The LG KE970 Shine is all about the design, with a stainless steel mirrored finish. It's slim but heavy, and feels substantial and well crafted - you really feel you are handling a premium handset.
The LG KE970 Shine has a two-megapixel camera with auto-focus, a microSD card slot and a built-in MP3 music player with stereo Bluetooth.
The LG KE970 Shine unusually features a roller scroll bar, something we haven't seen in some years. It does take some getting used to, as it's easy to race past the menu option you wanted to something else entirely. Elsewhere, the user interface is agreeable and won't outfox you.
The LG KE970 Shine produces impressive enough pictures thanks to photo-meddling features. Pictures display keen detail and focus, strong colour representation and true contrast. The built-in music player delivers a steady performance.
The LG KE970 Shine offers just 180 minutes of talktime. It's not that impressive, frankly, but this is a design phone first and foremost so it shouldn't worry potential buyers too much.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:48:18 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The handset is meticulously constructed and feels and handles like a phone with premium status.
The Shine is high maintenance. Your considerable buffing skills will constantly be called into action to keep it grease free
It's good to see that winning Mobile Choice's Fashion Phone of the Year with the KG800 Chocolate phone hasn't made LG complacent. We worried LG was slacking when it gave the Chocolate a lick of paint and added a couple of clamshell models, the KG810 and U830, that lacked the original's impact. It was displaying hallmarks of just tinkering with a winning formula. However, the emergence of the LG KE970 Shine has put paid to our doubts. LG has come up with yet another dramatic fashion phone statement that will turn heads. It has been lovingly mined from stainless steel and flaunts a mirrored display that, when inactive, almost dissolves into its frame. It is reminiscent of the Nokia 8800 phones, but primed for a more mainstream.
Because of its metal frame, the LG KE970 Shine is nicely weighted, but a lot heavier and a tad longer and wider than the Chocolate. However, surprisingly it is 1.5mm thinner than its colleague and makes for a trim and compact proposition. The spring-assisted slider action is very slick, while the etched keypad is responsive. You can tell LG has gone to town on the design and construction and it really feels like a premium handset.
Central to navigating the LG KE970 Shine is a roller scroll bar, the likes of which we haven't seen since the bygone era of the Nokia 7110. It occasionally proves insensitive and can lag when you speed off down the menu list, but after you get used to its idiosyncrasies, it becomes more manageable. You can also press down on the roller for selection commands but you can slip and activate unwanted functions. We recommend you use the left soft key for these commands. Directly flanking the roller either side are two buttons that help with left/right directions if you opt for the grid style menu, while LG's user interface is highly agreeable and won't outfox you.
The LG KE970 Shine's feature set doesn't match its looks, but is respectable nevertheless. You won't feel cheated by the two-megapixel camera, microSD card slot or the built-in music player with stereo Bluetooth. The two-megapixel lens comes with auto-focus and has been certified by optic specialist Schneider Kreuznach. Don't confuse this with 'built by', but, with such high standards, Schneider and co won't have passed a dud. The camera shoots in a maximum 1600x1200-pixel resolution and is accompanied by a redundant LED light that's too crude to really do any good. Otherwise, the Shine offers a full suite of photography features like macro focus for close-ups, metering, colour effects, white balance and a self timer. These can be changed easily via the straightforward camera interface while in capture mode. At this level, picture quality is impressive enough, displaying keen detail and focus, strong colour representation and true contrast.
The built-in music player, fired up by a dedicated side button, delivers a steady performance, and 10 equaliser settings mean you can adapt the sound to the song. The LG KE970 Shine supports A2DP for wirelessly streaming audio to compatible headphones or speakers, and comes with a 3.5mm remote adapter. The microSD card slot, located under the SIM card slot, can accommodate a 2GB card to store your tunes and photos and augment the 45MB of internal memory.By the time you read this, LG will have launched an HSPDA version of the Shine that maintains the original's exact design, with a front-loaded lens for video calling being the only difference. Either way you're getting a gorgeous handset.