By February 22, 2010

LG BL20 Review

BL20-angled-open The LG BL20 is the "New Chocolate". It has a very similar look to the BL40 (which was reviewed by us last year). It has a glossy black finish to it and has the stylish red metallic trim – but this time it’s a slider-style handset. It’s a lower end model too in the sense that it’s a bit more basic compared to its fancy touch screen predecessor.


What’s in the box?

  • BL20 handset
  • Battery (900mAh)
  • Mains charger (microUSB connection to the phone)
  • USB cable (again, a microUSB connection)
  • Stereo earphones/handsfree (connects via microUSB)
  • Userguide and mini CD
  • Phone recycling bag from O2


Overall the BL40 was a hit with us so please read on to see how this LG BL20 shapes up…


LG BL20 Specification:

  • GSM Tri-band, HSDPA Dual-band
  • Dimensions: 106.9 x 50.8 x 12.3 mm
  • Weight: 115 g
  • Display: 240 x 320 pixels, 2.4 inches, TFT, 262K colors
  • Touch-sensitive hidden navigation keys
  • 60MB internal memory
  • microSD card slot supports up to 16GB
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP
  • USB v2.0
  • Camera: 5 MP, 2560 x 1920 pixels, Schneider-Kreuznach optics, autofocus, LED flash
  • SMS, EMS, MMS, EMail, Instant Messaging
  • WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML browser
  • FM radio
  • Java MIDP 2.0
  • MP3/AAC/AAC+/WMA player
  • H.264/MP4/WMV player
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion 900 mAh
  • Stand-by: Up to 450 h
  • Talk time: Up to 300 min


For more information you can check out Matt’s LH BL20 Unboxing Video.



Front – The front sports the 2.4 inch display and the touch sensitive navigation area. You can see the buttons in the touch sensitive area when the handset is activated and the buttons are illuminated.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate – front view


In the picture below you can see the touch sensitive area. The top ones are the left and right soft keys, the arrows are for navigating through the phone and the middle square is the ok/select button. The bottom left button as a shortcut key to access your frequently used features or applications and the one on the right is a shortcut key to access your most used contacts and other widgets.

lg-mobile_phones-BL20-3_4view-largeThe LG BL20 New Chocolate – front view lit up


Left – Only the microUSB connection here which is located under the small dust cover.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate – left side view


Right – There is a dedicated camera button and the up/down rocker button which is used for the volume and the zoom for the camera. The up/down rocker button is actually touch sensitive.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate – right side view


Top – Here on the top is a screen/keypad lock and unlock button.

BL20-top The LG BL20 New Chocolate – bottom view


Keypad – The BL20 has a typical phone T9 keypad. At the top of the keypad are the call and end buttons and the clear button for deleting text. The end button is also used for powering the phone on and off.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate – open/keypad view


Back – The whole of the back cover slides off to reveal where the battery, sim card and memory card are located. You can also see the 5MP camera and flash.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate – back view



  • Stylish design
  • Good size handset
  • Very easy to use



  • Small screen
  • Finger marks very visible
  • No zoom for video camera function
  • No WiFi connection
  • No 3.5mm headphone socket
  • No accelerometer


The LG BL20 immediately draws your attention to it. Like the BL40, it is a stylish handset. Most of the phone has a sleek glossy black finish and then there’s the stunning contrast with the rich metallic red trim on the top, bottom, and on the keypad. There’s also a chrome metallic strip up each side which adds to the overall look of the phone.

The front touch sensitive panel only appears when the phone is active (the keypad is unlocked).  This is a really nice feature to the Black Label/Chocolate range as the panel buttons are backlit by a striking red glow. The touch buttons are very sensitive which makes using it effortless. Mind you, until you get used to the phone you may find yourself touching the buttons by accident ending up in menus or application you didn’t mean to open!

I mentioned the glossy black finish that looks great. This can also be a bit of a nightmare though as it makes the phone an absolute finger marks magnet!

I was surprised to see that the screen size was so small. It’s a 2.4 inch TFT screen. It seems bright and clear enough none the less and can be viewed in bright sunlight without too much bother.

The slide action of the handset can sound a bit clunky – especially when closing it but in general

The keypad is a typical numeric phone T9 keypad. As with the cover, it looks good, and it also had decent sized buttons which are spaced nicely making messaging easy. The backlighting to the keypad really adds to the look of the phone giving a sophisticated glow about it.

The LG BL20 New Chocolate


The LG BL20 has Symbian OS on it. I found the user interface quite basic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there are many people out there who would prefer this, but, it did seem a bit dated.

The main menu can be viewed in either a grid mode or list mode and is navigated through using the touch pad. There are a fair amount of useful applications onboard such as the usual calendar, tasks, calculator and memo, to name just a few. There is also an nice addition of the photo memo. It is exactly as the name suggests – you can take photos to keep as a memo. This is designed mainly for text memos. For example and advert in a paper or notice on a board or shop window. Once you take the picture the phone converts the image to plain black and white. The text can be a bit hard to read once converted so you do need to made sure that the text is definitely in focus when taking the picture.

The bottom right shortcut key on the touchpad lets you access your most used contacts. If you then select the left or right buttons you will scroll though some other widgets such as weather, time/alarm, memo and calendar. You can’t place these onto the home screen though.


I was nicely surprised at the camera quality on the BL20. It sports a 5MP camera with an LED flash that you can take some pretty good photos with, especially in good lighting. It has Auto-focus The pictures are detailed and clear, and even taking pictures in lower light using the flash are produced quite nicely. In lower light you normally get a sort of orange glow with the LED flash as they just aren’t up to the job. This isn’t the case with the BL20. Okay, it’s no way near perfect and you do get a bit of the orange glow when the picture subject is further away, but for closer shots like taking pictures of your mates on a night out, the colour rendition appears relatively natural.

The video camera quality isn’t as impressive as the camera. Don’t expect to get much detail from it unless the lighting is very good.

The camera shutter button doesn’t click down as you would expect. It feels almost touch sensitive but you are still able to place light pressure on it to auto focus, and then full pressure to take the picture. The up/down rocker button can be used to zoom in and out whilst using the camera. This is touch sensitive as well.


What I feel really lets the camera down here is the small screen for viewing the pictures back on. This leads me onto web browsing. This may sound like a strange link but it’s the screen size again. Web browsing is a nightmare with the BL20 as you spend so much of your time trying to scroll through one page. With no WiFi capability either you will be surfing the web using the slower HSDPA connection, making browsing on this handset almost not worth the hassle. On the other hand, maybe I’m just being impatient!


The music player is very simple to use an you are able to filter your music into your usual groups such as artist, song title, album and playlists, and it supports WAV, WMA and MP3 file formats.

The earphones provided are very average and you may find that you would rather use a pair of your own. Unfortunately the LG BL20 does not have a 3.5mm headphone socket but you can use the lower half of the handsfree earphones.


Texting with the phone is easy with the T9 phone keypad that almost everyone can use. You can set up email as well on the BL20 which is easy enough to do. The text is quite large and makes it easy to read but the screen size would again benefit here for being a bit bigger to fit more on it at a time

In call quality is clear and I found no problems with the reception.




The LG BL20 would be a great phone to show off to your friends as it it a great looking phone. It has a very stylish casing and flashy touch sensitive buttons made even more appealing by the great use of the backlighting. It’s quite a basic phone beneath all of the initial flashy front to it and I even mentioned the word ‘dated’ earlier. The menus just seem that the should be brought even more up to date.

It has a decent camera with an LED flash and and easy to use music player to keep you entertained.

The BL20 could really do with a larger screen in order to really make the most of the phone’s capabilities and maybe a 3.5mm headphone socket and WiFi capability.

Overall, the LG BL20 is is a nice looking mobile phone.



Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews

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