From Nokia’s iconic 1990s designs, to the first LG Prada phone in 2007, to today’s Louis Vuitton and Swarovski iPhone cases, the mobile phone has been inexorably associated with fashion and style. The phone in your bag says as much about you as the bag itself. So, given that those 90s Nokias look a bit old now, and that not everyone wants to shell out hundreds of pounds for a luxury case, we take a look at five mobiles that can show the world you have style, without looking too gaudy or showy.
1. Prada LG 3.0 (£429.99 sim-free)
It’s not out just yet, but the latest of LG’s Prada-branded phone launches in February 2012, so if you don’t mind the price tag, it’s well worth waiting for. We don’t have any info on the price of a pay-monthly deal yet, but expect something around the £30+ mark, or more for a free handset. That price doesn’t just get you the classiest-looking and most desirable phone brand on the planet (other than, arguably, the iPhone 4S), it gets you a handset that can stand toe-to-toe with the top Android phones on the market.
LG have often suggested that the original Prada, pre-dating the original iPhones with its capacitive touch screen and sleek, clean look, was a major design influence on the iPhone. The latest Prada retains that stylish heritage and pairs it with all the features you expect from a top of the range smartphone.
That means a dual-core 1GHz processor, luxurious 4.3 inch screen, 8 megapixel camera, and 8 GB of internal storage. LG is also using the Prada to showcase its latest NOVA screen technology, meaning the screen will be twice as bright as an iPhone’s – a sure way to get attention!
2. iPhone 4S (£489.95 pay as you talk, or £41/month)
The iPhone remains iconic yet simple in looks. It’s not just for geeky Apple fans any more: the 4S gives you style, cachet, and function in one small, slim package. It’s the most expensive phone we’re looking at today, but well worth the price.
You get one of the best smartphones ever made, without the headache of having to learn how to use it, since the interface is so easy to grasp. Combine that with a bona fide 21st century fashion icon and you can see why this makes the second choice on our list.
3. Samsung Diva S7070 (£99.95 pay as you talk)
The Diva combines great, high-fashion good looks, with an easy to use gesture- and touch-based interface accessing all the latest apps, all at a very reasonable price.
The audio playback is excellent, considering the price of the phone, and though the camera is only 3.2 megapixels, it’s optimised for taking photos of faces, complete with a “beauty effect” filter to give you that catwalk look. Originally announced in 2009 the Diva is getting on a bit – but it is perhaps the most stylish phone for such a low price.
4. Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini (from £12/month)
The Xperia Mini does one thing better than any other phone: minimalism. It’s the smallest phone that still functions perfectly well as a phone. At around the size of a credit card, it will squeeze into the tiniest handbag, and not look out of place in the daintiest hands.
It’s only available in plain white or black, but the kudos of having a bona fide smartphone (even a low-end one) this small makes it worthwhile. The 5 megapixel camera is perfectly adequate, as is the 3-inch touch screen. It runs Android, so can handle apps too.
5. HTC Sensation XE (£449.95 pay as you talk, or £31/month)
If music is a big part of your lifestyle, the Sensation XE, with Beats Audio by Dr Dre, is a statement in itself. With special Dr Dre headphones included this is one of the best mobile phone deals available for music lovers.
At least as importantly, it’ll give you full, high-end smartphone functionality, with that special emphasis on music and video to give you simply the best audio experience ever offered by a phone.