Sorry, Shine hopefuls, the VX8700 will have to hold you over for at least a bit longer. After some buzz had suggested that the FCC-outed VX8550 would be a true Shine slider for Verizon, we now have word from sources that it'll actually be a facelift to the year-old VX8500 Chocolate. For what it's worth, the changes are definitely for the better -- we'd dare say LG's been listening to the VX8500's critics -- with properly placed Send / End buttons, Lock switch on the side, and what appears to be a true 3.5mm headphone jack (still an all-too-rare feature on handsets). Some are reporting that the d-pad is considerably easier to use and possibly "used differently" than its predecessor, though what that means remains to be seen. Documents suggest that it'll hit in black, red, and blue, though if the original is any gauge, we can expect a full rainbow of hues hitting over several months. No word on a release date or price, but with press shots in the pipe, we figure it might show up in time to commemorate the VX8500's one-year anniversary.
[Thanks, anonymous tipster]
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.