LG might not represent a force to be reckoned with in the high-end smartphone market niche, but when it comes to entry-level Android devices, the company has had its fair share of success. The latest low-end device to enjoy a US release is the Optimus Elite, available on Sprint for a couple of weeks already and set to hit Virgin Mobile tomorrow.
The pre-orders for the eco-friendly 3.5-incher on Virgin Mobile started last week and, much to our surprise, the phone’s stocks have already been exhausted. Could the interest over the Optimus Elite have been so high that Virgin simply doesn’t have any devices left? Or could it just be a marketing scheme, a way to build up hype around the phone with just hours before its official release?
I personally think that the second version is more likely, but we will find out tomorrow if there are enough Elites for both for the pre-order customers and for the people who haven’t shown an interest in the phone so far.
The LG Optimus Elite, offered by Sprint for $29.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year agreement, will go on Virgin Mobile for $149.99. The price is without any contract obligations, and Virgin is also putting at your disposal a nifty $35 a month plan with unlimited data and messaging, as well as hundreds of talk minutes.
If you don’t know what the phone is all about, you shouldn’t expect too much raw power, as it packs a modest single-core 800 MHz processor and features 512 MB of RAM, as well as a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and 4 GB of internal storage. Sporting a 320-by-480 display, the Elite runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, which is disappointing, but comes with NFC and Google Wallet, which might make up for the poor software at least in some small part.
Sprint has also been heavily advertising the handheld’s Carbon-free and ULE Platinum certification, and being eco-friendly and all. Nevertheless, Virgin Mobile has’t mentioned anything about such features on its official website, so this version might be less “earth friendly”.
How do you guys feel about Virgin’s LG Optimus Elite? Will you be watching the carrier’s website closely tomorrow to see if there are actually any phones left? Is the Elite worth $150? Hit us with a comment and tell us your opinions!