updated 09:50 am EDT, Tue August 21, 2007
LG Mobile on Tuesday has at last formally revealed the KU990, the company's spiritual successor to the Prada. Like the Italian-designed phone, the KU990 is almost entirely driven by a touchscreen with a Flash-based interface. New to the platform, however is a much stronger 5.1-megapixel camera with image stabilization, flash, and a Schneider-Kreuznach lens; the processing hardware is also powerful enough to record video at 120 frames per second, allowing slow-motion capture and reducing blur. A ring around the lens serves as a jog dial that quickly scrubs through video clips.
Also at the core of the phone are a front video camera for calls, Bluetooth, and 170MB of internal memory with room for more via microSD cards. In a potentially crucial addition to the phone, however, the KU990 adds 3G support over HSDPA, opening the possibility of full access in the US. LG has so far committed to a European release in October but may offer the phone to Americans in 2008, though it would most likely appear as an unlocked device that would provide basic calling and EDGE data on AT&T and T-Mobile and may include 3G access on AT&T.
AT&T is unlikely to offer the KU990 as a subsidized phone as the cost and feature set will compare closely to the iPhone, for which the carrier has a multi-year exclusive agreement with Apple. Its Prada ancestor has so far only been available to carriers through Asian and European markets, surfacing in the US as an unlocked model.