LG Chocolate (KG800) Review

LG Chocolate (KG800) BlackI’ve been using the LG Chocolate (a.k.a the KG800) for a few months now, and I’ve decided to write a little review of what it’s like to use the phone on a day to day basis.

KG describe the phone as Unique, Articulate, Exquisite”, but I can think of few other words I’d add to that list.

I’ll be honest, I bought this phone after reading reviews online, and hadn’t picked it up or browsed through it, prior to getting it, but online, it sounded excellent, great design, great UI, stylish etc…

I have to admit that the phone looks great, and usually gets an “oooooooo” response when people first see it,  but the more I’ve used it more annoyed I’ve become.

Here’s a few issues that I’ve come across:

  1. Long startup time
    On average it takes 1:29sec for the phone to be in a usable state after switching it on (i.e. from entering the PIN number to being able to browse the phone book, access stored messages etc). This might sound like I’m being impatient but if you’ve had the phone off during a meeting and need to get someone’s number then it’s a long wait.
  2. Alarms
    I don’t actually own an alarm clock, because I’ve never needed to! My mobile phone is usually on my bedside table at night, and the built-in alarm is usually enough to get me up in the morning, but not with the KG800. The main problem is that the alarm obeys the active profile, so if the phone’s in silent mode then you don’t get an audible alarm at all, if it’s in vibrate mode then the alarm will just trigger a vibrate. My old phone (and most Nokia phones) will always have an audible alarm, regardless of the active profile. So I’ve had to keep the standard profile on, and manually disable message alters so I don’t get woken up by late night messages!Another problem is that I’ve woken up a few times without the alarm going off at all. When I’ve checked the phone it’s prompted me to enter my PIN because it restarted during the night for no apparent reason. This seems to happen randomly, and I’ve not been able to identify what’s causing it.
  3. Deleting text messages
    I tend to use SMS messages to communicate with friends & family rather than calling (it’s easier, and cheaper), but deleting old messages can be a bit of a pain. Mainly because of the way the phone handles lists of items. When you delete a text message you’re given a confirmation message (which is fine) and then the first message (i.e. the latest message you’ve received) is selected, forcing you to scroll back through the list to delete other messages. If you’re deleting a few messages to save space (but you don’t want to use the ‘delete all’ option) then it gets annoying pretty quickly. The same thing happens when deleting contacts from your phone book.
  4. Touch ‘sensitive’ interface
    In LG’s words the

    “Unique heat sensitive touch pad glows red when active. Sensitive to a warm touch you can be sure that the touch pad won’t activate by items in your pocket or bag.”

    In practice that isn’t true, I’ve had a few calls & text messages from friends saying that I’ve called them, when the phone’s been in my pocket and hasn’t been touched.

    In general, I’ve managed to get used to the lack of feedback (something that’s always put me off touch-sensitive interfaces) but the interface is very sensitive and I’ve often hit the ‘return’ button only for the menu to scroll right (which is the button directly above return).

  5. Contact photos
    If you want to assign a photo to a contact in your address book then you have to take it at 72×72, there’s no automatic resizing like the K750i!

To be honest, if your mobile phone is more than just a fashion accessory, and gets used on a daily basis then I’d stay away from the KG800 (especially the white version). Which is a shame, because it looks great!