Customer Review

366 of 387 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LG Optimus V - Virgin Mobile, February 25, 2011
This review is from: LG Optimus V Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I have never had a cell phone plan, and I don't plan on having one any time soon. When I first started using cell phones, the curse of prepaid services were the phones. Companies like Net10 had fantastic deals, but the phones were always cheap and disposable, which of course is the great part about prepaid service. I'm not stuck with a phone for two years and if I need one, I'm not worrying about the price.

Another great part about prepaid service is that I will never have to speak with a representative. Virgin Mobile is an easy set up and upon start up, the phone was quick to activate and start my service. This two reasons are high on my list for why prepaid trumps contract phone plans.

When this phone was announced, I was a bit skeptical. I was worried that it would be a watered down version of the LG Optimus S, but I am happy to report that it is essentially the same device. The following will mention the look, feel, and speed of the device.

The touch screen: Nimble! Going from screen to screen is fluid, transitions are visible. For every single touch and swipe, the device is right there with you. There is no lag to be found. However, there are times when I'm playing Angry Birds, and there is considerable lag. It usually happens for the first thirty seconds of the game.

Screen resolution: High quality but with the plastic front, it cheapens the device. However, I am not complaining. Zooming in and out on a webpage, you might notice that it's a little pixelated when you get close to the text.

3G capabilities: Testing this against my friend's iPhone, it's very fast. I was incredibly surprised by the responsiveness and how quick I could go from webpage to webpage. But, I will say that there are times there is absolutely no service. After looking through forums, one easy way to fix this is by activating the phone again. I did this once, and it helped tremendously.

App store: Although it's not as big as Apple's app store, it has everything one would need. The great thing about Android is that if there's something you don't like, you can change it. Widgets are absolutely one of the best features about Android's app store. You can even change the web browser if you don't like it!

This phone does not support Flash, so don't be disappointed.

Navigation: A dream. It works better than my Garmin, the voice is loud and concise. I will say that after plugging it into my auxillary connector that it does sound a little muffled. But I'm not disappointed at all. The maps are amazing. There was one time the directions were a little funky and another that it was taking a while to acquire satellite.

Camera quality: I have to say, the quality of the camera is amazing. With auto focus, it's great. And with the camera apps, you can create some great effects.

Overall, this phone is a great value. I talk a lot, so I use the unlimited everything plan for $60.00. It's not a bad deal considering I would be paying well over $100.00 anywhere else.

There are a lot of other prepaid services you might want to consider if you want to go prepaid. If you aren't someone who talks a lot and just need a phone, Net10 is the perfect service. But if you do talk a lot and browse the internet, then services like Boost Mobile, AT&T GoPhone, Straight Talk, and Virgin Mobile are great alternatives to the high cost of contracts.

The problem with prepaid still? The phones need a lot of work, but this is the first I've seen to make a huge step toward a great future with prepaid service.

Update:
I love this phone. It has efficiently replaced my iPod and GPS Navigator. Put in a 16gb micro sd card, and you're set. Apps like Double Twist make music listening a great experience (and for $4.99, you can sync your music wirelessly, listen to radio stations, AND podcasts)

If your car as an auxillary connector or even a tape adapter, connect your phone, and you can listen to Navigation WHILE listening to music. I know it's a weird thing to obsess about, but I always thought it was one or the other. Directions are precise, so I'm not constantly looking at my phone wondering where I am.

Streaming on Pandora and NPR is great. However, after a few hours, it completely stops and you have to get back into the app. It's not terrible, but I like to listen while I'm at work.

The Android App Market has everything you're looking for as long as you know how to search. I would recommend joining forums, because that's how I found out about different apps. One I love in particular is the WiFi Hotspot widget. With a simple click, you can connect your laptop and computer to the phone's 3g network. Other apps like Car Home allow you to travel and easily find navigation, music, and manage what apps you need on the go.

Depending on where I am, Youtube can lag a little. I expected this. But for the price and the fact that I have completely replaced a few gadgets I own, this is totally worth it.

FINAL UPDATE:

I have had this phone for five months, and I thought I would give my final impressions of the device.

First off, the battery life isn't amazing, but I've found that turning off data while I don't use it is really helpful. The phone lasts for days. If I need to check something online, I quickly go into my settings, turn it on, and check what I need to check. Before I started doing that, I realized that the phone would last MAYBE six or seven hours.

Web browsing has actually gotten a lot better. I was a little worried after three months in. There were times I couldn't get on a web page at all, but I feel that the problem has been resolved.

GPS is still reliable and better than my Garmin.

I actually no longer use this phone as an mp3 player. Even with Double Tap, I felt that it lacked organization.

I have experienced a few dropped calls. One time in particular, I was calling a friend, and our call was dropped four or five times within the hour. I'm not sure if it was his phone or mine, but it had never happened before, and it hasn't happened since.

This phone is really your best bet if you're on a budget yet want to experience a midrange smart phone. Does it have the capabilities of an iPhone or Droid? It's actually pretty close and for the price, I can't complain. $60.00 a month for unlimited everything and a quality phone is fantastic. If I decide I never want to see this phone or this company again, I'm not forced to pay a fee for having a choice. I can easily go online and cancel my services, and I'm not waiting on the phone to speak to a representative. In the five years I've used prepaid phones, I've never had to speak to one person regarding my phone, terms of service, etc. That alone is worth the price in saved time and frustration.

A DEAD PHONE:

So, my phone died after days of being unable to hold a charge. I'm not sure what the problem was. I had to keep it connected at all times, or it wouldn't turn on. Then even while it was connected, it just died. It's a shame, because I truly loved the phone and was sold on Android until I experienced numerous problems with the device. Don't get me wrong. I love Android and their innovation. However, I seem to notice that while their phones are amazing devices at first, they cannot stand the test of time. I was looking forward to keeping this phone for quite a while.

Internet seemed to be incredibly slow as well as time progressed. I generally like to use data if I'm lost or need to check my e-mail. I found that it was faster finding someone polite enough to give me directions or just wait to go home. This could just be a defect on my phone, but my raving reviews about it in the beginning are a thing of the past.

This phone is great for someone just getting into the smart phone world. That person was me. I'm not sure if my demands or wants got higher, but I am switching over to a contract phone. Yes. Even after all of my talk about how much I hated contracts. But if you look at it, you're paying either way. Do I want to spend money on a new phone every few months with spotty service? While I can't predict whether or not I will be left with a lemon is up to fate. Until then, hello Verizon Wireless.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 20, 2011 7:41:28 PM PDT
M. Groom says:
Great review.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 8:49:43 PM PDT
J Harper says:
Wi-fi tethering is possible (with a settings change via a third party app) like this reviewer says, but is a violation of Virgin's Terms of Service.

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 2:12:39 PM PDT
Reviewer: have you had any issues with virgin mobile complaining or switching off your wifi tethering?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2011 4:49:37 PM PDT
J. Corbett says:
I rarely use it enough for Virgin Mobile to turn off my service or threaten to do so. I generally use it for my netbook when I can't find an internet connection while traveling, which is maybe once a month when I need to finish a project. Also, 3G speeds aren't fast enough to cause any damage.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 6:31:21 PM PDT
A customer says:
Is it possible to stream Pandora, Slacker, Winamp or other music apps for free via USB to a car radio? My ipod can play pandora to my radio through usb under the ipod setting on my radio. I wonder if I can do this with the Optimus. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2011 10:54:33 PM PDT
J. Corbett says:
You can stream Pandora, Slacker, Winamp, etc. through an auxiliary port as well as a USB to car radio. Included with the phone comes a USB connector to transfer files or charge, and it should be able to work the same as your iPod in your car radio. I would check with an Android Forum to see if this question as been answered. This is the forum that I go to (http://androidforums.com/lg-optimus-v/). Let me know if you have trouble finding the answer you're looking for.

Posted on Apr 3, 2011 11:07:30 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 3, 2011 1:25:51 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2011 8:13:10 PM PDT
Majik says:
iPod uses a proprietary USB protocol that is not compatible with Android, so the iPod music controls on car stereos will not work with Android device.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2011 8:39:55 AM PDT
Turtlewoman says:
Tethering so that you do not have to pay for internet at all is against Virgins Terms of service because it is abusive. However, temp Hot spot for wi fi...is this not a different matter altogether? When shopping for this phone Virgin billed it as a temp hot-spot. If so, how can they make it illegal? Please advise...........

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2011 3:02:50 AM PDT
You must have been looking at the MiFi device. That's a wifi hotspot unit that runs on VM, through their Broadband2Go plan.
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