Review: LG Chocolate 3
The C3's camera uses the standard Verizon Wireless software and is launched via the dedicated camera/video key to the right of the D-pad, or by hopping through the menu system. If you hit the camera button, it boots in a quick 2 seconds. Framing pictures in the screen is simple.
Even though the phone is held vertically, the pictures are shot in a landscape orientation, meaning they are wider than they are tall.
Once you've framed your shot, hitting the center of the D-pad takes the shot almost immediately. The image pops up onto the screen and you have to choose whether to send, save or erase it. Saving it takes about 2 seconds before you can take another picture.
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Hitting the D-pad up or down will increase or decrease the brightness level in half steps, this action is duplicated by the volume toggle. If the camera is set to full resolution, you cannot zoom in or out. If, however, you dial down the resolution setting a bit, pushing the D-pad to the left or right lets you zoom in and out.
While in the camera mode, the left soft key takes you to the gallery application. The right soft key lets you access all the user-adjustable settings. They include the usual items such as resolution, timer, brightness and how the camera measures and balances the light . The color effects lets you adjust between normal, sepia, black & white, and negative images through the viewfinder.
The one frustrating aspect of the options system is that it assumes you only want to make one adjustment at a time. Once you make an adjustment and hit the "set" key, rather than going back to the menu of options, it takes you back out to the camera UI. If you want to make multiple adjustments at once, you have to keep jumping back into the options menu. For many, this may be a non-issue. I found it to be time-consuming when I wanted to change a number of the camera's settings at once.
The C3's camera does to one really cool thing. You can turn it on when the phone is closed. Since the camera lens and viewfinder face you simultaneously, this really only makes it useful for self-portraits, which I found myself taking quite a few of (I know, I am vain, what can I say?). Because the viewfinder is so bright and so large, it is really convenient for taking a picture of you and your significant other when a third person isn't around to help you out.
The C3's video camera has two resolution settings, as well as several white balance and duration settings to choose from. As with the camera, you'll need to keep returning to the options menu to fiddle with each one. When shooting a stationary (or nearly stationary) subject, the video camera captures images with no jitters and the action is fairly smooth. Panning the camera around in video mode didn't baffle it too much, and it kept most objects sharp, with little smearing or ghosting. Panning across bright objects when in dark environments did prove to be somewhat nettlesome. Bright light sources, such as windows, could completely wash out the C3's video camera for several seconds before it was able to adjust to the new brightness level.
The gallery application is unchanged from other phones that use the Verizon UI. The gallery is locked to a two-column view, and was able to scroll down through images quickly. When viewing the gallery, hitting the right soft key brings up the expected set of options for moving, renaming and otherwise interacting with your pictures.
Opening up each picture is as simple as hitting the center of the D-pad when the picture is highlighted on the screen. Once open, the right soft key opens an editor tool and lets you do all sorts of things with the pictures, such as cropping, zooming, adding frames and so on.
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Today Verizon Wireless announced the new LG Chocolate 3 music-centric phone. The Chocolate 3 is a folding-style phone, unlike previous Chocolates, which were sliders.
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