The third Prada phone also takes the leap into 1080p video, with results comparable to the LG Spectrum -- that is, light performance is good but, like its LTE half-brother, there's no autofocus. The built-in mic also works well compared to other phone's we've tested; it effortlessly picked up our voice.
Performance and battery life
The Prada phone 3.0 runs a dual-core OMAP4430 1GHz processor, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. This is expandable by a microSD slot, found beneath the battery cover, but above the battery. With phone manufacturers attempting to either limit phone storage or plump for minimal built-in storage and expect the customer to foot the bill of expansion,we're glad that LG continues to offer both comfortable built-in storage and the option of microSD expansion. In use, the phone behaves snappily, responding to our swiping whims with ease. It's worth noting that Prada and LG's home-brewed skin may take its toll on that dual-core might, but we find it doesn't impinge on performance much.
If anything, it's a shame there's no AMOLED display to "freeload" on the phone's predominantly dark, monochromatic palette. The phone arrives with a 1,500mAh battery; worrying on a 4.3-inch dual-core smartphone and compounded by Motorola's latest battery-rich RAZR Maxx
. Running our typical battery rundown test (WiFi on, movie looping, screen brightness fixed at 50 percent), we managed seven hours of constant playback. For some reason -- perhaps it's that luminous screen -- we were pleasantly surprised. In more typical use, the fashion phone generally outlasted out the day, as long as we weren't getting lost and whittling down the battery with GPS. We'd still recommend plugging it in to charge daily. The sub-seven hour battery life places it around its high-definition screened LTE phones like the Spectrum
and Nitro HD
, unsurprising, and is an average benchmark for a mid-range dual-core phone.
Our benchmark tests prove that the Prada phone 3.0 lags behind LG's other recent smartphones -- we used the Nitro HD here, with a performance more in line with the Samsung Galaxy S II. The phone scored particularly high in SunSpider testing; we re-ran these tests but returned to a score, bordering on 5,000. For standard smartphone tasks, it's a capable device, while also able to handle existing processor-intensive gaming titles like Shadowgun
. Call quality was generally excellent, although we found that any noise cancellation feature wasn't quite up to the job; our caller found that background noise in a relatively quiet cafe interfered with the call quality. The Prada phone 3.0 packs in radios for GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800 and 1900, while the HSPA+ 21Mbps radio works on 900, 1900 and 2100 frequencies, meaning US importers will find their carrier choice limited to either AT&T or T-Mobile. In our speed tests, the handset topped out at around 4,000 kbps down, averaging out at around 2,500 kps on both O2 and Three networks in the UK.
Prada and LG didn't stop at the front-facing hardware when it came to this project -- they decided to plunge right into the software, crafting their own 'interpretation" of Android. Stock Android fans probably felt a chill down their spines after reading that, but we'd like to state that it's not all
bad. At its core, it's the same Android Gingerbread experience you'll get on a pile of recent smartphones, albeit with most of the color drawn out of it. The Prada Phone 3.0 runs Android 2.3.7, with LG faithfully promising
a jump to Ice Cream Sandwich in the future. However, given LG's past form on smartphone upgrades, we're not particularly confident about seeing it that soon. The monochrome skin pervades everything we normally cover in our software reviews, including icons, widgets, menus, the keyboard and the notification bar. It's the line-drawing-inspired icons that will catch your eyes first. LG's built-in apps arrive with their own stylized icons, but the designers made the clever choice to add in a list of extra icons (including the Google-themed standards, like YouTube and App Market), with a whole alphabet to assign to those third-party apps, meaning you can just about stick to the monochrome styling, regardless of your app preferences.
The notification bar is decked in a few shades of grey, with shortcuts to mute, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and data traffic. There's a music player resting beneath that went largely untouched by us. The keyboard is a simple affair; a predictive input option can be toggled on or off. Stock widgets, like email, calendars can also be expanded and contracted; a nod to the Android 4.0 future? Built-in LG apps include wireless media streaming and two display options. Car Home will lock down the standard capacitive buttons, offering a simplified version of your phone for calls and navigation, while Desk Home will furnish that NOVA display with a digital clock read-out. There's also an app task manager, LG's curated app store, Polaris Office and a relatively comprehensive image editor that includes a smattering of Instragram-style filters.