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LG Shine Review

LG Shine CU720

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team


LG Shine Review

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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User rating:
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Alex (unregistered)

I've had this phone (in silver) for a couple of months, now, and use it every day, since it doubles as my home phone. I have the unlimited texting and internet package from AT&T, and reside in the Washington DC suburbs. Some thoughts and advice on my LG Shine: PROS: 1. The display: big and bright; it's 262k-color screen performs very similarly to my friend's 16million-color Nokia display. The mirror-effect when it's dark is pretty cool, too. 2. Call quality and reception: very crisp, loud and clear, with little interference and few dropped calls. Miles ahead of my previous phones. The speakerphone is excellent. 3. Connectivity: 3G and even Edge performance are particularly impressive. Web pages load quickly. ***Just make sure to get the free Opera Mini browser 4.0 - immediately - it'll ease all of your woes with the the Shine's rather lackluster standard browser.*** 4. Bluetooth, Java and MicroSD card slot: Bluetooth and Java both work great and have little or no limitations (unlike Verizon's hamstrung phones). Nice being able to swap the SD card (up to 4 GB) on the fly. The phone has a surprising amount of on-board memory, too. 5. Video and multimedia: Not bad. Takes video in only 15fps 3gp, but it's of decent quality; playback's good. Music player's alright, but you'l need an adapter for headphones. 6. The design and buid quality: LG really hit it out of the park with this one! Sleek, stylish and solidly built, it appeals to both sexes. The phone has an appealing heft and quality feel to it. Get a clear case for it if you want to avoid scratches, though. CONS: 1. The menus: More than anything, the menus are the biggest disappointment. Illogically or greedily designed - with very limited customization (as opposed to my old Moto V551 or Razr V3 which lets you customize almost everything) and no way to put icons on the main screen, one has to fit what they do to the idiosyncracies of the phone, rather than tailor the phone to fit the user. It often borders on the exasperating. I'm waiting on a software fix (or hack) to help alleviate this a bit. 2. The keypad: Not as bad as some say, but it's not that great, either. It takes some getting used to, but if you have large hands, strong thumbnails will come in handy. The good tactile feedback while texting is sometimes let down by slow responses to letter inputs. The T9 predictive text is kinda crappy, IMHO. 3. The joystick controller area: Again, not too bad, and you'll get used to it. Yet I'd have gladly given up some of the mirror finish area for a decent D-pad between the smartkeys (with the "call" & "end" buttons moved beneath the smartkeys instead of crowding the keypad). The poorly designed menus exasperate this. The slim buttons on the right side are also hard to use, particularly while making a call. 4. Battery life: The cost of 3G and all the other features, I gather. Not really an issue if you recharge it at least every other day, but deactivate the 3G if you're gonna be away from the charger for a while. 5. Ringtone size limit: Plays mp3s - but they can't be larger than 300kb! Pretty ridiculous and makes no sense at all. Thankfully, the limited memory of my old Motos have made me used to creating small mp3 ringtones for my phones, using Audacity. NEUTRAL: 1. Camera: Fast response times and 2MP, it takes clear daylight outdoor shots, and has a decent set of features, but a somewhat weak flash, and a rather slow shutter speed. Darker settings and/or action shots really highlight its weaknesses. Almost a con, but I wasn't expecting miracles with it, to begin with, so... 2. Ringer and vibrate mode: Heard louder and felt stronger, but it's still okay. 3. Ports and covers: Hot-swap MicroSD card slot and micro-USB charger/headset port, both behind sturdier-than-they-look covers. Micro-USB accessories are still hard to find in stores; using the slightly larger and near-ubiquitous Mini-USB would've been better. Rear cover over battery and sim card is sturdy but very simple to remove. OVERALL: A mixed bag - excellent build quality and performance and a stunning design are almost ruined by poorly designed menus and cramped controls. I can't recommend the Opera Mini 4 browser highly enough - it's well designed and free, and a godsend that'll transform your browsing experience with this phone. So I'm keeping this phone, for now. It's benefits still significantly outway its limitations - many of which could be remedied with a software fix. However, I'll be keeping my eyes out for newer phones as my early upgrade date gets near. Stay tuned, and thanks.

posted on 10 Sep 2008, 11:38

2. bacardibubbles420 (unregistered)

I just got my new LG Shine yesterday. I absolutely LOVE the phone and the way it handles itself. My only complaint is the quietness of the ringer, the fact that when recieving a text message you cannot use your assigned ringtones only factory sounds, and I agree with the review about the menu options I believe they could have replaced the online options with things such as the calender, alarm clock, etc. for people like myself that do not use the internet on their phone. Or at least included the option to personalize your menu like i could on other phones. The camera ROCKS as well as the video. I am very happy with my Shine!!!

posted on 10 Oct 2008, 11:52

3. drewnin (unregistered)

I have found a way into engieering mode from a web site, but there is no option for increasing the volume. the volume sucks and needs a hack.. you can't hear incoming calls very well in even somewhat busy sounding areas to noisy areas. i've only had my phone for 1 day but i may return it for something different. This phone is for my teenager, and i want him to hear me calling.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display2.2 inches, 240 x 320 pixels (182 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size3.93 x 1.99 x 0.59 inches
(100 x 50.5 x 15 mm)
4.23 oz  (120 g)
Battery900 mAh, 3 hours talk time

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