LG KE970 Shine review: High-gloss, high-class

GSMArena team, 09 April 2007.
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The phonebook is the same too

The phonebook of the LG KE970 Shine is better than the one of the LG KG800 Chocolate and is in fact the updated version that we saw implemented in LG KE800 Platinum.

The contacts capacity is 1000 contacts which is more than enough. Search is performed through gradual typing of a name’s characters. The phonebook allows the storing of 4 numbers /mobile, home, office, fax/ and an email. Further on the contact can be included into a caller group or can be assigned a picture. You can add a note to the contact too. It’s good to see that the phonebook has received a facelift and now looks much more user friendly.

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Phonebook • various contact fields

As we already mentioned any contact can be assigned a picture. The original KG800 was pretty much handicapped in that respect since it allowed only .bmp pictures to be used with 72 x 72 pixels size. The KE800 had that fixed and you were free to use any picture of your choosing. Now again there are strict limitations – in order to use the picture as a contact image it has to be a JPG file with a size of 640x480 pixels.

As usual you can view the contacts along with their respective pictures. It’s a cool, but poses certain inconvenience since the picture hides some characters from the contacts names.

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Viewing the contacts with pictures

You can assign a ringtone to individual contacts as in KE800 Platinum. The only way to do that in the original LG KG800 Chocolate is by including the contact in a caller group and assigning a specific ringtone to the caller group itself.

The phone has several preinstalled caller groups which can be customized. Each caller group has its icon and that can be shown in front of the respective members’ names in the contacts list in order to recognize easily which group they belong to.

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Caller groups list with their respective icons

As with LG KE800 Platinum you can save a second or a third number to an already existing contact directly from the standby screen – something impossible in the original Chocolate.

Call management

Nothing special in the call records department. They are available as a separate item in the main menu and also can be accessed by pressing the call (receiver) key. In fact pressing the call key takes you to the general list of all dialed, received and missed calls. If you wish to see the separate registers you have to go to the abovementioned Call History menu item. The GPRS data counter is also available in the Call History menu.

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Call register menu

Messaging makes it easy

The phone supports the sending and receiving of SMS, EMS, MMS and email messages.

When you start a new message you are given the option of choosing among a text message, multimedia message, an email or Bluetooth message. The Bluetooth messaging is something new for LG mobiles. If you choose the text type further on you could easily change it by just attaching multimedia content to it and thus turn it into an EMS or MMS. As with KE800 Platinum the EMS functionality is not on the level of the original LG Chocolate for some unknown reason. There you could type with highlighted text, set the text alignment, etc. None of those features is available here.

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Messages menu • insert message options

The message typing is assisted by T9. A nice feature is that if you have started a new message and all of a sudden you have to cancel its typing, it’s saved automatically as a draft and next time you decide to start a new message the phone not only stores it for you but automatically opens it for you to continue.

Another nice feature is that the phone keeps a record of the last numbers you have sent messages to and when sending a new one you can choose among them instead of digging down in the full phonebook list. It’s a feature we would like to see in more phones nowadays.

The contacts capacity is 1000 contacts which is more than enough. Search is performed through gradual typing of a name’s characters. The phonebook allows the storing of 4 numbers /mobile, home, office, fax/ and an email.

The email client supports the POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP protocols and as regards sending and receiving text emails it successfully does it job as we managed to found out during the test period. As regards emails with file attachments it poses rather strict limitations. The maximum size for one sent or downloaded message is 300KB. In case you have received message with more than 5 attachments, only 5 of them will be received. For each email account you may save up to 50 messages (totally 150 for three accounts), while in the Inbox you can store up to 30 messages for each account. The other 20 slots are reserved for the Drafts and Outbox folders. A good thing is that there is an option to provide a separate username and password for the SMTP server.

Office and imaging

The LG KE970 has 50MB of integrated memory and a microSD memory card slot. The effectively available memory to the user in fact is around 48MB. The file manager appears as a My stuff item in the main menu. It includes separate factory preset folders for different multimedia content. In fact these folders are the only one you will see since the file manager doesn’t actually support user-created folders. You can create such folders using the computer and the USB cable of course, but they do not get listed in the My Stuff menu. You can mark, copy or move files only within the designated multimedia group. For example you cannot copy image files to the music folder. Then again you can of course copy or move files to the external memory or send them through Bluetooth connection and for all of those options you can rely on multiple marking.

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File manager

A new folder as compared to the LG KE800 Platinum is the Documents folder. In fact it represents the office document viewer functionality of the KE970. It’s a rather innovative feature for a non-OS mobile phone and it’s certainly a first for LG GSM mobile phones. As we managed to confirm, the viewer supports MS Word documents, MS Excel files and PDF files.

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Documents folder • viewing a MS Word, an Acrobat and an MS Excel file

Generally speaking, the file browser of the LG KE970 Shine provides basic functionality but offers some upgrades over previous versions. As with LG KE800 Platinum you no longer need to view picture files by opening and closing them one by one as it was with the original LG Chocolate phone.

Contrary to the LG KE800 you can view pictures fullscreen and what is more you can even browse them in landscape mode. You can even see the pictures in their full size while making use of a nice browsing feature.

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Viewing a picture in landscape mode

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Zooming in on a picture

The thumbnail view browsing of the available pictures has received a speed boost and now it works much more natural . All of those are a real progress for the LG user interface and we haven’t seen them in previous models. It must be noted though that in this respect LG phones lag a lot behind Sony Ericsson phones.

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List and thumbnail view • Opening an image

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