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Trying out the LG Prada 2

LG gave us a chance to play around a bit with the LG Prada 2, which is not available with a U.S. carrier.

LG Prada 2
LG Prada 2 with slide-out QWERTY keyboard Nicole Lee/CNET

The LG Prada 2 isn't new, of course, and our European and Asian cousins have had the chance to get their hands on it months ago. In fact, our friends over at CNET UK have given their own hands-on impressions of the device. However, I finally had a chance to get my hands on it at CTIA 2009, and I was excited to try it out.

The LG Prada 2 is definitely designed for the fashion-conscious, with its smooth glossy black surface and slim profile. The touch-screen display is a 3-inch capacitive multitouch interface with active Flash user interface and is very easy to use. The menu interface is clearly an upgrade over the original LG Prada; much smoother and sleeker than before. The multitouch interface meant we could zoom in and out of Web pages by just pinching our fingers, like on the iPhone. If texting was a chore on the original Prada, it shouldn't be on the Prada 2, thanks to the great slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The four-line QWERTY keyboard is roomy and the keys feel good to type on.

The Prada 2 comes with a host of features that puts the original Prada to shame. They include dual-band HSDPA and quad-band GSM (which means you can get an unlocked version and use it on a U.S. GSM carrier), Wi-Fi, a full HTML browser, stereo Bluetooth, TV-out, FM radio, a document viewer, 60MB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, and a 5-megapixel camera. The camera has similar editing features to the Viewty, like the ability to record slow-motion video.

Of course, if you want to really bling it up, you can get the Prada Link Bluetooth watch to go along with your new Prada 2. You can't really make calls with it like a watch phone, but you can see incoming caller ID and read text messages with it.

The LG Prada 2 by itself will cost around $549 unlocked since it isn't available from any U.S. carrier. We'll attempt to get a review unit of our own to test out, but you should also check out the reviews on CNET UK and CNET Asia.