CQ Review: The LG KG800 'Chocolate' Phone
What do you do when you want to test out a fashion phone aimed at young trendies who're looking for a phone with style as well as functionality? Easy...you give it to a fashionista and let her play around with it for a week.
I spent the last few days falling in love with LG's trendy new KG800 - aka the 'chocolate phone'. I promised myself I wasn't going to be seduced by it, but we all knew that was wishful thinking...
You've no doubt seen the ads for this baby on tv by now. It's a sleek little thing, made to resemble a bar of dark choccy; rich, shiny and indulgent. Seeing it for the first time I had my reservations. Though it's a sleek looking thing, I was worried it would start looking worn out after five minutes. You should see the state of my iPod-esque Sagem my x-8 now. Luckily, LG are quite generous with their accessories...something I'll go into later.
Basic navigation is done using a touch pad on the top half of the sliding phone. It's no good with a manicure, but very easy to use otherwise. The number keys themselves are regular buttons hidden under the slide-up top, but most actions can be done using the flat touch screen. When the phone is closed, you need to double click a button on the side to activate the keypad, meaning no accidental calls when it's in your bag. It's great fun navigating around the phone for the first time, just don't try to use your contacts list when drunk - if you're anything like me you'll accidentally end up ringing your old landlord (again). Oh, and turn off the keypad sounds as soon as possible. There's a bleep for every action - it's like playing space invaders every time you try and do anything.
A mixed blessing is the fact that it's so polished and shiny. Obviously it looks lovely in adverts but my fear was that my sticky fingerprints would ruin that sleek look. Luckily, LG seem to have thought of everything, and the wrist strap comes with a handy padded screen cleaner (which works, amazingly). Sadly said strap is not wide enough to actually go over my wrist, but we can't have everything.
Now let's get down to the nitty gritty. Does it do the job? Well, I must say after trying all manner of newfangled new phones that make calling your mates a longwinded struggle of buttons, confirmations and scrolling, this one is surprisingly user-friendly. Writing text messages is easy though switching from number buttons to touch pad is strange. The navigation is computer-like, with icons for each section and menus to scroll through. It took me a while to work out how to turn off the keypad tones and set my own ringtone, but apart from that it's all quite predictable and simple.
The phone also comes with all the usual new gadgets - a web browser, a voice recorder, a 1.3megapixel camera and video camera, and an mp3 player. I tried transferring a bit of music to the phone (research purposes only, of course) and found those copied from CD to Windows Media Player worked, but those downloaded (legally) off the internet didn't. One nice touch is that you can use your MP3s as ringtones. Great until someone phones you and you can't bear to answer because your favourite song is playing.
The addition of a USB cable makes transferring pictures, songs and videos easy, and the same connection is used for the headphones (supplied with the phone) and charger. You even get a little suede pouch to keep your phone looking shiny. This is definitely aimed at people who want a stylish little package.
It's now a running joke at Shiny Towers that I love this phone even more than I love my new Prada-esque shoes...