LG Optimus V Android Phone Review

This is my user review for the LG Optimus V Android cell phone on the Virgin Mobile network. Periodic updates will be posted as I continue to use the phone. Comment if you have any specific questions you want answered about the phone!

2011.05 ordered the phone online, most places seem to be charging $199 now (plus tax), but some reputable sellers on eBay are selling the phone new for around $160. That’s not too bad, but it is still more than the $129 introductory price that existed in early 2011. :-(

2011.05.10 received the phone

2011.05.11 activated the phone, everything went smoothly

2011.05.21 have been using the phone for a while now and REALLY like it!

Minutes Checker for Virgin Mobile, available on the Android Market

NOTE: for people looking for a Virgin Mobile Android minute tracker widget you may want to check out this Android Market App which is purported to interact with the Virgin Mobile website and display minutes used/remaining directly on your phone!

Initial impressions of the phone (continually updated)

  • Cool features (Pros)
    • Comes with a 2GB microSD card (already installed in the phone)
    • Has a removable battery
    • Charges via USB
    • Its name is pretty darn close to Optimus Prime, so if you’re a Transformers fab this is a nice perk ;-)
    • Relatively reasonable price ($160-$200 as of May 2011)
    • Cheap plans – I’m using the $25 “unlimited” plan. Messaging, email, data & web are “unlimited” and you get 300 anytime minutes (I don’t talk on the phone much)

      • The “unlimited” part isn’t entirely accurate, as once you hit approximately 10GB data used in a month, your speeds will likely be decreased. These days, in the age of ridiculously low bandwidth caps and high prices, this is actually pretty decent for a $25 plan!
      • Ironically, this is actually better than the $40 BroadBand2Go mobile plans which cap out at 2.5GB a month (that is a data card plan, not a phone plan like the Optimus has)
      • At some point, Virgin Mobile may change the cap… but as of right now as best I can tell 10GB is when you hit the data cap, and more conservative users might want to stick to 5GB to be safe… Some people recommend NetCounter or NetMeter (both free) for tracking your monthly bandwidth usage.
    • You can use the phone as an Android device without activating a Virgin Mobile plan. Just connect to wifi and you can do almost anything (except make a call)
      • The app store (Android Market) works just fine in this manner
    • You can natively tether via Quick Settings (more details to follow)
      • So far this works very well, almost better than my CradlePoint dedicated hotspot!
    • Cases/skins are readily available on Amazon for less than $5 shipped (I will post more info here once my case arrives) See more info about case¬†availability¬†below
    • Nice clean “stock” Android install without obtrusive graphical skins etc. and not much junk software installed!
  • Not so cool (Cons)
    • The “feel” of the screen – not as smooth as Gorilla Glass and other similar surfaces, which makes it more difficult to swipe than an iPhone etc.
      • NOTE: I’m going to try my fav anti-glare screen protector and see if it improves the feel of the surface
      • UPDATE: the ‘feel’ actually got better the next day so it may have been some minor residue from the screen protector that just had to evaporate/wear off. I did go ahead and put a 3M PET based screen protector on and now there is even less glare and the screen feels great!
    • Battery life is decent, not great
    • Takes quite a while to charge
      • There are time when your phone may be dead (no juice) and even AFTER you plug it in it takes a few minutes of charging before it will even turn on :-(
    • Default 30 second display off (easy to adjust in “settings”, I set it to 2 min)
    • No dedicated video app, but you can play videos from the “Gallery” app
    • No video/HDMI out as best I can tell

This page will continue to be updated!

Special note for the commenter asking about which Optimus cases will fit which phones… here are all the various Optimus One based phones that I could find, they should all have similar physical characteristics because they’re based on the same underlying phone, but there is one important difference on the Optimus V:

The V has two side buttons (one for camera, one for voice dialer)

The LG Optimus V for Virgin Mobile is a variant of the regular “LG Optimus One” series phone. From what I can tell there are at least NINE different variants some available in the US and some overseas. This is one of LG’s most popular smartphones series EVER!

So, here are all the different versions I could find:

  • LG Optimus One P500 (GSM version)
  • LG Optimus V – VM670 (Virgin Mobile )
    • Has two physical buttons on the right-hand side (voice dialer / camera)
  • LG Optimus S – LS670 (Sprint, CDMA)
    • has the same two buttons on the right side
  • LG Optimus U – US670 (US Cellular)
    • has the same two buttons on the right side
  • LG Optimus C – LW690 (Cricket)
  • LG Optimus M – MS690 (MetroPCS, no 3G)
  • LG Optimus T – P509 (T-Mobile USA)
  • LG Phoenix – P505 (AT&T Mobility)
  • LG Thrive – P506 (AT&T Mobility, pre-paid GoPhone)
  • LG Vortex – VS660 (Verizon Wireless)
  • LG Optimus One – P503 (variant of P500, Turkey)

In searching for cases for the Optimus V I would recommend looking for a case designed specifically for the Optimus V or Optimus S (b/c they are very similar)¬†and possibly Optimus U. Those three phones should have very similar side buttons layouts and camera positions. The front buttons may be different, but my¬†preferred¬†type of case doesn’t have specific front button cutouts anyway…

I have TWO cases with photos to be posted here, they may help you out too. That portion of the review should be updated this coming week. Thanks!

Another Optimus V review:

LG Optimus V Review | Ryan Rampersad
LG Optimus V Review | Ryan Rampersadhttp://blog.ryanrampersad.com/2011/02/28/lg-optimus-v-review/The LG Optimus V. The V isn’t a roman numeral five, instead it stands for Virgin Mobile, my carrier. My plan is the $25/month beyond talk plan which includes 300-minutes…

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