Phone manufacturers collaborating with fashion brands are not new but it’s important for both to strike that balance between price/exclusivity and specs/design.
The LG Prada is the latest result of LG and Prada’s long history of collaboration and is marketed towards the sophisticated female market with its simple yet stylish all-black look. However, is the performance of this phone at par with the classy image it’s trying to project and the price it’s commanding? Let’s find out.
The LG Prada 3.0 is certainly a looker every time you whip it out in public. It has an all-glass front with a very thin bezel and a curved dark chrome sidings. It’s one of the thinnest phones out there having an 8.5mm thickness similar to the Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s also light at 138g making this phone suitable for a lady’s hands.
Instead of the LG logo, you will only see the Prada brand proudly presented on top of its 4.3-inch display beside the 1.3 megapixel front camera. At the bottom are the Android capacitive touch buttons that are invisible to the eye when idle.
Top side are these small circular flat caps that lends to its classy design. These are actually buttons, well at least two are. The one close to the edge is the Power/Sleep button, beside it is used to slide open the covered microUSB port, then another button to quickly activate the front camera (can also be toggled to activate the rear camera instead), then finally the 3.5mm audio jack. I find these buttons looking really nice but it’s a bit small and flat to use and the Power/Sleep button is far to the edge for a natural press.
Then on the left side are the volume control buttons which again may be a bit too small and flat to press easily. The right side is bare and the bottom side has those two circular caps on both ends that are simply design elements.
The back panel looks really elegant with a textured skin called “œSaffiano” leather that I’m sure I’ve seen on ladies’ shoes. It would definitely match a lady’s evening purse. The back houses the 8-megapixel camera with flash, the speakers, the Prada brand and finally the embossed LG logo. Removing the back panel can be done by simply prying it open from any sides and inside you’ll see the 1540mAh battery, regular SIM and microSD slots.
So how does this phone feel in your hand? The size, the thinness, and the lightness would feel at home on a lady’s hand although I kept on wishing the Power/Sleep button is positioned where the forefinger or the thumb naturally falls.
Display and UI
The 4.3-inch screen on the LG Prada 3.0 sports an unexciting 480 x 800 WVGA resolution although it uses LG’s Nova LCD technology which makes it one of the brightest (800 nits) phones out there. The brightness makes this phone very usable under sunlight. Indoors, the white would just pop out and the blacks are surprisingly deep.
Shown above are three devices: HTC Rhyme, iPod Touch 4G, and the LG Prada 3.0, all in full-brightness settings.
The default UI overlaying the Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) is a simple black-and-white affair with the default icons redesigned to reflect its simplicity. Even the widgets are designed to match this look. If you want color, your only option is to change wallpapers, or download launcher apps from Google Play.
There are four shortcut slots at the bottom for Phone, Contacts, Messaging, and Apps, and the first three slots can be customized with other shortcuts. The App view is divided into three sections with the Downloaded apps appearing at the very bottom so you need to scroll down a lot to access them.
I find the keyboard nicely spaced with adequately-sized buttons although teaching it new words on the fly requires a lot of key presses. I would recommend downloading better laid-out keyboard apps in Google Play.
Powering the LG Prada 3.0 is a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor which is just your average dual-core but it utilizes the PowerVR SGX540 GPU which is also found on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Here’s the Quadrant Score of the LG Prada 3.0 (2837):
The processor may not compete with the quad-cores appearing this year but its generous 1GB RAM along with its dual-channel memory architecture makes it really speedy.
Temple Run which posed a lot of stuttering problems with other phones ran very smoothly on the LG Prada 3.0. Videos that require software rendering was also quick and smooth too. Speakers aren’t that good though especially with the placement at the back that can easily stifle the sound.
The stock web browser handles media-rich sites really well. Flash banners, live streaming videos and flash games renders quickly without any problems.
Call quality is quite good thanks to the dual microphones that does a great job minimizing background noise.
The 8-megapixel camera on the LG Prada 3.0 takes really good to passable photos which can be attributed to its f2.8 lens for decent speed and respectable low-light shots. The camera can also capture Full HD 1080p videos but with fixed focus.
You get to tweak the usual settings such as Focus mode, ISO, White Balance, etc. You can also edit your shots after you take them straight from the phone.
Here are some photos taken with the LG Prada 3.0.[nggallery id=36]
Under good lighting conditions, pictures appear crisp, well-saturated with the right white balance. However, indoor shots appear a bit fuzzy up close.
I was really surprised with the battery performance of this phone. Despite having an average 1540mAh battery, the phone lasted me almost two days under my normal conditions (WiFi when able, moderate SMS, light gaming and videos). I also noticed that the display even at high brightness only takes about 3% ““ 4% of power as compared to the HTC Rhyme’s eating 28% of power usage under the same brightness setting.
There aren’t a lot of smartphones that are made specifically for the ladies and what you’ll get with the LG Prada 3.0 is an elegant smartphone with a big display, slim form factor, decent camera and an above-average performance to boot.
The SRP of Php29,990 is clearly not what you would be willing to pay for its specs but the price is mainly due to it being a Prada phone and makes it more exclusive to only those who can afford the brand.
|LG Prada 3.0 P940 Specs:|
|Dual-core/dual-channel 1 GHz Cortex-A9, TI OMAP 4430|
|4.3″ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, NOVA display, 480 x 800 resolution|
|Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)|
|8GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB|
|512MB ROM, 1GB RAM|
|8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash|
|1.3 MP front-facing camera|
|Full HD 1080p video recording @ 30fps|
|HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps|
|TV-out (via MHL A/V link)|
|WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, EDR|
|127.5 x 69 x 8.5 mm|
|Li-Ion 1540 mAh|