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Prada Phone by LG 3.0 hands-on preview

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The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 (that's its proper name) launches in South Korea first, to be followed by Europe in January and select other markets across the globe later.

LG has just introduced the Prada Phone here in London, and you can check out our first hands-on pictures with it below. The Prada Phone by LG 3.0 (that's its proper name) launches in South Korea first, to be followed by Europe in January and select other markets across the globe later.

The naming scheme clearly suggests this is a Prada phone first and foremost, which is emphasized by the signature Saffiano pattern on the back and the stylized, monochromatic Android UI within. LG has skinned every aspect of this phone's software to make it fit in perfectly with your little black dress or demure dinner jacket.

I was pleasantly surprised by the UI smoothness on this third Prada Phone. The white icons flow around the black and grey UI swiftly and apps open up promptly. In the poor lighting conditions of the demo area, the camera took a while to focus, but picture processing was snappy. There's a dual-core OMAP4430 under all the sheen here that's being put to good use. The volume buttons are a little hard to find by touch and press in, but overall it's a a phone that feels good in the hand. For a 4.3-inch device, the Prada's 800 x 480 resolution is now a bit behind the curve, but the 8.5mm thickness is right in line with the competition.

The native Google apps lack the stylized appearance of LG's apps — Gmail, Maps and all the rest are still in full color, breaking up the carefully engineered aesthetic — but they can be easily reskinned from a selection of other arty icons LG has preloaded.