LG Wine review: LG Wine

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The LG Wine is an attractive phone with a nice display, four dedicated shortcut keys, and a very roomy keypad.

The Bad The LG Wine's photo quality is mediocre, and the call quality could be improved. We also would prefer more direct access to the Web browser and e-mail.

The Bottom Line Despite a few problems, the LG Wine's spacious keypad and easy-to-use interface makes this a great low-end phone for U.S. Cellular customers.

As shown: $29.99

Check manufacturer's site for availability

7.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0

For a regional carrier, U.S. Cellular has quite a number of phones that we sometimes wish were available on nationwide carriers, like the LG Rhythm and the Samsung Delve. Well, now we have another one to add to the list; the LG Wine. Though it has fairly ho-hum features, it has a great big keypad plus four physical shortcut keys underneath the display, both of which really help make this phone easy to use. We see this as an excellent everyday low-end phone that anyone can pick up and use without having to fiddle too much with the manual. The Wine is also quite affordable at only $29.95 with a two-year service agreement.

Design
The LG Wine has a pretty standard flip-phone design, with a simple rectangular shape and rather sharp corners. Still, we quite like the design, especially with the shiny spun metal look on the front surface. Measuring 3.89 inches long by 1.93 inches wide by 0.66 inch thick, the Wine comes in both red and white, which is indicative of its beverage-inspired name. The Wine feels good in the hand, and is quite lightweight at only 3.32 ounces.


The LG Wine has a 1.3-megapixel camera lens on the front.

On the front of the Wine is a 1.3-inch external screen, which shows the date, time, battery and signal strength, as well as incoming caller ID. It will also work as a self-portrait viewfinder for the camera. The camera lens is above the screen. On the left spine is the volume rocker and charger jack, while the headset jack and dedicated camera key are on the right.

Flip open the phone and you'll find a very nice 2.2-inch 262,000 color display with 240 x 320 pixels. The screen looks great and shows off bold graphic icons quite well. You can adjust the screen's backlight time, the menu style, the font settings for style, color, and size, and the color scheme.


The LG Wine has four shortcut keys under the display.

Directly underneath the display are four dedicated shortcut keys. They are shortcuts to the messaging menu, the alarm clock, the images folder, and U.S. Cellular's EasyEdge online store. It's certainly nice to have dedicated shortcut keys like these, but since you can easily get to these functions from the existing navigation array, they seem a bit unnecessary. Still, if you don't want to remember which keys correspond to which function, these four keys are very helpful for quick access.

The navigation array consists of two soft keys, a four-way circular toggle with a middle Menu/OK key, a dedicated speakerphone key, a Back key, a Talk key, and the End/Power key. The four-way toggle doubles as shortcuts to the Bluetooth menu, the EasyEdge online store, a shortcuts menu with room for up to 12 shortcuts, and the calendar.

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