Review: LG Prada

Review: LG Prada
Review: LG Prada

Phones are always a hot Holiday item and with news coming out that there are over 3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions around the world, it's probably not going to hurt if we tell you about a new phone that aims to make you look good all the time.

We could only be talking about the newest touchscreen phone to hit the market, the LG Prada.

For this release, fashion icons Prada have gotten together with consumer electronics giant LG to try their hands at a release that's both fashionable, well-designed, and a beautiful phone to use.

And to be honest, they didn't go very well.

LG have already called the iPhone a copycat basically claiming their Prada, also known as the KE850, was the inspiration for the iPhone. And while we haven't played with an iPhone yet, we have played with the iPod Touch and the Prada just doesn't come close.

The touchscreen interface is clunky, the operating system is slow, and almost everything about it seems half-assed. It's as if LG got caught up in making the Prada too pretty to be able to do anything.

In a way, the Prada is like a mannequin: it can wear the clothes and look good, but it still doesn't really do anything.

You can still do the things that all other phones can do -- whether it's making phone calls, writing text messages, or taking pictures -- but LG's have hampered the usability of the Prada by trying to be a regular phone on only a touchscreen.

This means that to type a message to someone, instead of being greeted by an easy to use keyboard, you're given a touchscreen version of your keypad. With no tactile feedback whatsoever, you'll find press that 7 button four times just so you can get the letter S is more trouble than it's worth.

The call quality is fine but typing a number has a similar issue. Since you can't feel what you're pressing and touchscreen doesn't have the best response, you'll probably have to pay close attention that you don't mess up the number by accidentally pressing the number for too long.

The design of the Prada is simple and its simplicity makes it elegant. But coupled with it is a feeling of pointless elegance that you just can't shake. For instance, people buying the Prada just to be fashionable should be aware that not only is it a fingerprint magnet, the "Prada" logo is on the front of the handset meaning that whenever you hold it to your ear, everyone will just see you as holding a black brick to the side of your head.

While making the design simple, the engineers at LG look to have forgotten some of the most basic staples of good design in making a phone that maintains its principles at all times. For instance, if you plug in your handsfree headset, you end up with a little piece of plastic hangs off the side begging to fall off. Not only that, but to put a MicroSD card in, you'll need to remove the battery. Basic things like this which could have been fixed with slide doors on the side of the phone have been ignored and not considered.

Then you've got the extras like the mp3 player, camera, and other features that attempt to bring together a feeling of convergence. And you could keep that feeling but I don't know why you would as the mp3 player lacks functionality, the camera is weak, and the operating system only serves to show how slow dragging a clock can really be.

With credit to LG, they have done a good job at making it feel good. The Prada's simple shape makes it very comfortable and it's very lightweight.

Unfortunately, it's just not a very good phone.

Should you buy it?: Err... no.

Product: LG Prada

Vendor: LG

RRP: $999

Website: LG Prada

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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