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

GSMArena team, 09 April 2007.
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Playing the tracks

The lack of memory card slot, a flight mode, and playlist support made the music player of the original LG Chocolate rather inadequate. Some of those issues have been taken care of in the LG KE800 Chocolate Platinum. But still, it lacked an option for creating custom playlists – its player listed all the available MP3 files. The KE970 Shine however now supports user-created playlists and we are pretty happy with it. The only downside is that as with all previous models you can’t sort the tracks according to artist or album but only by file name.

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MP3 player • filtering tracks • all songs • player interface

The player can now work in the background. There are several equalizer presets that you can use in order to enhance the player sound.

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Player settings • equalizer presets

The sound is really nice when you use stock headphones without turning on some special equalizer preset. However, when you use the supplied LG headphones you would be better off with the Rock preset.

We liked the camera

We were not that excited with the results from the camera of the KE800 Platinum so the 2 megapixel auto focus camera of the KE970 Shine didn’t impress us much. The auto focus capability of the device though turned out much better and didn’t miss most of its intended subjects as it did with the KE800 Platinum.

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Camera interface

In terms of speed there isn’t that much of an upgrade - it takes around 9 seconds to take a picture at the maximum resolution and save it as compared to 10 seconds in KE800. The auto focus though has gained speed and instead 4 it takes only 2 seconds to focus on its subject.

The Macro mode was among the strongest sides of the KE800 Platinum and it didn’t disappoint here either with great results when taking pictures of text.

The camera is also equipped with a LED flash which is there to help you in poor light conditions. Speaking of poor light conditions, the camera of the KE970 doesn’t have a night mode.

The camera menu offers option such as picture resolution, brightness level, the white balance that has several presets according to the available light conditions, and some color effects such as sepia, black & white, negative, etc. Beside the regular Single shot mode the camera can also capture images in Multi shoot mode which takes 3 or 6 pictures in a quick succession.

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Various camera settings

The quality of the 2 megapixel autofocus camera with Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens is a mixed bag. We were pleasantly surprised by the macro mode – the camera can focus from really close distance and capture really fine details. The outdoor photos are not bad, but we noticed a slight tendency for overexposure, which makes the colors somewhat washed out. Indoor the photos turned out very good, but they were taken during different time of the day when the light in the mall is stronger, so the results can’t be directly compared to other phones we reviewed recently. Together with KE970 we tested the 3G KU970 model, which comes with identical (at least on paper) lens. We expected similar results, but it turned out that KU970 performed better – you can compare for yourself once our KU970 review is published.

The quality of the 2 megapixel autofocus camera with Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens is a mixed bag. We were pleasantly surprised by the macro mode – the camera can focus from really close distance and capture really fine details.

In terms of overall performance, in our opinion KE970 can’t compete with Sony Ericsson K750 and company. The overall quality of the LG Shine can be compared to the Sony Ericsson K550 for example.

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Sample LG KE970 Shine camera photos

The camera also captures video in maximum resolution of 176 x 144 pixels and the output format is the usual .3gp. The menu of the video camera is pretty much the same as the one we already described for the still camera with few exceptions. It offers both limited and unlimited recording. A quirky solution is that you can’t switch to video mode directly from the camera menu. You have to stop the still camera application first and then open the dedicated Video camera application.

LG KE970 Shine sample video

Connectivity: great as usual

The phone features full USB support and the LG USB cable comes along in the retail box along with the phone itself. The great thing about the USB support of the phone is that when connected, the phone memory and the memory card both appear in the Windows explorer as removable drives just as your regular USB flash drive would with no special drivers needed. Unfortunately, we registered pretty low data transfer speeds when using the handset – the meager 33 KB/s when copying to the phone and 500 KB/s when copying to the computer.

If you receive a call while in mass storage mode, the call will be rejected but after you disconnect the handset, you will see the information about any missed calls.

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Standby display while in USB drive mode

If you need any other type of synchronization between the phone and the PC like for items such as the phonebook and the schedule you should use the dedicated LG software LGPCSync that comes on CD along with the phone.

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