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LG has given its Shine mobile phone a Titanium facelift. The new Titanium Shine looks similar to its predecessor, but does it address the shortcomings of the first model? We take a closer look.


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Before looking at the TU720 up close, we placed the two Shine phones side-by-side in order for us to find out what changed. We have found the new LG Titanium Shine to be thicker than the older Shine but sports an all-new navigation key, a microSD card slot, and a relocated USB port (now found on the left side). There is also a big overhaul in the phone’s menu as the new Shine is being carried by Telstra, so expect services like Foxtel, Whereis Maps, and BigPond to be available.

This slider phone has a reflective mirror finish and is mostly made out of stainless steel. A volume up and down key, multitasking key that allow you to change between programs, and a camera launch/shutter key can be found on the right spine of the phone, while a microSD card slot and a mini-USB port are located on its left spine. The front hosts a 2.2-inch screen, a VGA camera for video calling, a five way navigation key, and two soft keys for launching the Telstra Mobile Foxtel and BigPond services. Located at the back of the unit is the TU720’s 2 Mega Pixel camera with flash that can be used for taking photos or shooting videos.

 


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Performance:

Sliding the phone open reveals a cramped, flat, and stiff keypad, making it difficult for users (especially ones with fat fingers) to press the buttons. However, it is good to know that LG has changed the jog dial into a five-way navigation key, making it easy for users to browse through the main and sub menus. Pressing the navigation key brings you to the main menu, while moving the key in each direction (up, down, left, and right) launches the My Place, Contacts, Mailbox, and Inbox applications, respectively.

The main menu consists of My Stuff (Graphics, Video, Audio and Ringtones, Music Player, Games, Applications, Bluetooth Files, Other Files, and Memory Card), Recent Calls (Missed Calls, Dialled Calls, Received Calls, All Calls, Call Duration), Messaging (New Message, Inbox, E-mail Inbox, Drafts, Outbox, Sent, Voicemail, Videomail, Templates, Message Settings), My Place (BigPond, Foxtel, Yellow Search, BigPond Music, My E-mail, Call 1234 Info, Whereis Maps, BigBlog and Photos, Downloads, and My Account), Address Book (Contact List, New Contact, Caller Groups, Speed Dial List, Copy/Move/Delete Contacts), Tools (Alarm Clock, Calendar, Tasks, Notepad, Calculator, Tip Calculator, Unit Converter, World Clock, Stop Watch, Date Finder, D-Day Counter),  Camera and Recordings (Take Photo, Record Photo, Record Voice), and Settings. Navigating through the sub-menus is fairly easy as the options are all lined-up in a list. The only problem we have encountered while navigating through the sub-menus is the constantly-changing back/cancel button.

The TU720 that we received connects to the Telstra network, giving users HSDPA and 3G functionality, Foxtel Mobile and BigPond services, as well as other Telstra services. We have tested the Foxtel Mobile service and have found the LG Titanium to stream videos with minimal buffering time. The Internet connection was quick – web pages loaded in a matter of seconds and attached files were uploaded without any problems.

 


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The TU720’s 2 Mega Pixel camera comes with a built-in LED flash that can brighten shots taken in the dark, has several ‘advanced’ options like White Balance adjustments, Colour Effects (Sepia, Mono, Negative, and Colour), and adjustable Resolution settings (320×240, 640×480, 1280×960, and 1600×1200). The outdoor photos (and some indoor shots) we took were often overexposed, leaving us with some loss of detail. In order to ‘fix’ this problem, one must either use a photo editing software, or manually adjust the White Balance settings.

A user can also record interviews or create voice messages with the voice recording software, listen to audio tracks with the phone’s music player, pair to various devices using Bluetooth, and even use the phone as a modem using the USB cable. The 140MB internal memory of the phone can be increased to 4GB (via the microSD card slot), but users would have to purchase it themselves as LG did not bundle any microSD card with the package.

Finally, LG claims that the 900 mAh Lithium-Ion battery for the TU720 has a Standby time of 250 hours, a Talk time of 180 minutes, and a Video Talk time of 130 minutes. Just remember that using this phone to watch Foxtel, listen to music files, and/or connect to the Internet will give you a shorter battery life.

 


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Conclusion:

The LG Shine LU720 is a chic phone that provides users with an abundance of phone features, access to online content such as Foxtel and BigPond, and even allows video calling between mates. This Titanium phone got what’s good from its older sibling, improved on it, and now shines brighter than before.

 

 

Product Specifications:

Phone Type: Slider
External Display: 2.2″ LCD
Number of Colours: 262K Colour TFT
Internal Memory: 140MB
External Memory: microSD card (optional)
 
Data Connectivity
USB: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes
PC Sync: Yes

PIM
Organiser/Calendar: Yes
Alarm: Yes
Phonebook: 500

Advanced Features
JAVA: MIDP 2.0
MIDI: Yes
Keytone Effect: Yes
Camera: 2 Mega Pixel
Camera Flash: Yes
Camera Zoom: Up To 4x
Videotalk: Yes
VOD: Yes
Multimedia Player: MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, MPEG4, JPG, BMP
Voice Recording: Yes
Speakerphone: Yes

Standard Battery: 900 mAh Li Ion
Standby Time: 250 hours
Voice Talk Time: 180min
Video Talk Time: 130 min

Dimensions: 99.8 X 50.6 X 15.08 MM
Weight: 122g

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LG Black Label Series: Shine Titanium (TU720) | $829 |  | au.lge.com

For: Better than its predecessor; New and improved navigation keys; A lot of features; Expandable memory using microSD card
Against: No included memory card in the package; Keypad is still cramped; Photos tend to be overexposed; Shiny surface is a magnet for fingerprints
Conclusion: A ‘shiny’ phone with a lot of features.

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