On the LG Prada phone’s rear is an 8-megapixel camera shacked-up with a single-LED flash. In good light, the camera produces sharp, detailed photos that can compete with a decent compact camera.
It copes reasonably well with poorer light conditions too. As our standard test image below shows, while the gherkin is indistinct through the fog, the LG Prada 3.0 camera’s processing doesn’t strain too hard to sharpen-up details. It will focus on anything around 15cm away or further, and supports touch-to-focus as well as continuous focus – where the sensor refocuses constantly – and standard autofocus.
Macro-style detail is possible with this camera – as long as you have enough light to work with. However, the flash isn’t massively powerful and at night any subjects will have to be fairly close-by.
Sometimes London looks beautiful. And sometimes it looks like this.
An unusually-placed physical camera button sits on the top of the phone. This defaults to the user-facing 1.3-megapixel snapper rather than the main one, telling you that it’s for Photobooth-style action rather than for nature photography. It does work with the main camera as well, however.
The software that drives the camera is a quite limited. You have access to basic white balance settings, scene modes and ISO, but there are none of the fun effects seen in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and other phones. These can be supplied by a camera app from the Android Market, but the best of these are paid-for.
The LG Prada 3.0 can capture video at up to 1080p resolution, but again it’s a little limited. There’s no re-focusing options during shooting, and if you close in on an object in a video, the camera won’t do the job itself. Result? Blur city. It’s possible continuous video focus will be added with the planned Ice Cream Sandwich software update, though.
Call quality is up there will the best top-end phones. The speaker is clear and the LG Prada 3.0 uses active noise cancellation. This uses a second microphone to monitor ambient noise and remove it from the call signal before it reaches whoever you’re talking to.
Battery life is nothing special. A clear case of style over substance, the slim phone uses a 1500mAh battery – many rivals have a little more juice. The Samsung Galaxy S2 uses a 1650mAh unit and the HTC Sensation XE a 1730mAh number. That said, it’ll last a full day with 3G enabled, frequent email checks and a spot of Angry Bird’ing. Just don’t expect much more.
The LG Prada 3.0 makes very few outright wrong moves. It looks good, uses quality components, and its Prada elements are inoffensive at their worst, and rather neat in places too. However, its specs are in-line with phones a year old rather than those of today. Mobiles like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S and original HTC Sensation offer a similar – and in places better – mobile experience for £100 less. The Prada phone isn’t daylight robbery like some fashion phones, but you’re still paying a chunk of change for that name alone.
The LG Prada 3.0 is the third Prada phone, and it’s a joy to use. Some of its features, like the relatively low-resolution screen and Android 2.3 software, feel a little old hat, but the snazzy custom interface, good performance and decent display make up for these complaints. If you don’t care about the name or the slick look, you can save £100 and buy an HTC Sensation or Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, but if you love the look, this is a highly competent smartphone.
Score in detail