LG Shine (TU720) review: LG Shine (TU720)

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Typical Price: $249.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Sleek design. Excellent display. Next G capable with Foxtel TV.

The Bad Cramped keypad. Battery life suffers with use of 3G services.

The Bottom Line LG makes some of our favourite prepaid handsets, and the TU720 is no exception. This new Shine matches good looks with great basic functionality and an excellent online experience.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.1 Overall


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 the original Shine showed 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 Bar and Slide) 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 Omnia and INNOV8. Instead of pushing the stick you just brush your finger in the direction you want the cursor to move.

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.

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