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LG PRADA Phone (LG KE850)

 LG PRADA Phone Expected February 2007 (Europe), March 2007 (Asia)
18th January 2007

Bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Apple iPhone, the LG KE850 designed in conjunction with PRADA is an advanced touchscreen-only phone with sleekly understated looks.

Although it says PRADA on it, there's very little to say about the design of the LG KE850. It's rather minimalist and simple - it would be easy to "bling" a handset like this up, but the fact that LG and PRADA have come out with something ultra-simple to look at is refreshing.

At its heart, the LG KE850 PRADA is a tri-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE, there's a large 240x400 pixel touch-sensitive display that can playback widescreen video clips, Bluetooth 2.0, microSD expandable memory, and the KE850 has an FM radio and a two megapixel camera. We measure the display as being 3.2 inches diagonally, a little smaller than the iPhone's 3.5 inches.

It's worth dwelling on the camera for a while - it uses a Schneider Kreuznach lens to ensure high-quality optics. To be honest, we hadn't heard of Schneider Kreuznach - but they manufacture pretty much every lens for Kodak, so if you have a Kodak camera check out the name on the lens. Although megapixel counts are very impressive, in fact the quality of the lens is usually far more important. In addition to the lens, the KE850 has an LED flash. In other words.. the chances are that the LG KE850 will be able to take some decent quality photos.

 LG KE850 On top of the hardware specs, the LG KE850 PRADA comes with a comprehensive set of software. As you might expect, there's a multimedia player capable of playing MP3, AAC, WMA and RealAudio sound files, plus MPEG4, H.263 and H.264 video. The KE850 has a web browser with Adobe/Macromedia Flash support, a document viewer (supporting text, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat file types), plus an email client and messaging applications. We understand that the KE850 PRADA's interface continues the sleek, understated look throughout.

Amazingly, all these features fit in a handset weighing just 85 grams (according to LG) which is 50 grams lighter than the iPhone. The KE850 measures 99 x 54 x 12mm which is somewhat more compact than its Apple rival.

There are a few drawbacks - the LG KE850 doesn't have 3G or WiFi support (although it's very lightweight). The PRADA phone is quite expensive at around €600 / £380 before tax and any subsidy (although certainly not the most expensive phone on the market). Internal memory is a measly 8Mb, so a memory card will be essential. Because its only a tri-band GSM phone, it is unlikely to make it to the US in its present form, although a Korean CDMA version is touted for Q2 2007. LG say that the PRADA phone will be available in selected dealerships in the UK, Germany, Italy and France from late February, and then in Asia from late March.

It's clear that LG have done more with the KE850 than just slap a PRADA label on an existing phone. Although it's not the first touch-screen only phone, the KE850 is different from just about everything on the market.. except for the iPhone. The big advantage that the PRADA phone has is that it will be available to most of the world very soon.

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LG PRADA Phone / LG KE850

Available:

Q1 2007

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS + EGDE

Screen:

240x400 pixels

Camera:

2 megapixels

Size:

Compact tablet device
99x54x12mm / 85 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

 

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