LG Shine Titanium (TU720)
- Telstra Next G support, 2-megapixel camera, new jog wheel, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Cramped keypad, battery life
It's nice to see that LG has improved the navigation with a new jog wheel and the support for Telstra's Next G makes this phone a powerful handheld device. Still, some quirks remain, including the poor battery life. Functionality aside this is a very stylish looking phone that will keep the fashion conscious happy.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
Taking style and performance to the next step, LG has added the Titanium Shine (TU720) to its Black Label series, a titanium-finished upgrade to LG's original Shine mobile phone the Shine (KU970).
Beyond the new aesthetic, LG has improved the performance of this handheld by adding support for Telstra's Next G network, allowing this phone to utilise 7.2Mbps HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) 3G functionality. It also gained a new jog wheel for menu navigation, making it much easier to move through the features.
Call quality is still fair in both standard and speakerphone modes while the 2.2in screen has maintained the same sharp, bright image as the previous model with a 262 thousand colour display (240x320 pixels). Looks-wise this phone is quite a stunner and trumps its predecessor, the KU970 Shine, with style. The titanium finish does attract some fingerprints, but isn't the biggest culprit on the market, and the greyish shade of the metal tends to hide any oily finger marks quite well.
The TU720 retains the Shine's sliding screen, which moves up to reveal a fairly cramped keypad; a flaw that has not improved from the previous model. Not only is it rather compressed, but the buttons are quite stiff and unnecessarily difficult to press, which is going to annoy avid text writers.
Fortunately the new four-way jog wheel is easy and quick to use. A single press brings you to the home menu where most of the phone's features and sub-menus can be accessed and each direction is a shortcut to popular features.
Beyond that there are two general selection buttons, one on each side of the jog wheel. On the side of the phone are volume controls, which are oddly positioned below the normal grip, forcing you to completely re-adjust your hand when adjusting the volume mid call. Also on the side of the phone is a shortcut to the 2-megapixel camera and a multitasking button. This is a particularly useful button when using multiple applications, such as the music player, Web and calendar, all at the same time.
Navigating the menus is fairly simple. The home screen, a grid-style graphical menu, is the best starting point for any feature of the phone. Subsequent menus are tier-based lists and only suffer from one annoying problem; the ever changing back button. In most cases the left selection button acts as a back button. However, in some areas of the phone you'll have to enter an options menu and select cancel. Still, in other areas it's actually necessary to slide the screen up and hit the dedicated clear/back button that resides between the send and end call buttons on the keypad, which can all become very frustrating.
The phone includes all the standard PIM functions including the calendar, notepad and alarm clock etc. The camera includes a flash and has zoom. It also has an adjustable light meter and a number of settings, such as white balance, black and white and other effects, and takes pictures at resolutions up to 1600x1200. There is also a second camera (480x640) on the front of the phone for self portraits or video calls.
The phone can be used as an MP3 player and includes headphones, but any 3.5mm headphones can be used instead. You can also use the Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP support to stream audio to wireless headphones. A MicroSD slot allows the 140MB internal memory to be expanded by 4GB at any given time, though no card is included. Songs can be transferred using the included USB cable and the Titanium Shine can even be used as a modem with the included software and a PC.
One disappointment is with the battery life, which is rated at only 250 hours standby time.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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