Chocolate Phone from LG BL40 

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I remember reviewing the original chocolate phone in 2008 and this is longer and thinner. In fact it really is nothing like the original. Of course phones continue to evolve so what has the new Chocolate BL40 got to offer.

lg bl40 chocolate mobile phone

The old chocolate was a slider phone, 9.5cm closed and 13cm open, the width was 3.7cm and the thickness 1.4cm. The new chocolate is totally touchscreen 13x5x1cm. It weights 130grams against the old chocolate 86grams.

Mine was black back and front with a silver band along both sides and bizarrely the top and bottom are both red.

The screen surround and back appear exactly the same colour as the screen and sad to say every part of the phone is a magnet for fingermarks, surely a cloth case could be provided that both gives some protection to the screen and allows you to clean it without using the fabric of your shirt or trousers with the danger of a button marking the screen.

Dinosaur that I am I still turn phones on and off, start up time is thirty seconds and shut down is six seconds. Once the screen goes out you have to press either the on/off button on the top or the music button and then slide a finger up the screen to get it back. Unlike the majority of phones that I have looked at that by default have a line of icons along the top of the screen and four icons along the bottom and little else this looks rather different with a range of widgets shown by default.

Mine had a Calendar showing the current month, an analogue clock, a calculator, a line of four icons missed calls, inbox etc. Finally a ‘Fun Stuff’ icon. All this in addition to the normal icons etc. However because of the screen size it does look that cramped.

The top apart from the on/off button has a 3.5mm jack for earbuds. The left side has insertion point (behind a door) for the charger cable and a single button that takes you to whatever music you have stored on it. The base is clear and the right side has the camera button and above it volume up and down that also have other functions in different applications.

This leaves the back that has the 5MP camera with flash mounted towards the top of the unit. I thought this was all but an accidental touch just above the screen gives a drop down menu and this gives quick access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Alarm, Music Player, Event Diary and Profile button. All these are available via the normal menus but these are quick access buttons.

There is a small 84 page manual, surprisingly I could not find a diagram showing what the buttons on the side did, it covers most other things and it had me thinking I had turned two pages over but I had not done so.

The same camera screen can quickly go from taking still images to video. The still images can be 5MP 2560x1920, 3MP 2048x1536, 2MP 1600x1200, 1MP 1280x960, VGA 640x480 or QVGA 320x240. There is also an internal camera (VGA) useful for video calls but remember this latter camera does not have a flash unit.

The video can be 640x480, 320x240 or 174x144. For a phone both the still and video images are really rather good.

Unusually I thought the manual could be better, I found the fingermarks very annoying not only on the screen but also the shiny black made the rest of it look dirty. Maybe a white variant would be better but as notebook computers also have this curse maybe this is a technology to far. But as it is all touch a solution is required.

Doing an Internet search for phone prices is difficult and while companies change computer prices weekly phone prices seem to change daily. No doubt on the right contract this will be free or nearly so but on PAYG it will be quite expensive, initially anyway.

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OverallChocolate Phone from LG BL40 rated 75 out of 100

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