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The new Virgin Mobile Optimus Elite is in stock at Best Buy for $130.

Linky

For anybody still on their grandfathered $25 Beyond Talk Plan, there is a small window of opportunity to upgrade your phone to the Elite and still be able to keep your $25 plan. I just upgraded my wife from a Optimus V to the Optimus Elite and the Virgin Mobile rep confirmed what I've been reading on the internet, that you have until May 27th to upgrade to a newer phone and keep the $25 plan.

Here's a link with some discussion about whether or not Elite owners can keep their $25 plan: Linky

From my own experience with the Elite, here's my thoughts when comparing to the Optimus V.

Pros:
-Way better performance. I recorded a Quadrant score of over 2000 versus I think around 650 for the original Optimus V.
-10% bigger screen and better picture quality
-Built in LED Flash
-Much more internal storage (doesn't come with an SD card but it has a slot under the batter cover for one)
-Thinner
-Apparently better battery life looking at the specs
-Appears to have a stronger cell signal than my V. Walking around my house while looking at the signal meter (not bars) for both a V and an Elite, the Elite always had a stronger signal.

Cons:
-No wifi tethering (or USB tethering that I am aware of)
-Less RAM (memory) than the Optimus V

That said, I'm keeping my Optimus V. Wifi hotspot is a must have for me as I'm the ISP for all my kids Apple devices when we aren't at home.

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No, if you want to get on an unlimited data Virgin Mobile plan, the cheapest is $35. The $25 plan is a grandfathered pl... (more)

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Everyone's billing cycle is different and is set according to the date that you activated your phone. It so happens that... (more)

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Regarding the hotspotting/tethering, I own a Optimus V with the firmware that also would not hotspot until I downloaded "FoxFi". Can you verify if this "fix" is usable on the Elite?

TIA

VM has made it pretty clear, that if you upgrade to any phone released after 5/1/12 you will NOT be grandfathered in with your old plan after 5/27/12 (for billing purposes).
http://espanol.virginmobileusa.com/sdcusthelp/app/answers/detail...

Whatever the OV and Elite can do with their stock firmware is moot. There will most likely be a custom rom that comes out for the Elite that gives it all the abilities you are looking for. The OV has literally dozens of custom roms, some of which give it amazing battery life. Compared to your other option of the Triumph, this is an amazing deal. Thank OP!

arribasn said:   VM has made it pretty clear, that if you upgrade to any phone released after 5/1/12 you will NOT be grandfathered in with your old plan after 5/27/12 (for billing purposes).
http://espanol.virginmobileusa.com/sdcusthelp/app/answers/detail...


Except that users have already reported upgrading to the Elite and keeping their $25 plan.

guilty1 said:   Regarding the hotspotting/tethering, I own a Optimus V with the firmware that also would not hotspot until I downloaded "FoxFi". Can you verify if this "fix" is usable on the Elite?

TIA


I won't even try it. I've read a few people on Howard have tried using various apps to turn on the wifi hotspot and then they start getting an "error 67" and lose their 3G connection. It doesn't sound like the error is easy to fix.

arribasn said:   VM has made it pretty clear, that if you upgrade to any phone released after 5/1/12 you will NOT be grandfathered in with your old plan after 5/27/12 (for billing purposes).
http://espanol.virginmobileusa.com/sdcusthelp/app/answers/detail...


If you are concerned about losing your grandfathered status, then I would encourage you to do some google reasearch and call Virgin Mobile yourself.

Here's the official communication from Virgin Mobile:

"Starting May 27, 2012, if you are using the $25, $40, or $60 Beyond Talk plan and you upgrade to a Beyond Talk Smartphone launched after May 1, 2012*, you will need to switch to the $35, $45, or $55 Beyond Talk plan. When you switch plans, you will need to pay for your new plan and you will lose any minutes, messages, and money in your balance. This will also change your monthly payment date. So if you are considering upgrading to a new smartphone, we recommend that you wait until right before your next monthly payment date to activate.

*The following smartphones launched before May 1, 2012 and are therefore not subject to the new device upgrade rules at this time: VentureTM, LG OptimusTM Slider, HTC Wildfire STM, Motorola TriumphTM, LG Optimus VTM, Blackberry CurveTM 8530."


The way I now read this is that the policy doesn't start until May 27th and then only impacts people who then upgrade to a new phone. Also, the wording makes it sound like the switch to the new plan will have to take place at the time of the upgrade. I confirmed after my wife's swap to an Elite that she was still on the $25 plan.

freddyfoster said:   

Except that users have already reported upgrading to the Elite and keeping their $25 plan.
well it won't be confirmed until they get billed after next week....

I'm a happy year-old stock-ROM Optimus V user.
My take on the Elite, based on specs and pics alone (haven't handled one yet):

Pros:
- Camera flash
- Slightly larger screen size
- 4GB internal memory, 512MB RAM
- 800MHz CPU (although some reports that they are running at 1GHz)

Cons:
- No dedicated camera button
- No hot-spotting (deal breaker)
- No hard buttons (home, menu, return, search)
- Where's the speakerphone?

I love my $25 plan too much to risk it for a phone. Good luck to those who try!

Not much risk if you trust the link the opprovided that includes a VM media relations rep confirming that upgrade before 5/27 will stay grandfathered...

sanosuke65 said:   I love my $25 plan too much to risk it for a phone. Good luck to those who try!

there are similar confirmations by VM reps on Virgin Mobile USA's facebook page.

Also note that anyone that is on Virgin Mobile may want to stock up on their topup cards if you normally order from callingmart, as I got an e-mail indicating that code ca3p-1207 will no longer be valid after this month. I personally figured I'd stock up til black friday in hopes that the evo v will be 50% for black friday/cyber monday like the other phones were last year..

Buckmann said:   I'm a happy year-old stock-ROM Optimus V user.
My take on the Elite, based on specs and pics alone (haven't handled one yet):

Cons:
- No dedicated camera button
- No hot-spotting (deal breaker)
- No hard buttons (home, menu, return, search)
- Where's the speakerphone?


Agreed on the OV.

I'm using the latest MiRaGe ROM and love it.

Got:
- much much better SD card memory management/space when going away from OEM ROM.
- battery life is no longer an issue as it was with stock OEM ROM; no more drain from trying to search for a network.
- WIFI hotspot (use WiFi tether to lower transmission power)
- Easy Tether (adhoc via USB) - more stable connection than hotspot for my laptop. Been getting a steady stream of stock data at work for the last 2 weeks for ThinkOrSwim software; no drops; loving it. Plus faster surfing than hotspot IMO. My signal strength (dBm) at work is in the 90's, so 3G is spotty here.

I was checking this out, as my brother has VM service. I followed the links, and at the end of the month, they are going to be offering unlimited 4G service for $35/month, with an HTC EVO. I'd rather pay $10/month more for unlimited 4G versus 3G.

I myself have Verizon with grandfathered unlimited 4G, and I plan on keeping all 3 lines that way, by paying full price for a new phone.

But I would definately recommend $35/month unlimited 4G to anyone! Is $10/month REALLY that big of an issue?

mmarcz

guilty1 said:   Regarding the hotspotting/tethering, I own a Optimus V with the firmware that also would not hotspot until I downloaded "FoxFi". Can you verify if this "fix" is usable on the Elite?

TIA


It took me all of 5 minutes to root latest firmeware Optimus V with Gingerbreak. Which opened tethering and other options. I am sure it will be a matter of weeks for somebody to publish a root for Optimus Elite.

Just got the phone from BBY. Activated it. My account is now updated with Optimus Elite and still got the $25 plan.

WELCOME BACK, XXXXXXX
LG Optimus Elite
(xxx) xxx-xxxx
$25 Beyond Talk
300 AT Min
Unlimited Messaging & Web

hmm very interesting

I wouldn't expect anyone's $25 plan to change until after their first billing cycle past next Sunday

arribasn said:   I wouldn't expect anyone's $25 plan to change until after their first billing cycle past next Sunday

I guess anything is possible but if you read the policy that I posted earlier, there is no mention of people having their plans changed on the fly. It's clearly talking about having to change plans at the time you upgrade your phone. That's why they suggest waiting until you're near the end of your billing cycle so that you don't lose any minutes when you are switched to a new plan.

I keep thinking about grabbing an Optimus Elite. I have a Blackberry Curve 8530 through Virgin Mobile right now (since sometime in 2010, actually) and I have always been paying $35 for the BB, so it's not like I will have a ten dollar increase. However, after seeing the HTC Evo V on their website, I think I might wait for that and get one on the 31st. Are there other increases I am not aware of right now?

GoHoosiers

mmarcz said:   I was checking this out, as my brother has VM service. I followed the links, and at the end of the month, they are going to be offering unlimited 4G service for $35/month, with an HTC EVO. I'd rather pay $10/month more for unlimited 4G versus 3G.

I myself have Verizon with grandfathered unlimited 4G, and I plan on keeping all 3 lines that way, by paying full price for a new phone.

But I would definately recommend $35/month unlimited 4G to anyone! Is $10/month REALLY that big of an issue?

mmarcz


VM data plan is far from perfect. My "3G" is often shoddy and a lot of pages take a while to load, though on good days it's pretty fast. But I'd never call the 3G data reliable. If the same is true with the 4G (non LTE), $10 a month more isn't really worth it. And as for the brick known as the EVO V, which is really just the HTC EVO 3D for Sprint, the battery life may be a huge issue.

Cons:
- No dedicated camera button
- No hot-spotting (deal breaker)
- No hard buttons (home, menu, return, search)
- Where's the speakerphone?


The big con for me is the lack of the keyboard that is on the Optimus Slider

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Virgin+Mobile+-+LG+Optimus+Slider+No...

mmarcz

VM data plan is far from perfect. My "3G" is often shoddy and a lot of pages take a while to load, though on good days it's pretty fast. But I'd never call the 3G data reliable. If the same is true with the 4G (non LTE), $10 a month more isn't really worth it. And as for the brick known as the EVO V, which is really just the HTC EVO 3D for Sprint, the battery life may be a huge issue.

Can't agree more on the shoddy 3G service. I can barely use it most days but the screen on the Optimus V is nice and crisp. Also, I notice that many times the service runs at 1x speed versus 3x even though I have not surpassed the 2.5 gb per month cap limit.

How come Quadrant says the Total memory is only 367MB? Did LG short change us? I thought we were suppose to get 512MB on the Elite...

uberangler said:   How come Quadrant says the Total memory is only 367MB? Did LG short change us? I thought we were suppose to get 512MB on the Elite...

Hope this isn't another WD 80GB HD class action suit in the making. Lawyers rewarded, we purchasers were offered free backup SW for the "rounding", "formating", etc. for filling out forms, etc.

I can confirm that doing a device swap online results in keeping the $25 plan, and shows what will be billed $25 on 6/7/12.

Just talked to a VM service rep and they said that if I switch to Optimus Elite, I can keep my grandfathered $25 plan but in a couple weeks they are going to send notification that I will need to switch to one of the new plans. Has anyone else heard this?

dynossfong said:   Just talked to a VM service rep and they said that if I switch to Optimus Elite, I can keep my grandfathered $25 plan but in a couple weeks they are going to send notification that I will need to switch to one of the new plans. Has anyone else heard this?

That's pretty much what the FAQ says on their website

dynossfong said:   Just talked to a VM service rep and they said that if I switch to Optimus Elite, I can keep my grandfathered $25 plan but in a couple weeks they are going to send notification that I will need to switch to one of the new plans. Has anyone else heard this?

That doesn't make sense. If VM wants to take away your grandfather status, they will just raise your rate the next billing cycle, not send out a notice telling you that you need to switch plans and loose any remaining minutes/account balance.

The policy that I posted above that takes effect on May 27th only makes sense in the context of a phone upgrade. That's why the word "upgrade" is used 3 times. It's a policy relating to what will happen when you upgrading your phone. If you aren't upgrading your phone then you don't have to switch plans. Many of us have already upgraded to an Elite and since it's not May 27th, we still have our $25 plans.

On a lighter note, here's an eBay seller try to sell a new Elite with the $25 grandfathered plan for $450: Link
That's $300 over retail so it will take you 30 months (at $10 a month savings) to recoup your investment.

Am I able to still get in on this plan?

guilty1 said:   Regarding the hotspotting/tethering, I own a Optimus V with the firmware that also would not hotspot until I downloaded "FoxFi". Can you verify if this "fix" is usable on the Elite?

TIA


FoxFi doesn't work on the Elite. It tells me to use bluetooth instead, which I haven't tried. Not sure why some people's Elites get bricked when trying hotspot software, I've only tried FoxFi and like I said, it just doesn't work but it didn't cause any other problems. I really like FoxFi - I've got it installed on my Galaxy S II and Optimus Slider.

MeIsCheap said:   Am I able to still get in on this plan?

No, if you want to get on an unlimited data Virgin Mobile plan, the cheapest is $35. The $25 plan is a grandfathered plan that some people have from before the price increase.

Everyone's billing cycle is different and is set according to the date that you activated your phone. It so happens that my billing cycle ends and begins on the 25th of the month. I bought my Optimus Elite yesterday and activated it right before the new billing cycle had started, therefore I didn't lose any minutes or money. Also, because I switched to the new phone before May 27th when the new upgrade policy takes affect, I get to retain the grandfathered rate of $40 a month. My next payment of $40 is due 06/25/2012.

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