Last week some bloggers dug out the secret of LG’s upcoming Chocolate smartphone–a cinema-aspect widescreen. It sounds amazing, but little else was known about it. Until this video leaked. And boy it’s impressive.
Now we know the phone is the fourth in the black label series, which earns it the name BL40. We also know it’s got Wi-fi, 7.2mbps 3G, GPS, full browser, and a 5-megapixel cam. That camera appears also to have a touch-to-focus UI similar to that of the new iPhone 3G S. LG’s proprietary Active-Flash UI is shown to good effect here, and it looks pretty amazing–a real graphical treat that should make the most of multitouch for intuitive phone interactions.
But of course its that whacky 4-inch, 800 by 344-pixel, 21:9 touchscreen that steals the show. Compare it to the Pre’s 3.1-inch 320 x 480 one, the iPhone’s 3.5-inch 480 x 320 pixel display, and the Nokia N97’s 3.5-inch 640 x 360 pixel screen to see exactly how massive the LG’s is. I briefly worried it was going to be a shamelessly excessive addition, without much practical appeal. But this video’s allayed those fears somewhat, since the UI seems to make maximal use of the available screen real estate. Check out that slick scheduler app, and look how handy the full-widescreen emailing seems to be. It also allows for greater spacing between the keys of the on-screen soft keyboard compared to other touchscreen phones, which is almost certainly a good thing for improved typing accuracy.
So it’s innovative, and sharp-looking, but I suspect it won’t be leading the charge with other smartphone makers following the odd aspect-ratio screen. And, scratch-resistant tempered glass notwithstanding, let’s not forget the classic smartphone error: Placing it in the rear jeans pocket, and sitting down. The BL40’s form factor is just asking for a screen-snapping accident in this situation.