The Prada phone 3.0 by LG is the third handset to materialize from LG’s partnership with Prada.
Of course the Prada phone looks the part, but does it have the tech on board to match the designer looks? We decided to take the phone for a test drive after being drawn in by its bespoke UI and 4.3-inch screen.
In theory, you would think the fancy Prada Saffiano textured pattern on the back of the handset would add grip, but it actually slipped from our hands a couple times. As far as the pattern, although it looks good, it looks better on a leather wallet than on a plastic smart phone. The back of the phone feels rather weak and cheap while detached from the phone, but once you put it back into place it feels sturdy. They kept controls to a minimum, only including the four Android controls under the screen. The phone is impressively svelte with dimensions of 127.5 x 69 x 8.5 mm.
The top of the LG Prada phone is home to a couple brushed silver buttons that include power and camera; the two buttons look identical so it takes a little getting used to.
They have also covered the USB charging port with a nice little switch that slides over; it is a much sleeker design than the rubber covers found on previous phones. The minimalist theme continues with the only controls on the side being for the volume.
The LG Prada phone runs on Android Gingerbread but there is an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich coming in the near future. This phone has a specially created user interface that stays away from bright graphics you find on other smart phones; instead opting for a modest white, grey, and black color scheme.
Although the look is slick, the effect is almost ruined by a collection of pre-loaded Google applications. In addition, all apps you download from Android will also appear in their normal bright color state.
This device includes the same usual connectivity options that include Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, and LG and NFC’s SmartShare DLNA which allows users to connect and share between DLNA-enabled devices.
As far as multimedia, the Prada 3.0 offers support for several formats including H.264, DivX, and MPEG4. However, for other formats such as .avi you will need to search for an app in the marketplace. The phone supports AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, DTS, EC3, and MP3 for music playback.
Performance and Screen
This Prada phone carries a 1 GHz dual-core processor which isn’t the most powerful Android handset available, but we did not have any problems with the phone crashing. The phone comes with an almost standard memory capacity of 8 GB, but can hold an SD card up to 32 GB.
You will notice that the rear speaker has a decent sound; it is at least loud enough to annoy those around you, but this can be prevented by use of headphones. The overall performance for this phone is okay. Although it does not have an exceptionally fast processor, it still does okay. The phone offers many wonderful add-ons and clear, crisp sound through both speakers.
The Prada 3.0 has a large 4.3-inch TFT LCD screen that is impressive enough to compare to the LG Optimus 3D and the HTC Desire HD. The phone also features NOVA high brightness technology that means the display is still highly readable in bright daylight, and an average resolution of 800 x 480. Even though the resolution as a little disappointing on paper, the screen actually looks remarkably well with video and web pages; it offers both sharp edges and punchy colors with generally smooth motion for moving images.
Battery and Camera
The LG Prada Phone 3.0 features a 1540 mAh cell battery. The battery itself is nothing special and we thought it depleted rather radiply throughout the day. If you plan to use the phone a lot, you should bring a phone charger along as you will need it. The good thing here is that the battery charges rather quickly once it is plugged in.
The handset’s rear-facing camera is rather decent with 8 megapixels and a fast autofocus. The camera allows you to alter the focal point by using an onscreen target that can be moved by tapping the screen. There are many other manual settings you can use such as scene models, ISO, white balance, or auto.
The phone’s front-facing camera has a fixed-focus but opens automatically if you tap the camera button on the top of the device. You can switch to the rear camera by tapping the icon on the top left of the screen.
The photos taken by the camera are certainly not bad, but they are also not the best we’ve seen. They definitely don’t compare to shots taken by a Samsung Galaxy S2 or an Apple iPhone 4S. However, as with many other phone cameras, if you shoot photos during the day you will get decent results. On the other hand, photos taken in dim to no light will appear soft and lacking in detail.
The same is true with the full HD (1080×1920) video capture. For instance, if you take a video at 30 fps the footage will look good, but you have to have good lighting.
Initially, we were concerned with the LG Prada 3.0 and the fact it may have been a case of style over substance. However, that is definitely not the case with this phone. In the end, the phone brings a lot more to the table than designer looks; it also offers a sleek design that is an important selling point. In addition, the phone does well with the monochrome UI, but it is also a decent Android in its own way.
You will probably be most impressed by the large and bright screen, as well as its svelte profile. The phone’s camera could have been more impressive, especially for a price of £430. Although, it is not the cheapest phone, if you have additional cash to spend on a designer-inspired Android, then go for it!