LG Shine KU970

The Shine looks gorgeous if you can manage to keep it clean, and will likely cause envy among those you show it off to. Just watch out for the pesky scroller.

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We first encountered the Shine at CES 2007, where we named it one of the top 20 head-turning gadgets of the show. A few months on it has finally arrived in Australia, although the specs have changed slightly. The local version of this delectable device is 3G, with a customised version (the U970) available on Hutchison's 3 network.

Phone manufacturers have developed a penchant for glossy, shiny surfaces of late, and the Shine is the ultimate example of this newfound devotion to things that glisten and gleam. The phone has a polished-metal body, and the entire front surface transforms into a mirror when the 2.2-inch LCD is idle.

Of course, while there are obvious advantages to having a phone with a giant mirror on it -- being able to check for parsley in your teeth, blinding annoying siblings by angling the phone at the sun -- the downside is that you will need to spend a lot of time doing the old spit-and-polish. The surface quickly becomes tarnished with fingerprints, facial muck and unidentifiable grime, so keep a wiping cloth handy.

The mirrored surface is but one aspect of the Shine's sleek-and-sexy appearance. The phone looks and feels expensive, from the metal finish to the hefty 120-gram weight. The sliding mechanism is solid, and doesn't feel loose or flimsy like some other slider models we've played with. Flicking up the top section reveals a flat keypad, its numbers backlit with blue neon. It's a swish-looking set-up, even trumping the RAZR family's keys in the elegance stakes.

There is one major cause for complaint -- the scroller beneath the display may look cool, but it falls far behind the traditional five-way navigation key when it comes to usability. We found that both the scroller and the teeny buttons to the left and right of it gave us trouble when typing text messages and moving through long lists.

The Shine has 512MB of space for your music and data storage needs. Note that there is no way to boost this capacity -- although the phone has been released in overseas markets with a smaller internal memory and a microSD slot, Australian buyers must content themselves with the boosted in-built memory.

The 2-megapixel autofocus camera comes equipped with a heap of photo-taking options, including a variety of resolutions, five white balance settings, a delay timer and artistic effects. An inward-facing VGA camera allows you to make 3G video calls.

Video and audio are handled with style within a basic multimedia player, with supported formats including MPEG-4, H.263, 3GP, WMV and ASF for video, and MP3, WAV and AAC for sounds. If you fancy transferring a heap of tunes from your PC, you can do so via USB or Bluetooth.

We were wondering how the reflective surface might affect the visibility of the LCD, but the 320 x 240 screen looks fantastic. Occasionally, as with glossy-screened laptops, you will find that you can see your own reflection, but this only happens when the display is dark and isn't enough to be distracting.

The Shine gets pretty toasty when charging, no doubt aided by the heat-conducting properties of its metal housing. It's not quite the thigh-searing heat generated by a MacBook Pro, but it's warmer than we're used to.

The battery powered on for around three days, but we found charging via USB took too long to be practical and advise you stick to good old-fashioned mains power for your juicing-up needs.

We liked the Shine a lot, but the pesky scroller is too small and fiddly, and therefore brought the score down. We can also think of better ways to spend our time than constantly polishing the fingerprinted glossy screen. That said, the phone looks gorgeous if you can manage to keep it clean, and will likely cause envy among those you show it off to.

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big smitty

big smitty posted a review   

The Good:not a lot

The Bad:scroll get dirt in it and doesnt work, charger port is as loose as a hooker, and the fukn thinkg keeps turning off when ever it fkn feels like

not good at all but thats my experience with it


Burns posted a review   

The Good:Well-rounded, durable, & reliable with a touch of sleeky elegance.

The Bad:Moderate battery life, limited message bank memory.

Had this phone for 1-2 years now and it's still operating normally. Probably some slight scratches on the screen and metalic surfaces, but still remained relatively spotless. Accidentally dropped this phone a few times but was surprised at how it withstood such an impact - everything intact and working!


crum posted a comment   

The Good:durablitly- ive had it for 3 years and not one single problem

The Bad:message memory is shocking! its been a pain in my **** forever deleting message before i can reiceve a new one! the the charger slot it terrible!! it will always randomly light up or vibrate for no particular reason

does the job, doesnt really have anthing special going for it


Annonymous posted a review   

The Good:MP3, looks good, unbreakable, loud speakers

The Bad:Camera, scroll, editing/cropping images

I've had this phone for the past 4 years, it's held out on me. It's a pretty good phone, its a perfect first phone.
The good overdoes the bad, i've gotten used to the scroll, it's actually quite fun to play with!
But i must say, the camera SUCKS!! All my pictures from this phone are darker, and if you use the flash, it makes you look oily! OH, but the worst part is cropping images, IT TAKES FOREVER!!!!!

But apart from that i would recommend this phone :) (I LOVE THE MIRROR)


JunJun posted a review   

The Good:Excellent build quality and design

The Bad:Only stores 275 texts, slow camera and picture browsing

Ignore the reviewer regarding the scroll wheel; the response and accuracy is excellent in my opinion.


MadJM posted a comment   

The scrolling function is novel but impractical and annoying, as it often rolls to the wrong selection as you push down to select, sometimes with very bad consequences. The screen is too large and broke today due to a very minor force. Go buy the cheapest phone out there and I promise it will hold up better than the LG Shine

Sir gizalot

Sir gizalot posted a review   

i need to no if the fone is good in most ways like is it good for texting and is the music player loud enough can u plz help me!


yous are all a bunch ov winging **** posted a comment   

The Good:i own one of these phones they are ok but i trade it for buds ene day =P

The Bad:apart from the wingy **** on yhis website the phone is good.

over all its good but rather a deal or N95....


Schuhey posted a review   

The Good:This phone is the msot durable fuckign thing ever. stronger than a brick. good for clumsy people like me. easy to text with. has aan SD card slot and menus are easy to navigate. good first phone and the constant flash can be used as a torch which i found it was better for

The Bad:back scratches easy and gets dirty quick but the scroller can break easy if your a dipshit and dont be careful.

i said it all in ggood and bad.


sarah posted a comment   

I was going to buy this phone instead of the webslider but i usually dont trust reviews cos most people use there phone differently and i want one just to keep in touch, i have my ipod touch to do the rest :P so whats better webslider or lg shine?

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User Reviews / Comments  LG Shine KU970

  • big smitty

    big smitty


    "not good at all but thats my experience with it"

  • Burns



    "Had this phone for 1-2 years now and it's still operating normally. Probably some slight scratches on the screen and metalic surfaces, but still remained relatively spotless. Accidentally dropped..."

  • crum


    "does the job, doesnt really have anthing special going for it"

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