The LG BL20 Chocolate, the budget sliding brother to the widescreen BL40 oddball feature phone is here at last, but with that crushed up screen and plain old T9 keypad, is there anything that’ll get you craving this slab of chocolate tech? Read on and find out in our full LG BL20 Chocolate review.
The smaller, less expensive LG BL20 Chocolate is something of a return to the norm for the massively popular budget Chocolate line after the curious but stylish 21:9 ratio LG BL40 Chocolate. The glowing, touch sensitive controls are back below a regular 2.4-inch display, and it pops open in traditional slider style, for better and worse.
On the plus side, there’s 3G, a decent 5 megapixel camera, and the LG BL20 Chocolate has kept the cool shades of the BL40, mixing LG’s trademark smudgy black with a deep pink on the edges and keys. It’s quirky, and a big selling point – you’ll find yourself ogling the case even when you’re not calling or texting on the perfectly usable, nicely clicky keys.
On the downside, look past the shades and the LG BL20 Chocolate is not the best slider phone we’ve seen. While the touch controls look the part and work well, the sliding mechanism is creaky, and the screen, despite being QVGA resolution, renders pictures brutally, leaving them pixellated and crusty.
When you consider the mostly barebones features onboard, the LG BL20 Chocolate is also weirdly bulky. It’s thicker than many a Sony Ericsson sliders, such as the W595, and longer too. There isn’t even a 3.5mm audio port, although the bundled buds aren’t too ugly or awful sounding.
The Sony Ericsson comparison is apt, as it’s the other major phone maker pushing out dumbphone sliders at the same rate. Except, Sony Ericsson still remembers to put useful things like Google Maps on its phone. The LG BL20 Chocolate? Not so much. Not at all in fact – you’re left with what’s on board – a pared down LG S-Class menu layout, perfunctory music player and Sudoku.
While the LG BL40 Chocolate was certainly flawed, it was a striking, fun phone, nevertheless. But the LG BL20 Chocolate feels like a lazy rehash of the original Chocolate and nothing more. 3G and a better camera just aren’t enough to make you choose this, when Sony Ericsson shoves in navigational skills and better multimedia playback too into its sliders.