Review Price £429.99
The LG Prada 3.0 phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This is starting to look a little old-hat now that a huge wave of 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobiles is on the way, but LG has given it a Prada-style makeover that gives it a distinct identity.
Although the phone does have a full-colour screen the custom look is black and white. It ships with a black wallpaper, a brace of stark-looking monochrome widgets comes pre-installed and all the core phone features bar Google-branded ones have their own neat black and white icons.
If you like this look, the LG Prada 3.0 also comes with dozens of additional icons that can be used to replace other apps' icons within a couple of screen taps. These only work on the home screens, not the full apps menu, but let you build-up a full custom home screen without ruining the Prada phone aesthetic.
The great things about this custom user interface include that it doesn't appear to slow the phone down - navigation is lag-free 99 percent of the time - and it knows its boundaries. It's all about the look and nothing else, and doesn't try to fiddle with how your home screens are arranged or how the phone functions much.
The LG Prada 3.0 does feature a raft of preinstalled apps not seen in all Android phones, and only a couple feel like unnecessary bloatware. Polaris Office lets you open Microsoft Office documents, Desk Home turns the phone into a desk clock, VPN, NFC and DLNA SmartShare interfaces come pre-installed, as do basic Yahoo! Finance, Weather and News apps.
LG could have let these be optional Android Market extras, but it clearly wanted to make the most of its treasure trove of app icons - which buyers won't necessarily twig are there to be used. The only app we would rather not have seen is LG SmartWorld, a ringtones and apps shop. Who needs it when we have the Android Market?
The conspicuous and surprising omissions are apps for social networks, which would likely be used by most Prada-obsessed buyers. However, there is a widget that caters for Facebook and Twitter, and does the trick for quick updates. Keener mobile social networkers can easily download official and third-party apps from the Android Market, which are often superior to phone makers' efforts anyway.
After Android and the Prada extras have had their way with the 8GB of internal memory, you're left with 3.99GB of internal memory. It's enough to get started, but is much less than you get with a 16GB Samsung Galaxy S2. However, when 16GB microSD cards are available for around £15, it's a problem with an easy solution.
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