LG Chocolate 3 to debut on Verizon for $129

July 6, 2008

LG Chocolate 3 to debut on Verizon for $129For all the hype surrounding smartphones and touchscreen handsets in the past year or so, Verizon’s sexy-chic phone the LG Chocolate has a surprisingly large number of devoted followers. If you’re one of those folks, you should be very happy to learn that the next iteration of the LG Chocolate will be available for $129.

According to Phone Arena, the new handset is set to drop one week from tomorrow (July 14) across the U.S. The LG Chocolate 3 will be available for the very reasonable price of $129 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

That assumes, of course, that you aren’t inept in the direction-following department (like myself), and can manage to perform all the necessary tasks to get your $50 back. Even if you don’t, I would hardly say that $180 is at all unreasonable for a new handset that has such a devoted following.

Probably the first thing you’ll notice about the new Chocolate is that this handset is, in fact, a clamshell, while earlier variants were of the slider-candy bar sort. Beyond that, the Chocolate 3 will come equipped with an FM transmitter (a welcome feature for many who prefer a standard handset to a smartphone), 1 Gb of internal memory, support for up to 8 Gb of MicroSDHC, a 1.76″ external display with accompanying external wheel (like the Chocolates of old), a lovely 2.2″ QXVGA internal display, stereo speakers, and a 2.0 megapixel camera. The Chocolate 3 also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack (a nice feature for truly media-centric handsets), Bluetooth 2.1 and flavors of both black and baby blue.

The handset appears to be a good quality middle-of-the-road handset, all things considered. As the Chocolate has always pushed music, the 3.5 mm jack, stereo speakers and FM transmitter should appeal to those looking for simplicity with media functionality.

My only question is whether existing Chocolate users will be interested in switching from the current candy bar style of the Chocolate 1 or 2 to the flip style of the Chocolate 3. It seems like fewer folks are interested in the once-popular flip phone style, especially as smartphones and touchscreen phones take the straight forward candy bar approach.

That could also mean that Blackberry’s new handset, the KickStart, which is also a flip phone, might not see the adoption rates Blackberry is hoping for. Obviously, no Blackberry has ever been cheap, and this new handset is aimed at customers looking for office functionality in standard handset. However, just like with the Chocolate 3, I question the move to revert to the now less-popular flip phone style.

If you are willing to extend your contract for 2 years, you can get the Chocolate 3 for $129 with $50 mail-in rebate. If you only upgrade for 1 year, you will be able to acquire it for $199 with a $50 mail-in rebate. If you’re one of those who don’t have an upgrade or contract renewal ready, you’ll be looking at a smooth $299 for the new handset.

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