With its glossy black front and glowing red touchpad, thewas the most stylish phone of the summer. Once you get past the pretty face, though, there's no denying that it has the figure of a Mars Bar -- rectangular and chunky. If you're looking for something svelte and slender, something more in the shape of an After Dinner Mint, then consider the follow-up model, the KG810. If ever a phone were designed to look good on a silver salver, this is it.
Also known as the Chocolate Folder, the KG810 is as thin as Motorola's Razrs, but slightly shorter and narrower. Peel open the black and silver front and you'll find a relatively plain interior with the same checkerboard keyboard as the original Chocolate phone. The checkerboard effect comes from alternating matte and gloss plastics, providing tactile feedback as you move from key to key. The low-profile keys are also impressively responsive, although we're less keen on the musical 'plinks' that accompany each press (if you value your sanity, turn these off).
Like the original, the KG810 has a touchpad on the front, although it's a simpler version that enables you to control the built-in MP3 player -- and its operation is somewhat mysterious. When you close the phone, the controls light up briefly, then vanish. If you want to use them (or light them up to impress your guests), you need to press the volume key twice to turn them back on. Even more mysteriously, you can't turn them off -- you have to wait until the external LCD turns itself off and simultaneously shuts them down. All this palaver makes the touchpad seem like a gimmick -- although it does work, and it does look classy.
With only 128MB of internal memory and no option to add more using memory cards, the KG810 gives you a quick top-up of tunes rather than a long-term listening experience. That said, it does tick some of the key music phone boxes. You can plug standard headphones into a socket on the hands-free kit, and connect it to your PC as a mass-storage device for easy music transfers.
The KG810 isn't the best-specced phone on the market, but then chocolate isn't the mainstay of a balanced diet. It's a treat, a pick-me-up, a melting mouthful of richness at the end of a meal... and on that basis, the KG810 satisfies our needs. Watch out for a full review soon. -ML
Update: We now have a fullof the LG KG810 live in our Reviews channel.