The fashion phone returns: LG’s Prada reviewed

LG has once again collaborated with design icon Prada to ask the question: can phones really be a fashion item?

Features

Fashion phones have, for the most part, been missing in action over the past few years, with the original Prada models being released at least four years ago to compete against Apple’s older iPhone models. Other manufacturers tried competing in this space too, including Samsung’s Armani handset and Motorola’s Dolce & Gabbana phone.

The third version of LG’s fashionable “Prada” series of phones, the new Prada – also called the LG P940 – is the first phone from the icon to feature Google’s Android operating system.

With this iteration, Vodafone has taken the exclusivity agreement in Australia, offering the handset in a very nice black box that oozes aesthetic appeal the only way the Prada brand can.

Outside of the high profile branding, LG has equipped the Prada with a 4.3 inch IPS touch screen supporting 480×800 resolution and 217 ppi. The case is made from a combination of plastic and glass, with the back set out in plastic textured like leather.

Inside, you’ll find a 1GHz dual-core processor with dedicated PowerVR graphics processor, 8GB memory (though only half is available to you), microSD slot, and support for Bluetooth 3.0, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, GPS, and a 3G downlink of up to 21Mbps.

The connectivity options also include Near-Field Communication technology, meaning that the phone could one day be used as part of Google’s wireless payment technology.

Like most phones, the LG includes a camera, with an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 1080p Full HD video capture, and a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera.

While the specs seem reasonably high, LG has equipped the Prada 3 with the relatively old version of Android, version 2.3, also known as Gingerbread. LG has said that an update to 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” is coming, but hasn’t said when. The overlay to Android is specific to the Prada, with LG crafting a monochrome version of Android with unique icons and widgets.

The Prada features a few buttons, all adopting a minimalistic design. On the left side of the handset are two small black buttons for volume up and down, while two silver circular buttons sit up top, the left for activating the camera and the right for switching the phone on and off. At the bottom of the handset, four touch sensitive light-up buttons serve for accessing the menu settings, home, back, and search.

A 3.5mm headset jack and covered micro USB port also sit on the top and are the only visible ports on the handset.

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