I got this phone in July 2009 when I was due for my upgrade through my Verizon Wireless two-year contract. The list price varies depending on where you buy it, but most sites I've seen list it between $200 and $250. I ordered it online through Verizon, and with my online discounts and incentives I paid $19.99 for it.
I need a basic phone that I can use to make phone calls and maybe take a picture every now and then. I don't use the MP3 player feature, and I never browse the web. I live in a rural area in the mountains, and because of all the granite and sparse towers I don't have cell service at home. I have to drive about 20 minutes away to get a signal. So my phone is basically something I only use when I'm away from home. I work from home, too, so it was important that I didn't buy an expensive phone with a lot of bells and whistles that I won't use (like the iPhone).
That is not to say that this phone isn't capable. You can do all the things that most other cell phones do, like take pictures and video, play games, download ringtones, set an alarm, surf the web, and use compatible Bluetooth devices. I've read that it has an FM transmitter, too, so you can play its music through your car stereo or other radio. I've never tried this feature, though, since I don't have any music on my phone.
I have had LG phones since 2001, and I also love the Tip Calculator tool (which all of my previous LG phones have had). My friends laugh at me because I don't do it in my head, but you can use it to adjust the percentage (like from 15% to 20% or anywhere in between), and I like to know that I haven't made a mistake and under-tipped a waiter or waitress.
It has a click-wheel on the front that reminds me of the one on Apple's iPods. The Chocolate 3 has 140 MB of internal memory for pictures and texts, and it also has 1 GB dedicated for music storage. There is a 3.5 mm headphone jack above the volume and microphone buttons on the side of the phone.
I've heard that all the cell phones are now going to a universal USB connector, and this one has that: it's a 2.0 Hi-speed micro-USB. However, you access it by sliding aside a little cover that stays attached via a rubber line. I have fingernails so it's not a problem for me, but I have no idea how people with large fingers and no nails get it open. I would guess that it would be kind of annoying, and they might just break off the cover to avoid the hassle.
The Chocolate 3 has a big screen on the front. It is a flip phone, unlike the previous Chocolates that had keys that slid out from the bottom of a flat phone. If I get a text or picture message I can press one key on the side to unlock the keys and scroll and click through the message without even opening the phone. I'm not sure if this feature is to reduce the wear and tear on your phone's hinge or to cater to people who are too lazy to open a phone, but it's nice to quickly view a message if I'm in public because it doesn't look as rude as whipping out my phone and opening it and scrolling or texting.
I'm a girl, and I don't have a problem admitting that the thing that sold me on this phone was its color. It's light blue and silver. I like how distinctive that is. But as far as functionality goes, I haven't had a problem using this phone at all. Texting is easy on the fairly large keypad, and the speakerphone key is easy to find and press if I'm driving. The screens are large and brightly lit, too, which makes them easy to see even in bright sunlight.
Overall, I have no complaints about this phone. The battery lasts a reasonable amount of time, and the phone is easy to use to make and receive calls and texts. I think I would use all its additional features more often if I had cell service at home.