Fareed's LG VX-8500-Chocolate review

Fareed Mahdi
Cell Phone Editor
| September 11, 2006

LG VX8500 "Chocolate" assorted colors

The LG chocolate phone was made and released for Valentines Day, hence the name Chocolate phone. The phone got very famous quite fast because of the design and futuristic look. Although the LG chocolate phone is more famous, the Samsung E900 is a direct competitor, but which is better for you? Even though the phone is called chocolate, it sure doesn't taste like it!!   
The LG chocolate is a slider phone and when open it reveals the keypad. The best part of the phone is the touch sensitive buttons. When the phone is on standby the lights of the buttons are off so you cannot see them. When lit they have a red backlight which looks cool, but also very annoying at times!!
Sometimes when you are going through the menu you accidentally press the wrong button because the side of your finger brushed the touch sensitive button. Even more annoying, the touch sensitive buttons freeze at times and you have to pull out the battery to fix the issue. This happened to me once so far but I have heard of others having the same issue. Overall the design of the phone is cool and many people prefer looks over functions. 

A new version of the chocolate phone has been released too. The new version has the exact same specs but is in pearl white color. The price is a little more than the original chocolate phone but is worth the extra buck.  


LG VX8500 ChocolateThe LG Chocolate has all the basic features you need in a phone. The phone has all the PIM functions like: calendar, tasks, notes, calculator, voice recorder, stop watch and alarm clock etc. The phone also comes with memos program and a small application called unit converter. The phone also has all the normal text messaging capabilities built in.  

The LG Chocolate phone has a lot of advanced features as well. The camera is 1.3 mega-pixel which is hidden underneath the slider so it does not get damaged when it's not in use. The Bluetooth is version 1.2 and does not support stereo over Bluetooth. The most advanced feature on the C hocolate phone is the music player. The phone plays MP3,ACC, MP4 audio and WMA formats and has a limited music interface. In the music player you cannot make your own play-lists, there are only 5 levels of volume and you cannot arrange the music by artists names or song titles. Although the speaker is great for listening to music and goes fairly loud, the phone is missing out on speakerphone functionality. The LG Chocolate does not feature a built in Radio.  

Display & Audio

LG VX 8500 RedThe display on the Chocolate phone is very decent. The display is 176x 220 pixels and is capable of displaying 256k colors. When you take pictures on the phone the viewfinder does not display them properly on the phone display. It seems that when you save the picture or later view it on the computer it seems wider than it did in the viewfinder. Overall he display does a fine job in displaying various colors. 

Although the Chocolate phone is meant to be an mp3 phone, it does lack some key features. In my opinion the most annoying part is that the when you are listening to music and receive a call the music does not resume after the call is ended, instead the song starts from the beginning. Another annoyance is that you can not multitask while listening to music. When you are in the music player you can not exit without the music still playing. The Chocolate phone does not have stereo over Bluetooth built in, but should have in order to make a better music phone. The Chocolate phone also does not have expandable memory, so you can not load up songs via expandable memory. 

Entertainment, Internet, Storage,Conncetivity

LG VX8500 GreenThe LG Chocolate phone has a 1.3 mega pixel camera with flash. The flash consists of an LED and does the job. If the flash isn't enough, you can also put the camera in night mode which often helps take better pictures. The camera also has a 4x digital zoom but oddly you cannot zoom in when the pictures are set to maximum resolution. In my opinion the camera program is very slow and takes a while loading up. Also since the camera is slow, when you take a picture of something it takes a couple of seconds to process. By the time the picture is taken, it is of something else. The Chocolate phone also comes preinstalled with 1 game and that is Sudoku. You can also put many other games onto the phone that are made with JAVA. 

The internet on the chocolate phone is very simple. The browser only supports some basic HTML pages but not all. The browser is regular WAP and offers nothing special. This phone does not offer EDGE either. 
In my opinion LG should have put newer browser technology in this phone because more and more people use internet on their phone, and this is just to slow. The Chocolate phone only supports 32 to 48 kbps.  

The Chocolate phone has 128 Mb built in for music, pictures and videos. In my opinion, this phone was supposed to be a music phone and there is no where near enough memory for people to enjoy their music collection. Also another downside is that there is no expandable memory either. For people who like the design of the chocolate phone but do not like the idea of being limited to 128Mb, the Samsung e900 is also a great choice. The Samsung e900 has 80 Mb of built in memory but also supports a micro SD card for expandable memory, 2Gb micro SD have just been released by Sandisk.    

The Chocolate offers Bluetooth version 1.2 for sending/receiving files and connecting to your Bluetooth headset. The chocolate also has WAP 2.0 and a XHTML browser. The phone however does not have infrared, 3G or EDGE. Since the Chocolate phone does not support EDGE it may be very slow for some when surfing the net. The Samsung e900 has built in EDGE and supports a faster way to stay connected to the net. With EDGE on the e900 you can surf the net with speeds up to 237 KBPS while the chocolate phone only 48 KBPS. 

Construction & Conclusion

The Chocolate phone is very durable in my opinion. The phone easily slides open when pushed from the bottom and the slider is excellently implemented. The phone's design was very well thought of and very high quality. Just by feeling the phone in your hand you can tell that the phone is high quality because it feels very smooth with rounded edges.    
LG VX8500 red One cool feature I liked about this phone was that when you plug it into your computer the phone goes into mass storage drive like a USB key. You can just drag over which ever files you want. Another cool thing is that you can put files that the phone does not support and upload it to another computer, so the phone works as a USB key also!! The downside to this feature is that when the phone is in mass storage drive and some one calls, the call automatically gets dropped.

The Battery life of the chocolate phone is half decent. There are a lot of factors that come into play but overall the battery life could have been a lot better. The total talk time on one charge is around 5 to 6 hours, but battery life totally depends on how much you use the phone and what features you use.

The Chocolate phone is for people who demand a good looking phone and do not really care about all the extra features. For some this phone would be ideal while for others it would not. Although the phone has all the basic features, it does lack a good user interface. For people who like the design but demand more features and especially more memory I would recommend the Samsung e900. The Samsung e900 has a 2 mega pixel camera, expandable memory via micro SD, Stereo over Bluetooth and a lot better user interface.

In conclusion the LG Chocolate phone is a beautiful looking phone and has all the basic features you want in a phone. Some people do not care about all the extra stuff because they will never use the extra functions. Many people just want a simple phone that is stylish to make and receive calls, and in that case this is the phone to get. The LG Chocolate now comes in pearl white too, which in my opinion looks a lot better than the original black, but also cost more too. Many people also do not have the option of getting the e900 because they are with a CDMA service provider like Verizon. If you are an existing Verizon customer you can get the Chocolate phone for only 49.99 when renewing your contract for 2 years or if you are a new customer the phone is only 149.99 with 2 year contract. This is a great bargain because the phone retails for around 350 ? 400 dollars.