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LG Nitro HD Hands-On: Brilliant 720p Screen, Blazing Speeds, Slick Design

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Tonight, LG took the wraps off the LG Nitro HD and announced that the first AT&T smartphone to feature a 720p resolution screen will go on sale December 4th for $249. The third phone in AT&T's burgeoning 4G LTE stable, the Nitro HD has some awe-inspiring features, including a 1.5-GHz dual-core CPU,  a rear-facing 8-megapixel  HD camera, and that generous 4.5-inch IPS display which boasts a 1280 x 720 resolution and wide viewing angles . 

Living up to the Nitro moniker, the smartphone moves as quick as it sounds. Flipping through the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) interface is a breeze, and the phone didn't miss a beat when we loaded applications.

While its performance is certainly impressive, the LG Nitro HD's standout feature is its highly vibrant and colorful screen. In our brief test, photos from the provided gallery on the phone popped with crisp visuals and bright, full colors. Viewing movies on the Nitro took us by surprise with an unbelievably vivid performance. When we watched a pre-loaded high-definition video of Planet Earth-esque panoramas of cities and landscapes, the display rivaled those we've seen on many 7-inch tablets.

The Nitro HD is definitely a looker. A slim black aluminum strip surrounds the glossy display and bezel. The rear of the phone is done in a raised herringbone pattern for a firm and satisfying grip. The phone is light on ports, sporting only a headphone jack and a microUSB port at the top.  Aside from the two volume buttons there are three touch capacitive buttons (Menu, Home, Back) beneath the display. At 5.2 x 2.7 x 0.4 inches, the Nitro is definitely svelte, and at a waif-like 4.5 ounces, it didn't weigh down our pockets—or even our hands.

AT&T certainly didn't hold back on the included software either. The Nitro comes with quite a few pre-loaded apps, most of which will be useful to the average user. An app for Amazon Kindle and a books app will certainly be helpful to the readers, and plenty of useful social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail fulfill the necessities. 

We were certainly excited to get our hands on the Nitro HD and it definitely seems like a phone for Android enthusiasts looking for a high-end handset on AT&T's new LTE network. Until we can really dig our hands into it though, that's about all we can say for now - tune back in for the review.