The LG Nitro HD is the 3rd handset for AT&T to come with 4G LTE. AT&T is pushing ahead in a big way to catch up to their rivals in the 4G LTE market. The Nitro HD looks to capitalize on that and include high-end hardware specs and a HD display. Does it all come together?
Hardware & Design
The Nitro HD doesn’t lack in specs with a 4.5 inch AH-IPS HD Display with 1280 x 720 resolution. The screen is extremely sharp for HD video and produce accurate colors. There is a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor that keeps the Nitro HD running relatively smooth and 1 GB of Ram that lets you run plenty of apps and multitask without issue.
The front facing camera 1.3 megapixels decent enough for self portraits and video chat. The rear facing 8.0 megapixel camera with LED flash plus 1080p HD video capture is good enough to become your daily point and shoot replacement. The audio quality on the crisp 1080p video recording is clear and good for a camera phone. Check out our sample video and pictures at the bottom of the review.’
Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS and 4G LTE data speeds with a HSPA+ backup round out the specs on the LG Nitro HD. It’s a good package of hardware that will satisfy most hardware geeks and high-end phone seekers.
Software & Usability
LG put Android 2.3.5 on the Nitro HD with LG’s UX (user experience) on top of it. LG did say that this will be upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sometime next year. If you have used a LG handset this year then you will be familiar with the user interface as its very similar to what’s on the LG Revolution and Thrill 4G. They have made some small improvements to make the software better. They have added more widgets and size options and the ability to resize widgets as well. We’ve seen it before on the Samsung Galaxy S2 and its great that LG has added this to give even more customization. You also have the nice ability to uninstall any preloaded apps and that you don’t want and can re-install from the market if you decide to change your mind later.
Call quality is on par with most smartphones in the class with clear audio between both sides of the call. 4G LTE data speeds for AT&T right now are decent getting about 10-15 Mbps download on average and about 2.5 Mbps upload but since the network is new and growing we should expect to see those speed improve.Now we do need to state that we had some issues with the cell radio on our review unit and did work with AT&T and LG technical support and came to the conclusion that our review unit’s radio is defective. Battery life is not as great with typical android battery life. Power users will need to have a charger on them and plug in when you can while moderate users should be able to get one day out of it.
The Nitro HD is a phone that has great specs but feels late to the game. While it has improvements in areas over previous competition. its been released at a time where many other phones have been not too long before it that had similar specs and a more attractive hardware design. LG has the capabilities of putting out great hardware and can push better designs but it needs to push it in a more timely fashion if it expects to compete well against the competition.