LG Prada II fashionista phone
Something more practical this season
Most of the Prada II’s play is inevitably touchscreen based. While the monochrome themes you can use on this phone – black on white or white on black – give the display a somewhat austere feel, the operating set-up is based on the system used for recent LG touchscreen phones such as the Renoir and Cookie.
The early review sample we handled was reasonably responsive without being as slick or smooth as Apple’s efforts. Haptic feedback, which can be adjusted for sensitivity, provides confirmation when a button’s been pressed or the screen swiped.
The basic standby screen has a four buttons in a row at the bottom of the display. These give one-press access to the dialling pad, contacts list, messaging and the main menu. At the top of the screen, a press on the status bar pulls up a handy set of information on memory usage and battery life, plus buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ringtone profiles and the phone’s music player.
All these buttons remain as you swipe a finger across the display to ‘turn’ to the other two standby screen views. One allows you to populate a grid of shortcuts – you can add or delete entires at will – while the other screen brings up a selection of application widgets. These can be dragged and dropped from a toolbar that pops out at the bottom of the screen. You get a world clock, a calendar, an analogue clock, a memo pad, a music player, a radio and an image gallery, but no online-updated tools, like a weather read-out.
The main menu organises functions and application into four categories, represented by icons on a tabbed sidebar to the right of the screen: Communicate, Entertainment, Utilities and Settings. Tap on these, and the selection of feature icons on the main part of the screen changes according to category. It’s a clever set-up, and a clear way to find your way around the options.
...though the theme's a mite monochrome
While the touchscreen is generally good, we didn’t enjoy texting with the virtual numberpad, something users may do if they don’t want to slip out the Qwerty keyboard each time they text. Dialling numbers is no problem, but in text mode, LG squeezes the alphanumeric keys by not using the full width of the screen. Instead, there’s a column of control options on the right of the screen, which can be too easily activated accidentally by straying fingers.