What's hot: Good music features, including Dolby Mobile.
What's not: Music lacks clarity.
Reviewed November 15, 2009 by Tong Zhang, Senoir Editor
While the revolutionary LG Chocolate BL40 Black Series is still touring the fashion circuit, Verizon did its annual LG Chocolate update with the LG Chocolate Touch (LG-VX8575). The LG Chocolate Touch for Verizon has a 3" touch screen with 400 x 240 resolution, a 3.2 megapixel camera, a built-in GPS with VZ Navigator support, Bluetooth with A2DP, V CAST Music and V CAST Video capabilities, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm stereo audio jack. From the hardware specs and features standpoint, the LG Chocolate Touch bears more similarity to the LG Dare than to the last generation LG Chocolate 3. LG Chocolate 3 users seeking an update will find a slim and affordable touch screen music phone, a camera upgrade and stronger audio with built-in Dolby Mobile technology in the LG Chocolate Touch. If you are looking to join the LG Chocolate BL40 revolution, come back next year (maybe).
The LG Chocolate Touch is a digital CDMA phone with EVDO Rev. 0 support. It's available exclusively from Verizon in the US. The phone comes with two back covers, one in black and one in purple.
The LG Chocolate Touch is a very slim phone at 4.30 x 2.20 x 0.47 inches. It feels hefty in hand and looks well built. The 3" display dominates the front with the call send and end hardware buttons and the cancel/voice recorder button below the screen. We don't dig the plastic cover plate that frames the display as it doesn't match the shiny chrome edges and the stylish modern abstract chrome and black or purple soft touch back cover. The 3" resistive touch screen isn't terribly bright either and the phone doesn't offer brightness settings. The display looks decent indoors with good color saturation but looks washed out outdoors. The touch screen has both haptic feedback and audio feedback for screen touches, and it feels reasonably responsive for touch controls. The phone has an accelerometer and its on screen keyboard works in both portrait (T9 style) and landscape (QWERTY style) modes. The LG Chocolate Touch has a proximity sensor that reacts quickly to the phone's position relative to your face.
There are plenty of side buttons including volume controls, camera launcher, music button, speakerphone button and thank goodness a screen lock button. The LG Chocolate Touch has a 3.5mm audio jack on top and a microSD card slot under the battery door. The phone doesn't require you to take out the battery to access the storage card.
Phone, Web and Messaging
The LG Chocolate gets good signal strength in well-covered areas and voice is loud and reasonably clear. The phone loses signal and drops calls in spotty coverage areas especially inside large buildings. The touch screen has an easy to use on-screen dialer that includes the number keys and touch buttons for voice dialing, recent calls and contacts. Voice command works well for voice dialing and the speakerphone is loud during calls. The contacts database can store 1000 entries and additional tools include Calculator, EZ Tip Calculator, Calendar, Alarm Clock, Stopwatch, World Clock, Notepad and Drawing Pad. Verizon offers ringtones, games and other media downloads for the LG Chocolate Touch.
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The LG Chocolate Touch has a touch interface that includes five shortcut buttons on the bottom of the screen and side bookmark touch buttons to launch music and customizable home screens. You can add applications and media content to two home screens which have good sized icons for finger touch control. The LG also comes with the full HTML Polaris v6.2 web browser that's customized for the touch screen. Web pages load at a decent speed even though it has EVDO Rev. 0, and the web browser supports the accelerometer and landscape on-screen QWERTY keyboard. Mobile email and mobile messaging are onboard, and the social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are integrated into the messaging application. You can add updates to your social network pages (including uploading pictures), check POP email and send SMS and MMS all in one messaging application.
Music and Video
Like the previous LG Chocolate phones, the LG Chocolate Touch is a good music phone, though it doesn't stand out as the best music phone in Verizon's feature phone line up. The LG Chocolate Touch works with Verizon's V CAST music store that allows you to buy tracks over the air as well as download to PC via Rhapsody. The phone has a gig of internal storage space for music and a microSD card slot that supports high capacity cards. It comes with a USB syncing cable for syncing music from a PC. The phone has a music player that can play MP3, WMA and unprotected AAC and AAC+ music files. If you have ripped music in iTunes or in Windows Media Player, you can play those tunes on the LG Chocolate Touch.
The LG Chocolate Touch has Dolby Mobile technology with an EQ tool for music playback. The audio quality via the built-in speakerphone is loud and reasonably full. The Samsung Trance with Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower still sounds fuller than the LG Chocolate Touch. Audio via the 3.5mm stereo out jack sounds more powerful compared to the phone's speaker. We tested several wired headsets with the LG Chocolate Touch, and found the bass powerful and volume loud, but the sound lacked clarity. If you mostly play rock songs you will like the powerful bass. But if you play classical tracks or acoustic instrumentals, the lack of clarity is disappointing. We also tested the LG Chocolate Touch with Bluetooth stereo headsets, and the results were similar to our experience with wired headsets.
The LG Chocolate Touch also works with V CAST Video, Verizon's on-demand video streaming service. The LG Chocolate Touch can play videos in either portrait or landscape mode, though in portrait mode the video window is very small. When playing full screen in landscape mode there is also blockiness in many shows including full-length TV episodes, even in areas with 3-4 (full) bars of EVDO.
The LG Chocolate Touch has a built-in GPS that works well with Verizon's VZ Navigator. The phone gets GPS fixes quickly and locations are mostly accurate. Navigation is also speedy with real time re-routing and accurate traffic info. The phone displays maps in landscape mode and the audio guidance for turn-by-turn directions is loud via phone's speaker. VZ Navigator isn't free, but it does offer additional services including search POIs, sharing locations and more.
The LG Chocolate Touch has a 3.2 megapixel camera with fixed focus lens that takes good pictures. The camera phone can take still images in 5 resolutions and offers white balance, color effects and an image editor. The LG also has a self-timer and different shooting modes. Still images look reasonably sharp with good exposure and balanced colors. The LG Chocolate Touch can also take video with audio in either QVGA or 176 x 144 resolution. The phone lets you record short videos for MMS or long videos for saving to memory, and has balance and light settings as well as zoom. Videos taken with the phone look decent when you have good lighting, and video is in sync with audio. The camera doesn't have a flash.
The LG Chocolate Touch has a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that's 1000 mAh in capacity. Battery life is very good on the LG, reaching over 4 hours of mixed usage including talking, navigations with GPS, downloading and listening to music as well as surfing the web and checking messages. Standby time is also good, and can last 1.5 to 2 weeks with little or light use.
Though not cool and innovative like the LG Chocolate BL40, the LG Chocolate Touch offers some updates to the Chocolate music phone line nonetheless. The 1 gig of internal storage for music is handy if you have lots of tunes; over the air downloading or PC syncing music is easy, and the 3.5mm stereo audio has good audio quality. The LG also has an FM tuner for radio addicts and supports most of Verizon's services including V CAST music and video, VZ Navigator, mobile email, mobile IM, social networking, visual voice and application and ringtone downloads. We wish music clarity was better and that V CAST Video was less choppy. But the touch screen and a better camera along with other features might just be enough for users with older Chocolate phones to upgrade.
Pro: Slim, plenty of internal space for music and good battery.
Con: Audio could be clearer, and V CAST Video looks blocky.
Display: 3.0" resistive touch screen, 262K Color TFT. Resolution: 400 x 240 Pixels. Has an accelerometer and proximity sensor.
Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, 1000 mAh, user replaceable. Claimed usage time: 5 hours. Claimed standby time: 19.5 days.
Size: 4.30 x 2.20 x 0.47 inches. Weight: 4.23 ounces.
Phone: Dual band digital 800/1900MHz. CDMA 1X and EV-DO Rev. 0.
Camera: 3.2 megapixel camera with fixed focus lens, no flash. Image resolutions: 2048x1536 (default), 1600x1200, 1280x960, 800x480, 640x480 Pixels. Supports panorama and facial makeover shot modes. Self Timer, Color Effects, white balance and digital zoom. Image editor onboard.
Audio: Music player that works with V Cast Music, Rhapsody, MP3 and AAC file formats. 3.5mm headset jack. Vibrating Alerts and Silent Mode. Voice recorder included. Has an FM radio and Dolby Mobile.
Networking: Bluetooth v2.0. Bluetooth Profiles Supported: Headset, Hands-free, Dial-Up Networking, Stereo, Phonebook Access, Basic Printing, Object Push for vCard and vCalendar, File Transfer, Basic Imaging and Human Interface Device.
Software: Touch screen icon interface with customizable home screens and on-screen music launcher. Polaris HTML web browser, media player and FM Radio onboard. Tools: Contacts, Calculator, EZ Tip Calculator, Calendar, Alarm Clock, Stopwatch, World Clock, Notepad and Drawing Pad.
Expansion: 1 microSD card slot. Supports up to 16GB cards.
In the box: The LG Chocolate Touch with standard battery, wall AC adapter and a USB charging/syncing cable, an extra back cover and printed guides.