Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it, that a handset should be given the name ‘chocolate’. The name is meant to enhance the idea that this mobile phone is more than ‘just’ the fashion statement status to which many handsets aspire. It is being positioned as a phone with strong visual and emotional appeal to those who own it.
The tri-band Chocolate KG800 is the first in LG’s Black Label series of design lead handsets, and others are promised. In fact, we’ve already seen a white version of the Chocolate.
Visually the Chocolate KG800 is certainly different. It is not, as you might expect, brown, but a rather shiny black. Visually it looks much more like a portable music player than a handset, albeit about a third bigger than an iPod nano or Sandisk Sansa player at 95mm tall, 48mm wide and 15.2mm thick. As you’d expect from such tiny dimensions, this handset is light at just 83g.
The iPod-a-like visual appearance is in part down to the fact that the front of the Chocolate KG800 is occupied by the LG logo, a screen that is recessed into the fascia and a silver rectangle which looks like a navigation button. There are no keys in sight and the general appearance is flat, black and sleek.
The comparison is also helped by the fact that the Chocolate KG800 is supplied with a soft drawstring pouch.
This all makes for very neat lines, but it is only half the story. The Chocolate KG800 is a slider with an extremely smooth spring loaded mechanism. When you push upper and lower halves apart a large number pad appears. But it is only a numberpad. There are no soft menu keys, no call and end keys, no other control keys.
These are all on the front of the casing, which, remember, I said was flat, black and sleek. On the left edge are volume control buttons. When you press the volume up button twice the 262 thousand colour, 2in screen switches on and red symbols appear on the front fascia. They also appear when you open the slider and are heat sensitive touch controls. The heat sensitive part is important as it means the controls can’t accidentally be operated when the handset is in a bag – they need the warmth of your finger.