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LG Chocolate 3 (vx8560) Review

31 Aug

My cell phone contract expired a few weeks ago and I decided to stick with Verizon as my cell phone carrier. I find that in most areas that I’ve been in, the reception is excellent. The two areas where I spend most of my time, D.C. Metro Area and University Park, PA are well covered by Verizon’s network. Upon doing research on their decently large selection of cell phones, I decided on the new LG Chocolate 3. All reviews were positive, and I didn’t mind paying a little extra money for a better cell phone. In the past, I have just gotten the free cell phone they offer with a new, two year contract and it has proven to be more trouble than it is worth.

It turns out that my choice proved to be the correct one, as the Chocolate 3 is one of the best phones I have ever used. Having sold Cingular, T Mobile and AT&T phones at a large consumer electronics store in the past, I have seen a ton of phones. This phone packs in the right features mixed with an attractive body.

Click “more” to read the pros and cons of the device.

What I Like

  1. The size of the phone is perfect. It feels good closed and is small enough to fit in a pocket. When open, it feels really thin.
  2. Being the first Chocolate phone that is not a slider phone definitely scores points in my book. I didn’t care for the first two variants of the Chocolate, but this form factor works fantastically.
  3. The materials of the phone consist of plastic and the phone as a whole feels solidly built. A nice rubberized battery door gives the user a firm grip when speaking on the phone.
  4. The 3.5 mm headphone jack makes this phone a true music phone. No adapters are required to use a normal set of headphones which is something most “music” phones require you to have.
  5. I’m used to the 1.3 MP camera found on most phones and figured another 0.7 MP wouldn’t make a difference. The 2.0 megapixel camera is far and away the best camera I have ever used on a normal cellphone. When set on the highest resolution and transferred to my computer via Bluetooth, I can read size 12 text on a normal size sheet of paper when the picture includes the entire page.
  6. The built in music player is decent, much better than I expected it to be.
  7. The phone has around 1GB of built in storage. I am able to fit 151 songs on the phone with a little space left over. Additionally, the phone supports Micro SD cards up to 8GB in size. With a $30, 8GB Micro SD card, you can make the phone into a fully functional audio player that can compete with the iPods of the world.
  8. Battery life is phenomenal. My old phone would crap out halfway through the day. I charge the Chocolate 3 about every 3 days.
  9. Call quality is beyond awesome. People I talk to say it sounds like a landline. When listening to someone on the other end of the call, they come through loud and clear as a bell.
  10. Some of you may know about the general crappiness of Verizon’s user interfaces and menus designs in their phones. This is the first phone I have seen that takes that awful, gouge your eyes out kind of design and makes it look slick.
  11. Both the internal and external screen are ridiculously sharp looking. It is a little hard to see in direct sunlight, but it is good enough.
  12. You can access text messages, music, calendar, photos and the camera via the scroll wheel on the front of the phone whilst it is closed. This is very handy to check events and text messages on the fly.

What I Don’t Like

  1. To access the control wheel on the front of the phone or any external buttons while the phone is closed, you have to hit an unlock button on the side of the phone. Sure, this feature prevents buttons from being clicked, but occasionally I just want to see what time it is without having to fool with anything.
  2. Although it is a gimmicky feature, the FM Transmitter that allows you to play music from your phone on a nearby radio is worse than I expected it to be. Even if you find a radio frequency that is devoid of programming, it still does not sound very good.
  3. The front of the phone scratches pretty easily. I now carry my keys in my other pocket to prevent the phone from being scratched so much that I can’t read the external screen.

Conclusions

The LG Chocolate 3 is a winner in my book. The set of great features coupled with relatively few drawbacks makes it a very attractive buy. If I were asked to compare the LG Dare, the new touchscreen phone from Verizon to the vx8560, I would probably mention that the only thing that sets them apart is the touchscreen technology. They offer similar features, but since the Chocolate is touchscreenless, it costs less. I picked the vx8560 over the LG Dare mostly because the Dare is LG’s first attempt to put something out that can compete with the iPhone. I tend to stay away from products that are brand new as opposed to products that are in their second or third generations. It is probably safe to say that the next phone I get will be completely touch oriented, but I don’t quite trust it yet to be my main line of communication with the world.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below.

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2 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2008 in Product/Service Review

 

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2 responses to “LG Chocolate 3 (vx8560) Review

  1. CC

    October 12, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I just got my new Chocolate yesterday and so far I’m pretty pleased. The sound quality is wonderful. Thank you for your review. I don’t like pressing the button on the side of the phone to see what time it is either, kinda annoying b/c I always check my phone for the time. So far that is the only thing I don’t like. This review makes me feel good about my purchase.

     
  2. Gary Balochi

    April 17, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Love my vx8560 chocolate….. the best phone I’ve had ever….. I liked it so much that I guess subconsciously I wanted it just like new…. so I washed it in the washing machine….. CRAP!…… Put it in a bag with rice after 5 mins in the oven at 200 degrees. Next morning it powered up and is working….. only problem is the camera won’t capture and the picture is washed out, (hey that’s funny, washed out) anyway, of course I didn’t get insurance…. So, now on the hunt for a used vx8560 without water damage.

     

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