The Prada Phone by LG despite it’s strong specification didn’t really spark my interest too much prior to launch, probably because of the whole ‘Prada’ thing. I got the impression that too much focus was on the Prada brand and theme and not the hardware.
Having had some hands on time with the phone now, I have to admit that I was wrong to have such opinions. So here is a quick review.
Yes, it does have a lot of Prada branding and you feel that maybe a lot of emphasis has been put on features which too many wouldn’t really be an issue or a big deal, but to the style conscious there are many positives. It looks good; the interface is different to many other Android phones and it has the name attributed it.
Taking a look at the design it certainly shares a similar profile to a lot of phones with similar specifications, but it is squarer with less rounded corners, but the sides of the device do have a curvature to them.
Around the edge there is a sliver/grey edging to give it a more expensive look and feel whilst the back cover has a texture to it which is different to other phones and helps with grip. The back cover is plastic and still feels a bit ‘cheap’ when removed from the phone. The overall build and finish doesn’t scream cheap, it does actually look and feel quite smart but handle an iPhone and then the Prada and I think the iPhone appeals to the touch more. Having said that, the iPhone is generally more expensive and is quite common.
The power and camera buttons look more stylish than most with a texture to these, whilst the microUSB connector has a cover that you slide open and closed (a nice touch). Overall the phone feels slim in hand and comparably weighted to other devices.
A point to note here is that the camera button is actually on the top of the phone, not the sides as is normal, so you need to use the device in landscape mode ideally to press the physical camera button. You can touch the screen as well if you would prefer. It seems unusual in terms of location but actually makes some sense.
In terms of hardware, it’s excellent and easily competes with the likes of the Sony Xperia S, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S II. LG have not slacked here at all.
1GHz dual-core processors, dual channel memory, 8gb internal memory, microSDHC memory card slot, 8 megapixel camera with flash and full 1080p HD video recording, DLNA, WiFi, NFC, GPS and a 4.3” WVGA capacitive Nova Plus (800 nit) display to name just a few.
The result is a high end smartphone that performs well and has the capability to outshine a lot of other handsets.
The device comes with Android 2.3.7 which has then been customised with a Prada design them to give it a black and white feel throughout. To a point this makes the phone look great, but because it is Android and it is all about customisation, LG have not been able to keep this theme throughout the phone and much of it is only on the surface, it goes back to default Android as you dig deeper. To be honest it is not a big issue and I am just being picky.
A simply tweak is the text style, there are several options which normally wouldn’t be of interest to many, but it does add that personal touch to the device.
The screen was better than most, but I think Super AMOLED may just have the edge still, although a lot is down to personal opinion. I honestly feel that for day to day use it doesn’t make a huge difference and unless you sat the 2 screen types side by side would you really notice some difference. For the average user who most likely has the backlight set to auto to conserve battery and is not constantly streaming and watching media then we are splitting hairs over which screen is better. In short you will not be disappointed.
The PRADA surprised me when it came to the camera, I expected it to be ok, but not as good as the results were. Even on a cloudy overcast day it took a crisp and clear shot that I would happily show off. Video footage too was good and there are plenty of resolution options here including full 1080p HD.
There are also a good number of camera settings including white balance, ISO & zoom to name just a few.
I could spent a lot of time going into minor detail on the Prada, but the general performance and experience is very typical of a high-end handset. If you are on a budget, you can get a comparable performing device for a little less money. If you own a Galaxy S II or Nexus there is no need to jump ship, but if money is not of primary concern and you want a new phone then the Prada is worth splashing out for, especially if you are into brands and style. It is not revolutionary in terms of design but it is that bit different and it might just get noticed.