The new LG Nitro HD is the company's leading Android smartphone in the United States. Without a doubt, it has an excellent data sheet that has 4G LTE data (AT&T), a 4.5-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, and a 1080p HD – Includes video-capable 8 megapixel camera. It's also pretty thin, light, and attractive.
The Nitro HD shouldn't fear any other device when it comes to specs.
But when it comes to real world performance, not all specifications meet user expectations. Yes, LTE data transfers are breathtakingly fast and the 720p display is stunningly beautiful. The 8 megapixel camera takes some of the best shots I've seen on a smartphone as well. But the phone is not without its problems. What I don't understand is that a phone equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor has lags, and three hours of talk time on a massive battery is no easier to understand.
There's a lot to love about the LG Nitro HD, but all "oohs" and "ahhhs" come with a couple of "ughs". Continue reading.
The HD part of the LG Nitro HD name doesn't represent the 1080p full HD video it can record, but rather the gorgeous 4.5-inch 720p HD capacitive touchscreen display (1280 x 720 pixels ). Photos look amazing, even the smallest fonts are smooth and crisp, and they're a solid feat in the viewing angles department. Despite the phone's incredibly fast 4G ~ LTE performance, the Nitro's HD display is the defining element.
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Aside from the screen, there's a lot to like about the Nitro HD's hardware. The build quality is very solid. It's a large phone at 5.3 "x 2.7" x 0.4 "(134 mm x 68 mm x 10.3 mm), but it's still narrower than the Motorola DROID RAZR and weighs an easily tolerable 136 g (4.8 ounces). I would prefer the Samsung-style power switch at the top to be on the right edge as the phone is so long and I could do without the micro USB port cover. I wish an MHL adapter wasn't required for output to an HDTV, but if I stretch further to look for things to complain about, I'll sprain myself.
Instead, how about something I love? LG has removed the dedicated capacitive button for the search function that is normally shown under the display on Android phones. Instead, this has been built into the menu button. Why is that great? Because now you really know where to press to get the function you want – without looking. You can press a thumb anywhere near the center and get the home function. The right side is back, the left side is Menu / Search. You don't have to be specific, you just slap it and get what you expect. This is far better than the 4-button layout found on most other Android phones. However, you lose the ability to long press the search button to access voice commands.
The back cover on the LG Nitro HD has a texture that is a bit difficult to look at, which I ended up liking. The cover must be removed to access the battery, SIM card, and microSD memory card slot. A 16 GB card is pre-installed, which increases the available integrated memory by approximately 2 GB.
While I find the UI improvements LG put on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread to be fully usable, there are some issues with the phone as a whole. Despite having a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a reasonable 768MB of RAM, the Nitro HD user experiences occasional delays or delays while navigating the phone. It's not chronic and won't make you pull your hair out, but the phone isn't as sleek as its counterparts at Samsung and HTC.
That being said, I really like the WiFi settings and ring mode shortcuts that LG put in the notification area, and I pretty much like the lock screen music controls. Speaking of the lock screen, LG allows users to drag icons for missed events notifications on the lock screen to jump to the appropriate application like the SMS app or the call log. This works pretty well. There's no real theme support with the Nitro HD, but LG pre-installs a number of system fonts that you can quickly switch between to customize the look of the phone beyond the normal assortment of wallpapers and widgets for the home screen. LG also lets you configure multiple "layouts" and widgets for the home screen that you can easily switch between.
There are 7 start screens available. They can be thumbnailed with a pinch of gesture, and the order of the screens can be easily changed from there – as can the default window that appears when you press the home button.
Text is entered using the Android Gingerbread keyboard (standard) and the LG keyboard. Both are solid, and the large touchscreen makes it easy to press the correct button. It also supports using the copy and paste functions which are pretty good. The voice input on the phone is overall accurate and the surface of the touchscreen display is particularly suitable for swiping and scrolling. The social networking integration developed by LG itself is decent, as status updates, text messages and emails for each of your contacts are integrated into a tab on the contacts screen. Twitter and Facebook are supported immediately.