If the LG Spectrum or LG Nitro HD look familiar that's because they are. LG launched the original phone in its home country of Korea last year under the guise of the LG Optimus LTE. The Spectrum isn't exactly the same handset but it's pretty darn similar.
The Spectrum sports a big 4.5-inch screen that dominates the front of the device leaving just enough space for the menu, back, and home buttons beneath it. It measures in at 135.4 x 68.8 x 10.4mm, making it a tad bulkier than the Optimus LTE in size, although it’s not too big to handle.
Flip it over and you'll find some detailing on the back cover making it bumpy rather than smooth. It feels nice to hold though. You also get an 8-megapixel camera on the back, along with an LED flash.
Buttons are kept to a minimum: the power/standby sits on the top and the volume down the left. Across the bottom of the screen you have touch controls, the central "home" control looks like a physical button but it isn't. The menu and back touch controls are pretty much invisible unless the back illumination comes on, although once you know they're there it isn't a problem.
But the thing LG is most keen to shout about here is the display. At 4.5-inches there is plenty of space, but this is pared with a high resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and Gorilla Glass. As such, it trumps the Sensation XL, as too does the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 dual-core processor complete with Adreno 220 graphics.
The display is certainly impressive and with a ppi of 326 - the same as the iPhone 4S - it will render fine detail in things like text really well. It also doesn't suffer the same sort of problems that the Galaxy Nexus does at low brightness settings; although the whites do grey-out at minimum brightness, they don't get gritty and dirty like they do on Google's Ice Cream Sandwich launch device.
Running the entire thing is currently Android 2.3.5, but LG have already declared that the LG Spectrum will be upgraded to Android 4.0 and so it should as the hardware is certainly up-to-date. On the app front the phone will come with Netflix and EPSN pre-installed so you can enjoy that screen with plenty of content, be it movies or sport. On the LG booth, the company had live streaming of ESPN action and it looked gorgeous. Well, the cheerleaders on show did anyway.
The camera offers Full HD video capture of average quality and the phone will play HD video, but there is sadly no HDMI as there is on the Optimus 2X and Optimus 3D.
Overall it feels and plays like a powerful phone but in its current guise the design isn't the most inspiring: we don’t think it looks as pretty as the Galaxy Nexus, but that display certainly does a fantastic job.