LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone
LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone has an unconventional design, with a widescreen display
- Excellent design and build quality, 4in widescreen display, S-Class 3D interface is visually appealing, on-screen keyboard is intuitive
- UI isn't intuitive in some areas, odd design poses some navigation difficulties, unconventional display not ideal for all content
LG's New Chocolate (BL40) boasts excellent build quality and a flashy, if unconventional, design. The interface does have its issues and the oddly-shaped design does take a while to grasp, but it has plenty of features.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
LG's latest Chocolate mobile phone is one of the oddest-looking handsets we've ever seen. Tall and thin, the LG New Chocolate (BL40) resembles an older-style chocolate bar — perhaps the Wonka Bars from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Though there is no golden ticket here, unwrapping the Chocolate BL40 is a largely pleasant experience, though it is an unconventional phone.
The most striking feature of the LG New Chocolate (BL40) mobile phone is its design. It has an ultra-wide 4in screen with an aspect ratio of 21:9, so it's very long and thin. Despite the odd design, we found the LG New Chocolate (BL40) sat comfortably in our pocket, though it can be a stretch navigating the user interface at times.
The LG New Chocolate mobile phone has a superb combination of build quality and design. LG has produced some questionable handsets in the past, but the LG New Chocolate (BL40) is very impressive. It uses a combination of piano black plastic, sleek chrome edging and an etched red top and bottom. The sleek black finish and large display attracts plenty of fingerprints but the screen looks superb — it's bright and clear, has excellent viewing angles and is responsive to touch. Further, the entire phone feels solid and extremely well built.
The New Chocolate mobile phone runs LG's proprietary S-Class 3D user interface. It has four home screens that you can swipe through, offering access to shortcuts, widgets, contacts and multimedia. The graphics are rich, colourful and engaging and combined with the excellent display make the Chocolate BL40 a visual delight. We also loved the drop-down status bar — when you tap the status bar at the top of the screen, a menu allows you quickly turn Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and the alarm on and off, jump straight to the music player or the calendar and change the sound profiles.
It's not all about looks, though, and the S-Class UI isn't as intuitive as it should be. The included widgets aren’t customisable and aside from the clock and calendar, aren't that useful. Both the contacts and multimedia menus are inspired by a rolodex. Contacts are displayed in a half-circle, rotating format (though you can also choose a more traditional row format); music, images and videos are accessible from the multimedia menu. We liked the fact that simply tapping a song from the list automatically plays it, but we found scrolling through items using this method a little sluggish.
The LG New Chocolate's phonebook offers one-touch access to all contact details, including being able to text message, video call and e-mail contacts from a single screen. Though scrolling isn’t terrible, it doesn’t feel smooth and often appears jerky on the screen; it's mostly evident when you reach the end of a list. We also found moving back a screen in many menus requires a real stretch of your thumb due to the odd shape of the phone.
The New Chocolate's wide screen is excellent for watching video content, but it's rather unusual when browsing the web, viewing photos or using the included Google Maps application. The skinny screen often results in extra scrolling.
The on-screen keyboard is surprisingly comfortable to use. The nature of the hardware design and the positioning of the on-screen keys means it's easy to hold with one or two hands. Rotating the New Chocolate BL40 into landscape mode offers a full QWERTY keyboard, but we were able to type faster using the regular keypad with T9 predictive text input. The accelerometer is a little slow to activate and using the full QWERTY keyboard resulted in some minor keystroke lag.
The LG New Chocolate (BL40) has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. It also offers built-in GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack, FM radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it's not without features. The camera also doubles as a video recorder that can record at 30fps with a resolution of 640x480. The camera and video recorder are average for a mobile phone — it's hard to keep the New Chocolate still when taking a photo, and the photos we took had excessive noise and questionable colour reproduction.
The New Chocolate is quite a good multimedia phone thanks to its 3.5mm headphone jack. A built-in FM transmitter is great for use in the car or the home, while the built-in speakers are quite loud, even outdoors. Google Maps, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter applications are all included and accessible from the applications menu.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- BlackBerry readies a more secure version of the Samsung Galaxy S7
- Android device updates: Nougat rollout begins for the Moto Z Play
- ZTE pays US$892M settlement to US over illegal sales to Iran
- Google Assistant learns how to read texts as its prime-time rollout continues
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieNSW
- FTSnr Salesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- FTICT Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTTechnical Writer - Reports EditorQLD
- FTSOE Team LeaderACT
- FTCCTV Sales & SupportNSW
- TPSenior Drupal Developer / ArchitectQLD
- CCService Desk ConsultantACT
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- TPSenior SAP Time and Payroll Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCServiceNow Specialist - Administration and DevelopmentVIC
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTProduct Manager / Business Analyst Clinical Solutions (Lorenzo)QLD
- FTSenior Performance AnalystQLD
- CCProject Manager - Security DomainVIC
- TPSenior Performance TesterQLD
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorWA
- FTChief Security OfficerNSW
- FTTest LeadNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistVIC
- FTResponsive Design Developer, Frontend, PHP, WordpressNSW
- CCEnterprise/Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCLightweight Directory Access Procol (LDAP) DeveloperNSW