As we saw the 2 megapixel auto focus camera of the KE970 Shine which we reviewed recently had improved auto focus capability and it didn’t miss most of its intended subjects as it did with the previous model KE800 Platinum.
The situation with the KU970 is pretty much the same as with KE970 – after all the two devices are almost hardware twins. Unusually the KU970 camera performed slightly quicker at taking pictures.
The auto focusing still takes 2 seconds as with KE970 but the saving time has been reduced to only 5 seconds which is a nice achievement – 2 seconds faster than the KE970.
Although that the KU970 doesn’t have a dedicated Macro mode in the camera menu, the device managed to impress us with great results from distances such as 3-5 cm.
The camera is also equipped with a LED flash which is there to help you in poor light conditions. Unlike the one on KE970 this one can be set to flash out only in the split moment of taking a picture – much like on a digital camera. Besides that the LG KU970 Shine has a night mode which does it job very well and compared to night modes in similar cameras produces relatively low photo noise.
The camera interface is the same as the one of KE970 as regards the graphics. As regards the available options the differences are more than one or two. Besides the already mentioned flash settings, night mode settings and macro mode settings, it is also worth pointing out that unlike KE970, the camera shutter tone of the KU970 cannot be turned off. Further on unlike KE970 you can now switch between still camera and video camera seamlessly without first restarting the camera application.
Otherwise the camera menu offers all other standard options 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.
In our photo quality tests LG KU970 Shine produced better results than the identically equipped KE970. The noise levels were low, the colors were close enough to the real colors of the scenes. Our only complaint is the high contrast, which combined with the low dynamic range of the small sensor resulted in over-exposed areas even in correctly exposed photos. You can compare the sample photos of KU970 to the ones produced by KE970.
A nice upgrade in the camera department is that unlike KE970 which only supports QCIF resolution for video recordings, the KU970 camera can captures video in maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA). The output format is the usual .3gp (it was MP4 for the KE970). 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.
Up until now we’ve been great fans of LG USB cable support – seamless, quick and easy. You rarely see that in feature mobile phones nowadays. The situation with KU970 is a bit different though. Being sold and tweaked by Vodafone it seems that the direct “no-divers-needed” USB support has been done with. The test unit we received came with a USB cable but with no software whatsoever so we failed miserably at trying to establish any cable connection between the PC and the mobile phone.
As much as other connectivity options are concerned, the phone features 3-band GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 support plus HSDPA (3.6 Mbits), as well as Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP.
The integrated WAP browser in the previous LG GSM phones we reviewed didn’t have full HTML support and managed to open only simple HTML pages such as Google. It was a regular WAP browser used in older phones and it wasn’t able to open the GSMArena.com website.
|It managed to surprise us with nice battery life, a nice autofocus camera, and solid construction. There are a number of features that made the device an unsuitable all-in-one multimedia device. The lack of a memory card slot and a Flight mode really state it clear: the LG KU970 is not your next MP3 player.||
The browser integrated in the KE970 Shine and in the KU970 Shine is on par with the web browsers used in most recent mobile phones which is a big plus for LG. It doesn’t feature zoom and landscape mode, but well, we can live without that.
A plus of the KU970 browser over the one of KE970 is only the Rendering mode setting that the KU970 has. What it practically means is that the browser can fit all the content on the mobile screen eliminating the need for horizontal scrolling.
But after all you can always install the Opera Mini Browser as an additional Java application.
The Calendar is pretty straightforward – it offers a monthly view for navigation among the dates. Once you find the date you need, simply enter it and add an event. Finally, the option for the first day of the week is user configurable. There is even a weekly view now.
There is also a Memos feature that allows for storing some notes. The Tools menu also stores some other useful applications, though they seem rather standard nowadays. There are the Alarms, the Calculator, the Unit converter, the Sound recorder and the World time clock. Unlike LG KE800 Platinum and LG KE970 which had only 1 alarm, the LG KU970 has 5 of them for your “alarming” pleasure.
The Calculator has a different interface as compared to the one in KE970 which had a completely redesigned calculator tailor-made to work seamlessly with the new navigation solution. In terms of functionality it resembles the calculator used in previous LG models. The Unit Converter also has a nice list of units such as Currency, Area, Length, Weight, Temperature, Volume, and Velocity. There is also a World Time application that is rather basic and doesn’t have anything to do with the nice application we saw in KE970.
Unlike the KE970 Shine, the Voice recorder application of the KU970 has a 1-minute limitation in the duration of the recorded files but again, unlike the KE970 you can choose the audio quality level.
Our test LG KU970 came loaded with games – as always Vodafone branded mobiles are multimedia-oriented and we would like to put the games in the category of multimedia of course. Unfortunately, all the games are trial editions or are incomplete versions of the original ones.
Never mind, the games we found preinstalled in the KE970 are Brain Genius, PAC MAN, Platinum Solitaire, Puzzle Bobble, Tetris, and Tower Bloxx. We won’t go into details about the games and we would just post you some screenshots.
It managed to surprise us with nice battery life, a nice autofocus camera, and solid construction. There are a number of features that made the device an unsuitable all-in-one multimedia device. The lack of a memory card slot and a Flight mode really state it clear: the LG KU970 is not your next MP3 player. If you are not in desperate need of a fashionable 3G handset, but the really like the KE970 design as much as we do, you would be better off by choosing the non-3G LG KE970 Shine we reviewed not long ago.