We’ve now received several emails from AT&T customers looking to upgrade to a new Android phone that each ask the same question:
And it’s a good question. After all, the two phones are nearly identical in most respects. They are each powered by the same dual-core, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 SoC processors, each have 1GB of DDR2 RAM, each run Android 2.3, each have 4.5-inch touchscreen displays, LTE “4G” support, 8MP cameras, etc., etc…
With all the similarities between the two devices, it’s a very understandable question to ask. Which should I choose?
But actually, unless you’re just a huge fan of one over the other (and if you are, it’s unlikely you’d be reading this) it’s a pretty simple question to answer once you look a bit closer at the two seemingly twin devices.
Why to Choose the Galaxy Skyrocket
1. Brain Freeze – Samsung has confirmed that, sometime this year, the Galaxy S II models, including the Skyrocket, will be getting Android 4.x upgrades. Ice Cream Sandwich, as Android 4 is also known, is currently available only on a smartphone via the Galaxy Nexus, and upgradeability to the new OS is now among the most important factors (or should be) when choosing a new Android device.
LG has announced that it will upgrade a number of its devices to Android 4, but the LG Nitro HD was notably absent from the list. Of course, it’s possible (and even likely) that Ice Cream Sandwich will come to the Nitro eventually, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with the device that will be getting the very, very worthwhile upgrade.
2. Maximum Storage – The LG Nitro has limited onboard space, less than 3GB. Of course, there is a 16GB microSD card included, for a total of 19GB of storage out of the box. You can upgrade the card to 32GB, for a total of 35GB, but the Samsung Skyrocket offers a maximum storage of 47GB (32GB microSD card + 15GB free onboard), and even more considering that it’s been reported that all Galaxy S II models work with 64GB microSDXC memory cards (that would make for 79GB of storage).
3. Price – Both handsets sell for $199 with a new or renewed two-year AT&T contract. But you can get the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket for $149 from Amazon.com if you’re renewing your contract. Fifty bucks is fifty bucks. There’s no such third-party deal on the Nitro.
4. Quality & Performance – Samsung is actually the number one smartphone maker in the world now, at least as of late 2011. The South Korean company’s hardware has continued to improve over the last few years, with truly excellent devices like the Galaxy Nexus. Nothing against LG, but they’re not known for their smartphone acumen – at least not yet. And even though the two phone’s internals are pretty much the same, the Skyrocket offers zippier performance.
Why to Choose the LG Nitro HD
1. Screen Envy – As far as we can tell, there’s only one reason to choose the Nitro over the Skyrocket, but it’s a biggie: the screen. While both smartphones have 4.5-inch touchscreens, the Nitro has a beautiful, true HD IPS touchscreen (720 x 1280) with an impressive Apple-Retina busting 329ppi, while the Samsung Skyrocket has a Super AMOLED display with a lower resolution (480 x 800).
This difference is nothing to scoff at, but it may not be as important as the other considerations like Android 4 upgrade availability, storage, and general quality and performance. Of course, if you want the highest resolution possible, that HD IPS display may trump everything else.