LG KE850 Prada review: Sophistication made simple

GSMArena team, 29 May 2007.
Pages: «1234»

Tags: LG, Touch UI, Fashion

Call management

The call records can be accessed from the Dial pad, from the main menu or by pressing the left hardware call key. There are four tabs in the Call history - all, missed, dialed and received calls. If you open the Call History item from the main menu though, you will also find information about the call charges and the data counter.

Prada phone by LG
Call records

The Call History has a nice feature that is rarely seen elsewhere in the user interface. As soon as you open the lists, two semi-transparent Up/Down arrows appear. You can scroll through the lists by using the side scrollbar or you can just press the arrows - they make scrolling a lot easier and it is a real shame that they have not been implemented throughout the whole user interface where scrolling is required.

Texting is a tricky business

The phone supports the sending and receiving of SMS, MMS and email messages. The messaging submenu has separate options for starting a SMS, MMS and email.

A much discussed feature of the Prada phone is actually typing messages without a hardware keypad. Well, it's not that fast… At least in the beginning it isn't. The hardest thing is the lack of a positive feedback when you press a virtual key. The message typing is assisted by T9. Using it is a good idea to speed up typing. As you would see on the screenshots there are several semi-transparent arrows. They allow you to move the cursor to the left and right. Pressing the cross in the center turns the arrows from horizontal to vertical ones which would allow you to move the cursor vertically.

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Messaging menu • Typing a message

Writing text message

A nice feature is that if you have started a new message and all of a sudden you have to cancel its typing, it's saved automatically as a draft and next time you decide to start a new message the phone automatically opens that draft for you to continue typing.

Another nice feature is that the phone keeps a record of the last numbers you have sent messages to and when sending a new one you can choose among them instead of digging down in the full contacts list.

The email client supports the POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP protocols and as regards sending and receiving text emails it successfully does it job as we managed to find out during the test period. As regards emails with file attachments, the maximum size for one sent or downloaded message is 300KB. A good thing is that there is an option to provide a separate username and password for the SMTP server. Unfortunately the email client doesn't have support for SSL encrypted connection which is the standard for secure email services.

Another flaw with the email client is that although the display is large, it doesn't fit a lot of text lines so using the email client will be comfortable only for a few short messages.

Prada phone by LG
The email inbox

Multimedia experience

The LG KE850 has only 8MB of integrated memory and a microSD memory card slot. The handset comes with a 256MB card in the retail package.

The file manager appears as a My stuff item. It includes separate factory preset folders for different multimedia content. In fact these folders are the only one you will see since the file manager doesn't actually support user-created folders. You can create such folders using the computer and the USB cable of course, but they do not get listed in the My Stuff menu. You can mark, copy or move files only within the designated multimedia group. For example you cannot copy image files to the music folder. Then again you can of course copy or move files to the external memory or send them through Bluetooth connection and for all of those options you can rely on multiple marking.

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The My Stuff menu item

The LG Prada phone also has office document viewer functionality. It's a rather innovative feature for a non-OS mobile phone. As we managed to confirm, the viewer supports MS Word documents, MS Excel files and PDF files. However, scrolling through a document is an unpleasant experience since the scrolling itself is way to slow and moves through the document in small steps only.

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Opening a Word document, a PDF document, and an Excel document

Generally speaking, the file browser of the LG KE850 Prada provides basic functionality and when it comes to browsing pictures pretty much the same holds true. Picture files can be browsed in thumbnail or list view. Thumbnail browsing is rather slow as it has always been with LG mobiles. When you open a selected picture, thumbnails of the rest of the pictures are available for you to scroll through right under the currently open image.

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Browsing pictures in thumbnail view and in filmstrip view

You can view pictures fullscreen and you can even browse them in this mode with the help of semi transparent arrows that appear on the screen. Zooming on the pictures is not available.

Prada phone by LG
Browsing pictures in landscape mode

The Prada phone offers a nice looking MP3 player and the handset itself has a Flight mode which really makes it an adequate solution as a portable music player. Unfortunately, you are not able to filter tracks in any way. All you are left with is a playlist with all your available tracks. There are no equalizer settings that you can use in order to enhance the player sound - strangely enough though there is a "Normal" sign in the upper left corner. Maybe future software versions will have an equalizer added.

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MP3 player menu • MP3 player interface • Adjusting volume • White skin

You can organize MP3 files in separate subfolders under the Sounds folder but although you would be able to play them directly, unfortunately the MP3 player won't recognize their presence and won't load them in the general playlist. When you play them directly you get a somewhat degraded version of the player which can play all the files in the folder but won't play in background.

The FM radio works fine too and the auto scan discovers available stations pretty reliably. You can fine tune a radio station. Maybe the only two downsides to it are the limited slots for storing radio stations (only 12) and the lack of RDS while in the same time you cannot assign names to the saved stations. Well, it can't be run in the background either.

The MP3 player and the FM radio both sound nice and loud enough with the retail headset. Sound quality is a pretty subjective thing but if we are talking about bass elements, we found the retail headset to be on par with the Altec Lansing AHS423 which we had at hand and that is pretty enough.

The video player of the Prada phone is really nice and you can watch videos in fullscreen landscape mode with or without semi-transparent overlay controls.

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Watching video in portrait mode • Watching in landscape mode with and without controls

Photo viewer, MP3 player, video player

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