The Prada Phone by LG has certainly got a unique look about it with a textured back cover that gives it the feel of fancy notebook or a posh leather-bound cigarette case. Personally we did not like this design and for the money you pay (something like £342), its spec seems under-whelming compared to some of the other handsets we reviewed this month (namely the HTC One S and Sony Xperia S).
Continuing the design, at the top of the handset there are three identical looking buttons. These are an attempt to continue the fashion conscious style, but unfortunately two of the buttons don’t have any identifying markers so you can imagine what happens when you try to turn on the phone for the first time!
Speaking of which when the Android (2.3) home screen finally appears you are greeted by another distinct look - the home-screen and applications are given a Sin-City style black and white overcoat that is certainly different, though not necessarily ideal!
For example we felt that some of the icons were harder to identify. Plus there is no consistency to the black & white look as when you scroll further down the list of apps you find the Google Service icons or downloaded apps icons are all in colour.
As for the screen itself the 4.3” IPS LCD display does produce a nice image while playing games or watching YouTube videos (with good viewing angles to boot). However the screen does suffer from traces of overexposure at max brightness and its standard WVGA resolution doesn’t make the screen as sharp in terms of fonts.
Additionally we found that while using a few apps the screen did not respond to finger presses straight away. We then ended up having to press harder on the on-screen icons to get them to work. Hopefully this is an isolated issue or one that could be fixed when the ICS update arrives.
Pre-installed applications were also kept to a minimum, but we did like the NFC support that is easy to access from the notification bar and the video player - with its pseudo surround option – certainly boosted audio playback (via a pair of headphones).
Benchmark Performance & Camera Quality
Running our synthetic benchmarks did reveal how much slower the device is compared to the HTC One S we reviewed earlier, with a Vellamo score of 849 vs the HTC’s 2409. Granted the LG is £60 or so cheaper, but even so for the price you could do a lot better. However in real-world terms, apart from the above screen response issue, the Prada was a capable performer for most tasks.
This included the 8MP camera which ran fine outdoors in brighter conditions, taking some pretty good shots in the process. The only quibble was the level of camera features themselves, which we have to say were pretty feeble.
In terms of battery tests we always leave the phone antenna (plus data) running while setting the backlight to Max.
We then run a video for 2 hours and 15 minutes to gain an idea of how much battery life is left from a full charge.
Battery life was poor with just 50% remaining from a full charge. In general heavy use terms (such as web browsing, YouTube streaming and games) you would also require regular charges.
Spec Link: http://www.clove.co.uk/prada-phone-by-lg-30