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!
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Its unfortunate that Virgin Mobile gets the “dregs” or the hand me downs. Even the HTC Evo V 4G coming later this month is a super hand me down, although its specs blow the Elite out of the water. It is odd that they would drop them both at the same time – they must be thinking the difference in price will drive more sales toward the Elite…..
Actually Dana, though I can understand where you are coming from I don’t think you are correct in your assessment. Yes, it is true that neither the Elite nor the Evo are the newest and best kids on the block, but that doesn’t mean that they both won’t serve well their respective target audiences, which incidentally are totally disparate.
The person who wants an Elite is not going to want the Evo and visa versa.
The Elite will fill a nice niche where someone wants a device that works smoothly, looks nice and performs most every function it is designed to perform well.
The Evo will provide someone, like myself, who is waiting for the LG BLS970 Eclipse 4G LTE to come out so I can get an unlocked one, possibly even a European version. http://blog.wirelessground.com/lg-ls970-eclipse-4g-lte/
You will also find a review of the LG BLS970 here on Android Authority written by Darcy that is equally positive of it.
In the meantime I have no interest in investing more than is necessary to get a good phone that will enable me to bide my time; allow the early adopters of the LG BLS970 to make sure LG works out the bugs before I buy, and then buy it.
Neither phone deserves to be referred to as belonging to “the dregs” and Boost and Virgin Mobile are actually offering a very good value for peoples’ money.
Also they must always walk a fine line, that everyone is aware of, of not making the offerings TOO appealing lest they destroy Sprint’s post pay market.
Personally, I think the strategy of all the major carriers in about five years is going to see them all bankrupt. Too many people are wising up to the fact that a two year contract is really not the thing the bright person allows themselves to get hog tied into. Especially when you can buy unlocked phones directly from Google that rival the best phones in the major providers contract stores. T-Mobile lost 510,000 contract customers in the first quarter of this year – looks like a whole lot of people are wising up!
The wonderful thing about capitalism and freedom is that you can take your money and allegiance whither thou wilt.
I’m rather upset that when I get the Evo 3D that I’m going to lose my grandfathered $25 a month plan. I never even come close to the 300 minutes and rarely use the phone off wifi.
Did you flash your 3D to Virgin?
No. The 4g one from virgin that comes out at the end of the month is a souped up evo 3D
3.5 inch screen?! As in, iPhone-sized screen? Nah, I’m past that.
I pre-ordered this phone but it never shipped and I don’t know how to get ahold of them
I spent about four hours yesterday playing with and configuring an Elite. It sits well and feels good in the hand being not too big but not too small either.
It’s case and overall aesthetic are not unattractive. I found it responsive – not as quick as more powerful brethern one might cite with quad core whatchamacalits, but capable nonetheless.
For someone who isn’t interested in a powerhouse but wants a piece that is competent to handle most tasks they are going to run into, or someone who is just getting into Android; or perhaps getting a kid their first phone, I think it would be a nice choice. No it doesn’t have ICS, but if you want it you should aim higher and also expect to pay more.
It has a decent amount of both RAM, and internal storage for apps so – unlike the almost God forsaken Samsung Galaxy Prevail – you have it constantly – did I say constantly – plaguing you with “not enough storage/memory space” problems. This phone should “take a licking and keep on ticking”!