LG KE850 Review: Released in 2007, the LG KE850 represented quite a strange move. In collaboration with Italian designer Prada, a new phone was released. This solidified several trends seen at the time. Firstly that phones were now acceptably expensive (the phone retailed at over £500). Secondly, that phones had now gone beyond mere communication devices and were now lifestyle items.
Quite why a fashion house may endorse a range of mobile phones is unclear. But if there was going to be a brand that agreed to it, it would be LG. They were not among the top tiers of phone manufacturers. Additionally, they had shown some flair in previous devices. The LG KG800 (Chocolate) was a fashionable handset, as was the LG K970 (Shine) which featured a mirror screen.
The phone also was notable for being released shortly after the original Apple iPhone. Comparisons were unavoidable. The Apple handset triumphed on the screen: it was larger and in a higher resolution. But the KE850 won in other respects. Its camera could shoot video and had a flash. It could accept microSD cards. Unlike many other touchscreen models at the time, it matched Apple’s multi-touch technology. And of course, it came with the Prada branding which gave it the edge in the looks department for many users.
The KE850 was rather successful, selling over 1m units. A sequel was released in 2008. The LG KF900 was the Prada II. Rather oddly, it retrospectively added a slide-out keyboard but kept the same basic shape of the phone.
LE K850 Prada Review Pros:
The look of the phone was immaculately presented. The handset design oozed quality, and the phone came in a timeless Prada box.
The phone was extremely lightweight for its size. Arguably aimed at the female end of the market, the phone was much lighter than the iPhone and certainly less bulky.
The phone is also well specced. The microSD card allows your own files to be stored. There is a host of other applications installed on the phone, including a handy Office document editor.
The camera was good without being top-range: offering a 2 megapixel shooter with flash. It also shot video, which the original iPhone did not.
LE K850 Prada Review Cons:
The price was extremely high. At release this put it squarely head-to-head with the iPhone. Other flagship models would prove to be cheaper.
The operating system suffered a little compared to the more expansive iOS. With applications not as easy to come by, the Apple phones would increase in utility as time wore on.
Some of the weight saving was offset by a lower capacity battery. Having to power a relatively more complex handset led to some short standby and talk times.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects
As we know, the Prada phones did not win out the battle against Apple. Their handsets are also worth much less than an Apple one of the same age. Having the original box in good condition greatly improves the value.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.