Recommended For: Features, Budget Pricing
Not Recommended For: Design, Navigation Perfection
The “shine” in the name of the LG CU720 Shine is more than just marketing speak.
Though most people don’t buy a cell phone to apply facial cosmetics, when in standby mode you could actually use its urbane, mirror-polished faceplate as a compact mirror.
If your face isn’t interested in the LG CU720 Shine’s actual shine, perhaps your pocketbook would welcome the fact that it’s a luxury handset that’s also budget priced.
Despite looking somewhat like popular, all-touch screen smartphones (like the iPhone 3G from Apple and the Instinct from Samsung) while closed, the LG CU720 Shine isn’t a touch screen phone at all nor is it a smartphone.
Its 2.2-inch screen is only part of the handset. The LG CU720 Shine is in fact a slider phone that slides open to reveal its standard numeric keypad. It’s a flat, polished-metal surface that flaunts style and sophistication. You won’t, though, find a full keyboard here.
Design, Navigation Foibles
While closed, the LG CU720 Shine’s primary mode of navigation is its circular “nub”. The nub can be used for “up,” “down,” “right” and “left” controls. While LG went chic here, its small size and sensitivity could present a problem for some desiring easier navigability.
As well, two buttons that appear like a horizontal line exist on the left and right of the nub. These keys, though, are difficult to depress and make you use too much force.
In addition to the LG CU720 Shine’s affordable price of $49.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) when signing a two-year service contract with AT&T, the LG CU720 Shine has the added advantage of being a quad-band and 3G handset for high-speed data transfer.
While the LG CU720 Shine for the most part is sized about right, the handset does feel a bit thick. It measures in at 3.93 inches by 1.99 of an inch by 0.59 of an inch.
By contrast, another quality cell phone from AT&T for $49.99 – the Pantech C610 – measures in right where it should at 3.67 inches by 1.81 of an inch by 0.72 of an inch.
The LG CU720 Shine weighs in at 4.23 ounces, which is noticeably heavy. By contrast, the Pantech C610 only weighs 3.25 ounces. The Motorola Z9 for AT&T, which weighs in at a surprising 4.9 ounces (or 140 grams), is even more heavy.
Both the LG CU720 Shine and the Pantech C610 have a disappointing battery life of only 3 hours of talk time and up to 10 days of standby time. Since the LG CU720 Shine is just as much of a multimedia phone as anything else, you might find yourself out of juice too soon.
The Bottom Line
For the budget price of only $49.99, the LG CU720 Shine packs style, sophistication and features galore. You will, though, have to be willing to forgive some design and navigation shortfalls.
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