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There was initially some confusion as to whether the LG KG810 is part of the Chocolate phone range. Fortunately, LG has cleared things up by nicknaming it the Chocolate Folder and it goes without saying that this clamshell is related to the KG800 Chocolate phone.
It's currently available for free on a monthly contract or SIM-free for around £120.
The LG KG810 Chocolate Folder looks and feels like the original Chocolate phone, but this time it's a clamshell, measuring 47mm by 92mm by 15mm. It's an attractive phone that not only looks good but feels comfortable to hold and use. You will, however, need to use the bundled cleaning pad or carry a cloth to keep it nice and shiny.
The front section is a glossy piano black and houses a 1.3-megapixel camera, colour screen and glowing-red, heat- and touch-sensitive music buttons. Around this fingerprint-friendly surface is a metallic silver border that clearly distinguishes the top section of the clamshell from the bottom. There's plenty of space between the two sections to pry them open easily with a thumb or finger.
On the left side of the handset is a volume rocker that controls the volume during calls and on the MP3 player. It also adjusts the camera's zoom. On the right side there's a shutter button for the camera and a charging port that doubles up as the headphone and USB port. The back of the phone is minimalist with only a spring loaded switch that releases the battery.
Once you open up the KG810, there's a bright colour screen that measures 32mm wide by 40mm tall at the top of the inside section. Underneath this lies a flat keypad. At the top of the keypad section there's a round navigation button that's large and easy to press. Either side of the navigation button are two soft keys that give you access to the menu, contacts, MP3 player and camera.
While flat keypads are sometimes difficult to use, this one isn't -- it's great for composing text messages or dialling numbers. The keypad features the same chequered matte and gloss keys as the original Chocolate phone, however this time they are laid out in a slight curve. One particularly noteworthy point is that there's no lip at the bottom of the keypad, which makes accessing the bottom row of keys much easier.
The KG810 is a tri-band handset pitched as an all-rounder and it goes some way to fulfilling its promise. For starters there's an MP3 player that supports MP3, AAC and AAC+ formats, and you can adjust the play mode and equalizer. Listening to music is possible using the proprietary headphones or you can use your own via the 3.5mm adaptor. You can also use Bluetooth stereo headphones -- the KG810 supports A2DP (stereo Bluetooth).
You can control the MP3 player with the clamshell open or shut and there are three heat- and touch-sensitive buttons on the front to play and pause tracks or go forward and back. The problem with the external controls is that you have to activate them using the volume button, which is fiddly because it needs to be pressed twice or held down for a few seconds.
The other niggle we had with the external controls was that they weren't always very responsive -- tapping them often didn't do anything. Then there's the 1.3-megapixel camera that doesn't hold a candle to the KG920's 5-megapixel camera, and disappointingly lacks autofocus and flash. Pictures and video were acceptable for small MMS messages, but don't expect to get high-quality prints.
One of the KG810's biggest let downs is that while 128MB of on-board memory seems like a lot of storage space, there's no expandable memory slot. Ironically, you can use the KG810 as a mass storage device, but with only 128MB of space, don't expect to store too much. Other features include a calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a voice recorder, an FM radio, a unit converter, world time, a stop watch and Java games.
It also has a Web browser and email client so you can browse the Web and send and receive emails, but the email setup is pretty tricky so expect to have to do some research before you get everything working. Indeed, the overall feeling while using the KG810 is that its feature set doesn't match its looks. Sending and receiving calls and text messages is straightforward, but don't expect high quality in every department.
Audio quality during calls was really clear and loud. We had no problem hearing people over the speaker and neither did anyone report low volume or distortions from their side.
The MP3 player sounded good, especially since we could use our own headphones via the adaptor.
Battery life was acceptable but not fantastic -- it's quoted at 200 hours of standby time and two to three hours of talk time.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield