LG KE850 Prada review: Sophistication made simple

GSMArena team, 29 May 2007.
Pages: 1234

Tags: LG, Touch UI, Fashion

The Prada phone by LG is among those handhelds that rely solely on touch-based as opposed to stylus-based interface interaction. The famous Apple iPhone surely started the craze over such devices, but the LG KE850, elsewhere known as the Prada phone, is nothing like iPhone. A highly stylish and versatile multimedia device, the Prada branded mobile is a true joy to the eye and represents the true meaning of a fusion between a full-featured mobile phone and a fashion icon. Impressive from the word go, the Prada phone will leave nothing but fascination in everybody around you. Our job is to delve deeper and see if it really has got what it takes to overrun the fashion mobile market by storm.

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Prada phone by LG

Key Features:

  • Exclusive design and slim form factor
  • Full touch-based Flash user interface
  • 3" TFT display with a WQVGA resolution (400 x 240 pixels)
  • 2 megapixel camera with auto focus
  • Shoots video in WQVGA resolution
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP stereo support
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Office documents viewer
  • FM radio
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio adapter

Main Disadvantages:

  • No 3G or HSDPA support
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • Really basic web browser
  • Fingerprint magnet

Practical, yet exclusively sophisticated with eyes on stylishness - those are some of the words that might describe the Prada phone. Its full market name in fact is "Prada phone by LG" which in fact means that the Prada comes before LG in this duo. Initially the handset was named "LG Prada phone" but obviously tables have turned in the opposite direction. As far as the LG portfolio is concerned the devices carries the unobtrusive model designation LG KE850. So don't be bewildered as we use all these names throughout our review - we have only one device in mind.

The LG Prada phone is truly unique and thus has no direct competitors. With its touch-based user interface it outranks all current fashion mobiles.

When it comes to product packaging LG already have a tradition of offering their products in high-quality retail packages that are visually attractive as the handsets themselves. The LG Prada phone makes no difference to that rule. The Prada phone retail box is a black cube and the contents are positioned on different levels inside the box.

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Prada phone black box opening the cover

The accessories that come with the handset are equally attractive. Besides the headset which has a standard 3.5 mm audio jack adapter, allowing you to listen to music on your favorite headphones, the retail package also includes a 256MB microSD memory card, a data cable and a stylish hard leather case.

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Retail headset LG Prada phone leather case

Out-of-the-box experience

Now, the Prada phone is nothing less than a spectacular piece of technology. It measures 98.8 x 54 x 12 mm and weighs the meager 85 g. The whole handset is made out of a matt black plastic with silver framing which is made out of metal.

The Prada phone by LG is among those handhelds that rely solely on touch-based as opposed to stylus-based interface interaction. The famous Apple iPhone surely started the craze over such devices, but the LG KE850, elsewhere known as the Prada phone, is nothing like iPhone.

The large touch screen display is the centerpiece in this work of technological art. It measures a good 3 inches in diagonal and supports up to 262K colors in a WQVGA (400 x 240 pixels) resolution. The original PRADA theme doesn't seem to take full advantage of the rich colors. But rest assured, there are full color interface themes, too. Above the display there is the PRADA insignia and the loudspeaker grill and below it are three control keys - the two receiver keys plus a Back key in the middle. This middle key is so small that it's hardly noticeable but proves rather comfortable in everyday use.

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Display is not black and white PRADA insignia the three control keys

The right side of the Prada phone incorporates two control keys. The first one is a multimedia key that after a short key press activates the MP3 player and after a longer press starts the camera. When the camera is on it serves as a shutter key. The second key is the key lock. It locks the touch sensitivity of the display to prevent accidental key presses. Of course, automatic key lock is also available. In the upper right corner you may also notice a hole for attaching a neck or wrist strap.

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Right side view: MP3/camera key and keylock key

The connectivity port of the Prada phone is located on the left side. It has a plastic cap which blends with the metallic silver framing. You can use the port for plugging the charger, the data cable or headset (headset adapter).

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Left side view connectivity port plugging in a peripheral

Besides the connectivity port, the left side of body includes also a dual volume key and a sound profiles shortcut key. The sound profiles key allows you to quickly change between different ringing modes - silent, ringing with or without vibration, etc. LG handsets don't have a full profile support as you've used to see on Sony Ericsson and Nokia handsets with detailed settings and all.

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Additional left keys: volume and sound profiles key

The top side of the Prada phone is pretty bare and doesn't feature any control elements. The same holds true for the bottom side too with the exception of a key for releasing the battery cover. Right next to the cover release button there is a little microphone aperture.

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Prada phone top and bottom sides

The back panel of the Prada phone is the only place on the body where you will notice the LG branding. The camera lens is located in the top left corner along with a self-portrait mirror and the LED flash. They are placed on a stylish brushed metal plate.

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LG Prada phone back panel LG branding 2 megapixel camera

The battery cover is easily removed after you release it with the abovementioned release key. The LGIP-A750 Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 800 mAh is hidden below it. According to the manufacturer, the battery should sustain the handset for up to 300 hours in standby mode and up to 3 hours in constant talking. Now we weren't able to measure the battery life correctly since we used the handset heavily during our tests but under a moderate everyday usage you would probably need to charge the Prada phone every two days or so. The SIM card bed is located above the battery while the memory card slot is buried even deeper - being under the SIM card slot itself. You would have to take out the battery in order to take out the memory card which is a bit of a nuisance.

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Removing the battery cover and the cover itself memory card slot

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