good, but it would sound better if the phone had built in Stereo Speakers. It is most unfortunate that the Chocolate does not have a built in Speakerphone. This is a major feature that is missing from this phone. Mobile Web and V Cast will keep you up-to-date with the latest news, weather, and entertainment information; while VZ Navigator will help in getting you where you need to go.
- High Quality QVGA 240x320 262K Color TFT Internal Display.
- Good Voice and Call Quality (when not in fringe areas).
- Internal Antenna.
- New FlashUI Menus.
- Touch-Sensitive keys are over sensitive and it's easy to press one by mistake.
- The Numeric Keypad buttons are very small and slippery.
- Lack of Speakerphone.
- Shiny Black Plastic casing is a magnet for fingerprints.
- Not all Bluetooth Profiles are supported.
- Camera quality is not as good as other phones.