LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Over the past three years Verizon has continually released a new phone in their LG Chocolate series, with the newest one being the Chocolate Touch VX8575. As the name implies, the device features a touchscreen interface, but is also geared to the consumer, looking for a music-centric phone. The Chocolate Touch does not disappoint in that regard, as the device has an attractive and fun music player, FM Radio tuner, and comes with 1GB of internal memory, though you can use microSDHC cards up to 16GB in size. Other music centric devices include the Samsung Trance and Verizon Wireless Razzle, though neither feature a touchscreen.
Included in the retail box is the LG Chocolate Touch phone, 1000mAh battery, two battery covers, combination wall charger/USB cable, and user manual.

Design:

If you recall, the first two LG Chocolate models were sliders and the third had a clamshell design. This time around LG has gone with a full touchscreen design, hence the name “Chocolate Touch”. The entire phone has a shiny mirror finish to it, and there are two battery covers included: black and purple. Both of them continue the mirror finish, but have geometric design patterns with a soft-touch coating. The phone’s overall construction feels solid and should hold up to normal daily use. Since the device is only 0.47” thick, it is one of the thinnest touchscreen phones currently on the market. Because of this and its lightweight design, you can take it almost anywhere, and it can easily be slipped away in your pocket.



You can compare the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Most of the front is taken up by the 3-inch resistive touch-sensitive display, which features a resolution of 240x400 and has 262K color support. It responds well to the touch, but doesn’t appear to be as sensitive as the preproduction unit we tested in September. Also, its resolution isn’t as high as the one used by the Samsung Rogue and LG enV Touch (480x800), which means there is some pixelation with viewing images and text.



Above the screen are the light sensor, which automatically adjusts the display’s backlight level, and the proximity sensor, which turns the display off when it’s next to your face during a call. On the bottom are the odd shaped Send, Back/Voice Command, and End/Power keys. The left side has the volume rocker, microUSB port and speakerphone button, and on the right side is the dedicated lock, music and camera buttons. The 3.2MP camera is on the back and you have to remove the battery cover to access the microSD memory card slot. There is also a 3.5mm headset jack on the top, but a set of wired headphones isn’t included in the box, so you’ll have to hook up your own in order to use the FM Radio.



LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 360 Degrees View:




Software and Features:

The main menu is laid out well and shows 12 icons on a 3x4 grid: My Verizon, messaging, contacts, recent calls, media center, my music, browser, Bing search, email, VZ Navigator, tools, and settings. The only customization for the menus is the choice of two themes, three fonts, and seven clock styles. For wallpapers you can select one of your own or choose a preloaded animation.



Located on the Home Screen is a shortcut arrow, similar to the enV Touch, where pressing on it takes you to the dedicated Shortcuts and My Media screen where you can add icons of commonly used programs, pictures, songs and web bookmarks, but can also drag the icons directly to the Home Screen for one-click access.



There is also a dedicated music tab, which opens up the music player. Files are categorized by All Songs, Playlists, Artists, Genres, and Albums. We are also glad to see that ID3 tags are properly recognized. When playing back a song, the screen shows the cover art in the center, with a progress bar and buttons for rewind, play/pause, and fast-forward below it. On the top there is an icon for Dolby Mobile, where you can select from 5 predetermined equalizer settings, or select “Manual” and you can make your own customized settings. To the right of it is an icon that looks like a drum, which takes you to the Extras menu. The first choice here is Join the Band, which will show a drum set or piano that you can play along with the song, or you can pause the song and play solo. The drum set was fun to use, but the touchscreen piano can be a bit tricky. The Rhythmical Beat option will vibrate the phone based on the tempo and music volume, and the Visual Effects show animations on the background behind the album art. There is also a setting to manually change the album art to any stored picture on the phone or memory card.




Another nice feature is the inclusion of an FM Tuner, where the Chocolate 3 had an FM Transmitter to send music to a nearby radio. In order to use the FM Radio on the Chocolate Touch, you have to plug-in your own set of wired 3.5mm headphones, as the wires are used as the antenna. The screen shows a digital tuner at the top, where you can press the left and right arrow buttons to tune to a strong signal station, or use the manual wheel in the center if you want to try and pick up a weaker station. You can also save your 12 favorite stations as presets. Even though the headphones have to be plugged in to use the FM Radio, you can still play the music through the rear speaker, but not via Bluetooth. There is also a link to Verizon’s Song ID program, which will listen and analyze a song on the radio and show a screen with the song’s information and say if it’s available for download.



The overall music playback quality of both MP3 files and FM Radio was rather good, even though there is only a mono speaker on the back, which means you’ll need to flip the phone over for it to not be muffled. We also like that the music player can multitask, so you can listen to an MP3 song or radio station while doing something else on the phone, such as messaging or web browsing.

The Chocolate Touch comes with a 3.2MP camera, but does not have autofocus or a flash. We took a variety of images and were pleased with the camera, as it does a better job than the preceding Chocolate phones. Outside pictures are crisp with mostly accurate colors; though there is a bit of over exposure in bright areas. Inside images are still problematic, as they look blurry in low-light conditions. Videos can be recorded with a maximum resolution of 320x240, thought they are best viewed on the phone, as playback on a PC reveals their low quality and shows a lot of pixelation.





Since the device comes with a 3” display, we tested the Chocolate Touch to see which video codecs it supports and how well the videos played. We first tried a variety of MP4 videos with H.264 encoding. We were unable to playback the ones with 720x306 and 640x272 resolutions, but the videos with 320x136 and 220x96 resolutions played just fine and didn’t have any dropped frames. Next, we tried to playback MP4 videos with H.263 encoding, but only the audio would be heard. We found this interesting, as most phones support the older H.263 format. Naturally, DivX and XviD video files aren’t even recognized by the Chocolate Touch. Based on our tests, you should be able to encode your own MP4 H.264 videos with a resolution of 320x136 and expect to it play on the phone without a problem.

The Chocolate Touch is also the first in the series to feature an HTML browser, but as we’ve come to discover, it is very limited. When going to a standard web site, such as PhoneArena.com, the browser completely altered the format of the page; displaying it in a single column and having it cut-up into smaller pages. This is known as Optimized View, and is the default setting for the browser. We didn’t care for this, so we turned it off, and in doing so we were able to view web sites in their intended layout. Unfortunately, since the device only supports EV-DO Rev. 0, web sites take longer to load on the Chocolate Touch than they do on Rev. A devices, such as the enV Touch. Also, some images will not load at all, where instead they show an empty square frame. It also didn’t come as any surprise that embedded Flash files were not supported, but we were able to playback videos by going to the mobile YouTube site, though their quality was not great. However, since the Chocolate Touch is designed primarily as a music-centric phone, and not a high-end web browsing device, its limited web capabilities are sufficient for the target audience.



The Chocolate Touch comes with standard features that are found on most phones today, such as text and picture messaging, saving contacts with 999 speed-dial locations, voice commands, calculator, appointment calendar, alarm clock, and world clock. There are also some Verizon services included, such as VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions, VCast Videos and Music, and the ability to download other programs and games.






Performance:

The call quality of the Chocolate Touch was on par with most other Verizon phones, such as the Samsung Rogue and LG enV Touch. Voices sounded clear and natural on our end, with no background noise or distortion, even at high call volumes. People that we called also said out voice sounded clear and natural on their end, through they could tell we were using a cell phone. Signal reception was also quite good, as we’d average 3 bars of 1X and 4 bars of 3G showing in high-coverage areas and we didn’t drop any calls while we used the phone around south Florida.

The included 1000mAh battery is rated to provide up to 5 hours of talk time or 19.5 days of standby time on a full charge. During our testing, we were able to achieve up to 4 hours and 45 minutes of continuous talk time on a full charge.

Conclusion:

With each new model in the Chocolate series, we see continual improvements being made. The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 continues the tradition with an updated music player, 3.2MP camera, HTML web browser, good call quality, and of course the 3” touchscreen. We still wish it were more closely based on the LG BL40, but the Chocolate Touch is defiantly geared more to the music lover. The music player is fun to use and we enjoyed its extra features, such as Join the Band, and the FM Radio. Overall, it is a worth purchase if you coming from earlier Chocolate models, or are looking for a uniquely styled touchscreen device.

LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 Video Review:





Pros

  • Full touchscreen interface
  • Updated music player with FM radio
  • Good call quality and reception
  • Expressive design

Cons

  • HTML web browser is limited
  • Camera lacks autofocus and flash
  • EVDO Rev. 0

PhoneArena Rating:

7.5

User Rating:

7.3
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