LG KF900 Prada review: Messenger wears Prada
Step into the den
The main menu of the new Prada phone is identical to that of the LG Renoir. For those who don't remember or have never seen them, let's take a look.
On the LG Prada 2 home screen you will find a navigation bar with shortcuts sitting at the bottom of the screen - just as in the previous LG touchscreen phones.
The four available shortcuts are not user configurable. The first shortcut takes you to the Dial pad to punch in a number, the second opens the Contacts list, the third one opens the Messaging submenu, and the last one takes you to the main menu.
Apart from that, the user interface of the LG KF900 Prada retains the same menu system as the LG Viewty and Renoir - simple, yet nicely detailed and functional. LG have done a really nice job designing the user interface and we are impressed with the improvements they make with every new handset they release.
The main menu consists of four tabs - they are displayed in a column on the right-hand side of the screen. They don't have names but the first one is related to making calls and sending messages.
The second tab includes tools such as the web browser, world time, organizer applications such as the Calendar, Calculator, Unit converter, etc. And, finally, the fourth item handles all the settings.
The third one is the entertainment menu: this houses the multimedia files, the camera, the FM radio, the games, and the music player.
If you are familiar with the first Prada, then it will come as no surprise to you that the user interface comes with a choice of two themes - a black and a white one. Unlike all other touchscreen LG handsets, the icons in neither of the themes are colorful.
But, that's not all. There is a new view style for the main menu called Plate. Instead with tabs, it splits all the items into a 2x2 grid. Moving from one grid to the other takes a single swipe across the screen. A small icon in one of the corners shows what your current position is.
An absolute must-have for every full touch-operated handset, and a feature we miss in the Apple iPhone (well, we used to - not any more thanks to some smart third-party developers), is some sort of feedback when the screen is pressed.
LG Prada 2 is haptic-enabled of course: every press is accompanied by a gentle vibration to let you know your press has been accepted. Settings for it include a choice of four types of vibration plus 7 levels of vibration strength. The included types of vibrations are much better than the LG Renoir since each one is distinctly different when you touch the screen.
The LG KF700 was the first touch handset by LG to make use of a task manager and the concept has been extended to the LG Renoir and the new Prada as well. You can run several Java and native applications simultaneously and effortlessly switch between them by using the dedicated side key.
The task manager on the LG KF900 has a new "launcher" tab that hosts a number of configurable shortcuts to various applications. The list is scrollable so you can fit quite a few on there.
Another thing borrowed from the KF700 and the Renoir is the Status screen - touching on any of the icons on the top status row (next to the clock) opens up a screen that displays signal, battery and memory stats and allows you to quickly toggle the ringing profiles, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Phonebook is good, nothing has changed
The phonebook capacity offered by the LG KF900 is up to 1000 contacts, each with its own set of details. You can organize your contacts into caller groups, and you can also assign them a personal picture and a ringtone.
There is a bunch of available fields for each contact on your list - you start off with twelve fields, but once you enter a number, an additional number field becomes available. The same goes for email, etc.
You can also add a note to a contact and when you enter the birthday field, you can also have the phone save the date to the calendar as a reminder. In fact the LG Prada 2 has the same phonebook as the Renoir.
Scrolling the contacts list is fluid and friendly. In fact, LG have done a great job with scrolling throughout the user interface and it's as smooth and enjoyable as on the iPhone.
If you don't want to go through all the contacts to reach those which start with "Z" for example, you can either use the search box at the top or you can drag the side scrollbar, which allows you to jump letters alphabetically.
Finally, you can opt to display the SIM and phone contacts separately, as well as together in a single list.
The new Prada handles phone calls trouble-free, as you have every right to expect, The phone dialer works with an on-screen numeric keypad - or in keyboard open mode you can use the assigned number keys on the QWERTY.
There is support for both Smart Dialing and Speed dial is supported. When you have speed dial set up and you hit an assigned key, you get the details of the contact in question.
As with any LG handset - the left receiver key (quite awkwardly backlit in red as the right one) takes you to the list of all calls. You can access them from the main menu too, but unlike the previous LG handsets, you won't find call time counters and the web data counter here since those have been moved to the Call settings menu.
The LG KF900 Prada scored an Excellent mark in our loudspeaker performance test.
Here is how the Prada stacks up against some other handsets we've tested. More info on our test can be found here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|LG KC910 Renoir||71.9||65.6||72.0||Good|
|Samsung M8800 Pixon||75.7||69.6||82.1||Very Good|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1||75.5||66.6||82.7||Very Good|
|HTC Touch HD||77.7||73.7||76.7||Excellent|
|LG KF900 Prada||77.1||75.7||82.0||Excellent|