LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone
LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone has an unconventional design, with a widescreen display
- Excellent design and build quality, 4in widescreen display, S-Class 3D interface is visually appealing, on-screen keyboard is intuitive
- UI isn't intuitive in some areas, odd design poses some navigation difficulties, unconventional display not ideal for all content
LG's New Chocolate (BL40) boasts excellent build quality and a flashy, if unconventional, design. The interface does have its issues and the oddly-shaped design does take a while to grasp, but it has plenty of features.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
LG's latest Chocolate mobile phone is one of the oddest-looking handsets we've ever seen. Tall and thin, the LG New Chocolate (BL40) resembles an older-style chocolate bar — perhaps the Wonka Bars from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Though there is no golden ticket here, unwrapping the Chocolate BL40 is a largely pleasant experience, though it is an unconventional phone.
The most striking feature of the LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone is its design. It has an ultra-wide 4in screen with an aspect ratio of 21:9, so it's very long and thin. Despite the odd design, we found the LG New Chocolate (BL40) sat comfortably in our pocket, though it can be a stretch navigating the user interface at times.
The LG New Chocolate mobile phone has a superb combination of build quality and design. LG has produced some questionable handsets in the past, but the LG New Chocolate (BL40) is very impressive. It uses a combination of piano black plastic, sleek chrome edging and an etched red top and bottom. The sleek black finish and large display attracts plenty of fingerprints but the screen looks superb — it's bright and clear, has excellent viewing angles and is responsive to touch. Further, the entire phone feels solid and extremely well built.
The New Chocolate mobile phone runs LG's proprietary S-Class 3D user interface. It has four home screens that you can swipe through, offering access to shortcuts, widgets, contacts and multimedia. The graphics are rich, colourful and engaging and combined with the excellent display make the Chocolate BL40 a visual delight. We also loved the drop-down status bar — when you tap the status bar at the top of the screen, a menu allows you quickly turn Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the alarm on and off, jump straight to the music player or the calendar and change the sound profiles.
It's not all about looks, though, and the S-Class UI isn't as intuitive as it should be. The included widgets aren’t customisable and aside from the clock and calendar, aren't that useful. Both the contacts and multimedia menus are inspired by a rolodex. Contacts are displayed in a half-circle, rotating format (though you can also choose a more traditional row format); music, images and videos are accessible from the multimedia menu. We liked the fact that simply tapping a song from the list automatically plays it, but we found scrolling through items using this method a little sluggish.
The LG New Chocolate's phonebook offers one-touch access to all contact details, including being able to text message, video call and e-mail contacts from a single screen. Though scrolling isn’t terrible, it doesn’t feel smooth and often appears jerky on the screen; it's mostly evident when you reach the end of a list. We also found moving back a screen in many menus requires a real stretch of your thumb due to the odd shape of the phone.
The New Chocolate's wide screen is excellent for watching video content, but it's rather unusual when browsing the web, viewing photos or using the included Google Maps application. The skinny screen often results in extra scrolling.
The on-screen keyboard is surprisingly comfortable to use. The nature of the hardware design and the positioning of the on-screen keys means it's easy to hold with one or two hands. Rotating the New Chocolate BL40 into landscape mode offers a full QWERTY keyboard, but we were able to type faster using the regular keypad with T9 predictive text input. The accelerometer is a little slow to activate and using the full QWERTY keyboard resulted in some minor keystroke lag.
The LG New Chocolate (BL40) has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. It also offers built-in GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it's not without features. The camera also doubles as a video recorder that can record at 30fps with a resolution of 640x480. The camera and video recorder are average for a mobile phone — it's hard to keep the New Chocolate still when taking a photo, and the photos we took had excessive noise and questionable colour reproduction.
The New Chocolate is quite a good multimedia phone thanks to its 3.5mm headphone jack. A built-in FM transmitter is great for use in the car or the home, while the built-in speakers are quite loud, even outdoors. Google Maps, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter applications are all included and accessible from the applications menu.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 2 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The busiest, biggest and best Samsung phablet
- 4 Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere review: Disappointing
- 5 Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Oracle hopes to better target online advertising with Datalogix acquisition
- ChatOn closure highlights Samsung's app, services woes
- Exploits for dangerous network time protocol vulnerabilities can compromise systems
- Google Android One phones to sell in three more Asian countries
- Tor warns of possible disruption of network through server seizures
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.