in Education

Pre-release review of the LG Shine (KE970)

Disclaimer: I have received this unit from Hill & Knowlton, LG’s communications agency for evaluation purposes. In no way was my being given the phone dependent upon me reviewing it – in a positive way or otherwise. I have decided to review it for the benefit of those in the edtech community and those seeking more information before it is released in the UK in early February 2007. See the LG Shine blog for more information.

LG Shine KE970
Part 1 – Details

The LG KE970, also known as the ‘Shine’ is the update to the extremely popular LG Chocolate mobile phone. is a new release in the same ‘Black Label’ range as the popular LG Chocolate mobile phone. It is my intention in this review to provide as much information as possible to those interested in device, but also (and perhaps more importantly) to look at ways such mobile communication devices can be used in teaching and learning situations.

First of all, for the impatient, here are the specs of the evaluation unit:

Dimensions:   94 x 51 x 14 mm
Weight:   115 grams
Standby Time:   3 Days
Talk Time:   3 Hours
Band (in MHZ):   GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Data Standards:   GSM, GPRS, 3G
Screen:   240 x 320 (262,144 colours)
Camera:   2 MP
Extras:   Video, Flash, MP3
Internet:   3G (EV-DO),HTML Browser, POP3/SMTP Mail
Memory:   1GB, MicroSD
Ringtones:   Polyphonic (64 tone) or MP3
Vibrate Mode:   Yes
Messaging:   SMS, EMS, MMS, E-Mail
Connectivity:   Bluetooth, USB, Serial (RS232)
Additional Info:   Image Editor

Click here for the photo album of photos I have taken of the LG Shine KE970

Having received the LG Shine yesterday without manuals or documentation I am still figuring out some of its features. However, I have successfully managed so far to:

  • Download a working USB driver (choose the one for the U800 U400) to transfer files under Windows XP
  • Connect the LG Shine to my Macbook (shows up as external hard drive, recognised as a camera by iPhoto)
  • Pair it via Bluetooth with my Macbook (can access Internet through it, sync Address book and send files to Macbook)
  • Set a moving background (Flash-based, files included)
  • Transfer ringtones
  • Transfer video (3GPP supported, DivX and Xvid definitely not – unsure about other codecs)

More information, although in Korean(!) at the LG CYON website (which is what it’s known as over there – interestingly the headphones on my evaluation model has this printed on them)

LG Shine KE970
Part 2 – Applications for Teaching & Learning

Given the popularity of the LG Chocolate in my current school, it’s fair to say that it’s successor – and mobile phones like it – will become fairly ubiquitous within the next year or so. Unfortunately, my school is like most in western education in that mobile phones are pretty much banned. They’re allowed to be used as MP3 players at break and lunch, but apart from that they’re expected to be switched off and be put out of sight in students’ bags.

I think this is a shame, and not only that, rather short-sighted. Although students could in fact do more if they were given a PDA or Smartphone, the capabilities of the mobile phones they are likely to buy (such as the LG Shine) are great enough for them to be used as bona fide learning tools. One such application springs instantly to mind. I’ve just transferred some images I took using the 2-megapixel camera on the phone to my Macbook using Bluetooth. This was straightforward and quick. The pictures are of good quality and there are as many, if not more, options regarding the picture settings as there were on my first digital camera (also a 2-megapixel model). Students could take pictures of their work, video performances, use the voice recorder functions to take part in interviews, plays, re-enactments and the like and then transfer these via Bluetooth to the teacher’s laptop. I can imagine the situation where at the start of the lesson I ask students to get their mobile phones out and I say, “Please Bluetooth me your homework” :-)

In addition, the screen is large enough, bright enough, and the GPRS speeds fast enough, to read the mobile version of my learning.mrbelshaw.co.uk blog. This, along with the fact that the email inbox sits right next to the text message inbox on the ‘messages’ screen means that students have the option of emailing me for help and advice no matter where they are. Even if they are round at a friend’s house doing their homework and have no access to a computer, with devices such as the LG Shine they can visit my blog, remind themselves of the homework, and email me with any questions. As the phone can also store documents, in the future (given a better keyboard/method of data entry) they could do their homework on the device and then send it straight to me.

At the end of the day, learning is all about relationships and communication. In the 21st century we as educators need to explore 21st century ways of communicating with our students. Schools are now 24 hour places, whether we like it or not. We need to embrace the opportunities presented to us through mobile devices such as the one above and start using them to inspire, motivate and encourage students to learn to the best of their ability.

  • Pingback: A pre-release review of the LG Shine at The LG Shine Blog

    • http://www.hillandknowlton.com Gaylene Ravenscroft

      Hi Doug, just to confirm, LG Shine is not an update to the LG Chocolate phone. They are both part of LG's Black Label Series yet stand as individual phones. If you want to have a look you could go to http://www.lgbloggers.com

      Thanks so much for your input!
      Gaylene

  • http://www.al4ie.com alfie

    Hi there, just wondering on your referencing of the U800, this phone doesn't exist and I'm trying to find a USB driver that will work with the Shine – please do drop me an email and let me know!

    Cheers,

    Alfie.

    • http://www.al4ie.com alfie

      Cheers Doug.

  • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

    Sorry, my mistake. It's the U400 – I think all the USB drivers are the same though…

  • http://www.al4ie.com alfie

    Hmmn, perhaps because I am running windows Vista, it doesnt work, have tried a couple of others with the same result. Shame.

  • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

    Ahhh… Worked flawlessly and without a driver on my Mac. ;-)

    • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

      Alas, unlike reports to the contrary elsewhere, the LG Shine does not have 1GB of built-in memory – instead this is the upper limit of the MicroSD cards it accepts. The built-in storage limit is a rather more disappointing 70MB.

      Still, 1GB MicroSD cards aren’t exactly expensive:-)

  • Pingback: Test drive of the LG KE970 at Mauro Cherubini’s moleskine

    • Kam

      Hey, just looking at your review, firstly nice job :)
      Im thinking about getting this phone but there seems to be a few things i would like to know which ive had problems in previous phones with..
      under extreme lighting conditions such as a very very sunny day, can you still see the screen?.. ive had this happen to me with motorola v3 and it was like hell trying to use it on holiday because the light just reflected back and turned the screen into a mirror lol… and.. its weird that i dont see sideways directional buttons.. how do u go across?… or does it only let u scroll down and select..

  • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

    Hi Kam,

    In answer to your questions:

    1. If you put the phone on ‘Power Save’ mode you can’t see it very well on sunny days. If you keep it on normal mode it’s visible. :-)

    2. There’s two buttons to the side of the scroll wheel that let you go across when navigating – fairly easy to use!

    • Jon

      Hello I have brought the LG shine – Best phone ever just a few questions on it though

      When you watch a video you have recorded its really small like thumbnail size when its got a massive screen, can you view whole screen?

      Is there a shortcut key when taking a photo to turn the flash on, or like the nokia n70 is there an auto flash??

      When taking and when you have taken a photo can you zoom in and out ?

      Can you password protect folders that contains photo’s and video’s ? (not phone lock or pin code)

      Can you purchase a Dock Station / Speakers??

  • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

    Jon,

    1. I haven’t actually watched any videos on my phone yet!
    2. I don’t know of any such shortcut key for the flash, unfortunately.
    3. I don’t think you can zoom when taking a photo, and I haven’t found a way that you can zoom when viewing one either. I haven’t got a manual, but I should imagine such a feature would be documented, if it were possible, in there.
    4. I don’t think you can add a password protection on your photos (why, what you hiding? ;-)
    5. I haven’t seen a dock – isn’t it just Sony that do that at the moment?

    Sorry I haven’t been of help. I’m using it just as a phone and occasional camera, really. If and when I want some more advanced features, I’ll probably go back to my Smartphone…

    • Andy Critchlow

      Heh a few of you have said you have managed ot sync your shines flawlessly with your macbooks since you have had them… PLease, PLEASE can somebody enlighten me as it just tells me that this phone is not supported by iSync, although it does say it will be usable with Address book etc. when I pair it! What am I doing wrong, I dont feel like tranfering over 800 contacts one by one… HELPPPPP! thanks

  • http://www.squirlart.com Christopher Scott

    I’m experiencing the same problem!
    Any recommendations? Help, help!…

    Thanks!

  • ke970

    1. To view videos full screen, move to the video thumbnail, hit options and choose Landscape Mode

    2. No shortcut key for flash, but it's easy to access from the camera on-screen menu

    3. Navigation key up and down zooms in and out

    4. No

    5. No

    • http://www.denniszuiderwijk.com Dennis

      Hi Guys,

      has anyone got the Shine working within Vista already?

      I just can't seem to find any working driver …..

      Thanks in advance,

  • http://www.raza-designs.com Zoheb

    Hi, how do you get the phone to show up as a disk on a mac? I have a powerbook running tiger

  • Alan Green

    I'm considering purchasing a Shine but need to know if I will be able to sync with my Mac using iSync. A few people have said that you can but on the Apple site it says it's not supported – any ideas???

  • Matt N

    can you veiw videos in full screen mode?

    • holli—x

      heyya x
      LOVE THIS PHONE!
      hopefully ordering it tonight..
      draw attentio from my mates at school!
      :D
      i love it..alot of people think its a really gd phone and alot of people dont..

      :S

      well i love it anyway!
      lets hope it is gd!

  • holli—x

    and yes you can view videos in full screen mode:

    To view videos full screen, move to the video thumbnail, hit options and choose Landscape Mode

    it was posted by someone else up above ^^

    • Keljaden

      Hi

      Ive been trying to get videos full screen on this phone, but when I goto to options you’ve only got theres to choose from:

      1.play
      2.delete
      3.send via
      4.file
      5.new folder
      6.multi delete
      7.delete all.

      Doesnt seem my phone has the option at all, and its defniietly the KE970. Can anyone help plz?

  • Jusman

    Hey Doug man awsome review i was planning to get this phone for a while now but i really needed that review to make me crazy for it. and yooooooooove don it man thanks bud i cant wait for this phone

    • Bryan

      Hi,

      I’m using LG Shine but failed to sync address book with iSync on my MBP.

      The only solution is use bluetooth to trasfer the business card one by one to the phone.

      Anyone knows a better way?

      BTW, the built in SWF flash wallpapers are cool but i tried dwnloading some 240×320 SWF frm the net and send to phone, it appears n OTHER instead of IMAGE, so i can’t view it or set them as wallpaper. Anyone knows how to do it?

  • http://www.autoaggression.net LoSo

    How did you sync your mac with the shine…?

  • Orredayo

    until you didn`t describe how you managed to isync your phone on 10.4, i don’t believe that story – you’d be first person in the www who who’d managed that… cheers

    • http://www.edtechroundup.com Doug Belshaw

      OK, OK, so you can’t ‘sync’ your address book. It came up as an option when I connected the Shine so I assumed it was possible. I don’t use iCal on my Mac nor do I store addresses on it. Consequently I don’t use the sync function with my mobile phones.

      Sorry if this was in any way misleading, it was unintentional. This review was for the benefit of those in the edtech community, for which that particular feature is not particularly important… :-)

  • Pingback: My LG Shine KE970 review at teaching.mrbelshaw.co.uk