LG and Verizon unleash new Chocolate 3 music phone

The tech world may well be abuzz with ‘iPhone this’ and ‘iPhone that’ but, contrary to current consumer chatter, there are other mobile phone manufacturers with appealing gadgets to offer those not so keen on jumping aboard the roaring Apple bandwagon. Bearing that in mind, meet LG Electronics’ new third-generation Chocolate handset.

While not graced with cutting-edge smartphone features, the Chocolate 3 instead looks to provide solid focus by selling itself as a premium music phone that packs “all of the latest features in mobile music technology,” which includes support for Verizon’s V CAST Music with Rhapsody subscription music service.

Released to the retail world yesterday (July 13), the new flip-style Chocolate 3 is available in black or light blue through Verizon Wireless Communications Stores (including those in Circuit City) and also via Verizon’s official online store.

Described as the “marquee music phone” for the V CAST and Rhapsody service, Chocolate 3 users will be able to use LG’s latest handset for download access to more than 5 million songs, while also creating personal playlists and carrying hundreds of their favourite songs with them wherever they should go.

Beyond its strong music download association, the Chocolate 3 also offers up a built-in FM transmitter so that music can be played via a car or a similar external stereo system, along with the inclusion of dual speakers, a Bluetooth headset for wireless stereo sound, an easy-to-use frontal navigation wheel, and USB charging. An optional storage boost is supplied by up to 8GBs of expandable memory via a microSD card.

“We are proud of the success and popularity of the Chocolate series of handsets, and are excited about the upgrades made with this new edition,” trumpeted Ehtisham Rabbani, VP of product strategy and marketing for LG. “The LG Chocolate 3 helps Verizon Wireless customers minimize the number of electronic devices they need to carry at one time.”

While being clearly user defined for the mobile enjoyment of music, the Chocolate 3 further bolsters its entertainment appeal through a 2.0 mega pixel camera/camcorder (2x zoom), which supports V CAST Video and ESPN MVP and grants on-demand access to news, sports scores and more.

Prospective Chocolate 3 buyers on the Verizon network can also look forward to the introduction of Dashboard, a graphics-rich portal powered by Adobe Flash Cast technology that provides 13 specific multimedia and entertainment channels including Comedy Central, FOX Sport, and MTV News directly to the handset.

The Chocolate 3’s multimedia player supports MP3, WMA, unprotected AAC, and unprotected AAC+ music files, and WMA, MP4, 3GP and 3G2 video file formats.

The LG Chocolate 3 flip handset is available for $129.99 USD (after a $50 USD mail-in rebate) alongside a two-year service contract. The V CAST Music with Rhapsody software can be downloaded for free at Verizon’s official site. Verizon Wireless also offers a ‘best of’ service via its Nationwide Premium plan, which starts at $79.99 per month and includes unlimited texts, VZ Navigator, Mobile Email, V CAST VPak and unlimited megabyte access through Mobile Web and Media Center.

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