A trip to the KE850's application menu sees the various utilities available divided into four categories - Phone, Media, PIM and Setting - each selected by tapping a tab, this time on the right of the screen. As each is selected, the app icons slide into view from the left. Cute, very cute.
About the only thing you can't do is customise it - well, not beyond changing the UI theme to one of the three other pre-loaded skins, including a rather Mac OS X-ish blue one - so there's no changing the order of the icons, what category they appear under, or what apps are called up when you tap the tabs on the main screen.
The KE850's apps deliver all the features you'd expect from a mid-range phone these days. The camera works well enough, with a neat live-zoom enabled if the image size is 640 x 480 or under. The pictures are smooth rather than crisp but not bad as phones go. I've seen better - and worse.
Flipping off the battery compartment cover reveals the 750mAh battery and, above it, the SIM slot. The battery life isn't stellar - I got about a day's use out of it. The SIM goes in without the battery having to be removed, but you do have to take out the power pack to populate the tiny Micro SD slot located right underneath the SIM bay.
A card is de rigueur - the KE850 contains just 8MB of memory, enough for one, maybe two MP3 songs or a small album of photos taken using the two-megapixel, autofocus-equipped camera.
I vant to be alone... but not with an iPhone
The Prada is a tri-band GSM/GPRS phone. The call quality's pretty good, too - the sound is as clear and as crisp as the KE850's UI. So is the MP3 playback. Bluetooth is ready for mono and stereo headset connections, and dial-up networking - though you'll need a suitably stylish laptop to go with it, vero, no?
Like Apple's black MacBook, for instance. But then surely if you have one of those you'll want an iPhone. Cute though the KE850's UI is, the iPhone's gesture-driven alternative looks set to be so much better, its feature list is longer, and its iPod-like styling will draw more awed glances too. But the LG handset has the edge on size - face on, it's about a centimetre smaller - and you can buy one now.
LG and Prada's joint effort has the looks of a sleek digital music player and if some of the styling's a tad tacky, it hides an inner beauty: one of the slickest, smartest user interfaces around - at least until Apple's iPhone hits the High Street.
LG Prada KE850 touchscreen phone
I did discuss how well the touchpad works for dialling, texting and navigating around the KE850's user interface. But you make a fair point about web browsing.
To fill the gap, then, the browsing experience isn't up to much. The handset's a GPRS device, so it's not a fast downloader, and the web browser app doesn't do an especially good job. It's fine for small-screen centric sites, such as Google's mobile page, but runs into difficulty with sites designed around monitor sizes.
Since when has the fashion world ever been interested in usefulness?
Considering this phone is more likely to be targetted at Paris Hilton than geeks like us, they've probably got the feature set just right (i.e. not too much, but pretty).
Bit short on usability info...
Fairly good review, but as a tech site I thought you might be more interested in the functionality and usability of the phone for texting, web-browsing and so on. It's unlikely to sell on feature set, but given that it's the first (kind of) competitor for the iPhone, it would make more sense to see where the battle lines have been drawn.
Ooh, a 2mp Camera and an MP3 player.
Hardly up to minute technology is it?