LG's PR machine seems to have been in overdrive for the last few months with adverts for its various TVs, phones, and other products regularly appearing on commercial TV. Perhaps the biggest push, though, has been for its latest premium phone, the BL40 Chocolate, which I'm reviewing today. Can it possibly live up to all the hype? Read on to find out.
Since seeing all the adverts and promo shots of this phone we must admit to being somewhat unimpressed. The idea of an ultra widescreen phone just had gimmick written all over it. However, now that the device is in our hands we're in the process of munching our way through a hefty humble pie - this is one seriously nice bit of kit!
Yes, at 128 x 51 x 11mm, it's rather tall so will struggle to fit in the tightest of tight jean pockets but it actually feels very nice in the hand and perhaps more importantly it should have no problem squeezing into a designer handbag. The key, though, is that LG hasn't skimped when it comes to build quality. The front is finished in a single sheet of glass and both the screen and its surround are finished in black. As such when the phone is off the whole front looks like a seamless slab of black, and nothing says cool like glossy black.
The finish of the back mirrors the front, though this is glossy black plastic rather than glass so will scratch more easily. Finishing the look off are the flashes of red on the top and bottom, and the thin strips of chrome around the edges into which the phone's various buttons are incorporated. All told, we like that LG has made an effort to distinguish this phone and we think it's one of the nicest looking on the market.
It's not just the aesthetics of the BL40 that please us, there are some practical considerations too. We've already mentioned the glass front, which not only looks good but will keep scratches to a minimum, but the cover over the micro-USB data socket also impresses with its pop-up and slide-out mechanism, as opposed to the usual plastic cover that hangs off to one side on a bendy bit of plastic that invariably gets in the way or breaks off. We also like the subtle red light next to this socket that glows red when charging but is otherwise hidden from view. The presence of a proper headphone socket on the top is also something we're glad to see, especially as it produces very good quality sound, and a microSD slot (that can accommodate cards up to 32GB) hidden under the battery cover means this phone is off to a good start as a multimedia playback device - something its screen suggests it should excel at.