Review- LG Chocolate 3

Ok, so over the last week or so we were lent an LG Chocolate 3 for Verizon (by a TeenTechBlog friend who would prefer to remain Anonymous 🙂 ). We put it through its paces- you know made some texts and calls, checked some V Cast, etc., and to summarize this phone in two words: Very Good. To find out what we liked and didn’t like- as well as more detail besides the words Very Good, hit the more link.

We’ll do this in the same style of our usual hands on/ first look.

Features:

  • Pretty thin yet very sturdy feel– We liked the design of the Chocolate 3, especially that HUGE screen on the front– changing music tracks, viewing text and pix, and even taking pix with it, was great and extremely easy (though we would’ve liked to have the ability to “Quick Reply” to a text without having to open up the phone). The back of the phone is a smooth feel, that felt pretty strong, the front though– even with the great screen- was very shiny, and that means a lot of fingerprints and scratches. The phone is pretty thin as well for a flip phone, and should fit comfortably in a jeans pocket.

You can see the Chocolate 3 is about the same size as AT&T’s thin LG Shine

  • 2.2 inch inside screen and a 1.76 inch front screen with Scroll Wheel– We mentioned the front screen above, but the inside screen is also HUGE and very bright and colorful– making it very easy to read text, view pix and phone numbers, and really anything else you’d do with a phone.

LG Chocolate 3 both opened and closed

  • 2 megapixel camera with video support– The camera takes pretty good pix for a phone, but like the Instinct (we reviewed here), the camera here will not be replacing your regular camera anytime soon.
  • Built in Mp3 player with 1 GB of memory built in– We loved this part of the phone. Syncing music was similar to what we would do with our iPods and iTunes (thanks to Verizon’s free V Cast Music with Rhapsody player– we’ll cover that more on Verizon and Rhapsody later. You can also use other players like Windows Media Player for transferring songs if you want), and don’t even get us started on the sound. It was LOUD and EXTREMELY clear. The 1 GB of memory is also a nice touch, and for a music phone like this, it is really great to have the ability to load up 250 songs out of the box (it includes a USB cable in the box for syncing with your computer- as well as charging the phone).
  • Built in FM Transmitter for Music– This allows you to play your songs over a car stereo’s FM radio (that is once you find an empty station on your car’s radio, and set the same station on your phone). This was simple and most of the time worked well from wherever I sat in my family’s minivan. Just a note on this feature- for best results you may want to keep the phone open instead of closed. From my tests with it, I got static- though not terrible- more often when the phone was closed, and when I kept it open, I most of the time got perfect quality.
  • Micro SD card slot– This slot supports adding up to an 8 GB card– for those of you with a huge music collection.
  • 3.5 mm Standard Headphone Jack­– Lets you use your regular headphones. It works as it should, and even with iPhone headphones!
  • Verizon 3G– This is VERY fast, and downloading a 3 minute song with it took less than a minute– and I didn’t even have perfect coverage!
  • V Cast– This phone has the whole set- V Cast Music, V Cast Video (the quality by the way is not the greatest with videos coming in very fuzzy and unclear), and VZ Navigator (for all your GPS needs- also includes traffic updates, which is a nice thing to have- especially when it will tell you where exactly the traffic is and how long the delay is there 🙂 )
  • V Cast Music with Rhapsody– We thought we should give you a little more info on this as it is a pretty big part of the phone. This works like other phone song download services, you pay usually $1.99 and get your song downloaded straight to your phone on the go. Now is where the good part begins. You download that Rhapsody player with V Cast from here, set up an account for your phone number, and when you log in after downloading your song from your phone- you’ll receive an alert asking you if you want to download an Mp3 version of that song to your computer for FREE. No more buying the same songs twice (though here you are paying $1.99 over the regular $0.99 you’d find on iTunes), and you can now use that Mp3 file to put that downloaded song on your regular iPod or Mp3 player! O, and this also works for other Verizon phones like the LG Voyager and Venus, and Motorola’s Razr 2 V9m (for a list of compatible phones click here)

V Cast Music Manager with Rhapsody (click on pic for bigger version)

  • Great Call Quality– This may get overlooked with all these features, but this phone does have some really nice call quality– with calls sounding clear on our end and with the person we called.

Now let’s get to some of the bad parts of the phone.

Drawbacks:

  • FM Transmitter works ONLY for Music– Something that we would have like to see- especially with the no talking on your cell phone while driving laws- was the ability to use this feature for calls as well. It would definitely make it easier for drivers even where that law isn’t intact.
  • Front of Phone gets a lot of Fingerprints and Scratches– Not the end of the world- those of us who own or owned iPods know how the back of that gets scratched- but still it would have been nice not see such a good display get damaged so easily.
  • V Cast with Rhapsody costs an extra $1 than buying a song from a Computer and transferring it to the phone– We don’t really get the logic behind this, as Verizon includes a USB cable in the box for syncing, and Rhapsody only charges $.99 per song when you buy from a computer.
  • Video quality not the best, and is also not viewable on the front screen Ok, so this wont replace your TV anytime soon, and again this isn’t such a big deal. A question we had- and again don’t see the logic behind- is why can’t we view our V Cast and other videos from the HUGE front screen. Trust us, when you see the phone in person you’ll see how big that screen is.
  • No answering text from front screen– We know we said this earlier, but it was a big problem to us, and would make lives definitely easier.

Our Verdict: Very, very good phone. Those few drawbacks take away from it a little, but the great music and call quality make this phone great, and that huge front screen (it is that good) with Scroll Wheel (for easy navigation) just make it even better.

I would hands down recommend this phone for a person who wants a good music player and cell phone in one device- and doesn’t want to pay AT&T that $70 a month for the iPhone 3G, someone who wants a cool phone that at the same time works very well, or someone on Verizon who doesn’t want a touchscreen phone like the Dare or Voyager, but still wants a very good phone.

The price of the phone is $129.99 with a 2 year contract from Verizon’s site, and comes in either Light Blue or Black.

What you guys  think- is this better than some of the other phones out there like the LG Voyager or LG Dare for Verizon, the iPhone 3G or LG Vu for AT&T, Motorola Rokr E8 for T-Mobile, or even the Samsung Instinct for Sprint? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

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Posted on July 23, 2008, in Cell Phones, First Look/Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. One of the drawbacks you listed (not being able to respond to text messages on the outside screen) doesn’t make sense to me. How on earth could you possible text with the phone closed and no access to the keypad?

    Anyhoo, this is a great phone. I got mine last weekend and will be writing my own review soon!

  2. Oh, I see! That would be a nice feature, but I think this phone is already so full of fantastic features that it’s hardly a detriment. 😉

  3. I just got this phone a few days ago and I absolutely LOVEE it! The nice color (blue), hugee screen, clear FM transmitter, rockin’ music player….just about everything!

  4. Does anyone get a little delay when opening the phone to answer a call?

  5. HUGE drawback for me – T9 text is limited. On my LG fusic, once the phone recognized a word, I could select it from a list of suggestions. The chocolate has taken a step backward in that if two words can be made from the same keys (i.e. “of” and “me” are both made with 6 then 3), you must switch to the ABC mode in order to correct it. This is pretty cumbersome!

    Other than that – and yes, the scratches – I like the rest of the features.

  6. CC,
    Have you tried using the “next” button?
    it will switch between all of the words that the phone knows.

    That being said,
    my LG hasn’t seemed to learn words that i tend to use, that aren’t in its vocabulary.

    However, when it doesn’t know a word in T9, i don’t use ABC to correct it, instead i break the word apart and then get rid of the spaces. but that isn’t a big deal.

    Lately though, people say that they have been sending me text messages, but i am not receiving them…
    any suggestions?

  7. I’ve only had the phone for a couple of weeks and I’ve been having problems with a) calls coming in that do not sound – so I only hear that a call came in when the voice mail tone begins to sound; b) attempting to make calls and nothing happens (those attempted calls I just realized last night are also not being registered in my call log as ‘dialed’); c) when a call Does come in, I have to try each button on the side of the phone b/c no one of those buttons consistently makes the phone ringer silent!

    Very frustrated here.

  8. I love this phone and have had it for a while but i still can’t figure out how to put music on it. Any ideas?

  9. Hey Julia,

    Try downloading the V Cast Music Manager with Rhapsody that we mentioned in the post. That should make things easier ;).

    Also, if you bought a lot of songs off of iTunes, before they made the DRM-free iTunes Plus the new standard for songs, they won’t play on your Chocolate 3 as they are protected to only play on iPods, unlike iTunes Plus songs, which are not locked down with the same copy protection and can be used on other devices as well as iPods.

    Hope this helps and feel free to let me if it works.

    -Eli

  10. Julia –
    Alternatively, if you don’t want to have the hassle of using VCAST music manager, just get a microSD card (good to have for music anyway – can’t fit much on the phone alone), and just copy the non-protected music from iTunes to the “my music” folder on the card (plug it into the phone 1st). Works just as well, and saves a bunch of hassle.
    – Chaim

  11. Hey JM,

    Your problems may be that you got a bad phone from Verizon when you bought it (sometimes something breaks in the phone when its shipped to the store, or there was just a problem with that particular phone, that also sometimes just happens). Calls not sounding well may either be your coverage, or again, a problem with your phone.

    Our review phone worked great, and I know a lot of people that got the phone and they don’t seem to be having the same problems. I’d recommend visiting your local Verizon Wireless store or calling them up (on a different phone of course, as I know your phone right now prob can’t make any calls 😉 ), and seeing if they can either fix the phone or replace it with a new one.

    Let me know how it goes.

    -Eli

  12. OK i Have the LG chocolate 3 (black) now for awhile….i love it…simoky amazing sound and great to put music on but the only thing is well when i do answer have to have a pause it seems to speak and having problems like when i go to any meanu or songs list it will highlight all of the things i go down the list and then cant read it and i was wondering why it was doing that….and then yestruday i pulled my phone out pocket and went to open to text someone back and i felt pressure and i look on top and plastic piece of phone was breaking off where it keeps screen stabilized and then broke off completely and then phone now pops out of place and stuff and havent dropped like from super high normal human drops on accidents when sitting down but i was wondering why when all i did was open phone that broke and then whole like screen came completely off and only wires was holding it and now the left side where it stabilzes the sreen is breaking off and i have no clue why this is happening and messing up in these ways…anyone know what to do or anything…i guess i have had phone for a year dont think i have tho…and i know we got warranty when ur online and it asks if u want to pay 5 bucks for warranty i think that is to make warranty longer than year it comes with right ? idk if someone could plz answer these questions and help id appricate it thxs….

    Pause when phone call recieved….
    highlights all things i do when scrolling on menu’s…..
    screen came off and didnt drop or anything and wires like holding it…pulled out pocket and plastic broke off..am i covered what to do?

    thxs

  13. Yeah I love this phone, Ive had it for about 6 months. Currently though its not working, I got it wet. But I love everything about it, except a delay when answering calls, but its not a big deal to wait a second.

  14. Random used customer

    I have had the phone for nine months and have downloaded music into the internal and external memory. One day as I was downloading more music it just up and disappeared. I was peeved. Later it magically it found its way back. . . I decided to let it go and continued putting music on. A few months later it happened again and I figured the problem was that I had not formatted my sd card. I put all of my music in a file, formatted it, then expected to be able to get them all back. I was wrong. It said everything had write proctection (even things I knew that didn’t). I decided the only way to get the music was from the phone as opposed to my adapter, but when I plugged my phone in and synced it it went straight to internal memory. The problem with this is I don’t remember how to put music on internal memory, and windows media player does not recognize my phone as a device. I cannot put any music on my sd card without going through my phone, and I have to fill the internal memory first. Any ideas? Do I have to buy special software so my crap does not dissapear? Or is my phone just a defect? This would suck because it would be a pain to replace it. Help?

  15. Are these phones not headphone accessable???

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