LG’s newest flagship phone isn’t just any Android phone, it’s a Prada phone. And while we boys might not appreciate that little fact, the fashion-conscious crowd certainly has a taste for it. Check out our full review of the LG Prada 3.0 after the break.
The LG Prada 3.0 seems like any other Android phone, except for the fact that its been co-branded by LG to Prada, a popular brand in the fashion industry. This is actually the 3rd iteration of the LG Prada line but the first one to have Android in it.
The Prada 3.0 has a very thin profile, even thinner than the LG Optimus Black, at 8.5mm. That’s actually the same thinness as the Galaxy S2.
The design is simple yet elegant — it’s all black with chrome accents on the side and a little bit of metal parts for buttons.
At the top end is the power button, a slider compartment for the micro-USB port and a dedicated camera button (these are all highly-polished, metallic parts). The 3.5 audio port is also located on the same row. The volume controls are found on the left and the speakers are placed at the back.
The placement of the dedicated camera shutter is a bit odd but the girls from LG explained that this easily activates the front-facing camera and take self-portrait shots.
The 4.3-inch display is among the brightest we’ve seen on a smartphone. We even placed it beside the Super AMOLED Plus screen of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and was able to see that the white color of the screen is brighter on the Prada 3.0 (the Tab 7.7 P6800 still looks a bit yellowish).
The Prada UI and theme is a classic B&W which includes the touch navigation, icons and widgets. Of course, non-native apps and widgets will still retain their usual colors. I’m not really fond of the usual Optimus UI but this Prada theme looks really neat and more elegant than the native one.
The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and will be upgradeable to Android ICS when it becomes available.
The handset design was inspired by the Prada signature that uses a Saffiano pattern at the back panel. The Prada branding is all over this phone (the front panel boasts of a huge Prada logo.) and the only way youâ€™d figure out that this is an LG handset is with a small, inconspicuous logo that’s molded into the rubber-like back panel.
The phone’s over-all user experience is very smooth and fluid. The screen is very responsive and the UI on top of Gingerbread is pretty simple. Apps and games load very fast and switching between applications works like a breeze.
Video playback of HD movies is smooth and even if you make rapid, random jumps into the video timeline, it’s still very responsive and not laggy or jerky (tested the same with my Galaxy Note and I could definitely see the difference in playback response).
The audio quality isn’t as good as I expected it and the volume seems to be in the lower range.
Web browsing is fast and the multi-touch gestures worked flawlessly on webpages. The screen resolution does not offer much in terms of screen real estate but it’s decent. And since, the Prada 3.0 supports HSPA+ networks, you get very impressive mobile internet speeds (I get around 4-5Mbps on Speedtest.net when using my Smart Bro SIM card on the handset).
The virtual keyboard seems smalla and cramped though and does not have some sort of a visual or haptic feedback to go with it.
LG Prada 3.0 LG-P940 specs:
4.3-inch TFT display @ 480×800 pixels, 240ppi
1GHz dual core TI OMAP4430 processor
PowerVR SGX 540
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (dual-band 2.4GHz, 5GHz)
Bluetooth 3.0 HS
GPS w/ aGPS support
8MP autofocus camera w/ LED flash
1080p video recording & playback
1.3MP front-facing camera
FM Radio tuner
1540mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
The 8MP camera of the Prada 3.0 is definitely the best camera on any LG handset I have ever used and reviewed. It matches even the best optics used in the Xperia Arc, iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 handsets. Images are clear and crisp with very little or unnoticeable noise when taken in broad daylight or under good lighting conditions. Focusing is accurate but it is sometimes slow so it’s a bit hard to capture moving subjects.
The saturation, white balance and contrast are all good though. Even low-light or night shots are decent to good.
Video recording is impressive and can do as high as 1080p. Here’s sample video uploaded on YouTube. I noticed very few dropped frames and pretty accurate focusing.
Our Quadrant Standard score gave the Prada 3.0 an impressive rating of 2963. Antutu Benchmark gave a good score of 5060 while Nenamark2 gave a score of 32.4fps. The numbers here are pretty convincing on the power and capabilities of the handset.
The Prada 3.0 has a standard battery power rating of 1540mAh which provides the handset enough juice to last for a day with medium to light usage and mobile internet connectivity. For the most part, you will find yourself re-charging the handset by the end of the day.
The handset also features NFC (near-field communication) and I think this is the first LG handset to support one but there seems to be very little to no practical use for it now. Bluetooth 3.0 with HS is also present but file transfers from the handset to my Macbook Air peaks at only 110KB/s.
The LG Prada 3.0 has a suggested retail price of Php29,990. I would say it’s probably the best Android handset LG has ever produced which can easily match the profile and performance of the Galaxy S2 (in terms of design, performance and camera quality). However, at current market conditions, a lot of people would find the handset still on the pricey end of the spectrum.
I think LG is banking heavily on the Prada label to justify this price positioning and that’s a very narrow market that only folks who appreciate the Prada brand can understand.