LG BL20 New Chocolate review: Bittersweet Noir

GSMArena team, 10 December 2009.

Introduction

The Chocolate revival is no news and the LG BL20 New Chocolate is not a headliner in the sense of the unique and inspired BL40. But we're still about to have another sugar-coated meeting with an extraordinary handset, fresh off the LG design board.

The BL20 New Chocolate may not have the splendor of the BL40 but is definitely the spiritual successor to the original Chocolate series. Sequels are all over the place but the Chocolate series are somewhat different. LG have been so involved in touchscreen we're just realizing it's been more than a year since we last reviewed a regular phone of theirs. Anyway, the Chocolate series are back and we're about to see if the good old-fashioned recipe still works.

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Official photos

The latest BL20 Chocolate comes with a lively screen and handy touchpad navigation to add to the sliding keypad, meaning it nods to both traditional design and the new trend towards touch functionality. Other improvements include a better camera and fast 3G connectivity. But first and foremost it's a fashion phone, so this here Chocolate is about the icing, not the filling.

Key features:

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support, dual-band UMTS with 3.6 Mbps HSDPA
  • 2.4" 262K-color QVGA display
  • Touch-sensitive navigation pad
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with Schneider-Kreuznach optics, AF-assist light and LED flash
  • Standard microUSB port
  • Bluetooth (with A2DP)
  • Hot-swap microSD card slot (up to 16 GB)
  • Stealthy touchpad and classic chocolate looks
  • FM radio
  • Comfortable keypad

Main disadvantages:

  • Way too tall and big for its fashionable status
  • No accelerometer (hence no auto screen rotation)
  • Volume rocker and camera key have absolutely no press feedback
  • Piano black surface is a fingerprint nightmare
  • Memory card slot under the battery cover
  • Poor video recording
  • Slow scrolling in the image gallery
  • No document viewer
  • No sign of any social networking integration

OK, we may have a wee bit longer list of disadvantages here, but that's just because LG have spoiled us lately. They've been churning out better equipped handsets for quite some time and we didn't quite expect that minimalistic approach to a their latest fashionable handset. But then again, the BL20 is not an expensive all-in-one so in a sense, you get what you pay for.

If fashion and the wow factor are your key buying considerations, the extra features are not the most important thing perhaps. It's the unique design, looks and colors that will have people looking at your hands when you are on the phone.

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LG BL20 New Chocolate live shots

Let's not waste any more time and get on with seeing how sweet the new Chocolate is. Follow us on to the next page and you're welcome to share the first bite.

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