LG KG800 European Chocolate Review


If you want to read our in-depth review of the American Chocolate - the LG VX8500, please click here.  

With the Chocolate series, LG starts the manufacturing of stylish phones that rely mainly on design and are mainly directed towards the people looking for something different, rather than the people who need a multi-functional device. The choice of the slider form factor is not random, since it delivers both a small size and a WOW effect. One of the interesting innovations with the Chocolate is the keypad having skin touch activation – a new technology where pressing is not applicable and therefore cannot be done with a pen for example.

Being a high class phone, it arrives with a very decent number of accessories. Some of the interesting ones are the pouch (which can be used to clean the phone) and a pendant with the LG logo on it (which can be hooked to the phone). Another piece of accessory is the cable for a PC connection (the phone is being recognized as a mass storage device) as well as a disk with synchronization software on it. A handy accessory is the remote control for the music player, which ends in a 3.5 mm standard headphones jack. Headphones are also included in the set. Naturally there are user manuals for the phone and a charger for the battery.

The Chocolate is a relatively small slider phone with a polished black surface and metal lining between the upper and the lower parts of the slider and around the OK button on the upper part. The buttons are not raised and when the phone is closed they are not illuminated and therefore not noticeable, having a completely black and smooth surface. The phone is hardly felt in the pocket, and despite its edgy form it handles comfortably, and opening it with one hand is a real pleasure, because of the supporting slider mechanism. The opening of the phone also unlocks the keypad. The making is exceptionally precise and is pleasing to the eye because of the used materials. The entire phone is solid and produces no irritating noises during usage. When opened, during normal usage there is no unpleasant movement of the slider unless you want to close it, which is as easy as opening it. Sadly the surface is “fingertip friendly” and you can hardly keep it clean. That becomes quite obvious when the phone is reflecting bright light, but there is no way not to touch it since you have to open the slider.

The display is a TFT unit with a relatively good resolution (176õ220) and 262 thousand colors. Displays with similar resolution and colors are used in Motorola L7, V3i and Sony Ericsson W810. The physical size of the display is small, but the picture is good - saturated colors with very good contrast. It would have been nice to have in a phone of this class some ultra bright and large QVGA display, so that it can outstand the competition. Since it is a TFT, it is gray when not in use, therefore it contrasts from the otherwise black phone – design wise it would have looked much better if it was from the OLED type, which conceals when unused (that screen type is used with the Samsung SPH-A640). In direct sunlight, the display is very hard to read, since it has some unpleasant reflections on it and fingerprints as well, which tend to stick to it and wiping them off is a complicated task.

The buttons of the upper slider are really interesting and unique. They are well illuminated in red and seen well in the dark, and when not lit are almost invisible on the black surface. Because they are not raised and unlike the RAZR and the SLVR pushing is not necessary – the buttons work of the flowing electricity from ones fingers, which is somewhat confusing since they do not react mechanically at all. 

The navigation buttons (4 directions) are around the OK button, which is rounded by a metal stripe, but that didn't help our misusage at times, since we kept pressing the OK button instead of one of the navigation buttons. Because of the type of the buttons, when pressing and holding a certain button, the reaction is slow – for example if you wanted to delete lots of text at once and you pressed and held the C button, you would have to wait a while. When on a call those buttons turn off so that the touch of your face doesn't activate them. To activate them you need to press the MP3 player button and then use the menu.

The bottom slider holds a standard numeric keypad for 0 through 9, *, # and the side buttons. On the keypad the buttons are aligned in a 3x4 grid being in different shades: the odd digits and the zero are black and glossy, while the even ones and the two symbols lighter gray shaded surface. The alignment reminds us of a chess board, but it looks like blocks of chocolate as well, just like the name of the phone itself. The buttons are all easy to press despite their different shades, they all have good response and without almost any grove, where the chance of misusage is minimal. We tested it by opening it and dialing an unknown number a few times.

On the left side there are volume buttons. They can activate the navigation buttons so that the phone can be used without having to open it. On the right side there is a multimedia button (camera/mp3) and the red headphone. All four buttons are small, but well positioned and comfortable to use. On the right side there is a connector for the charger/usb cable/headset as well, which is covered by a rubber top.


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The Home Screen is standard and is showing the time, battery, signal power, as well as small icons indicating different system information such as active profile or Bluetooth. The name of the operator can easily be hidden and you can add a line with a text of your own. Pressing each of the direction keys acts as a shortcut. Information that shows what each of them does can be brought to the home screen as icons, but they are pretty poorly implemented, just like the line with your own text.


The main menu consists of icons arranged in 3x3; they expand when pointed, but they are not animated and it would have been better if the menu was like the one used in the LG Fusic for example. Each icon has a keypad shortcut assigned (it is indicated with a small number). When an option is accessed, the submenu is visualized as a list, and the options have keypad shortcuts again. The title and nine small tabs can be seen in the upper part of each submenu, and the currently selected one is designated. They correspond to the options in the main menu, hence you can access the different menus by using the right and left direction keys.

You do not have the option to personalize the phone with themes but you can choose two colors for the menu – black and grey. Wallpapers can be set using the ones stored by default in the phone, as well as different pictures taken with the camera, transferred from another phone or PC, while the size of the files is restricted as they should not be more than 100KB.

An interesting option is to “color” the number when entering one through the keypad; the numbers are black by default, but when this option is activated, each digit of the number is visualized in different color so that they can be easily distinguished.


The phone book has a capacity of 1000 contacts, while each of them can store a couple of numbers and an e-mail address. The additional fields are Caller Group and Picture ID and the latter is used with only images of 72x72 pixels and .bmp extension. The camera is capable of taking such pictures but you first have to set the resolution. Personal ringtones to different contacts cannot be set as you can do this only for whole groups.
The phone book displays the contacts as a list while the number of only the currently selected entry is shown. There is an icon to the left of the name, indicating which group the contact belongs to.


PIM functionality is divided into two menus – Tools and Organizer – we think these two should be combined in one, but LG have decided to separate them. The Tools menu includes Alarms, Calculator, World Clock and Converter. There is a capability of setting up to five alarms to be activated at different time and each of them can be assigned a name; more than one alarm can be used simultaneously. The World Clock shows a map of the world and you can move form one place to another by using the direction keys. The Converter has a lot of capabilities and we found the tables for Clothes and Shoes conversion especially interesting and convenient. The Organizer includes Calendar and Memos, while the latter are just notes which cannot be assigned alarms to. The Calendar is a standard one and it's very easy to add a To-Do item by only clicking a few times. This menu also contains Contacts which are not made as a separate option as with most other phones. You can only access it by pressing the down direction when in the home screen.

You can record voice from the Multimedia menu, but there is restriction of 20 seconds. There's no logical explanation for this, and we think it very impractical and see no point in using it.  

The internal memory of the phone is 128MB; however, it's a pity there is not slot for expanding it with cards and this is going to turn into a problem if you want to use your phone as a music player. It certainly cannot replace your iPOD.

Messaging is similar to any other phone. You can compose SMS and MMS, T9 is used for entering the text and writing with it is quite quick. There is a capability for Templates, but there are no such saved by default – you have to create them by yourself. The size of files attached to a MMS can be a maximum of 100KB.

During the test we connected the Chocolate with a Logitech Mobile Traveller headset via Bluetooth without any trouble. Access the menu Settings – Connectivity – Bluetooth, where name and visibility of the phone are chosen.

Transferring pictures via Bluetooth is an issue. First, you cannot send more than one at a time; second, on each transfer the phone searches for Bluetooth device, instead of automatically detecting the previously used. This is really inconvenient if you want to exchange more photos via Bluetooth. 

The sales package includes a cable for connection with a PC; for Windows XP it is initiated without the need of installing any software. The phone is recognized as a Mass Storage device and transferring to it is done right away. We transferred 83MB for 3 minutes and 15 seconds, which is approximately 430 KB/s – neither too fast, nor too slow. 
The package also contains a CD with software for synchronizing the phone with a PC. Both the phone book and the organizer can be sent.

Additional software provides a possibility for uploading sounds and pictures to the phone and you have a wide choice provided – melodies in the form of sounds for ringtones, classics and LG melodies; images of various famous places, beautiful sceneries, etc. Overall, a very good collection.


There is nothing unusual about the camera. It is situated on the back of the upper slider and can only be used when the phone is opened, which prevents you from causing any damage to it while carrying the phone in your pocket. The resolution is 1.3 megapixels and there is a LED flash, which is not that powerful. 

It can be started from the Multimedia menu or by pressing the button on the right side – it takes about three seconds to launch. The interface is quite inconvenient. All its options are accessed by the left soft key and are displayed as small icons, and it's hard to guess what their exact purpose is; they are arranged in a row and to access any of them you have to scroll horizontally which is very uncomfortable and is done very slowly. The color effects and the night mode can be considered as extras.     

The quality of the pictures is as usual for a 1.3-megapixel camera but it's not amazing, as it should be for such a phone. When there's not enough light the pictures quality is bad, but the ones taken indoors and good light look pretty good, even when they're taken from close range. Picture colors look real enough.  

The images saved on the phone are viewed in full screen, and only the name of the file and the two soft keys are displayed. The pictures can also be viewed with thumbnails.  


LG Chocolate has a music player – or at least something that pretends to be one.
We placed a folder with music in MP3 format in the Music folder of the phone – we found out that the player of the phone does not detect them. The files must be copied directly into the Music folder, without any subfolders, which is inconvenient and confusing because you cannot sort them. After we did this we started the player – at first we were impressed by the beautiful graphic equalizer, but after we pause the song, we noticed that it is does not reflect music, it's just put there to make player look more “stylish”. There are three different visualizations for the graphic equalizer.
In fact, real equalizers can be run and they reflect the music. But there is point in using them only when you're with earphones and the difference could be heard; we would recommend the Default setting.

The box of the phone also includes headphones with 3.5mm jack and an adaptor from the phone's port to 3.5mm. The adaptor ends with a remote control which allows moving to next/prev sound, pause and volume adjustment. The included headphone are not that bad and could be of use; having in mind the small amount of memory and the limited capabilities of the phone's music player, we see no point in replacing them with more expensive ones.

The MP3 player does not support sorting the files by artist, album or genre. This option was present in phones like Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which we previously tested. It's also standard in iPOD for easier navigation through your music. There is also no capability for Playlist which further highlights that the phone is not planned as a music player, and the one included is only supposed to be rarely used. It can be used with the phone closed but not at background when going through other functions. On an incoming call the player stops (not pauses) and after finishing your conversation the song starts from the beginning.  

The Java applications are located in the My Stuff menu. When you buy the phone, there's only one game, Sudoku, but others can be added too. Loading the Sudoku took a little while. It's logic game, not an arcade one.


The phone's response was good enough and there were no delays while surfing through the menus – on key press reacts instantly. Loading the camera and JAVA applications takes longer than the usual time and it's annoying you have to wait. Using the camera as a whole is a bit slow.

The sound volume is not high – neither when it rings, nor during a conversation. In fact the same speaker is used in both cases – the one on the front. The lower frequencies are very badly reproduced and listening to the music with is not justified. The vibration is strong enough and reduces the possibility of missing a call. The sound quality during conversation is good but there's a problem when in noisy environments because of the week volume.


Overall the Chocolate achieves its aim of being a fashion phone – it grabs the attention with the stylish combination of black and red, with a modern slider design, well-made and featuring a comfortable keypad. It's a pity that functionality suffers because of all the style – the display is almost impossible to use in bright light, the upper keypad is very inconvenient and mistakes are easily made, the music player is not what it should be and even the phone book is not good enough as it lacks basic capabilities like personal ringtone.

As always, if you are interested in becoming part of our review team, drop me an email at: kidoborg@phonearena.com


  • Good implementation and design.
  • Shipping Box Content.
  • Logically structured menu with easy to navigation through shortcuts.
  • Solid built


  • Problems with navigation – the direction keys and the OK key are easily pressed in error which leads to mistakes.
  • The display cannot be read in bright light.
  • No slot for memory card.
  • The Music player has very little capabilities and a fake graphic equalizer.

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