In the world of smartphones, devices such as the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III usually take center stage. Entry-level phones like the Sprint LG Optimus Elite rarely ever get mentioned. This is a shame as many individuals are not able to afford the higher-end devices. There is no doubt that entry-level devices are not able to compete against the higher-end ones. But just how far off the mark are these lower-end phones? As for the LG Optimus Elite, check out the review below and find out for yourself.
- Operating system: Android 2.3
- Battery information: 1520 mAh
- Talk time: Up to 7.3 Hours
- Dimensions: 4.58″x 2.47″x 0.39″
- Display: 3.5″ 320×480, HVGA Touch screen;
- Weight: 4.25 oz
- Processor: 800MHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Chipset
- Memory: 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM
- Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HFP 1.5, PBAP, HSP, FTP, GOEP, SDAP/SDP, OPP, SPP, Stereo Streaming, AVDTP, and OBEX
Design and Operating System
To a certain extent, the LG Optimus Elite looks similar to an iPhone 3GS. The phone has a plastic feel that gives the impression that its not a sturdy device. It comes loaded with Android 2.3 running on an 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2. There is no word on if or when the device might be upgrade to Android 4.0. Based upon how slow the processor is, I am not sure it could handle Android 4.0. As for memory, the device has 4GB of internal memory, which only 1GB is available to the user, and 512MB of RAM. The Elite is 4.58-inches tall, 2.47-inches wide, and .39-inches thick. It weighs in at 4.25 ounces. The microUSB port is on the bottom of the phone and the volume buttons are on the left side. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and Power/Screen Lock button on the top of the device. Under the battery cover, there is a microSD card slot and a NFC chip.
The Elite has a 3.5” display with a 320×480 resolution. At 165ppi, it is no where near retina quality. But, keep in mind, this is an entry-level phone. As such, it does not have an ambient light sensor to auto-adjust display brightness. Still yet, when cranked up to the max brightness, the display isn’t too bad, unless you are outside on a bright sunny day. If that is the case, forget about being able to see the screen. The sun completely bleaches out the display making the device basically useless.
The Elite has a 1520 mAh battery. With a slow processor and a low resolution display, the battery should last forever. Sprint is claiming 7.3 hours of talk time and a couple of days on standby. You should not have a problem making it all day on one charge.
The LG Optimus Elite is basically running a plain version of Android. It also has Sprint ID with the usual apps such as NASCAR, NBA, and others. There are also the standard Google apps. This being a low-end device running at 800 MHz, there really is not much to be expected with the interface.
What came as a nice surprise is Google Wallet. The LG Optimus Elite comes pre-loaded with Google Wallet, which allows you to take advantage of the device’s NFC capabilities. Paying with Google Wallet is very simple and it’s a wonderful feature to have. As I have said in another review, since I do not have a Citibank Mastercard and I really did not want to add money to a pre-paid Google card, I was not able to test Google Wallet. Still, it is a very cool feature and one that I could see using often.
The Elite comes with a rear 5-megapixel camera along with a LED flash and a self-shot mirror. The photos turned out “okay,” not great, but not horrible either. As always with lower end devices, lighting is an issue. In an indoor setting with ample lighting, the photo still turned out a little grainy and lacked a little color quality. Outside, the photos turned out much better. The Elite also has video capabilities but at a max resolution of 720×480. Again, think low-end device.
Overall, voice quality was very good. I did not notice any problems with outgoing and incoming calls. The speaker was more than adequate in quality and volume.
The CF-Bench results had an overall score of 2894. The AnTuTu Benchmark results had an overall score of 2927. The speed test on Sprint’s 3G Network had an average ping of 175, an average download of 1325kbps, and an average upload of 550kbps. As with another LG device, I would have provided screenshots of the tests, but apparently you have to root the device to be able to take screenshots. I tried several apps and none would allow me to take a screen shot without rooting the device.
The best thing going for the Sprint LG Optimus Elite is the inexpensive price of $29.99 on a new two-year contract. It also has a couple of great features such as NFC and Google Wallet. Unfortunately, that is where the good ends and the not so good begins. It has a slow processor, below average display, Android 2.3, slow 3G speeds, below average screen size, very slow web browsing, and on and on. Still yet, this is an entry-level phone and for those on a very tight budget, $30 is hard to pass up for this device.