LG phone updates

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

LG GW620

Last night I was privileged to be invited to a small, cosy location in London 2 floors underground to discuss with LG some of their new phones recently released, and about to be released.

John Barton, the UK Sales & Marketing Manager, spoke candidly about the LG range, and there’s a summary of the devices that were discussed after the break…

(more…)


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LG Chocolate BL40 Final Review

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

LG Chocolate BL40

Well, I’ve had a LG Chocolate BL40 in for review for a few weeks now, and overall I have been impressed with the phone.  I already covered my initial impressions of the phone here, so I’ll add to that review.  Having now used the phone in a variety of lighting conditions, the 21:9 screen is still wonderful to use; bright and clear in most situations.  The split screen functions within the phone are still useful, although as this isn’t a true smartphone, some of the apps still feel a little limited compared to other more advanced phones on the market.

In use, the size hasn’t proved a major problem, although even today there have been comments like “that’s a large phone”.  The touchscreen is nice to use, and a great improvement on some previous LG models, with the whole phone feeling more responsive, and easier to use.  Some games and other Java applications seemed not well adjusted to the large screen size, causing buttons to appear very small, but this is a minor problem.

Overall, this is a very nice phone to use, and stylish to boot!

In fact there are only a couple of downsides to the phone.  Firstly, given the phone is a designer device, we wonder how many of the users will take advantage of the whole range of features available.  Secondly, with the rise of phones supporting Social Networking sites via built in applications (such as the INQ Mini 3G, or the newer LG GW520, reviews of both phones soon!), and the lack of such applications on the phone may not have been an issue a few months ago, but now seems a little oversight.

Allowing for these small concerns, I’ll miss the phone, which is available on a number of networks.

Thanks to LGBlog for lending me the phone.


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LG Chocolate BL40 wins Phone of the Year

Monday, October 26th, 2009

LG Chocolate BL40

The LG Chocolate BL40 picked up Mobile Phone of the Year at the What Mobile? awards on Friday.  In terms of being quite an iconic phone, we can understand why, as the phone packs a lot of features into a novel new form factor, which makes watching movies on the device even more entertaining.

We’re planning to release our full review of the phone very shortly, so keep an eye out for it.


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LG searching for 5 LG Chocolate phones

Monday, September 21st, 2009

LG Chocolate BL40

Here’s an interesting campaign by LG; as part of promoting the newly launched LG Chocolate BL40 (our Review here), they are looking for 5 of the original LG Chocolate phones with the serial numbers below:

  • 802KPAE821224
  • 803KPBF578597
  • 803KPXV578330
  • 803KPVH578503
  • 803KPJP923836

LG are going to provide a fairly large reward (US $10,000 and a new LG Chocolate BL40 phone) to anyone who has any of these phones, and the phone will need to be handed in person into an LG office (for verification of the serial number within the hardware, so no attempts at just doctoring the serial number on the sticker!) before 8th October to qualify.  LG have stated these phones could be anywhere in the world!

If you want to know more (and read the T&Cs) then head to LG‘s website here.


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LG Chocolate BL40 Hands On Review

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

LG Chocolate BL40

Along with a select few, I was privileged to be invited to the UK launch of the new LG Black Label phone, the LG Chocolate BL40, which has taken the key Black Label features, and combined them with the S-Class UI used on the LG Arena and LG Crystal and put them into a new take on a traditional phone form factor.

The phone looks big in pictures, but it still fits into a shirt or trouser pocket.  With the tempered glass screen (as featured on the previous LG Black Label, the LG Secret), the glass is safe from scratches from keys (although whether the back is as safe isn’t as clear until I get more time with the phone).  That screen is one of the key selling points of the phone; it allows full cinematic 21:9 playback on the 4″ touchscreen, and I have to say video playback looked very impressive, even in the various lighting conditions of the London Design Museum last night.

LG have also realised this screen has great potential in other apps; and therefore within the Messaging, Scheduler and Contact apps the phone offers a split screen layout when used horizontally; in Messaging, it will show the list of SMSes on the left, and then the contents of the selected SMS on the right.  This use of the screen is very impressive, and I should also point out that they have used the additional screen space to create a more usable QWERTY on screen keyboard than previous models.  Whilst I am comparing it to previous models, the menu scrolling, the transition from portrait to landscape, and generally moving around the menus is vastly improved compared to previous phones, with no noticeable lag at all; also, when you are selecting which of the 4 homescreens to use, the thumbnail images of the homescreens actually reflect the current content of those screen, instead of a generic image; again, a little improvement in the UI that makes for a better overall experience.

The phone appears to come with about 1.5Gb of internal memory (enough for a couple of DivX optimsed movies), and should support microSD cards upto 32GB.  Finally LG has listened and separated out the USB connector (now microUSB for charging, as with the LG Crystal) and the headphone socket, and have adopted the standard 3.5mm headphone jack too.  I heard rumours of a possibility of the UK production phones shipping with a named brand set of headphones too, although this could not be confirmed, so I won’t name the brand at this stage.

I noticed little improvements throughout the whole phone; geotagging is there in the Photo application, although more impressive is the panoramic mode; once you have taken the first picture, you start scrolling (left, right, up or down) and the camera shows you where the next picture should be taken which a nice red box; no need to manually try to align the picture to get the right amount of join.  The photo app seems to support 12 pictures using the 5 megapixel camera, and that should just allow a full 360 degree picture.

Although a little bit of a noisy environment limiting testing, the phone will ship with DivX and Dolby Mobile support (as featured on a number of recent high end LG phones), giving a good rich sound to support that widescreen.  There’s an FM transmitter in there too, allowing easy use of the phone as a media player in the car.

Web browsing was acceptable, and again in landscape mode the phone has been designed to not require scrolling left to right (only vertically), which worked well on a few sample websites; also impressive was the way mobile optimised websites were zoomed in to take the best advantage of the screen, instead of just leaving small text on the left and a big white space on the right, and compared to previous phones, this zooming was smooth and fast.

In terms of other apps, a small suite of Google apps is included, which includes Google Maps (with GPS support), although still missing Latitude support.

This is a designer phone, and in my opinion, LG are getting their designs just right at the moment; sleek and stylish devices, but putting the right features into the device to allow all to use them (and the Internet) to the full.  Whether everyone will like the form factor I don’t know, but I suspect this will be a big seller for LG in the coming months.

As one of the first to be able to handle the phone and try it out, I’d like to thank the LG Blog for letting me into the launch event, and hopefully in the next few weeks, I’ll get longer to review the phone in more depth.  I believe the phone should start selling during September (maybe early October), and UK Gadgeteer will provide updates on networks and prices when it does become available.


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LG Phone updates

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

LG Crystal

Firstly, the LG GD900 Crystal is now available from various places, including Mobile Fun.  This phone combines the new S-Class UI from the LG Arena with an iconic well-designed phone.  The near transparent keypad is the feature many concentrate on, but don’t forget it’s a touchscreen phone too with an 8 megapixel camera too.  We hope to be able to bring you a full review of this phone in the next few weeks.

However, the big news from LG is the new LG Chocolate BL40, which brings together many LG features into a new style; a 21:9 4″ widescreen display, perfect for watching videos.  This is a Black Label phone, and we’ve been impressed with the last few Black Label phones, so we’ll be looking forward to trying out this phone over the next month or two.  With Dolby Mobile (which has sounded fantastic on the LG Renoir and LG Arena), and we suspect formal DivX support too, this phone has the power to allow you to play videos and not be affected by the screen size.

There has been some concern over the size of this phone; here’s a shot (courtesy of LG Blog) showing the the LG Chocolate BL40 alongside an LG GD900 Crystal and the LG Secret..

LG Chocolate BL40 Size Comparison

We suspect both of these phones will be big sellers in the run up to Christmas, which will help to increase LG‘s marketshare even further.

Pictures courtesy of LG Blog.


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Reviews

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

This page links to any reviews we have written. We will try to keep this page up to date, but we will always announce any new reviews on the homepage first.

Reviews in 2007

3 SkypePhone

Pocket Surfer 2

Reviews in 2008

3 USB Modem

Dell Mini 9 / Vodafone Netbook

LG KF600

LG Viewty

LG Secret

Reviews in 2009

Android Application: Locale

Android Application: My Tracks

3 Mobile Wi-Fi unit (3UK MiFi)

IDAPT I3 Charging Station

INQ Mini 3G – First Looks & Full Review

LG Arena

LG GD900 Crystal

LG Chocolate BL40 – First Looks & Final Review

LG SL9000 LED-Backlit LCD TV

Novatel Intelligent Mobile Wireless Hotspot 2352 (MiFi) – First Looks

orbitsound T3 Speaker

Sony Ericsson T715

Reviews in 2010

Android Application: Tasker

3UK MiFi 2 – First Looks & First Review

Dell Streak (Quick Hands On)

HTC Hero

INQ Chat 3G

Location Based Services & Privacy

Nokia Booklet 3G

Novatel Intelligent Mobile Wireless Hotspot 2352 (MiFi) – Update & Full Review (Coming Soon)

Pibbix Voicemail

SanDisk Mobile MicroSDHC Memory Card

Symbian Application: Maps Booster

Symbian Application: Socially

Reviews in 2011

Humax HDR-Fox T2


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