Built in memory is fairly limited. You have space for 300 SMS messages and 1,000 contacts, just 100 calendar items and 50 text memos. There is 8MB of memory for other stuff such as games, sounds, images and videos. There is a microSD card slot for expanding on this, and you get a 256MB card, but LG has managed to locate the slot awkwardly. You have to remove the battery to get to it.
The phone can play music coping with MP3, AAC and WMA files. There is also an FM radio. I couldn’t test the quality of music playback through the headphones as I didn’t get a set with the phone which is irritating.
You dial voice calls by tapping at an on-screen number pad, and enter text for SMS and text memos in precisely the same ways as you would use a standard button based keypad. T9 is supported.
The usability of the touch screen and the general construction of the user interface are the real make or break factor for this phone. You may be drawn to the Prada by its looks, but you are going to use it everyday via the screen, and if that is not up to standard, then the Prada could turn out to be just another gadget lying at the back of a drawer.
The screen measures three inches corner to corner, and delivers 240 x 400 pixels of data. Sometimes it pops into wide mode – I’ve mentioned a game where this happens, for example – but this facility isn’t always there when you need it. The web browser would have benefited from a widescreen viewing option, but doesn’t get it.
Tapping at the screen requires different levels of precision depending on what you are doing. In most cases the ‘buttons’ have been made large enough to hit with a thumb with no trouble. In some the games though, the icons are smaller and I was not precise enough to hit the required parts accurately.
When working with text rather than number dialing, for example, writing SMS messages or entering web site addresses, the lack of tactile feedback meant I had to slow down and take more care than usual. Still, overall I found the touch screen responsive to taps and not too testing to use accurately provided I didn’t try to go to fast.
A lot of thought has gone into the user interface. On the main screen there are shortcuts to the phone dialler, messaging and contacts as well as to the main applications menu. Choose the latter and tabs down the right edge enable you to move between groups of applications: Call and Data Communications, Multimedia, Organiser and Diary and Settings. Most of the time a ‘back’ icon is on screen in the same place – bottom right corner. If it isn’t there, the hardware back button between the Call and End keys is always available.
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