LG Prada 3.0 Review and Specifications

The new LG Prada 3.0 (or PRADA phone by LG 3.0, if the fashion house has anything to do with it) is a 'fashion phone' that actually ticks more than a few tech boxes as well.
When most people hear about designer tie-ins with technology, they think of lame devices with a logo smeared all over it - but in this case, it's actually a decent phone in its own right.

The Prada 3 has a large amount of synergy with the LG Optimus 3D, bringing the same OMAP 1GHz dual-core, dual-channel processor but ramping it up with 1GB of RAM, rather than the measly 512MB on offer previously.

We're also seeing the typical Android specs here too: 8GB of internal storage with space for a microSD card, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n and all the rest - but you don't want to read about that.

The truth is, the Prada 3.0 is a phone that the fashionista who is fed up with substandard technology has been waiting for - it looks the part, but also stands up to rigorous (well, briefly vigorous) testing as well.

The chassis is feels great in the hand, thanks to the Saffiano d├ęcor on the rear of the handset, the curved edges and 8.5mm depth. In fact, take away the Prada branding and you can tell this would still be a very well designed phone.

The power key is surprisingly easy to hit, considering it's tucked away on the top right-hand corner of the device and is pretty tiny; and the sliding hatch to protect the microUSB slot slips back and forth with a premium feel too.

There's no physical camera button to speak of, as LG has gone for minimalism here, but overall, we can see users enjoying the experience of taking the phone in and out of the pocket (which apparently won't ruin the lines of your suit, according to LG. Phew).

When it comes to the technical side of things, the LG Prada 3 isn't found wanting either, thanks to the latest iteration of Android (2.3.7) all the aforementioned connectivity options as well as NFC on board.

The next generation technology is increasingly being used on today's new handsets, but we were surprised to see it on a fashion phone - the message of paying for things with your phone must be set to hit the designer stores soon too, it seems, as it's an odd choice to add in when creating a sleek design is all important.

Another piece of technology that will impress many that look at it is the NOVA display on the LG - the 4.3-inch WVGA display isn't that market leading in the current climate, with a plethora of HD displays coming onto the market. It's certainly one of the brightest, as LG is keen to point out - although we couldn't really see a huge amount of difference in the darkened show room.

LG promises that this technology will come into its own when used in direct sunlight, meaning you can actually see what's going on with your phone in the summer months, so we'll have to re-judge it in the bright light of day.

The Prada overlay sitting atop the Android experience feels quite alternative when you first pick up the phone, but quickly you'll see it's the same LG experience we've found on the likes of the Optimus 3D and Optimus Black.

The main difference is the black and white theme, complete with its own special widgets and icons. It's not a massive change, but does bring a different, and more minimalist, feel to the phone.

The ability to select the icons at the bottom of the display that pervade throughout the home screens is functional and keeps with the Prada aesthetic; similarly, the widgets on offer too - again decked out in this black, white and grey theme.

You can also collapse the sections on the menu too, meaning you don't have to sully your beautiful monochrome display with those unsightly coloured icons that have to be downloaded from the Android Market from time to time.

It's hard to talk about the rest of the phone without saying the same things we've talked about time and again on LG smartphones. The messaging system is the same as ever - not a lot of unification and the keyboard is only OK when it comes to accuracy... something you'll probably be looking to upgrade in the future.

However we did notice an improvement in the speed of the internet browser thanks to the larger amount of RAM LG has decided to pack under the hood. Surfing between sites was buttery smooth in our brief tests - we were in a packed and quite poorly covered signal area, but we managed to navigate quickly.

Early verdict:
The LG Prada 3 is a difficult one to call - as only the price will decide whether or not this will be a big hitter for Koreans. The first LG Prada phone was a relatively successful device, as one of the popular touchscreen handsets before the iPhone was launched.

It's not running Ice Cream Sandwich, and while LG promises an update early next year, the Korean firm is notoriously awful at delivering timely Android upgrades... although the company promised us that this year things would be different thanks to a greater investment in this area.

Strip away the Prada branding and bring this phone out on a £30-£35 a month contract and we'd be singing its praises: it's fast, thin and looks the part.

But putting it in that bracket probably won't give it the 'exclusive' feel Prada is so desperate to achieve, so we'll have to wait and see the price when the expected LG Prada 3 UK release date rolls around in Q1 2012 to find out.

LG Prada 3.0 Full Specifications

Also known as Prada K2, LG P940
GENERAL2G NetworkGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced2011, December
StatusComing soon. Exp. release 2012, February
BODYDimensions127.5 x 69 x 8.5 mm
- Touch-sensitive controls
DISPLAYTypeIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
SOUNDAlert typesVibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
3.5mm jackYes
MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 32GB
Internal8 GB storage
SpeedHSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
BluetoothYes, v3.0 with A2DP
USBYes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERAPrimary8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
VideoYes, 1080p@30fps
SecondaryYes, 1.3 MP
FEATURESOSAndroid OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
ChipsetTI OMAP 4430
CPUDual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9
SensorsAccelerometer, proximity, compass
MessagingSMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
RadioStereo FM radio with RDS
GPSYes, with A-GPS support
JavaYes, via Java MIDP emulator
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- SNS integration
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail
- YouTube, Google Talk
- DivX/MP4/H.264/H.263 player
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
- Document viewer
- Organizer
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input
BATTERYStandard battery, Li-Ion 1540 mAh
Talk time
MISCSAR US0.32 W/kg (head)     0.73 W/kg (body)    

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