Hands on with the Prada Phone by LG

 [intro]I've been stroking the Prada Phone's touchscreen all afternoon… and the iPhone has a rival. Sort of.[/intro]Today I finally managed to ge

[intro]I've been stroking the Prada Phone's touchscreen all afternoon… and the iPhone has a rival. Sort of.[/intro]

Today I finally managed to get hands on with LG's new iPhone-a-like, the Prada Phone. It's a slick bit of kit, much smaller than I thought it would be (almost exactly the same size as an LG Shine, in fact) and a lot of fun to use.

Like the iPhone, you control the Prada Phone by poking at icons on its screen with you fingers. It's easy to use, but lacks the technological pizzazz of the iPhone - you don't use gestures and it won't sense movement. But despite outward appearances, the Prada Phone isn't a true iPhone rival - and it's all the better for it.

In fact, this could easily be the new incarnation of the Chocolate series. It's a good looking but not particularly smart phone, you see. Yes, it'll play music or display movies on its 400 x 240-pixel screen, but you'll have to store them on removeable Transflash cards. Yes, it'll browse the web - but it doesn't have Wi-Fi and it uses LG's standard WAP browser.

But that's not the point - this is a fashion phone, and a very pocketable one at that. It's destined to win the phone kudos battle in pubs and bars throughout the country. And with six months to go before the launch of the iPhone, it's got time to build a loyal following.

The Prada Phone is due out in the UK in March, priced at between £350 and £400. It'll be available in Europe shorty after, with a launch in Asia later in the Spring. No plans have been announced for a US launch yet.

Incidentally, much as I like the Prada Phone by LG, I still prefer the W880i. Perhaps I'm not that fickle after all.

You can see my video review of the Prada phone on the Stuff.tv video page