LG Shine mobile phone - FIRST LOOK review

Like Motorola with the RAZR, LG has managed to captivate the mobile phone masses with its Chocolate phone and Black Label series.

Like the RAZR the phone didn't offer the latest cutting edge elements but as a fashion conscious mobile it quickly became a design icon and one to be seen with.

LG has taken the design and evolution of its original handset to the next stage with the aptly named LG Shine.

Why Shine? Well because it's encased in shiny metal that's highly reflective. Due in the UK next month, Pocket-lint managed to get its hands on a unit for a First Look at CES 2007 in Las Vegas. So does the phone live up to its predecessor, the Chocolate?

Unlike the Chocolate phone with its invisible buttons the LG Shine is comparatively traditional in its offering.

The slider design features a large 2.2-inch screen that is mirrored when not in use - it’s a girl's new compact for sure - and a 2 megapixel camera for shooting when out and about, although this isn't one of the main focuses of the phone.

Directly beneath the large screen is a roller interface and two further buttons either side. The roller does exactly that - allows you to roll through the menus while pressing it activates or the further two buttons whatever icon you happen to be on.

In practice and its like the BlackBerry click wheel only front on rather than being at the side and in our brief play we found ourselves fairly comfortable using it, although not as much as the ball approach in another BlackBerry model - the BlackBerry Pearl.

Slide the phone up and its checkerboard keypad, which takes a strong influence from Motorola's RAZR range, Samsung's D900 and it's own Chocolate phone is revealed.

The metal keypad lights up just like the RAZR, while the Samsung influence is dipped keypad with a bulbous end (it's not actually that bulbous, but that seems to be the best way to describe it) is where the aerial goes.

According to an LG spokesperson on the stand at the show, LG had great difficulties with the metal case (which we've seen is prone to denting on the back when in your pocket) not affecting the aerial strength, but somehow they did, and we were told that the finished phone won't feature this prototype problem.

Verdict

The LG Shine is certainly shiny - you'll see we had difficulties with taking the photos on the stand floor.

The feature set is standard fare for a phone of this type (i.e. fashion), although it's nice to see a decent megapixel count on the phone's camera. It's certainly a good follow-up to the company's Chocolate phone.

Unlike Motorola, LG has shown that it has other designs up its seeve that isn't just a slight tweak on a previously successful model.

Futhermore the announcement of the Prada collaboration, that is likely to give the Apple iPhone a run for its money, shows LG is trying to innovate with mobile phone designs and it looks to be succeeding.

Feature packed with all the latest technology like GPS or Wi-Fi it isn't, however the LG Shine at first glance seems to be a fashion statement in the making.

Expect plenty of fashion conscious people to want to tell you that, when it goes on sale in the UK in February.