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This is all fair enough, but the three buttons are tiny and difficult to get at unless you have small fingers and/or good fingernails. I found things like changing camera’s image resolution really difficult.

The camera shoots stills at resolutions up to two megapixels (1,600 x 1,200) and it has an autofocus system. It has a flash and a range of filters.

Shooting stills outdoors was a challenge because it was difficult to see the screen in bright daylight. Images were often over exposed too – the daffodils, shot on a bright spring morning, lack clarity.

The autofocus system was very fiddly to use. The small side button for controlling the camera only has to be pressed the tiniest amount for autofocus to kick in, then you have to wait a bit and fully press the shutter without moving the phone to take your shot. The picture of the cat was the best of many I tried to take and at the beginning of the shot he was looking right at the camera.

Indoors the camera fared better. The coloured dish, shot under normal household lights, is quite sharp, though the background should be uniformly white rather than bluish and pinkish white.

On the music front the Shine does OK but you have to jump through a few hoops to get the best from it. It’ll find tracks from a miniSD card but only if you put them in a folder labelled MP3, which is itself in a folder labelled Sounds. The phone plays more than just MP3s though – it handles AAC and AAC+ too.

The manual warns that audio can be distorted through the phone’s speaker. My main issue was in fact that volume was rather low. The headphones are two-piece with inline controls that include a hold button and a 3.5mm connector so you can use your own headset.

Battery life was an absolute enigma to me. After fully charging the battery I set the phone up to play music which it did for six hours. It kept alive for a total of 17 hours 55 minute, though, giving me a low power warning every three minutes after music playback stopped.

Other features include PhotoID, Bluetooth, document viewers for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and PDF, Web and WAP browsing, mobile email, calendar, calculator, memo, stopwatch and unit converter and a USB mass storage mode for file transfer and a PC connection cable in the box.


The Shine is one of most obvious examples of the triumph of design over usability that I’ve seen in a long while. It looks stunning, but is simply too difficult to use.

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Jayme T

September 21, 2008, 12:27 pm

is it a good phone and what are the best phones to get for 200-300 dollers or 100-250 pounds


June 12, 2009, 8:32 pm

Horrible design - although it looks nice, the looks certainly get in the way of its functionality, which is actually a terrible way to design things! It interferes rendering the phone useless. Plus the internal design mapping is nonsensical and inflexible.

I regret purchasing this phone. My screen craked (or had a 'bleeding lcd crystal') without any pressure or knock to the phone. In under a year it had 2 batteries. If there is sunshine outdoors - don't even try to use your phone. Because you can't. You honestly CAN'T SEE THE SCREEN! All you see is the mirror!

I've complained to the company directly and to the retailer and they have been nothing but rude and uncaring (and denying there is anything wrong with it, when all they have to do is take it outside if there's any sun). Rubbish phone, rubbish company. This was my 2nd - and final - chance with an LG product and I was upset with both items. STAY AWAY FROM LG OR YOU'LL REGRET WASTING YOUR MONEY!


October 22, 2009, 1:25 pm

I also had similar problems with this phone. After only about a week of using it, the screen has what looks like a stone chip in it, though it is on the inside of the screen. I took it back to the shop that I bought it from and they told me that I must have done it myself as it was a result of pressure, even though I know this could not have been possible.

Also, when trying to send an SMS, the keypad sometimes freezes up and does not allow me to enter the letter that I want which is extremely irratating.

This is the first time and last time I will ever purchase an LG product, I am really unimpressed with the quality, or lack of it.

Davey 1

January 16, 2011, 4:53 am

The micro USB cable is an annoyance as I'd standardised on mini USB. The phone also needs a sticker saying "SLIDE" as I almost broke mine trying to open it like a flip phone! Its too small and I can't be bothered with it so I put it away and bought a Motorola V3 instead (I had a V3 some years ago but the pikeys stole it from my car whilst I was having a nap in a lay-by, great country isn't it?). By the way if you want a camera, Morrisons were selling General Electric 10 Megapixel 3x optical zoom, face detection cameras for £29 recently which rather puts the Shine in the shade. Main reason for buying the Shine was its low price of £30 in a sale and the fact that it would hopefully not redial or surf from my pocket (I have wasted pounds and pounds with candy bar phones doing this but thankfully being on PayG I did notice what was happening. I spent years trying to get a flip/slide phone at the right price but it was a LONG search as phones like the £5 Alcatel clamshell used to sell out in 24 hours or less!) Technically the Shine phone is more advanced than the Raz (but not quad band like the Raz) but I just want a phone that phones and texts and can occasionally be used as an alarm clock. The Moto can do all that and more.

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