Prada Phone by LG 3.0 Android phone (preview)

Prada Phone by LG 3.0 preview: LG's third smartphone to feature Prada branding delivers on style, but does it have substance?

LG has announced the third smartphone it has developed in conjunction with Italian fashion label Prada — the Prada Phone by LG 3.0. Described by the company as a smartphone that combines "style and substance", the handset is definitely a looker but it's average specifications mean it is likely to get lost among better alternatives.

LG Optimus Black review
LG Prada (KE850) review
LG Prada (KF900) review

The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 (a terrible name in our opinion), is the third phone to come from the collaboration between the two companies. The LG Prada (KE850) was launched in 2007 and was the first completely touch interface phone to be released in Australia, while the LG Prada (KF900) added a physical, slide-out keyboard to largely the same phone. Both phones were relatively unsuccessful in Australia, so LG will be hoping the Prada Phone 3.0 represents a third-time lucky.

The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 will definitely turn some heads. It features Prada's signature "Saffiano" pattern on the back in a classic black colour. A Prada branded dock and Bluetooth headset will be sold as optional accessories, along with a Prada bag to store the phone in. The phone is just 8.5mm thin and weighs 138g, so it's both compact and fairly lightweight.

We are more interested in the specifications than the design of the Prada Phone and it's here that things become a little disappointing. A 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM should mean the Prada Phone 3.0 is no slouch, but its a shame the phone won't ship with the latest version of Android, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Instead, the Prada Phone 3.0 will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread — LG says it won't be upgraded until "later in 2012". The delay for the upgrade likely stems from LG's custom user interface, which the company says features a unique black, grey and white menu and icons.

The Prada Phone 3.0 has a 4.3-inch NOVA display, the same screen used on the LG Optimus Black Android phone. A basic resolution of 800x480 means text clarity won't stack up highly against top quality alternatives, but an outdoor brightness of 800nits is almost twice the brightness of most other smartphone screens. This should effectively result in excellent sunlight legibility.

Other features of the Prada Phone 3.0 by LG include an 8-megapixel rear camera that doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and 8GB of internal memory along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. LG says the Prada Phone 3.0's 1540mAh battery gives it around five hours of talk-time, which doesn't sound too appealing. We'll wait to review it before we judge, but the standby and talk-time ratings seem quite low.

The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 will launch exclusively on the Vodafone network in Australia in April. Pricing and plan details have yet to be announced.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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