Name: LG Nitro HD
Price: $199 with two year AT&T contract
- Beautiful 720p Screen
- Great performance
- Blazing fast AT&T LTE data speeds
- Flimsy USB flap
- LTE is power hungry
- Poor camera quality
AT&T is aggressively expanding the coverage of its LTE network, and also expanding the lineup of phones that take advantage of that network. The LG Nitro HD is the third LTE Android phone released for AT&T thus far and while it shares many features with the previous two phones it is also able to differentiate itself from the pack. The focal point of the LG Nitro HD is the amazing 4.5 inch 720p screen, which is the first 720p screen on any AT&T phone. Looking down the spec sheet of the Nitro it can go toe-to-toe with any other phone on the market, and we wanted to know if it was able to live up to expectations.
First off the LG Nitro HD is a large phone thanks to the gigantic 4.5 inch screen. It is able to maintain a slim profile of just .41 of an inch which is smack dab in the middle of its AT&T LTE stable mates. It is a tall phone thanks a large bezel on both the top and bottom of the screen, but both side bezels are fairly slim. Thanks to the plastic construction of the phone it is also very light, but doesn’t feel fragile.
The top of the Nitro is extremely busy with the power/lock button, USB port, and the headphone jack all crammed in there. The power button is small, and not overly easy to click, often needing a second or third attempt to press. Next to the small power button sits the USB port which is hidden by a flimsy flap. Not only does the flap make charging the phone annoying we also have no doubt that it will not last as long as your new two year AT&T contract.
Both the right side and the bottom of the phone are bare, and only the volume buttons can be found on the left side of the screen. As with many large screened Android phones the volume buttons are placed near the center of the left side, which has caused several accidental clicks.
The rear of the phone is covered in what feels like a textured rubber material, but we are assuming it is actually plastic. This not only provides great grip but also doesn’t show any finger prints which is always a welcome addition to a phone. The back of the phone is also home to the 8 megapixel camera which rests above the single flash, surrounded by a metallic looking plastic.
As stated earlier the specs of this phone are on par with other top of the line devices on the market. The heart of this beast is the 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor paired to 1GB of ram. The Nitro was able to breeze through everything we could throw at it and never broke a sweat. Flipping through home screens, changing apps, and web browsing were all silky smooth thanks to the souped up processor. The Nitro scored an average of 2,600 on the Quadrant benchmark, which is one of the best scores we have seen to date.
The LG Nitro HD earned the HD in its name thanks to the 4.5 inch 720p HD screen. The screen uses LCD technology to produce a great picture; the colors are realistic and the viewing angles are healthy. This is one of the very best screens we have seen on a mobile phone, and can’t think of a single thing that we would want to change about the screen. Watching Netflix and HBO movies on this large HD screen was a joy.
As with most LTE devices the battery takes a back seat to data speed. During normal usage we were able to last a whole work day on a single battery charge thanks to the healthy 1830mAh battery. This included web surfing, checking Facebook, Twitter, and even some light Netflix usage. If you are able to avoid consuming data you can expect to get good battery life, but what’s the fun in that? During our battery torture test we were able only get two hours and fifteen minutes of battery life of non-stop video streaming while using 4G. In contrast we were able to get just under five hours using WiFi using the same test.
Like most top of the line Android phones the Nitro features an 8 megapixel camera. Sadly the camera did not perform as well as we had hoped. Pictures looked subdued and nothing really popped in our sample pictures. The camera did not perform well in either overly bright situations, or in dark situations. The pictures taken with the Nitro would work great for Twitter for Facebook, but will not make for a great replacement for a point and shoot.
Overall we were disappointed with the camera, and it does not match up with the similarly sized cameras on recent Samsung and HTC phones, or the iPhone 4s.
Call quality was standard, nothing stood out as poor or great. It performed a phone should be expected to perform. The data speed is the real note-worthy aspect of this phone. This phone was tested in the San Francisco where AT&T just activated its high speed LTE network. The download speeds were amazing, reaching up to 10MBps, and never got below 8MBps. Sadly the upload speeds matched those of 3G devices.
The LG Nitro HD is a very good phone and would be a very solid choice for anyone shopping for a LTE phone on AT&T. The Nitro isn’t a perfect phone, but its strengths far outweigh the few trivial flaws we have found. You aren’t going to be able to find a single phone with better specs, and despite the heavy LG skin on top of Android it performed great.