LG Nitro HD vs Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket

Introduction and Design

Colliding head first towards one another, there’s no arguing that it was bound to happen – especially now that AT&T is finally in the game with its 4G LTE network. In our last comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket was able to outclass the HTC Vivid as being the premier device to side with if you’re in the market to pick up a 4G LTE smartphone from AT&T, but this time around, it’s facing stiffer competition against the LG Nitro HD. As we’ve seen in our recent review of the Nitro HD, it has the hardware and balanced performance to enthrall out interests, however, will it be able to topple the Skyrocket in claiming the coveted top spot to itself?


Neither device actually stands out with their appearances, seeing that they follow very similar conventional designs, but what’s nice is that these 4G LTE smartphones are extremely lightweight. Yes, they both employ a plastic build, but we actually take a liking to the LG Nitro HD’s plastic textured back cover, which enables it to retain a cleaner look than the Skyrocket thanks to its rigidity. Furthermore, it doesn’t feel as prone to scratching versus the smooth back cover on Samsung’s beauty.

Sizing up evenly with their 4.5” displays, they’re naturally spacious – yet, overly large for some people. Nevertheless, that’s where the similarities end as the Nitro HD boasts a 720p (720 x 1280) True HD IPS display versus the WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED Plus display of the Skyrocket. Even though our eyes melt over the overly saturated color tones produced by the Skyrocket, we actually take comfort in knowing that the IPS display of the Nitro HD dishes up the more realistic and accurate colors. In addition, its superior pixel density enables the Nitro HD to be visually detailed in keeping fine text exquisitely sharp.

Since the LG Nitro HD offers only three Android capacitive buttons, as opposed to the typical four found with the Skyrocket, it’s less prone to accidental presses seeing they’re spaced far away from one another.

Although the two smartphones offer front-facing cameras, a 2-megpixel snapper on the Skyrocket and 1.3-megapixel on the other, it’s only the Nitro HD that’s able to shoot 1080p videos with it.

Showing off their similarities, we like the tactile feel of each handset’s physical buttons, and on top of that, their microUSB ports offer video-out functionality with the aid of an optional MHL adapter.

Going further, they share the same 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash in their rears, while removing their rear plastic covers, we’re granted access to their batteries, SIM card slots, and microSD slots.

LG Nitro HD 360-degrees View:

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 360-degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

We’re not that particularly fond of the customized UI’s running on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the two smartphones, but nevertheless, it’s a matter of personal taste as to which one is deemed as the more preferable one. Interestingly, both the LG Optimus and Samsung TouchWiz UI present us with very similar presentations – like their launcher bars and cartoony appearance. Yet, we’re greeted with the normal arsenal of personalization that we’re commonly exposed to with Android.

Providing the muscle power for these two high-caliber smartphones, they employ the same 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor coupled with 1GB of RAM, but it’s the Skyrocket that’s exhibiting the better response and movement. Well, the LG Nitro HD isn’t that bad with its execution, but it’s marred by some instances of slowdown and lag that makes its performance a bit inconsistent. Still, they’re fairly swift with most basic tasks – like opening apps and moving between homescreens.

Thanks to their spacious displays, the messaging experience is fantastic with these larger than life devices. Additionally, thanks to their fast dual-core processors, they provide the muscle power to offer us a responsive performance to keep pace with our equally swift fingers.

Internet and Connectivity:

Certainly commanding a huge focus, these two Android powered smartphones stand out from most things on AT&T’s lineup thanks to their 4G LTE connectivity. Despite the lack of 4G LTE coverage in our area, we’re absolutely satisfied with the fast HSPA+ speeds that that they deliver. However, looking beyond their peppy data speeds, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is undeniably the one that exhibits the better web browsing performance. Simply, its fluidity in kinetic scrolling and pinch gestures are apparent when compared to the choppy movements with the LG Nitro HD. Plus, the Skyrocket appears to handle Flash content more easily without compromising its performance.

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Besides knowing that voice phone calls are easily accomplished with these GSM smartphones, their LTE connectivity takes much of their presence. In testing our their HSPA+ connectivity instead, we find the two obtaining similar speeds roughly at 8Mbit/s down and 1.5Mbit/s up. Meanwhile, they pack the same set of connectivity features – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.


Armed with the same resolution 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, there’s no arguing that they deliver some good-looking shots to match their prestigious aura. From a cursory look, it’s almost difficult to tell their quality apart from one another, but after combing over them meticulously, the LG Nitro HD has a slight edge with its sharper looking details – versus the subtle hazy look with the Skyrocket. Collectivity showcasing a lot of delicious photos, both deliver very similar color tones with their shots, but it’s plainly evident that the Skyrocket’s results are filled with a noticeably blue tinge due to its substantial cooler color reproduction.

Likewise, we have to give it to the LG Nitro HD again with 1080p high-definition video capture for the simple reason that its quality is enhanced by its sharper details – as opposed to the fuzzier look of the Skyrocket. Despite that, we find the rest of the results very close to one another because of their smooth capture, mostly clear audio recording, and gradual exposure.

LG Nitro HD Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Sample Video:


Initially, there’s not a whole lot going on with their respective music players in portrait, but in landscape, the LG Nitro HD’s interface transforms to offer us an attractive 3D carousel interface that differentiates itself. Cranking up their volumes to the max setting, volume output sounds rather neutral with the two, and more importantly, there’s no evidence of crackling.

Watching high-definition videos isn’t a problem with either device, well, that’s due to the perfect combination of offering us a suitable experience thanks to their beautiful displays and smooth playback.

Even though the LG Nitro HD offers a spacious 16GB microSD card, you’ll need to replace it if you want something higher in capacity. Oppositely, the Skyrocket packs 11.25GB of internal storage that can be supplemented by adding a microSD card into its available slot.


When it comes to calling quality, we’re not impressed with their performance because they suffer from their own set of issues that prevent us from getting a tangible experience. Listening through the earpiece of the LG Nitro HD, it emits a recognizable crackling tone, while the Skyrocket’s volume output is very weak in overall tone. Reiterating our stance, there’s not a whole lot to win us over with their calling quality.

Trotting around the two handsets to the same places, they boast very identical signal strength in all locations. Generally, in high coverage areas, we tend to receive at least 4 bars, plus, they didn’t drop any phone calls during our testing.

In a world of 4G LTE connectivity, there’s one clear-cut thing we can agree on – battery life is something we desperately desire. Tucking away similar sized batteries, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket appears to provide more juice with its battery, though, it’s not substantially better. Specifically, we’re able to obtain 14 hours of battery life on normal usage with the Skyrocket. Meanwhile, the LG Nitro HD gets us at around 12 hours of juice out of a single charge.


So you’re heading into an AT&T store with $249.99 and change stuffed inside your pockets, ready to spend it instinctively, but we’d bet you’re fighting over which one to get. Obviously, these identically priced handsets are at the high-end of the spectrum – and justified at that! However, after spending a great deal of time with them, we have to give the LG Nitro HD the advantage. Above all, its 4.5” 720p True HD IPS display sets a benchmark with its superior detail and accurate color production. On top of that, it’s the one that takes the better photos/videos, and slightly boasts the more appreciable design between the two. Going back to its lovely display, it’s the main reason why LG’s beauty is able to stand out from the crop! Still, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is an admirable offering that’s sure to impress and astound people, but for now, it’s the Nitro HD speeding past the competition as supplanting the Skyrocket as the top dog in AT&T’s 4G LTE selection.

LG Nitro HD vs Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket:

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