LG KU970 Shine 3G

LG’s fashion handset hasn’t been around very long in its 2.5G version; now comes the Vodafone-exclusive KU970, the 3G Shine (with support for 3.6Mbps HSDPA). The two models share the same metal bodies, the same 2mp camera, the same keyboard with scroller bar, and a great QVGA TFT display. There’s a gram difference in weight, none in dimensions.

But the 3G model shoots video in QVGA resolution (the KE970 is limited to QCIF) and boasts a secondary camera for video calls – a tiny lens is sited next to the speaker towards the top of the front panel. There’s 512MB of integrated memory and no memory card slot (the KE970 has 50MB and a card slot). And the KE970’s potentially useful office documents viewer has disappeared. And software-wise, the two Shine handsets are as different as they can be – Vodafone has obviously influenced the configuration and the soft key selection. The main menu default is a 3×4 grid, not an LG standard. The phonebook is different too – 500 contacts rather than 1,000, the ability to choose only your phone memory contacts, only your SIM card contacts or both (the KE970 shows you all of them), and an improved search facility. As you start typing the contact list is filtered automatically to show only names that fit – a more user-friendly solution than the KE970’s highlighting of possibles in the full list.
As with the KE970, the innovative scrollbar wasn’t as responsive as we expected – sometimes a scroll didn’t make any movement in the user interface, sometimes it did more than one. More than often it reacted slower that one would like. The keyboard could be better, too; there isn’t much tactile differences between neighbouring keys, which can slow down your texting, and as with many sliders the upper row of the keypad isn’t easily accessible.
The other deficiency is in music playing. The KU970 does support user-created playlists much like the KE970 and the player can run in the background, but there’s no memory card, no flight mode, and no equaliser presets.
Top marks though for the external design and build quality; the metal body feels good, and although the phone is a bit on the heavy side it really is comfortable to carry and use. The screen is excellent, even in direct sunlight, and images have strong colours. The camera is good, too.
As we saw the LG KU970 is a bit aside from the regular development line of LG GSM phone interface. It resembles the early interface of the Black Label series but with certain upgrades not seen in other handsets. Yet other mobiles by the Korean manufacturer come much better equipped in terms of interface functionality – a nice example is the KE970 Shine which is probably the most mature product by LG in terms of user interface. We do not consider that to be a drawback of the KU970 however.
Even more fashionable in 3G guise

SPECIFICATION
Size:
Length 99.8mm, Width 50.6mm, Depth 13.8mm
Weight    
125g
Main display    
TFT, 256K colours, 240×320 pixels, 2.2in mirror effect
Camera    
2 MP, autofocus, video (QVGA), flash; secondary VGA videocall camera
Connectivity    
3G with HSDPA, triband GSM, USB, Bluetooth 2.0
Battery    
Standby 250h, Talk time 4h
Features    
512MB internal memory, MP3 player, video telephony

VERDICT
FEATURES 90%
SALEABILITY 85%

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