In the world of smartphones the competition is so tight that phone manufacturers always try to better their rivals or at least match what their rivals are making. Since AT&T’s venture into the 4G LTE zone, Samsung and HTC have released Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC Vivid respectively to make full use of this technology. In an effort not to be left behind, LG has released its very own LG Nitro HD. Although taking on the likes of Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket on every aspect would be admittedly tough, LG has decided to make their phone special in its own way. They throw in a very special 720 x 1280 HD screen which would be unmatched – at least for a while we assume. So where does this phone stand when compared to the other AT&T 4G LTE capable phones? Let’s find out.
We mentioned that this phone was special thanks to its 720p display but I’m pretty sure many would have asked what’s so special about it especially because a screen with that resolution has already been seen on other phones like the HTC Rezound and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Well this screen is different from those screens as it is an IPS panel. We’ll talk more about that feature later on. On the sides of the LG Nitro HD you find the usual suspects like the volume rocker on the left. While on the top you will find the power button and the standard audio jack sandwiching the microUSB port. The port can double as a microHDMI port if you have a MHL adapter. On the back of the phone is an 8MP auto-focus camera that sports a LED flash as well. Also on the rear are two notches for the internal speaker.
Smartphone makers are always looking to solve users complains and one such complains would be how smartphones get bigger and heavier by the day. LG Nitro HD is certainly a phone that tackles this issue as it measures in at 5.27 x 2.67 x 0.41 inches making it pretty slim. When compared to its rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket for instance, this phone is quite easy to handle as it is not as wide. To pile on the good news, this smartphone is also much lighter as it tips the scales at only 4.5 oz. thanks to its fully plastic construction. The exterior design we would say is rather conventional but there is a patterned design given to the back of the phone that was likeable.The OS under the hood of the LG Nitro HD is the Android v2.3.5 Gingerbread and it is made pretty by LG’s Optimus user interface. We can already hear you complaining why this phone is not running Android Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box; well we are equally baffled as well. One new feature in this phone would be how you get four different themes namely Work, Travel, Play and Custom to be used as per suggested by the names. Of course the seven home screen thing remains untouched and you still get to customize what shortcuts and widgets you want on each of these homescreens. Motion gestures are also found on the phone and some of them are similar to the ones found on LG Optimus 2X. For instance, if you tap on the sides of the device, then you could move your cursor when typing or when you are going through your image gallery. Just like how we have seen on HTC Sense a while ago, now you can also mute an incoming call on the LG Nitro HD by flipping the phone over. These motion gestures are fun to some but some might not see the use in them, it all depends which side of the divide you are on. Thanks to the real estate provided by the screen you will find no problems typing out messages on the on-screen keyboard. So you can look forward to sending out quick error free texts with this phone.
Powering this baby is a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor which many would think will be able to rival its competitors. However, even with the 1GB of RAM onboard, LG Nitro HD disappoints with its performance. There were some noticeable lag and choppiness even when you are trying to get something done with static wallpaper. So I think you can imagine how it performed with live wallpaper. However this by no means it performed terribly but in comparison it definitely was a downer.
As discussed earlier, LG Nitro HD’s selling point would be on its 4.5 inch 720p screen which is special thanks to it being a True HD IPS display. In terms of pixel density, once you do the math you will see that it gives a whopping 329 ppi with RGB arrangement. The screen stands out as it gives a great amount of detail and it has the brightness to keep your screen visible even when you go outdoors. The viewing angles are also pretty good.
Moving on to the 8MP camera onboard this phone, we find the camera interface to be the same as the previous phones from LG and the long list of features have remained, which is great. As to the camera itself, it did take some nice pictures although details were only average. When we moved indoors the LED flash did help but there was still some noise that was evident. The camcorder recorded videos at 1080p and again the results were average to say the least.
Staying connected online on the LG Nitro HD is at 4G LTE connectivity too, so that’s a cause for cheer as you get much better speeds. Browsing the internet on the browser provided has some issues especially when Flash was in the picture, but we found the experience not bad nonetheless. Since it’s a GSM phone, you can stay connected anywhere in the world. The usual connectivity options like aGPS, Wi-Fo and Bluetooth are of course included as well.
The performance of the LG Nitro HD in the earpiece department had some issues in the loudest setting as voices started to break up. Nevertheless, there were no complaints from our friends on the other end. The LG Nitro HD packs a sizeable 1830 mAh battery which seems like a very good offering for a powerful phone such as this one. However, when you are using the internet quite often and other usual things you would do on a daily basis, the battery drains out in about half a day.
The battery life could have been better and lag was quite apparent at times.
Pros and Cons
The screen was a definite winner with its superb details and color quality. The LG Nitro HD also had a pleasant surprise for us with its lightweight build. We also loved the fact that it comes with 4G LTE connectivity too.
The LG Nitro HD definitely lived up to the HD name by producing some amazing results on the screen. However, there’s not much else to keep it in par with its rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. So if decent specs with a great screen is what you have been looking for all this while, this is your best bet, but if you are looking for a top of the line phone, then maybe you should look elsewhere.