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LG Nitro HD

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: LG
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What's hot: 4G LTE, fast phone with 720p display.

What's not: Short battery life.


Reviewed December 2, 2011 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

The LG Nitro HD is AT&T's third 4G LTE smartphone. LTE is considerably faster than 4G HSPA+ on AT&T, but it's only available in 15 markets as of this writing. Like the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC Vivid AT&T LTE phones, the Nitro HD packs high end specs that include a 720p display, 1 1.5GHz dual core CPU and a sharp 8 megapixel rear camera. It's AT&T's first 1280 x 720 smartphone, and the 4.5" IPS panel is among the best for clarity and viewing angles.

LG Nitro HD

This 4.5 ounce phone isn't petit, but it's comfortable to hold because it isn't painfully thin and it has a textured rubbery back. The back is a little dizzying with its diagonal herringbone pattern, but we'll take comfort over looks. The back cover peels off to reveal an 1830 mAh Lithium Ion battery. That's a high capacity battery, but somehow the phone manages to burn through those milliamps much quicker than the Skyrocket and Vivid. In fact, that's our chief complaint with this otherwise very nice smartphone.

LG Nitro HD

The Nitro HD runs Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread and LG promises an update to Ice Cream Sandwich. LG doesn't have the best track record for firmware updates in terms of speed and stability, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt with their flagship LTE model. The phone has the usual WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth and a GPS, and it offers HDMI output via optional an MHL adapter that plugs into its micro USB port.

LG Nitro HD

Performance-related specs are good, though internal storage is a little meager compared to other high end smartphones: 4 gigs with much of that taken up by system files. AT&T includes a 16 gig microSD card as an excellent consolation prize. The 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon CPU (the same used in the Skyrocket and Vivid, though the Vivid is clocked slightly lower) is a top performer and integrates well with the LTE chipset for stable radio performance and good battery life (at least good battery life on other LTE phones).

LG Nitro HD

LG uses their custom UI, which reminds us a bit of TouchWiz. We like the customizable app drawer sections for better organization, and the fast that you can collapsable categories to clear up visual clutter. The home screen customizations are relatively restrained with useful touches here and there.


Deals and Shopping:


LG Nitro HD Video Review



LG Nitro HD vs. Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket

For those of you trying to decide which AT&T LTE phone to purchase, we have a video comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the LG Nitro HD.


LG Nitro HD

Above and below: the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the LG Nitro HD.

LG Nitro HD


Phone and Data

The LG Nitro HD has good incoming and outgoing voice, though it's not as crystal clear as the Skyrocket. It is an improvment over the HTC Vivid with its mediocre voice quality. Data speeds and reception are on par with the Vivid and Skyrocket, and in our LTE coverage area, the phone maintained a stable signal with excellent speeds of 19.6Mbps down and 9.5Mbps up.


Here are a variety of popular benchmarks for the LG Nitro HD. Higher numbers are better with the exception of the Sunspider JavaScript test where lower numbers are better. The phone does well on synthetic benchmarks and it feels fast in everyday use as well.

Quadrant: 2400
AnTuTu: 6393
Sunspider: 2869
Linpack multi-thread: 75


There's a lot to like about the LG Nitro HD, and it's not an easy choice if you're looking for a 4G LTE phone on AT&T. The IPS display is sharp, colorful and bright with excellent viewing angles, the phone feels good in hand and it's fast. The rear camera is top notch and it takes pleasing 1080p video, and the phone can play all manner of streaming and locally stored content with ease. Were it not for the short battery life that sent us looking for a charger before day's end with moderate use, we'd make this our top pick among AT&T's trio of LTE smartphones.

Price: $249 with 2 year contract, $599 without contract.



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Display: 4.5" capacitive IPS multi-touch display. Resolution: 1280 x 800, supports both portrait and landscape modes via acceleromter. Has an ambient light sensor.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 1830 mAh.

Performance: 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8X60 CPU with Adreno 220 graphics. 4 gigs internal storage with ~1.8 gigs available.

Size: 5.27 x 2.67 x 0.41 inches. Weight: 4.5 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band with 3G and 4G HSPA+ 21Mbps on the 850/1900/2100MHz bands. 4G LTE on the 700MHz band.

Camera: 1 MP front video chat camera and 8 megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash. Can record 1080p video.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth.

Software: Android OS 2.3 Gingerbread.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


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