LG Nitro HD

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

LG’s Nitro HD phone offers a surprising amount usability. It comes on AT&T’s 4G LTE network with connectivity to Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi (plus, it can operate as a mobile hotspot). The phone Android 2.3 with a dual core 1.5Ghz processor. Nitros comes with a 4.5-inch 720p display that you can use to view the 8 megapixel cameras and HD videos that the phone can take. Along with the higher-resolution rear-camera there is a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The phone has about 2 GBs of built-in memory which can be expanded using the microSD card slot. 

Features List:

– 4.5-inch touchscreen

– 720p capable display

– 8mp rear-camera, 1.3mp front-facing camera

– 1080p HD video recording

– 1.5GHz dual core processor

– 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0

– 2 GB built-in memory

– microSD card slot

– Android 2.3 OS

Different form factors

Even after choosing between a smartphone or feature phone, you have a lot of choices to make to decide what your phone will actually look like.

A full touch layout like the iPhone has become popular for smartphones, but you’ll usually forgo a hard keyboard as a result. Some smartphones like the Droid 2 or the BlackBerry Torch offer a slide-out keyboard as a compromise, but get thicker as a result, too. Many smartphones also dupe the popular BlackBerry design: small screen on top, small keyboard below.

In feature phones, the flip or “clamshell” form factor has proven especially popular because of its small size and the fact that it protects the screen and keys when closed. Phones with both the screen and keypad on a fixed rectangular slab are typically called “candybar” phones. As with smartphones, you’ll many feature phones with dedicated QWERTY keyboards, which can be handy for frequent text messagers.

Whichever you decide to go with, make sure to physically handle the phone at a kiosk or store prior to buying. Pictures can often drastically misrepresent the size of phones.

Six Steps to Start Your Unlimited Cell Phone Plan Search

  1. Determine which service providers are available in your area and make a list of the services you want and how much you can afford.
  2. Check with your current wireless service provider—if you have one—and see what unlimited plans they provide and if one matches up to your needs. If not, then continue to search.
  3. Compare special offers and plans of the key players of cellphone providers: Verizon Wireless, AT &T, US Cellular, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket, and etc.
  4. If you’re prone to changing cell phone providers, choose a plan with least amount of commitment to avoid expensive cancellation fees.
  5. Do you actually need true unlimited minutes? Or would you only need unlimited just on weekends or to your most frequently called and received numbers?
  6. Determine which cell phone service company excels in the areas you need for the price you want, but also look at the provider’s connectivity and coverage ratings. We’ll give you a hint—Sprint may offer a great price and with great unlimited minutes, but Verizon is still takes the cake for coverage and call clarity.

Choosing a carrier

Because most U.S. cell phone carriers heavily subsidize phone purchases in exchange for two-year contracts, and lock the phones to their networks, your choice of cell carrier will have more impact on which type of phone you end up with than any other factor. If you already have carrier and feel satisfied with it, the choice is easy. If not, you’ll need to choose one.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon dominate the cell phone market in the States. Speaking in very general terms, AT&T has a reputation for having the hottest phones but somewhat flaky service due to its overloaded towers, Verizon has the best reception but expensive rates, T-Mobile and Sprint offer some of the most affordable plans but have  more limited phone selection.

Prepaid carriers like Cricket, Tracfone, and MetroPCS often appear to offer excellent deals, but caveats like poor customer service, limited phone selection and inferior coverage have to be taken into account.

Notable Features

The list of features to look for in a phone could fill an anthology, so we’ll run down some of the most important ones.

Cameras appear on nearly every phone these days. Although a quality camera can be great for quick snapshots, few phone cameras are ready to replace a trusty point-and-shoot. The few with variable focus far outperform fixed-focus cameras, which you’ll find on the majority.

When considering a display, pay attention to size and brightness, which will both come in handy when trying to read it in difficult conditions like outdoors in the sun. LCD displays are still the most common, but OLED displays have been cropping up lately as well. They use slightly less power and produce extremely vibrant color, but suffer from poor outdoor visibility.

Battery life often gets buried at the end of buyers’ wishlists, only to lead to disappointment when they realize they can barely go a whole day without recharging. Be particularly careful with smartphones, which can get particularly thirsty.

If you plan to use your phone for playing music or watching video, be sure to check for internal and external storage. If the phone has a microSD slot you should be able to add up to 32GB of additional storage.

Best time to buy cell phones

With all major U.S. carriers announcing new phones around the clock and a dozen manufacturers all working overtime to produce the next killer device, keeping track of all the different models in circulation at any given time can seem like a Herculian task. But this frantic pace works to your advantage: Any time is a good time to buy a cell phone, as long as you keep your eyes open.

Jamie Lendino, a contributing editor at PC Magazine, recommends spotting three or four phones that suit your needs, then jumping on whichever one dives in price first. With the rapid pace of cell phones, you shouldn’t have to rest on your laurels for long. “Remember that ‘old’ in the tech world could mean just a few months from now,” says Lendino. Even the original iPhone, a high-demand handset which originally sold for $600, dropped a whopping $200 a little over two months after launch.

Of course, to take advantage of the most attractive phone deals, you’ll need to agree to a two-year service contract with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon. For potential buyers locked into existing contracts, this could mean riding it out with an older phone for a few more months in order to grab the massive rebates available upon renewal. Always call your provider to see if you might be eligible for an upgrade prior to an existing contract expiring. AT&T, for instance, allows customers with monthly bills over $99 to upgrade after just one year – as long as they’re willing to lock into another two years of service.

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