LG Prada 3.0 review: Slim fit

GSMArena team, 23 February 2012.
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Tags: LG, Android, Touch UI

Great 8 megapixel sharpshooter

LG Prada 3.0 comes with an 8 megapixel shooter, capable of capturing 3264 x 2448 resolution images. There is a single LED flash, but it won't be of much help in most of the low-light scenarios.

We found the user interface to be quite convenient, though many of the important settings are inside the extended settings menu, so they take a while to toggle.

The oddest thing we found was the hardware camera key placement - on top of the device, near the 3.5mm audio jack. It can't even start the camera when the phone is locked, so we find no real purpose of it. Why LG has put this thing here, we really have no idea. We strongly recommend using the virtual shutter.

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The camera interface

The camera features are limited to geo-tagging, ISO setting, preset scenes and shot mode (normal, continuous shot or panorama). Face detection and continuous autofocus are available as well.

In terms of image quality, the third Prada scores among the best in the 8MP league. The produced photos have plenty of detail, good contrast and accurate colors, and no defects whatsoever. The only thing we noticed is the higher than usual noise levels, but we guess it's either the high amount resolved detail - high noise levels combo or the opposite.

Here are a few shots we've taken with the LG Prada 3.0.

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LG Prada 3.0 camera samples

Photo quality comparison

Overall, the photos from the LG Prada 3.0 are among the best 8MP performers in our chart tests. The Apple iPhone 4S did a tad better, but the Prada 3.0 still does greater than most 8MP droids out there.

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LG Prada 3.0 in our Photo Compare Tool

Interlaced 1080p video recording

The Prada 3.0 is among the smartphones, capable of capturing 1080p videos at 30 fps.

The camcorder UI is basically unchanged from the camera one. In terms of options you can choose the resolution of the video, white balance, video quality and audio recording on/off.

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The camcorder UI

The video recording got us by surprise. Despite the bad weather, the Prada 3.0 shot nice 1080p and 720p videos, without any dropper frames, defects or artifacts. The amount of resolved details is very good, the colors and contrast are almost perfect and probably better than most of the smartphones could handle in those weather conditions.

Unfortunately we noticed the videos Prada 3.0 is capturing are interlaced - the 1080p is actually 1080i (1920x540 real resolution) and same for the 720p videos. Don't get this wrong - the videos still look excellent, but those with a lot horizontal detail won't be as good as others - like the resolution chart.

Another thing someone might not like is the mono AAC audio recording.

Here are a 720p and 1080p videos we've uploaded on YouTube.

Don't forget to switch to 1080p for the sample below.

And here are untouched 720p@30fps and 1080p@30fps video samples taken with the Prada 3.0.

Video quality comparison

The LG Prada 3.0 is in our Video Compare Tool database. Check it out - the tool's page includes a quick walkthrough on how to use it and what to look for.

The comparison tool proves the Prada 3.0 videos are very good, though the resolution chart fails because of the interlaced capturing mode.

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LG Prada 3.0 in the Video Compare Tool

Rich connectivity

The LG Prada 3.0 comes with a big range of connectivity options. It has quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE for global roaming and three-band HSDPA with 21 Mbps of download and 5.76 Mbps of upload speeds (hypothetical ones). There's also dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n support, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot capabilities. There is Bluetooth 3.0 too.

SmartShare is an app that lets you control a DLNA network - you can play media from other devices (e.g. NAS) on your phone or play something from the phone on another device (e.g. DLNA-enabled TV).

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SmartShare • Wi-Fi Direct settings

The Wi-Fi Direct is a technology which enables devices to connect to each other without the need for a Wi-Fi hotspot. The beauty in it is that only one device has to be Wi-Fi Direct-ready in order for the magic to happen.

Using this technology two (or up to eight) devices can share files in a more advanced, fast and secure way, paving the road to the inevitable Bluetooth demise. This is something we've seen before with the replacement of the infrared technology for the Bluetooth one and now it seems bound to happen with Wi-Fi Direct becoming widespread.

NFC is also on board. There is a dedicated NFC app from where you can create, read and send NFC tags. You can share contacts, URLs, memos, messages, calendar events or even a call request to another NFC-enabled device or a tag.

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The NFC app

There is no HDMI port on the Prada 3.0, instead you have to use the MHL USB port for HDMI output. Of course you need to buy the appropriate accessory first.

The last connectivity option worth noting is the 3.5mm audio jack on top of the Prada.

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