LG unveils Prada phone, preempts iPhone

LG on Thursday morning introduced its eagerly anticipated Prada phone. Also known as the KE850, the handset was designed in tandem with the Italian fashion designer and is said not only to bring the design to the exterior but also the Flash-based interface, which is consciously drawn in high contrast black and white and selectively fades out icons when not in use. The Prada model is the first to ship with a completely touchscreen-based control system, LG says: aside from basic call buttons, every menu is controlled through the touchscreen.

While the LG device bears striking similarities to Apple's iPhone, the Korean cellphone maker takes a different approach by downplaying built-in storage and size: media is stored primarly on microSD cards, while the 3-inch, 400x240 screen reduces the overall size compared to the Apple model. Nevertheless, media support is broad with the option of playing videos in MPEG-4, H.263, and H.264 formats as well as music in AAC, MP3, WMA, and even RealAudio standards. A 2-megapixel camera is built in for capturing both photos and video clips.Read through for more details and images.

Crucially, LG's Prada phone is due to launch as soon as late February in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK, outpacing the iPhone by several months. Chinese and Singapore launches are expected in March, while LG's home country of Korea will receive the phone by the second quarter of this year. A North American launch is currently unlikely as the tri-band GSM phone lacks the essential fourth frequency for the continent's cell networks.


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