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LG Spectrum Hands-On: One of the Best Smartphone Displays Ever

LAS VEGAS — It's generally accepted knowledge that watching videos on your smartphone's screen can be a nuisance. But doing it on the LG Spectrum, the company's newest 4G LTE smartphone with a 4.5-inch high-resolution display, changed our mind at CES. Made from scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass and featuring a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, the Spectrum's sharp and colorful screen is—hands down—one of the best we've ever seen in a smartphone. It'll be an absolute joy soaking up HD video on this phone, and LG makes this even easier with some dedicated apps for piping in content—we'll get to that in a bit.

But first, back to the display: The Spectrum's screen actually has pixel density of 329 pixels per inch, which is slightly higher than the iPhone's 326 ppi pixel density. This means that more pixels are crammed into less space on the phone's screen, making the high-def content really jump out at you. It's also been said that any display with a ppi value greater than 300 is so dense that the human eye can no longer distinguish pixels from a distance of 10 to 12 inches—just about the distance you'd hold a phone away from your face. The smartphone also makes use of an IPS display (as opposed to Super AMOLED), which means you can view the phone from wide angles off to the side and still be able to appreciate the screen in all of its HD goodness.

Because of a special partnership with ESPN, the Spectrum also has a dedicated Score Center app pre-installed on the phone. It's pretty much the same content you get with the regular app—video highlights and team scores—but now, all of it is presented in crisp HD, something you can't get with any other version of the app.

On the back, the phone sports an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash that can shoot up to 1080p video. There's also a front-facing, 1.3-megapixel camera for video chatting. The Spectrum initially runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but will be fully upgradable to Android 4.o Ice Cream Sandwich when that comes out.

Check out our hands-on video and photo gallery below for a better sense of our first impressions. If you're as dazzled as we are, you can grab the phone from Verizon January 19th for $199 with a two-year contract.