Gettin’ Melted with the LG Chocolate 3

Yeah, it’s supposed to be Apple’s day to shine with the 3G iPhone, but we have enough Chocolate here to make a cell phone fondue. Verizon Wireless’ latest LG Chocolate phone, the $129 (after $50 rebate) LG Chocolate 3 is here. As a reviewer, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a “music phone” dropped on my desk with a 2.5mm headphone jack or even a proprietary one. That’s useless to the everyday consumer that has drawer full of 3.5mm headsets at home. LG hit the nail on the head this time around, and replaced the 2.5mm jack on its VX8550 (Chocolate 2) with a legitimate 3.5mm one. Bravo, LG. Read on for a full gallery and more first impressions. LG ditched the slider design of the two previous Chocolates for a clamshell form instead. Fans of the soft spin wheel will love that LG kept it on the front cover, and you can also use it as a 5-way navigation pad. A 2-megapixel camera is also on the top lid. Our unit has a silver mirrored surface with a 1.8-inch external display, which is barely visible unless turned on. When it is, it displays the time and caller, as well as battery life and signal strength. Unlock the external display to access a full menu for My Music, My Pictures, Camera, Calendar, and Messages, in that order. The left side of the unit has volume controls, a voice-command button, and a mini-USB charging slot. On the right is the lock/unlock button, a music button, and a microSD slot that supports up to 8GB. I noticed the Chocolate 3 also has VZ Navigator v.4.1 loaded on it, which means you’ll have access to current traffic information, as well as the standard offerings such as location-based search and navigation directions through the unit’s AGPS feature. We haven’t tested it yet, but the phone has a built-in FM transmitter so you can play music through your car’s speakers. We think this would be even more useful with voice-guided directions. The keypad is black with a white backlight, and it seems spacious to us right now, but we’ll get into that more in our review. The 2.2-inch display is large and bright and good enough for viewing maps and Web pages. Like the LG Dare and other music phones in Verizon Wireless’ lineup, the Chocolate 3 is paired with the Rhapsody music store, so for every $1.99 song you download on the road, you’ll get a DRM-free copy on your computer. My only complaints right now are that the phone’s keyboard is a bit too spacious, and the speakers sound pretty bad at high volumes. I spent most of the morning surfing the Web and noticed that bringing my thumb from the right soft button down to the keyboard to type felt awkward. When I viewed a clip from CNN.com, the voices weren’t very crisp and the experience wasn’t as good as we’ve seen on phones like the LG Dare. Other than that we have no complaints so far and we’re excited to get started on our review. To tide you over until then, here’s a quick glance at some notable stats: Data: EV-DO Rev. 0 Camera: 2 MP Dimensions: 3.9 x 1.9 x 0.6 inches Weight: 3.4 ounces Display: Internal LCD: 2.2 inches, 320 x 240 pixels, 260K color TFT External LCD: 1.8 inches, 220 x 176 pixels, 260K color TFT Standard battery: 800 mAh Usage time: 4.5 hours Standby time: 14.6 days [flv:/flvs/LGChoc.flv 468 351]

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  1. bobby bobby Says:

    Good video review of Choco 3: http://www.phonedog.com/cell-phone-videos/video-lg-chocolate-3-vzw-unboxing-and-hands-on.aspx

  2. BTB Says:

    I would REALLY appreciate it if you guys could review the FM transmitter, as that’s pretty much the only reason I would buy this phone. Thanks!

    BTB

  3. World's Best Todd Says:

    BTB I’ll be sure to test that during our review for you

  4. hey Says:

    Cool phone. This guy sounds like John Krazinski (Jim) from “The Office”

  5. Mike Says:

    I bought the Fusic 2 years ago and it had a big screen, nav wheel on the front, music quick launch, and an FM Transmitter. How is this advancement?

  6. billy Says:

    the keyboard is “too spacious!?!?” Jesus christ, it’s ridiculous how you can never please anyone. “I’m upset because the keypad is too big, i mean, it’s just so easy to hit all the buttons.” Good God.

  7. Facts Says:

    It charges using a Micro USB port, not Mini

  8. migital Says:

    looks like they took some pointers from frontrow

  9. anon Says:

    Don’t take this in a weirdo way, but I love your voice. I have a thing for voices regardless of gender, and yours is primo. Just thought I’d let you know that.

  10. Abby Says:

    Billy, LMAO! Most phone’s buttons are way too crowded for texting so I would think people would appreciate a spacious phone. Go figure!

  11. wes Says:

    The FM transmitter seems to work pretty well. Like always, you need an empty frequency – really a set of 3, and you use the middle one. I tried it in the house, and the range was only about 6 feet. But that was plenty for using it in the car. It did pick up a bit of interference (static) here and there while driving around. That was probably some building security system – that is typical.

    Music transfer is easy and quick with the usb cable. Picture transfer via usb doesn’t appear to be supported, or else I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m sure LG or someone else will address that soon enough.

  12. Peter Says:

    Not to rain on the parade, but I live in rural CT and we don’t have a lot of frequency crowding. The FM transmitter is the reason I bought this phone and I cannot get acceptable quality out of it. There is a lot of background hiss and it gets overpowered but close frequencies. I mounted the phone right in front of the radio to get even barely acceptable sound; move it to the console of the car or the passenger seat and you can just forget it, it won’t work.

  13. Bob Says:

    Maybe I’m an idiot, but why would you transmit an FM station from a cell phone to a radio that already has FM channels whether it be home or auto. I just don’t get the logic. Can someone please explain.

  14. mun Says:

    can it save sounds sent to it in a pic message and use as a ringtone???????

  15. Ansman Says:

    Bob, The idea is to transmit music that resides in the phone’s memory — or perhaps even, say, turn by turn directions — through the speaker system of your car via the FM radio.

  16. Rebecca Says:

    Yes it can save sounds you get in text messages as ringtones. thats the biggest reason why i bought it. plus i am trying to stay in the chocolate series. but if it didnt allow me to save ringtones i got in text messages i wouldnt have bought it.

  17. amy Says:

    I hae had the chocolate 3 since november and i am VERY happy with it. I would recomend it to anyone

  18. Spinelli Says:

    Well i got the chocolate 3 few months ago maybe….. 5 and already having problems. I turn i one i seems like it’s working but then freezes and keeps doing that can’t even do anything with it. Thinking it was my memory so i erased everything (music..pictures… videos) don’t have alot but STILL didn’t work so in i few hours taking it in. just happened last night. My sprint Katana lasted me for 2years. My friends who have same phone are having the same problems (chocolate 3). :( waste

  19. Ani Says:

    I would really appreciate hearing about the LG Chocolate 3 phone’s compatibility with Mac. I chose this phone so I could transfer audiobooks onto it and play them through the speakers of my car…and right now, my MAC will not even recognize it at all when connected with USB cable. Any ideas? Thanks

  20. Steverino Says:

    I’ve had the same problem with the FM transmitter. I travel cross-country and go in and out of frequencies often. I purchased the phone for the FM Transmitter because I like to download music, speaches and alike to listen to over several states. The only way I found that I could get a decent signal was when I hold the phone above the dash; not comfortable or safe while driving. The only redeeming value is the 3.5mm jack. But at this point I might as well have purchased a seperate MP3 player.

  21. kara Says:

    i am having lots of trouble with fm transfer .i dont no how it works i neeed help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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