We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

LG Chocolate VX8550 review

$250 (about £125) inc VAT

Manufacturer: LG Electronics

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The LG Chocolate VX8550, available in the US from Verizon for $250 - £125 - with a two-year contract, eschews a button-oriented navigational ring for a navigational wheel.

The LG Chocolate VX8550, available in the US from Verizon for $250 - £125 - with a two-year contract, eschews a button-oriented navigational ring for a navigational wheel.

We found the LG VX8550's wheel a mixed blessing. It simplifies navigation in some menus, but makes it more onerous in others. Sometimes it's easier to press the wheel like a four-way button to navigate up/down and left/right.

Visit Mobile Advisor for the latest mobile-phone handset reviews and the best tariffs

The top half of the LG Chocolate VX8550 slides upward to reveal the phone's keypad. LG has added an extra row of buttons at the top of the keypad, for send, camera, and end/power. To use the phone for functions such as playing music, though, you have to push up the slider first so you can power the phone up.

The LG VX8550's standard 3.5mm headphone jack is a welcome feature; and a new microSD card slot, protected by a sturdy cover, can handle 4GB high-capacity cards.

Otherwise, much remains the same in the LG Chocolate VX8550 as it was in previous LG Chocolate phones. A 240x320-pixel, 11-line display with 262,000 colours; a 1.9GHz CDMA PCS, 800-MHz CDMA (Digital Dual-Band) radio; high-speed EvDO support; a surprisingly capable 1.3Mp camera/camcorder with serious shutter lag; and stereo Bluetooth. The phone supports web-based email and instant messaging.

The LG VX8550 sounded clear in our informal tests, even under windy conditions on a local street corner.

The LG Chocolate VX8550's four capacitive touch buttons include a dedicated speakerphone, which the first Chocolate lacked.

Audio sounded clear in our informal tests. In our formal talk-time battery tests, the LG Chocolate VX8550 lasted five hours, 12 minutes - nearly twice as long as the first LG Chocolate.

On the back of the LG Chocolate VX8550, you'll find its speakers. Sliding the phone upward reveals its 1.3Mp camera and camcorder.

In the US, the included V Cast Music service charges $1.99 and up for music downloads from Verizon. You'll also get charged for airtime minutes for the download, unless you step up to the VPak music and video service, at $15 per month. As yet there's no word on when the LG Chocolate VX8550 will launch in the UK.

LG Chocolate VX8550 Expert Verdict »

CDMA technology
1.9 GHz CDMA PCS, 800 MHz CDMA (digital dual-band)
high-speed EvDO data transmission
262K Color TFT, 240x320 pixels, 11 lines
800 mAh Li-Ion Polymer battery
usage time: up to 3 hours and 30 minutes
standby time: up to 16 days
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

This LG Chocolate VX8550 may not be the best platform for handling multimedia or messaging. The lack of a keyboard makes texting difficult at best, and the interface for music playback lacks the finesse of those on competing phones such as the Nokia N95.

  • LG Chocolate BL40 review

    LG Chocolate BL40

    The LG Chocolate BL40 mobile phone is one of the oddest-looking handsets we've ever seen.

  • LG Lotus review

    LG Lotus

    The LG Lotus phone has a striking design, but you can find a similar model for less.

  • LG GW525 review

    LG GW525

    The LG GW525 is a mobile phone with a great keyboard, decent music playback and a responsive touchscreen.

  • LG GW620 review

    LG GW620

    LG has finally jumped on to the Android bandwagon with the LG GW620 smartphone with a hardware keyboard. Let's see how the LG holds up in our tests.

  • LG GW550 review

    LG GW550

    The LG GW550 mobile phone has an understated look and runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 Standard Edition.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model