The technology world and the fashion world seldom come together. Perhaps it's because those in the tech world struggle with fashion, or perhaps it's those in fashion who struggle with technology. Nearly two years ago LG embarked on a daring partnership with and the result was one of the first mass-market touchscreen phones in Australia. A sleek, simplistically designed handset, though ultimately one that struggled technologically.
This second generation of Prada phone is what you mightn't expect from a fashion phone: it's fatter. Over 50 per cent heavier and 5mm thicker, the new Prada is a bit of a porker, though for a very good reason. The Prada phone is now a slider with a full-QWERTY keyboard concealed beneath the slide. This is a master stroke from LG, which shows that this Korean company is aware of what a phone is mostly used for in this segment — SMS messaging.
The interface is subtly different from the originals; the home screen now makes use of three panes, selectable by swiping your finger across the screen. The main menu is almost identical to the previous LGs, but with the colour stripped out, the interface themes are either black on white or white on black. Opening the slide changes the interface to a single revolving list of shortcuts, stripping out the extras you're not likely to use with the keyboard exposed.
On the back of the Prada is a 5-megapixel camera with LED photolight and a self-portrait mirror — so you can be sure you look fabulous before snapping yourself for MySpace. Around the edge of the phone you'll find the standard volume and camera keys, plus a key for switching active applications and another for locking the touchscreen. The bundled headphones are inserted into the USB charging port.
For many interested in a Prada phone its list of specs probably reads like a laundry list of the things you need and nothing you don't. For the web it features HSDPA and Wi-Fi, and file transfers are completed by either USB or Bluetooth. There's no GPS or any location-based services pre-installed, but Google Maps is, of coarse, downloadable.
Notably absent is a wealth of internal storage. There is a microSD card slot for expanding storage, but its 60MB of usable memory is paltry compared with nearly all of the smartphones in this price range. 30MB is sufficient for taking a bunch of photos or alternatively you could store about 20 songs. Our test unit came with a 1GB microSD card which is a good start, but music lovers will need to get a bigger SD card.