For the original LG Prada the best way to travel in style was to travel light. But this time around it’s carrying a full QWERTY suitcase packed with goodies. Top of the line functionality and an updated interface sound just the right kind of luggage to us. But good enough won’t do if it’s not glam enough. The new LG KF900 Prada may seem like the missing link between the techie high end and exclusive fashionware. But will HSDPA, Wi-Fi, QWERTY and DivX ring the right bell with the target audience?

Last week we saw Samsung ride on the Emporio Armani youth appeal and now we’re back by the catwalk with the more moderate, perhaps even conservative, but nonetheless attractive, new Prada phone by LG.

Prada II
Prada II

Official photos of LG KF900 Prada

And we’ve got loads to cover. Are the changed form factor and the QWERTY keyboard likely to backfire, and will performance ever be make or break for the fashion savvy? Rarely has a designer package promised so much action, so let’s roll.

Key features:

  • 3-inch 262K-color capacitive touchscreen display of WQVGA resolution
  • Comfortable QWERTY keyboard
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
  • D1 (720×480) resolution video recording at 30fps
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Dual band 3G with HSDPA support
  • Wi-Fi
  • Responsive Flash-based interface with multi-touch support
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and USB v2.0
  • Stylish and generous retail package
  • microSD memory card slot (verified to work with 16GB cards)
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Accelerometer sensor for screen auto rotate
  • TV-out
  • Office document viewer
  • DivX video support
  • Fashion-related content preloaded

Main disadvantages:

  • Two-year-old design
  • The large waistline doesn’t match the fashionable image (but is OK for a QWERTY messenger)
  • Plastic build
  • No GPS (LG Renoir has it)
  • No XviD video support (LG Renoir has it)
  • Multi-touch has rather limited use
  • No Flash support in the web browser
  • Video recording is a letdown
  • High cost-to-features ratio (but OK for a premium fashion handset)

It was about time the first Prada phone by LG got an update, no doubt about that. Data transfers, connectivity, multimedia and user interface upgrades are spot on, but a hardware QWERTY keyboard was hardly essential. It’s the Prada phone after all, and it probably needs all those buttons as much as the Sonim rugged phones need a Dolce & Gabbana carrying case.

Oh well, all-in-one QWERTY touchscreens are obviously the new black. Or so the LG KF900 Prada believes. Keen to find a niche within the niche, it lands right in the middle of not so friendly smartphone crowd. It’s got the features to stand up to the XPERIA, HTC and the likes but it’s kinda hard to imagine the ruthless WinMo machine melting with pity for the adorable, helpless, irresistible Prada.

Anyway, we think we’d be better off skipping our traditional round of window shopping this time. After all comparing the Prada to the smart messengers running Symbian or Windows Mobile will be irrelevant and unfair. There will be of course references to equally equipped messengers as we go, for both performance and looks, but that will be all.

LG KF900 Prada
LG KF900 Prada
LG KF900 Prada
LG KF900 Prada

Meet the new Prada

We couldn’t find any other handset willing to embrace the LG KF900 Prada concept. The QWERTY touchscreen all-in-one segment is a small niche to begin with, and the haute-couture label narrows it down even further. The new Prada phone by LG finds itself in a difficult position so let’s see if it’s got what it takes to make the best of it.

Join us on the next page, as we explore the exterior and ergonomics.

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