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LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 (Verizon Wireless) review: LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 (Verizon Wireless)

LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 (Verizon Wireless)

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
8 min read


LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 (Verizon Wireless)

The Good

The LG Chocolate Touch has a great music player, a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, EV-DO, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a responsive touch screen.

The Bad

The LG Chocolate Touch has a disappointing browser, and the overall look and feel of the phone is nothing we haven't seen before.

The Bottom Line

Despite our issues with the browser and the uninteresting design, the LG Chocolate Touch is a terrific music phone for Verizon Wireless.

When the LG Chocolate first came into the scene with the VX8500 model back in 2006, it was preceded by a ton of hype. And such is the case with its fourth and most recent incarnation, the LG Chocolate Touch. As the name indicates, it is a touch-screen phone with the famous Chocolate branding, and so we were expecting to see a brand new design and upgraded features.

As it turned out, LG actually introduced two Chocolate models with touch screens. The first is the LG Chocolate BL40, which features a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, multitouch capabilities, a 5-megapixel camera, and a bevy of impressive features. Unfortunately, it's available only in European and Asian markets (you can read our review of the LG Chocolate BL40 at CNET UK), so we had to settle for the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575, which is far less impressive.

Even so, Verizon Wireless's Chocolate Touch remains a decent phone. It's slim and lightweight, with a beautiful touch display that's surprisingly responsive. Like all the other Chocolate handsets, the Touch is a music-centric phone, with features like Dolby Mobile equalizer settings, an FM radio, and even a virtual drum kit. Combined with a 3.2-megapixel camera, EV-DO, and a full HTML browser, the Chocolate Touch VX8575 is a great music phone for Verizon Wireless customers. Just don't expect anything new in terms of design. The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 is $79.99 with a two-year service agreement from Verizon Wireless.

On the face of it, the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 is similar to other LG touch-screen phones that we've reviewed, like the LG Vu and the LG Dare. Measuring 4.3 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.47 inch thick, the Chocolate Touch is rectangular with slightly rounded edges. It is encased in a very reflective shell, save for four geometric shapes on its back side that are covered in a soft touch material. You get two changeable back plates with the phone: one with black shapes, and the other with purple. The reflective part of the phone is so shiny that you can use it as a mirror.

The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 has geometric shapes on the back.

The 3.0-inch display is vibrant and colorful, thanks to 262,000-color support and 400x240 pixel resolution. It really shows off the drop shadows and color gradients of the graphics. You can adjust the backlight time, the charging screen (what shows on the display when the phone is charging), the clock format on the home screen, the menu font style, and the dial font size.

On the right side of the Touch's home screen are two shortcut icons, which you can choose to hide if you wish. They correspond to a shortcut bin, and the music player shortcut. When you tap the arrow for the shortcut bin, you'll see a pullout menu of application and media file shortcuts, which you can drag and drop to the home screen. Some shortcuts are also full-on widgets, like those for the clock, the calendar, and the memo pad. You can add and remove shortcuts easily from the pullout menu as well. Along the bottom row of the home screen are shortcuts to the messaging in-box, the phone dialer, the main menu, the contacts list, and the favorite contacts screen.

On the whole, the touch screen is quite responsive. We like the haptics vibration feedback, though you also can add a sound effect to let you know your touch has registered. You can adjust the length and intensity of the vibration, and there's also a touch calibration wizard to help ensure accuracy. It does take a bit to get used to the touch screen, though; sometimes we activated something when we just wanted to scroll down a list.

The Touch VX8575 has an internal accelerometer that will rotate the screen from portrait to landscape mode as you turn the phone in your hand. Keep in mind that it works only in certain applications, like the Web browser. What's more, when you rotate the phone to landscape mode while in the text messaging app, you'll see a full QWERTY keyboard. The virtual keyboard is quite easy to use. The keys magnify as you tap them, and there's a dedicated @ key that double as a ".com" key when you hit shift. You also can enter text in portrait mode via a nine-key alphanumeric keypad or via handwriting recognition, but we much prefer the full QWERTY keyboard.

The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 has strangely shaped keys underneath the display.

Underneath the display are three physical keys: Send, Clear, and End/Power. The Clear key doubles as the voice record with a long press. The keys are shaped like amorphous blobs, which complement the geometric shapes on the back of the phone. On the left side of the phone are the charger jack, the volume control, and the speakerphone key. A 3.5mm headset jack is on the top and the camera key, the music player key, and the screen lock key are on the right side. On the back is the camera lens. The microSD card slot is located behind the battery cover.

The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 has a generous 1,000-entry phone book with room in each entry for five numbers, two e-mail addresses, an instant-messaging user name, and a street address. You can also organize your contacts into groups, and pair them with a photo and any of 21 polyphonic ringtones. Other basics include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone (which you can activate prior to a call), threaded text and multimedia messaging, voice messaging, a calendar, an alarm clock, a world clock, a stopwatch, a notepad, a calculator, a tip calculator, and a drawing pad, which you can use to make sketches for multimedia messages.

The Touch VX8575 also boasts a "Social Network Shortcut Key," which opens a menu that you can populate with shortcuts for updating your status or photo on a variety of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. These aren't real applications; they're just a way for you to quickly update your social network via SMS or MMS.

More advanced features include USB mass storage, voice command dialing, and a variety of Bluetooth profiles like hands-free, dial-up networking, A2DP or stereo, file transfer, and more. And if you're willing to cough up $3 a month for it, you'll also get Verizon's Visual Voice Mail.

The Touch offers three e-mail options: mobile e-mail, corporate e-mail--and calendar syncing--through RemoSync, and mobile Web email, which just gives you quick browser access to popular Web e-mail sites like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. The phone also has GPS with VZ Navigator support, and the EV-DO support brings V Cast video streaming.

The star feature of the phone, however, is the music player. We're happy to see that it has its own interface and doesn't just copy the look of the V Cast Music store. It organizes songs into artists, albums, and genres, and you can create and edit your own playlists. The player interface has the album art in the middle and the player controls along the bottom. You can set songs on repeat or shuffle as well. To load songs on the Touch, you can either purchase tunes directly from the V Cast Music store or sync with the PC using the V Cast Music with Rhapsody software. If you have a Rhapsody account, you can sync subscribed tracks as well. You don't need the software to load the songs though; you can just drag and drop them to the microSD card.

The main attraction of the music player on the Touch VX8575 is the Dolby Mobile equalizer. There are five equalizer presets (Flat, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Vocal Boost, and Classical), plus a manual equalizer if you really want it customized. A few extra player features include a visualizer effect, plus a "rhythmical beat" option that makes the phone vibrate along to the song. Our favorite, however, is the "Join the Band" option that brings up a full drum kit or a scrolling 88-key keyboard for you to play along to the music. It's not very useful perhaps, but it's a lot of fun to play. Other music player options include an FM radio with 12 presets (it only works when you plug in a wired headset) and integrated song ID.

The LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 has a 3.2-megapixel camera on the back.

The Chocolate Touch also has a 3.2-megapixel camera, which can take pictures in five resolutions (2,048x1,536, 1,600x1,200, 1,280x960, 800x480, 640x480), five white balance presets, and five color effects. It has three focusing modes, a self-timer, and special shot modes like Panorama and Intelligent shot. Photo quality is quite good overall. We didn't like the low-light shots due to the lack of flash, but images do look sharp and colorful for the most part.

The LG Chocolate Touch takes pretty good photos.

There's also a full HTML browser, which isn't as full featured as we would like. It lets us surf and browse full Web pages, and we like that you can view them in full-screen mode, add bookmarks, search through a page, and zoom in and out with the volume rocker or an onscreen magnifying glass. But the Web search function on the browser only uses the Microsoft Bing service, and whenever you want to enter a URL, you have to keep going back to a URL-entry page.

You can personalize the Chocolate Touch with graphics and ringtones. If you're not satisfied with the options on the phone, you can download more from the Verizon Wireless store. The Touch comes with two games--Rock Band and Sims 3--and you can get more games and applications via the mobile Web browser as well.

We tested the LG Chocolate Touch in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless. Call quality was impressive on the whole. Callers could hear us loudly and clearly for the most part. They did hear a slight fuzziness in the background and they said our voice quality was a bit harsh, but those were not deal breakers.

On our end, we could hear them clearly without any interference. Their voice sounded quite natural as well. Speakerphone calls fared similarly; they said they could hear us with plenty of volume and with a slight echo effect, but nothing terribly distracting. On our end, the speakerphone had plenty of volume, and though the callers' voices didn't sound as natural, we could still carry on a conversation just fine.

We really liked the audio quality of the Chocolate Touch. Of course, the speakers didn't really do justice to the music, but even without a headset, you could hear the difference of each equalizer setting quite clearly. You do really need a headset to fully enjoy the bass boost setting though.

We were pleased with the EV-DO Rev. 0 speeds too. It's not quite as fast as EV-DO Rev. A, but we still managed to download a 2.08MB song in around 40 seconds, and we loaded the CNET front page in about 25 seconds. We also managed to stream videos from V Cast with little to no buffering. The streaming video quality was mediocre at best, with a lot of pixelation and blurriness.

The LG Chocolate Touch has a rated battery life of 5.1 hours talk time and 19.6 days standby time. It has a slightly longer talk time in our tests with 6 hours and 52 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Chocolate Touch has a digital SAR of 1.47 watts per kilogram.


LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 (Verizon Wireless)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8