Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
LG Prada (KF900) mobile phone
It has a stylish design and the Prada name, but the slide-out QWERTY keyboard and superb touch-screen interface are the real winners
- Design, aesthetics, QWERTY keyboard, simple yet effective interface, speed, HSDPA-capable, Wi-Fi
- Proprietary headphone/charging jack, no GPS, poor browser, expensive
LG's Prada KF900 is proof that fashion phones don’t always have to be all style and no substance. The lack of GPS and a standard headphone jack are downsides, but the QWERTY keyboard is excellent and the interface is a winner.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
Looking identical to the original LG Prada phone, the second coming of the Prada mobile phone offers definite improvements over the original. The LG Prada KF900 features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a stylish design and a simple yet effective interface.
The Prada KF900 mobile phone, like its predecessor, has a great design. It is one of the best looking phones on the market, with a gloss black finish and chrome edging. Predictably, the Prada is a fingerprint magnet (so much so that LG even includes a cleaning cloth in the sales package), but it is surprisingly resistant to scratches.
The LG Prada KF900 is slightly chunkier and heavier than the original, but for good reason: the slide-out QWERTY keyboard is the main new addition, and its design and implementation are fantastic. Keys are easy to press, provide good tactility and are well spaced, making typing comfortable and zippy. The keys' white backlight looks superb at night and enhances this phone's credentials as a premium fashion handset. Our only complaint is that the slider wiggles slightly when closed and isn’t as sturdy as we hoped — especially considering the premium price point.
The original LG Prada KE850 was the first full touch-screen phone to be released in Australia. The Prada KF900 shows that touch-screen phones have come a long way in less than two years. The interface takes the best aspects of the original and improves them by adding a rotatable home screen and a carousel-style menu when the keyboard is opened.
The Prada KF900's home screen has a row of easily accessible icons (main menu, dialler, messaging and phonebook), and sliding your finger across the screen left or right reveals two menus: to the left a customisable shortcut page that provides quick access to nine user selectable functions and to the right a widgets menu. A rotatable menu appears when you slide open the keyboard, providing quick access to new messages, calendar, gallery, browser, new e-mails, to-do list and memo functions.
The interface is not only simple and well designed, it's fast. Menus load almost instantly and there is no lag when opening applications. A minor complaint is that it's easy to accidentally make a selection when scrolling through lists. The Prada KF900's touch screen is bright, clear and possesses excellent viewing angles. Glare is an issue when exposed to direct sunlight or florescent lighting indoors.
The LG Prada KF900 improves on its predecessor in terms of features. The phone is 7.2Mbps HSDPA-capable and offers a front-mounted VGA camera for video calling, a full HTML browser and Wi-Fi connectivity; GPS is omitted. The Web browser is a little frustrating. It's not responsive, scrolling is frustrating and the rendering of pages falls short of many competing phones' browsers.
The Prada KF900's digital camera has been upgraded to 5 megapixels and features a Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens, self-portrait mirror and LED flash. It also doubles as a video recorder. The camera interface, like the rest of the phone, is well designed and easy to use, but image quality isn’t outstanding.
The Prada KF900 also features a competent music player. Its functions are fairly basic, though the phone acts as a mass storage device when connected to a PC via USB, and there is A2DP Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming. An FM radio is also present. Unfortunately, the multimedia functions of the phone are let down by the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The proprietary headphone/charging port means you can't listen to music and charge the phone simultaneously.
The Prada KF900 offers a number of PIM features, including a voice recorder, alarm clock, calculator, world clock, unit converter, calendar, organiser and stopwatch.
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