Yes, I know what you are asking: who is Laura Ocaña when she's not at home? To start with, she's the unofficial Miss Gizmodo Spain and Eternal-Goddess-at-large. But most importantly, she is a normal, non-geeky consumer and one of the few who has spent a few days actually using the LG Prada constantly. I talked with her for an hour, and as well as being funny, smart and charming, she uncovered a few new things about the LG Prada and something about touchscreens that Steve Jobs should take notes on. All, with a load of unpublished photos, in the interview right after the jump.
Laura Ocaña is the brave woman who, at Barcelona's 3GSM and with just one LG KE850 Prada in hand, fought against wave after wave of drooling geeks, blank-eyed engineers and vicious telecom executive hordes.
And Louis Ramirez too.
Jesús Díaz: Laura, we have seen you caressing a cellphone in the 3GSM... do you do that on a daily basis?
Laura Ocaña: Sure I do, not caressing it, but I use it constantly for work, family, friends... I am spanish and I live in Italy, so the cellphone is especially important for me to keep contact with the rest of my world.
JD: Which cellphone do you actually use?
LO: It's a Motorola... I can't remember the name... hmmm, it comes in different colors, rounded... like... like a rolling stone.
JD: And the computer? Do you use that a lot?
LO: Yes, that too, for the same reasons.
JD: E-mail, SMS or videoconference?
LO: Email and SMS. Videoconference doesn't work very well, it's jerky and it makes me want to throw away the computer. It makes me dizzy and, since I go to Spain a lot, I like to see my friends in the flesh.
JD: If you could get any cell number, who would you call? Almodovar for a role?
LO: Nah, not really. Hmmm... nobody, really. With the ones I have I am happy enough.
JD: And would you hang up on anyone? Any designer? One who's a very bad, bad person...
LO: [Laughs] Sure I would... or maybe not. I will just tell him a couple of things. So no, seriously, I wouldn't hang up on anyone, no matter how bad. Really.
JD: You haven't hung up on me, so I trust you on that one.
LO: You? Why? You are not bad.
JD: Well, maybe I am bad too. I mean, like... ringtone or vibration?
LO: WHAT? [Laughs] Ringtone! OK, maybe ringtone and vibration. [Laughs] But only cellphones, ok?
JD: Did the LG people gave you a Prada?
LO: No, but I wish they had. The phones [at 3GSM] were all prototypes. As far as I know, there are not in the market yet [they will come out on March 22]. The software was not complete and sometimes the operating system got stuck and we had to reset the phone. But of course, it was in development...
JD: Of course.
LO: ... they briefed us on what to use and what not to use, because there was stuff that didn't work at all, so we couldn't show that.
JD: And if they gave you one... would you have preferred Prada boots instead of the Prada phone?
LO: [Laughs] Prada boots of course! I love shoes, it's one of my passions.
JD: I know, my wife is also full of lust. For shoes.
LO: [Laughs] Me too. That said, if I can choose, I'll pick both of them. I won't say no to the phone, that's for sure, but I prefer shoes to a cellphone. You enjoy the cellphone less.
JD: I understand that, kind of. Shoes don't vibrate... anyway, after your time with the Prada, what do you think about it?
LO: I liked it. The phone is good... however, I think there will be people who won't like the touchscreen. I don't like the touchscreen myself. I want to touch real buttons, a traditional keyboard, real keys. [hey Steve, are you taking notes?] Maybe I am used to real keys and I have to get used to this...
JD: Why would you have to get used to it? People should be able to use whatever they like most.
LO: Well, I prefer the keyboard, but of course, the LG Prada is beautiful, the screen quality is great, it's well designed and it has functions which I like very much. However, the virtual on-screen keys make it less than perfect. I would choose another phone just for that. [Jon? Phil? Steve? Anybody home?]
JD: You think people went to the LG booth to see the Prada or to see you?
LO: [Laughs] No, they came for the phone. They didn't stop, some came to see it several times [for sure, Louis belonged to that group - for work reasons, he says]
JD: OK, so lots of flies around - just to see you.
LO: [Laughs] No, no, but it was a continuous invasion of people. People kept arriving and everyone wanted to see the Prada and touch it.
JD: Yeah, that's what Louis told us. He also said that you were always cleaning it... how many times did you have to polish it per minute to make it shine? [no dirty jokes here]
LO: [Laughs] A lot, constantly. There was a moment in which I didn't stop polishing. The thing is that LG told us that there were going to get really dirty because they were prototypes. They also told us that the final version will have a screen with a special coating so it doesn't get dirty so quickly.
JD: I should ask for one those coatings myself. So, what's your favorite gadget, then? iPod, camera, phone?
LO: I don't really have many, so I guess it's the cellphone.
JD: I guess work has you too absorbed to use silly gadgets like us... do you still model and do advertising?
LO: Sure, I model. I also organize fashion events. I'm preparing for Fall now, but everything is still up in the air.
JD: Well Laura, I wish you the best for that. Good luck and thank you for being so open and charming with us and our stupid questions.
LO: Thank you! And my best wishes for you and the readers of Gizmodo.
So there you have it. Laura likes the LG Prada but she prefers other phones with real keyboards. And Prada boots. This is something that seems quite common among normal consumers (not the boots, the real keyboards). Is Laura an indicator of the potential success or disaster of cells like the iPhone and the LG Prada? Will people sacrifice functionality for style? Perhaps this will be a problem with the LG Prada's implementation and not with the iPhone's?
It doesn't matter as long as Laura keeps so charming and purty. The answers to those questions will be revealed on March 22 for the LG and June for the iPhone.
Laura's photos property of Laura Ocaña