The LG VX8600 by Verizon Wireless is considered to be the flip version of the popular Chocolate phone that was introduced this past summer. Both phones look to be in the same family, due to the shiny black plastic, chrome trim, and touch-sensitive music control buttons. The VX8600 features dual color displays, 1.3MP CMOS camera, Bluetooth, music player, and MicroSD card slot. Included in the retail package is the phone, 800mAh battery, charger, and manual.
The major difference between the two is that the Chocolate is a slider phone and the VX8600 is a flip phone. The VX8600's dimensions of 3.89H x 1.93W x 0.58D makes it thinner than the Chocolate's size of 3.80H x 1.88W x 0.69D, and closer to size of the RAZR's 3.86H x 2W, x 0.57D. Not to mention the weight is 3.26oz, compared to 3.53oz on the Chocolate, and 3.49oz on the RAZR. We are also glad to see that the VX8600 sports an internal antenna, something we would have liked to see on the VX8300. The phone fits more comfortably in the hand than the Chocolate and does not feels as bulky when placed in your pants pocket. The flip opens and closes smoothly, but we can slightly hear the plastic parts in the hinge rubbing agents each other.
|VX8500, Jabra BT250, VX8600|
The front flip of the phone houses the 1.3MP camera, external display, and music control buttons. The External display is 65K color TFT 160x128 pixels and is the best external display we've seen on an LG phone since the VX8000 that was introduced in 2005. Due to it being TFT and not OLED like on the VX8300, wallpapers look better with more color, detail, and contrast. There are status icons at the top that show signal strength, battery level, Bluetooth and GPS (if turned on). Located on the right side of the phone is the Camera and Voice Command buttons and MicroSD card slot. Located on the left side is the charger/data port, with the volume up/down buttons located on the flip next to the display. We feel that this is a bad placement for the volume buttons. When the phone is open and up at your ear, it would be easier to access the volume buttons if they were located on the side next to the keypad instead of the side next to the display. This was one improvement that Motorola made between the RAZR and KRZR.
Opening the phone will reveal the 262K color 220x176 pixel Internal display. Despite its large size, we were disappointed that LG chose not to use the same high quality 320X240 QVGA display that is in the Chocolate. Even though this phone's display is not QVGA, it does have excellent color and contrast when viewing pictures, but they will look slightly pixilated. Below the display is the keypad, which is all black with white lettering and white backlight. The keypad has only one thing going for it, the buttons are larger and spaced out better than on the Chocolate. However, the keypad is entirely flat and smooth with no texture to feel what button you are pressing. This makes trying to dial a number without looking at the keypad next to impossible and makes TXT messaging more difficult. At the top of the keypad is the standard 5-way navigational buttons that provide access to various menu options, including Mobile Web, Vcast, Get it Now, and the Calendar. Even though there is no tactile feel on the keypad, we do prefer it over the tiny and slippery keypad that is on the Chocolate.