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Smartphone Madness Game 7: LG Optimus G Pro vs. ZTE Open

If you're anything like us, Kentucky's loss in the NIT wasn't nearly enough to satisfy the Madness in your brain. And while we want to congratulate the Samsung Galaxy Note II for bringing home the win in Game 6, taking down the Huawei Ascend P2, we want more. Well, strap in sports fans as we turn our attention to today's Game 7, in which we watch two relative unknowns compete. You will have to pick a side to determine the winner, as it is all up to you. Now let's meet the competition. 

During our hands-on time with the Android-powered LG Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress, we learned to love the term superphone. Sure, the G Pro has high-end specs like a stunning 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, 1.7-GHz Quad Core Snapdragon processor,  and a whopping 3,140 mAH battery, but its the wide array of proprietary LG software features that really make the device stand out. One of our favorite multitasking features is version 2 of QSlide, which allows you to run certain apps in tiny windows on the desktop. LG also added an IR blaster to this device to turn it into a remote control. But the skill that might have the G Pro running away with this game is the Live Zoom feature that allows users to pinch to zoom on any offline video.

With a ton of power, a gorgeous screen and a slew of extras, the Optimus G Pro is an exciting Android flagship phone that should be able to hold its own versus both the HTC One and upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4. But first the company is going to need to make it available here in the U.S. Meanwhile, the ZTE Open has a few tricks of its own. 

[polldaddy poll=6975023]

We're intrigued by the promise of the Firefox OS that will power the ZTE Open. While ZTE hasn't officially released the phone anywhere, we got some face-time with this smartphone and its new OS at Mobile World Congress. The device is targeted at price-sensitive emerging markets. With a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, 256MB of RAM and a 800-MHz Qualcomm 7225A CPU, we’d expect modest performance, but everything we saw in our demo worked extremely well. 

We are fans of the  rounded, smooth shape of the phone and the vibrant blue, orange and white versions, but it's what's under the hood that counts. The operating system’s most unique feature, dynamic app search. Using the search bar, users can type in a term of interest and they will get a bunch of icons leading them to related content that’s a combination of Firefox OS apps and related websites. This search makes no distinction between sites and apps.

Sadly, the ZTE Open is too low end to launch in big markets like the U.S., but we hope the company will use the same design language on handsets it releases in first world markets.

Enough palaver, time to vote. You've met the competition and now it's time to pick a winner. You have until Thursday, 3/21/13 at 9 a.m. EST to cast your vote.