Smartphone Review: LG Optimus Elite

Note: I don’t normally recommend reading other material before/after a review I write, but in this case I would highly recommend reading my HTC Evo V review. Both phones are offered by Virgin Mobile.

The LG Optimus V was one of the first Android phones offered by Virgin Mobile, along with an Android phone from Samsung. After extensive research on the two phones, I settled on the Optimus V. A year later and my LG Optimus V serves me well. However, after a year, the Android landscape has changed at my phone carrier.

LG has pushed out two new Optimus models; the Optimus Elite and Optimus Slider. The Optimus V is still a relevant candidate for purchase and sold new, but for a few more dollars (I believe the difference is $20, though the V is on sale right now) you can upgrade to the more powerful Elite.

The first thing I noticed upon unboxing the Elite was the lack of physical buttons. While I did miss (and prefer) the Home, Settings, Back and Search buttons in their physical form, adjusting to the touch keys didn’t take much effort. They add a more sleek, crisp design. Additionally, the unit is slimmer and complete with a textured back, making the Optimus Elite a true successor in both function and form.

If that wasn’t enough, the Elite packs a slightly larger screen, at 3.5″ (opposite the V’s 3.2″). There isn’t a huge difference, as compared to say the HTC Evo V, but it is a small upgrade. A much larger upgrade, however, is the camera. It boasts 5MP and has a flash option- important for people like me that naturally live in bad lighting situations not suitable for camera phones (Don is a vampire- Editor).

The Optimus Elite is built on the more-popular Gingerbread OS (2.3) and comes equipped with an improved version of Swype. As I said in my HTC Evo V review, Swype was a big selling point for the Optimus when I bought it. It had it’s problems, though, and they became more evident the longer I used it. All of those problems are resolved in the Elite. I wanted to throw my phone into a brick wall because of the autocorrect bug that made a popup appear when you selected a a word not generated by me earlier. I didn’t have that problem during the week and a half that I used the Optimus Elite. Thank the heavens.

Processing power has also seen a slight increase over the Elite’s little brother, and it shows. Opening apps is a little zippier and with the bump in internal memory to 512MB (as opposed to around 100MB), you can hold five times as many apps. This is probably the single most important upgrade. I could never really have all of the apps I wanted on my phone at any given time, but that changed with the Elite model. It’s not as nice as the HTC Evo’s 1GB, but this is also half the price.

Reception matched my Optimus V’s, which I have never had a problem with, and was better than the HTC Evo V. This, along with the many other improvements over the Optimus V, make the LG Optimus Elite an optimal entry-level smartphone for people not wanting to break the bank.


  • Improved storage space so you can actually install some apps
  • Great reception and signal
  • Android 2.3, as opposed to the Optimus V’s 2.2 OS
  • Touch keys, as opposed to the four physical buttons on the Optimus V
Score: 5/5



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Author: Don Parsons View all posts by
Starting out as a founding member of Gamingcore Podcast, Don ventured on to start Gameciety; which began as a podcast, and ended as a blog. Don now handles's PR work, is part of the reviews staff and has various other little projects he does for the site.