AT&T to ship the LG Nitro on Dec. 4

Still no official word on Nexus launch date

LG Nitro smartphone
LG Nitro smartphone

AT&T will launch the LG Nitro HD smartphone over its LTE network on Dec. 4 in stores and online for $249.99 with a two-year contract.

The device will be AT&T's third LTE smartphone after the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC's Vivid. AT&T's 4G LTE network is available in 15 cities, but the carrier is also upgrading its HSPA+ network for more widespread 4G service.

AT&T called the Nitro the "ultimate high-performance superphone," and the phone does indeed measure up to (and sometimes beat) the top smartphones on the market. One important feature is the 4.5-in. AH-IPS (Advanced High-Performance In-Plane Switching) touch-screen display with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution that AT&T called "true HD."

Nitro's screen is slightly smaller than the coming Samsung Galaxy Nexus' 4.65-in. (1280 x 720) touch screen featuring a Super Amoled display and curved glass.

The Galaxy Nexus is reported by bloggers to go on pre-order Tuesday from Verizon Wireless over its LTE network for $199.99, with a release date of Dec. 8. However, a Verizon official at midday Monday refused to comment on the official shipping or order date for the Nexus.

The Galaxy Nexus has won plenty of attention for being the first Android 4.0 smartphone, while the Nitro will run the currently available Android 2.3.

However, Nitro will have a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, which outperforms the Galaxy Nexus' dual-core 1.2 GHz processor.

The Nitro will also have an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, contrasted with the Galaxy Nexus' 5-megapixel continuous autofocus camera. Both have a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

Nitro boasts 20GB of storage, with 4GB internally plus 16GB from a microSD that comes with it. The Galaxy Nexus pegs its storage at 32GB.

AT&T said the Nitro's display offers "unrivaled" color accuracy, brightness, battery efficiency and performance. Clear viewing is possible in direct sunlight, with accurate colors, AT&T added.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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