Written on: 12/04/2008 by marsbound2024 (1 review written)
I have the VX8500, the original model, and I bought it because of the hype, the ads and the looks. On paper it looked quite attractive as well. The camera is decent for its time and for a cell phone. The screen is nice and vibrant.
To be honest, most days I find myself despising the LG Chocolate phone. The battery life is fairly poor as I can get maybe an hour and a half to two hours talk time max. From full charge to zero with the phone pretty much not in use, I can go about a day and a half. If I have more than five phone calls, then I can count on it being dead or almost dead by the end of the day. The phone's buttons are a bit too sensitive and I find my cheek activating programs that I didn't even intend. Luckily the phone has a lock feature like most others, but this feature is more annoying than anything else as it locks itself down fairly quickly, even if I am browsing through things. Perhaps the most annoying thing is the lack of a battery alarm. I will be on the phone and automatically lose the call and not realize it until I hear the Verizon shutting down jingle. Then I am forced to find a charger, plug it in and then call back. Easy enough, right? Wrong! The phone charger is a nuisance to plug in! What a weird adapter! I've had times where I've struggled to put it in right and essentially raced against the clock because once the battery hits no bars, you have literally seconds left. So while in a call, if I so happen to catch that, I will be fiddling with the charger and the phone will shut down on me before I am ever able to put it in and save the call. Far more complicated than it should be. The charger, even though so complicated to put in, comes out fairly easy. A quick turn of the head with the phone, even with slack in the charger wire, and the thing comes out. The phone is very sensitive to humidity and even slight amounts of water in general. Do not use it in the rain. I've had a couple of these phones die because of humidity and possibly a rain drop or two. While they didn't die, the phone was unreliable. It would randomly access my contact list and start calling people. Very annoying.
Another nuisance is that the original firmware had absolutely no support for speakerphone! What kind of high end phone, like the Chocolate was supposed to be, does not have speaker phone!? Anyways, my second replacement (third Chocolate) provided by the insurance I happily had on the phone, came with updated firmware. The firmware did provide a few nice improvements in general functionality, but still the phone was a disaster.
The phone has driven me to not want to renew my contract with Verizon and veer clear of LG. It was quite sad as I thought LG was a great brand. Indeed, most of their appliances are, but not their cell phones.
The last thing is the phone's service/reception. This may be due to the fact I live in a rural area, but this doesn't happen all the time. At random times the phone simply refuses to even attempt a call or text messages and informs me that it failed and asks if I want to retry. These messages are different from the other messages saying that the call was not successful. When I have no service, usually the text message simply freezes and doesn't show a red check, or the envelope falls down and shows that it failed. But recently I've been getting other error messages. Also, another Verizon phone from a friend or family member would have service while mine did not. It's a bit late in the game now, but for those still considering purchasing an LG chocolate, even the VX8550, be wary and warned. I heard that many problems were cleared up with the VX8550 and LG admitted rushing the VX8500 to market, but simply having the design based exactly on the VX8500 with only improvements, I would not recommend the newest model to anyone either.
I usually do my research before purchasing, but on this purchase I was too drawn into the hype, the ads, other people's comments and the style of the phone to have done appropriate research. It was time for an upgrade and I got the phone for $50 after rebate right at launch! It was a steal... And indeed it was a steal...but it was on Verizon's and LG's part.