Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Apple iPhone VS the LG KE850 Prada ?

Can the LG KE850 Prada compete against the Apple iPhone ? Well the LG KE850 Prada looks loaded according to this article....

It may be missing the iTunes music player and hefty storage capacity of the iPhone, but the new LG Prada KE850 has the design and functionality to steal Apple’s thunder. Assuming the iPhone ever arrives in the UK, that is.

The similarity between the two devices is uncanny, especially the touch-screen design and user interface. What’s more, LG is very happy for comparisons to be drawn with Apple’s handset. And who wouldn’t be? The iPhone announcements garnered the press coverage of an Oscar ceremony and LG’s Prada phone not only matches it for looks, more importantly, it beats it to market.

LG has teamed up with Italian fashion house Prada to construct the KE850, with Prada taking the design lead and LG taking care
of technology.

You could argue that LG needs little help in the design department, after the recent success of the Chocolate and Shine phones, which populate its Black Label Series of ‘iconic design handsets’. However, while the Prada may not be part of the Black Label Series, it could well become the most iconic LG phone.

In true Prada style, black is the recurring theme of the LG KE850, with its black designer presentation box, black phone holder, shiny black phone casing and striking black and white menu display (you can choose other background menu colours, but black is by far the coolest). There’s even a black polishing cloth for removing smudgy fingerprints.

You get so used to seeing everything in black and white, it is only when you click on the phone’s internet browser or on one of the downloaded or built-in games that you snap out of this surreal monochrome world.

The phone itself is similar in length and width to the Samsung D900 and, at just 12mm thick and weighing 85g, is the latest in a long line of attractive slimline handsets from the top two
Korean manufacturers.

There is no keypad for number dialling or text entry. Instead, LG has opted for a touch-screen, which covers three quarters of the phone’s area, and three hard keys: call accept, call reject and return to the previous menu option.

On the right-hand side, there is a dedicated MP3/camera button and a menu unlock key, and on the left, you will find the volume keys, a profile-setting key and the recharging socket.

The major selling point of the Prada phone is its fingertip-operated touch-screen, and this feature is likely to entertain and niggle users in equal measures.

Dialling numbers and choosing saved contacts is reassuringly straightforward, and sending text messages is fine, if a little fiddly; the touch-screen is less responsive than a phone keypad.

There are one or two other usability issues. The screen has a habit of locking quite regularly. As it is a touch-screen phone, it makes sense to have an automatic screen lock, otherwise you could be making calls and accessing the internet or MP3 player while the phone is still in your pocket. However, relentlessly pressing the side-mounted unlock key after a few seconds of inactivity can become of a bit of a grind.

You will also need to find your own method of touch-screen scrolling. You might find it easier using your thumb, or you may opt for the fingertip option. The thumb is the most comfortable method, but you will need practice to select just the options you want.

There are a few problems with the touch-screen system which emerged when browsing the web on the Orange World portal. When attempting to choose Sport, we found it easy to accidentally select the option directly below, which is ‘send us your picture’. This proved a tad frustrating.

If you’re having trouble navigating the internet browsing menu with your fingertip, we’d recommend using the touch-screen scroller arrows which appear at the bottom of the screen or the up/down keys on the left-hand side of the phone.

The two-megapixel camera relies on a combination of
touch-screen and hard key functionality to take photos and record clips. Camera/camcorder settings like auto-focus, zoom auto timer and multiple images are all controlled with the touch-screen menu, while photos are taken using the dedicated camera key.

Although it can’t offer 3G speeds, the EDGE-enabled Prada is still a great phone for accessing the internet. Pages download fairly quickly and look great on the large display. For some reason, Orange’s web portal was branded as Orange Worl, missing that
all-important ‘d’. However, the rest of the site displayed very well and you will really appreciate the display’s colour quality.

Also impressive is the quality of the phone’s display when you watch a video clip. A short clip of a train hurtling through a train station, shot by one of the LG team, was stored on the phone and the quality was excellent. You can render the clip to view it vertically or horizontally.

We could go into more detail about the Prada’s gaming prowess and its strengths as a music player. However, what really sets this phone apart is its design and finger-operated user interface.

Sure, the phone will require a regular polish. You may even have to invest in a new black cloth from time to time. And the touch-screen operation is not totally infallible; a regular mobile keypad is much more responsive for entering texts and phone numbers.

However, this phone has the wow factor of the Chocolate and should appeal to those who like their fashion accessories to carry a label with kudos.

And while the touch-screen technology may cause you to occasionally choose the wrong menu option, it is essentially a fun and savvy way to navigate your phone.


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