Running the Android OS is a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor that's bolstered by 1GB of RAM and it shows. The phone is incredibly responsive to touch, shooting through homescreens and submenus rapidly and smoothly. Thankfully, it seems the Spectrum sidesteps the performance hiccups that seemed to plague the Nitro HD. If Gingerbread is a deal breaker for you, though, then you might just want to hold out. The Spectrum will ship out of the box with 2.3.5, with a planned upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich for sometime in Q2 2012.
So, let's talk display tech. The Spectrum joins the ranks of other recently released handsets boasting HD resolution -- here, it's 720p. The 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS display is a stunner, showcasing vibrant colors and solid viewing angles. Users can look forward to a pleasant on-the-go, streaming video experience, as the combination of Verizon's 4G LTE and the brilliant display make for a more than adequate laptop replacement. Speaking of apps, expect the typical boatload of bloatware. We counted 14 apps alone listed under Verizon's segment of the app drawer, so consider yourself warned. They won't all immediately invoke your ire, as both the Netflix HD and ESPN Scorecard apps should definitely serve their purpose.
Verizon's prepping this phone for a January 19th launch and, at $199 on contract, it's certainly an attractively priced LTE lure. If you don't feel like you deserve a pure Google experience and just need a starter 4G phone on Big Red, this could well be the one.
Zachary Lutz contributed to this report
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.