LG Shine Review

LG Shine Review

LG had a smash hit when they came out with the Chocolate. To continue upon that success, another stylish line was released, the LG Shine.

Unfortunately for the US, this happened only in European and Asian markets. A few months later, everyone here finally gets a chance to get their hands on the Shine as AT&T has added the handset to its lineup. To make the most of the network, it was upgraded from a tri-band model to a quad-band one, 3G capabilities were added to top things off, and the annoying 3-way scroll navigation was replaced by a joystick. Not much else was changed, however, and we are left with a Shine that resembles the original one. Well, enough of this back story, let’s get to the review to see how well it does.


After using the handset, the most shining thing, no pun intended, is the design itself. It’s finished off in brushed metal, feels solid, and isn’t overly heavy. It is somewhat thick when compared to most handsets from other companies but it feels very comfortable when held. The display only adds to the great look. Glare was never an issue for us and we were able to make out everything even in bright environments. Colors are very realistic without being over saturated or too dark.

You can compare the LG Shine with many other phones, using PhoneArena's Visual Size Compare tool.

Navigation is provided thanks to a joystick stuck between two soft touch buttons. While it does the job nicely, it tends to be overly sensitive, sometimes sending us two or three items over when we really just want to go over to the next one. Once we got accustomed to it, things seemed to go much more smoothly.

The greatest oddity is that the call and hang-up buttons aren’t located on the front but are actually grouped with the numeric keypad on the bottom slider. While it doesn’t make navigation impossible with the handset closed, it prolongs it especially once you’re in a few menus deep.

Sliding it open or closed is easy thanks to a spring mechanism that takes over once the slider is half-way opened or closed. Once open, the keypad is revealed which has a strong resemblance to the RAZR minus the reflection. All the buttons are crammed together in this tight space and are a bit small. The design separating each key is slightly raised and easily felt even when not looking at the handset. The biggest annoyance is that the call, hang-up, and back keys are all the way at the top of the keypad. With small fingers, it isn’t a problem to press them but for those who have bigger ones, the top of the finger has to be used. Despite their crammed design and small size, the keypad isn’t as uncomfortable to use as one might think. Each button is easy to press and gives back strong feedback in both feel and sound.

PhoneArena's Video Review of LG Shine:


Once you’re done staring at the handset and actually move onto using it, you’ll find that there isn’t anything striking about the interface. The home screen shows what is expected, date & time, reception, battery life, while the main menu shows everything else in a 3x3 grid layout. While it is very easy to use, 4 of the 9 icons deal with online services and we feel this could have been placed under one folder leaving room for items such as music player, camera, and organizer tools.

Contacts are listed in alphabetic order with the number being displayed at the bottom once someone is highlighted. Fields are a bit lacking, you are limited to name, number, email address, group, picture, ringtone, and memo, but there is enough present to store the most important information.
The camera was kept as a 2MP one instead of upgrading it and picture quality is great with strong outlines, and great colors. It took about 3 seconds to focus, take the photo, and then save it.

Apart from the regular features, there are plenty of online applications that come with the phone. XM radio, music videos, The Buzz, and online videos are just some of those programs that you find available.

The internet browser was a disappoint to us. When viewing our website, some of the graphics came out blue and some text overlapped other text or graphics.


So far, we have great looks and decent features so what about the performance? Well, reception is generally strong in most places although once you get into basements, the Shine tends to struggle.

Sound quality was fantastic through the speaker. We tested the handset in Chicago and its suburbs and experienced little to no distortion. Volume seemed faint and almost as if it was only turned up half-way. The person on the other end heard us loud and clear. Once the speaker phone was used, things went somewhat downhill. Voices sounded muffled and faint while the user on the other line said they had a much harder time hearing us.

Ringer volume was very low, however. It was hard to hear incoming calls when stored in a pocket and over music. In quiet areas, it is more than sufficient though. Changing it to ring and vibrate doesn’t help much either as it’s somewhat weak.

Battery life is great. On a GSM network, we got 7 hours and 22 minutes of talk-time. Don’t expect such a long talk-time on a 3G network however. Standby time is rated for 10 days and 10 hours which seems likely as our handset held its charge very well when not being used.


So, how well does the Shine…uh…..shine? Pretty well actually but it is apparent that this is meant to be a simple and stylish handset. It definitely looks great and feels solid both closed and opened, packs plenty of online applications to make use of its 3G capabilities, has a great camera, and strong performance to top it all off. Get past its small keys and slightly odd layout and it really is a good handset.


  • Very stylish design
  • Plenty of applications to use on the go
  • 2MP camera with great quality


  • Cramped keypad with small buttons
  • Location of call and hang-up buttons
  • Main menu has poor organization
  • Fields in internet browser overlap

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