If we're honest, and we always are, the mirror-reflected surfaces of the original trio of LG Shines were a bit flashy for our simple tastes. The advertisements for theshowed women checking their make-up with the phone, so perhaps it served a purpose for some beyond being merely eye-catching. For us, tech reviewers whose make-up is always impeccable, the new black Shine is so much cooler, like a chiselled slab of slate or obsidian, and with the mirror-surfaced screen to boot.
Aside from its darker hue, the great differentiator between last year's prepaid Shines (the Omnia and . Instead of pushing the stick you just brush your finger in the direction you want the cursor to move.and ) and this newer model is its squat joystick, nestled just below the screen. The word joystick isn't entirely accurate though, its height barely extends beyond the surface of the phone and it's manipulated by very gentle gestures. In practice, using this joystick is more like the optical mouse-pads we've seen on Samsung phones, the
The screen is excellent, giving the phone a much richer feel than its actual price tag. Its 2.2-inch QVGA resolution is bright, sharp and colourful, and is great for Foxtel TV. Around the rest of the handset are few surprises; a 2-megapixel camera with photo-light on the rear, and the standard selection of dedicated mechanical keys around the edges. Headphones are plugged in the port shared with the charger, but a 3.5mm headphone adapter is included in the retail package.
Our only major gripe with the phone's design is its cramped keypad. The TU720 is a slider phone with a numeric keypad under the slide, but LG has chosen to include the start and end call buttons on this keypad as well, which adds an extra row to an already cramped space and squashes the number/letter keys to an awkwardly small size. Petite fingers might navigate this pad better than ours, but we'd prefer to see a bigger space dedicated to each key all the same.
Strap on your racing goggles, the TU720 is a little speed demon. The TU720 is Next G ready and features HSDPA web transfer speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, and the results are evident when surfing BigPond content and streaming video through Foxtel TV. Viewing TV on the TU720 is great with the colour display, which features an excellent viewing angle. Even on quite acute angles we could still see the image on-screen clearly. USB and Bluetooth v1.2 round out the phone's connectivity options.