The fashion phone returns: LG’s Prada reviewed


It would be a safe assumption to suggest that few smartphone handsets are designed to evoke a sense of luxury, but here in the Prada, we have exactly that. The name “Prada” brings a touch more prestige than the common phone manufacturer that would normally grace this handset may receive.

In fact, the regular Prada customer would expect that a phone brandishing this name would be a premium phone, no different to the high quality apparel and accessories the company offers.

For the most part, these people will be satisfied, as much of the technology thrown into the Prada is of a high standard.

While the phone lacks what seems to be hot premium technology for smartphones in 2012 – a quad-core processor – the dual-core chip on offer in this handset doesn’t have many problems running most applications. We had the occasional slow down in Instagram, but that could be fixed up in a patch later on for that app. In general, most applications ran quickly, with little lagging while browsing the web or switching between other apps.

The Prada features a very black and white look.

Support for a recent version of Bluetooth (3.0) is useful as is the inclusion of Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, which could prove particularly handy if heading to a destination that allows you to make payments over your phone. An eight megapixel camera with LED flash is also present, a useful addition that features reasonable colour recreation and little noise in dark environments.

The 4.3 screen has decent viewing angles, but could certainly do with a boost in resolution, however, as the 480×800 resolution isn’t in the same league as the Prada name. We’d expect higher, as many handsets now offer at least 540×960, the so-called high resolution of last year.

From the software point of view, LG has tried to make Android look a little different with the Prada, specifically making a monochrome interface that features simple white icons, widgets, and an emphasis on minimalist design. While this can look striking, it only works with the apps LG has made them for.

The moment you install apps from anyone else – including the makers of Android, Google – you’ll find a bright and cheerful colour icon waiting for you, completely clashing with the minimalist scheme that was built for this handset.

That’s cause for a little frown, but that sad face might just get a little deeper when you see some of the other issues found on the phone.