A couple of months ago I unknowingly left my newest cell phone in my pants pocket and on the floor. The result was it got stepped on. It still worked, but the screen was basically unreadable. Since I didn’t have a warranty on it, that meant I was out a phone. Not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars, I found a used LG Chocolate VX8500 for sale on the internet for $30.
The phone is designed as a slide phone, meaning that the phone is in two pieces that slide apart vertically. They keypad with is underneath the rest of the phone with a screen and the touch controls. My LG Chocolate VX8500 was a lime green in color which made it easy to find in the house as I have a tendency to forget where I put it. It’s light-weight and compact making it easy to carry.
My biggest issue with the LG Chocolate VX8500 is the touch controls, which drove me crazy after a month of use. They didn’t seem to be sensitive enough or responsive enough. When trying to use them for anything, they didn’t seem to pick up when my fingers touched them. This was particularly annoying when trying to use the 1.3 mega pixel camera as these touch controls are what is used to actually take the picture. I would touch the spot on the controls to take the picture and nothing would happen. I would do this over and over again and inevitably the picture would finally take when I was moving the phone. I think in the couple of months I used this phone there were maybe three pictures I took which were actually clear enough to distinguish what I was taking a picture of.
At the same time, since this was the most prevalent issue, it was what I expected every time I attempted to use these controls. Other times they would work fine or even be way more sensitive than I expected. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to the trouble they gave me.
These controls also control other multimedia functions of the phone, so although the LG Chocolate VX8500 is supposed to play mp3s and the like, actually getting them to download and play turned out to be an exercise in frustration. Even getting a new ringtone proved to be a challenge.
I was also frustrated when sending text messages. I’m not a huge texter like my kids are, but just the few messages I normally use resulted in frustration. At first I thought that perhaps there were easier ways to text and perform some of the functions that were frustrating me and I didn’t know since I didn’t have the book that normally comes with these phones. However, when I started reading reviews of this particular phone I soon realized I wasn’t the only one with these frustrations.
I did think the screen itself was pretty good quality. I could see pictures other people sent me very well as well as any videos and playing games.
The sound level on the phone seemed off. I have a partial hearing loss from too much loud music in my younger days, but it’s usually a problem hearing someone in a crowded room, so I don’t believe my issues with the LG Chocolate VX8500 came from that. There were times when I had the phone with me and I wouldn’t hear it signal I had an incoming call, this despite the fact that I had the volume at the highest level. I noticed I was telling people more and more often that I couldn’t hear them when they called me as well.
On the plus side, the phone had decent reception. Living in this rural area, it’s definitely an issue as driving a few miles can mean losing service. I didn’t notice that much of a difference in the issue from my Motorola Razr. The Samsung Renown was the best in this department, and the LG Chocolate VX8500 definitely wasn’t in its league, but it was acceptable. I could receive calls at my workplace which is on the cusp of a cell with no problem while I’ve had problems getting calls there in the past.
Answering calls was easy as I had it set so when I slid the top up calls answered. Making calls was another story since moving through my contact list meant using the temperamental touch controls. I usually prayed I needed to call someone who recently had called me as this proved much easier.
The battery life was decent. Since it isn’t a phone where I was doing a lot of surfing the net or checking Twitter or Facebook, I didn’t have a tendency to run the battery down fast.
I gave up on the LG Chocolate VX8500 because I couldn’t work it to use all of the functions I wanted. I figured if I was going to be stuck without a camera since I couldn’t get it to work reliably I might as well switch up to a Blackberry, which I did. I wouldn’t recommend this phone at any cost as all I experienced was a heck of a lot of frustration with anything but the most basic phone operations.
© 2009 Patti Aliventi
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Amount Paid (US$): $35.00 used
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