The LG Chocolate phone took over the Razr this year as the phone to be seen with, from Southhampton to Solihull. It was loved for its smooth finish, touch sensitive buttons, and of course the massive marketing campaign LG put into it.
They followed up on this by launching the white and the pink version, and have announced a premium edition with gold and platinum trimming. But essentially, they’re all the LG Chocolate.
Until now. The LG KG810 is a chocolate phone trapped in a clamshell boy. The touch sensitive buttons are still there, although now they only work the MP3 controls. Not launched yet, it’s currently doing the rounds in Asia.
The KG810, or chocolate clamshell as it shall eternally be known, is aimed at a market that doesn’t want to spend ages figuring out how their phone works, where the shortcuts are, or how to configure their own personalised settings. Some would argue that we’re all that market, but ho hum. LG clearly know that, since their keypad may not be the most attractive around, but does make all the basic functions easily accessible. There’s a shortcut key for switching it to silent, your inbox, contacts, camera and MP3 player, as well as two soft keys and a favourites button you can configure to show your most used functions. Phew. In fact, there are many times when you’ll find yourself having to go into the main menu.
There are also lots of features you’d expect on a phone like this: the numbers appear in different colours as you enter a phone number. There are loads of ringtones to choose from, and thankfully at least one that sounds like an actual phone, for us more reserved types.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: I don’t like the design of this phone. Where the Chocolate was innovative, this is tired. Where it had excitement, this invokes shrugging of the shoulders and an ill-concealed grunt. No doubt not everyone will feel this way, but there’s something about the thickness and the silver surround which doesn’t work. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to the Motorola Razr maxx I took a look at here, which comes with HSDPA and a 2 megapixel camera for a similar weight and design.
There’s also the seemingly insurmountable problem of actually touching the phone. Whilst the shiny surface is polished and lovely, it cries out to be stroked and there in lies the problem. It’s possible that I have bizarre amounts of finger grease, but I suspect the fingerprints I’ve left on it would happen to anyone.
The other selling point, the touch sensitive controls, are only relevant to the MP3 functionality. Since they only work whilst the music is on, you still have to open the phone to do anything, including turning the MP3 player on. Incidentally, whilst writing that I realized just how lazy I’ve become, that I actually object to opening up the phone to use it.
The problem I came up against most with this phone was the battery life. It requires charging every couple of days, and even then, it’s touch and go whether you’d make it home before it concked out. However, having done a bit of digging I did find an power save mode, which dims al the screens, which could eak it out for a further day.
Another really irritating feature is the alarm. I’m sure if anyone ever looked into it they’d find that 123% of people used their phone as an alarm, making this a function it is worth getting right. Unfortunately, LG have neglected to put a snooze button on this one. Yes, I’m lazy. Yes, I love my bed more than is healthy. But no snooze button? Why? Why would they do that?
Display: Internal(262,000 colour, TFT type, 176×220 size) External(65,000 colour, TFT type, 96×96 size
Dimensions: 92 x 47 x 14.6
Standby time: Up to 200hrs
Band (in MHZ): >900 / 1800 / 1900 (Tri-band)
WAP browser: 2.0
Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, Email
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB data kit
Accessories: Travel adapter, Strap, Stereo headphones and inline remote/Handsfree kit, USB data kit, Pouch
In our opinion
You only have to look at the balance of the good and the bad to know that I didn’t like the phone. And whilst some of it is clearly subjective, such as the design, a lot of it seem like pretty obvious mistakes. The alarm for instance. But, if it’s your cup of tea, you can get it for £285 from Expansys. It’s not launched on contract yet, but if it’s anything like its predecessor, it’ll be free with contracts of about £30 a month.