Prada Phone by LG 3.0 - Android Wears Prada

Prada Phone by LG 3.0 - Android Wears Prada

Android Becomes Fashion-Conscious With Prada

Both LG and Prada have come a long way since their collaboration started in 2006; together, they produced two Prada phones with an emphasis on visually attractive designs, including software, user interface design and packaging.

LG KE850 Prada (left) and LG KF900 Prada (right) were announced in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Beneath the glamorous looks, the Prada Phone by LG 3.0 seems to be able to pack a punch with its strong suite of hardware specifications, including a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 800-nit screen and an 8-megapixel camera. Let's check out what LG and Prada have for us in their latest product:-

The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 stays true to its fashion roots, evidently seen in this shot.

The brand Prada is about sophistication and fashion so expect no less from a phone inspired by it. At first glance, the predominantly black smartphone looks clean and minimalistic with a front that showcases a generous 4.3-inch NOVA display and a set of touch controls that disappear when unused. The sides are flanked by a metallic border that adds a certain sense of novelty and class. The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 sports an elongated and angular build, but fits nicely in our hands.



The volume controls are found on the left profile of the phone. Buttons are a tad too flat for our liking but this isn't too much of a problem. The right side is completely bare, accentuating the minimalist design philosophy that both LG and Prada chose to adopt.

We must say, the metal buttons and USB port on the top are nicely done and stylish to boost. While almost every control is found here, they look inconspicuous and follow well with the overall design philosophy. However, improvements can be made - the hatch covering the USB port is too stiff for our liking; power and camera buttons (next to the 3.5mm audio port) are indistinguishable. The choice to put the latter here is more than likely a design decision, but frankly, we think it's not that practical.

The camera button launches the app as well as doubles up as the shutter button. Most of us are used to a button that's positioned on the right profile so shooting on the Prada Phone was an awkward affair. Also, there were times where we accidentally launched the app while trying to lock the phone's screen because of its proximity to the power button. To add on, the button automatically launches the front camera instead of its rear 8.0-megapixel camera and the shutter took a considerable amount of time to register our shots.

The phone comes in a nicely designed Prada black box alongside with a pair of chic earphones with the brand's name inscribed on it.

Aside its minimalist exterior, the Android smartphone also comes with a simple and predominantly monochrome user interface, one that LG collaborated closely with Prada to design. Key applications sport white icons while a selected pool of widgets are dressed in black and white. Aside the visual fluff, there isn't much that differentiates this user interface from previous ones found in LG. Otherwise, it is straightforward and simple to use.

Key applications come with default monochrome-styled icons. While it goes with the theme, it also sort of reminds you of very entry-level phones from not too long ago that were sporting monochrome displays.

You can change the design of an icon that's placed on your home pages. Simply long press it to get a brush icon to pop up. Click on it to open up a wide selection of alternatives.

You can revert to the original colored version or replace it with an alphabet.

Voila!

The Prada font is selected by default. If you don't fancy it, there are other fonts for you to try out.

PRADA-inspired wallpapers, anyone?

The PRADA Phone comes with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS as of now but users can expect an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS in Q2 2012.

Overall, our experience on the Prada Phone by LG 3.0 has been a positive one - speedy, responsive, simple to use and lag-free. The phone is definitely a pretty and well-constructed unit, albeit with some minor finicky camera issues. Nonetheless, it will probably appeal more to those who are looking to get an affordable Prada fix - not only will they be buying a smartphone with a Prada-inspired design, but they can complement the handset with Prada-branded accessories. For the rest of us caught up in the race to get an Android 4.0 ICS smartphone, the answer is clearly to wait for an extra month or two more when there are more Android 4.0 (and possibly Tegra 3 equipped) handsets in the market. That and the fact that a price tag of S$1,088 is slightly on the high side, considering that most high-end phones these days range from about $800 to $900+.

Prada Phone by LG 3.0

  Key Highlights of the Prada Phone by LG 3.0

  • Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Upgradeable to Android 4.0)
  • 4.3-inch IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen / 800 x 480 pixels  
  • TI OMAP 4430 1GHz dual-core processor 
  • 1GB RAM / 512MB ROM
  • 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash + 1.3-megapixel front facing camera 
  • 8GB (SD card expansion, up to 32GB)
  • 1540mAh battery
  • 127.5 x 69 x 8.5mm
     
  • Price and Availability: S$1,088 (available from 7th January 2012)

For Prada aficionados, do note that the smartphone will be available from tomorrow onwards at all three local telcos. Be sure to make an early purchase though - buyers will receive a limited edition Prada-branded phone cradle worth S$228 while stocks last. If you are looking to buy the phone without any contract, you might consider heading down to the LG LIVE Store at Marina Bay Sands on the 21st of January. Purchasers at this one-day-only sale will similarly receive the limited edition Prada cradle while stocks last.