Mar 18 AT 4:16 PM Taylor Wimberly 31 Comments

One month after release, LG Optimus V still sold out everywhere

The LG Optimus V is the most affordable smartphone on the market. It is such a good deal that it is nearly impossible to find one for purchase. Virgin Mobile started selling the Optimus V for only $149 back in February, which is half the $299 asking price that Sprint charges for the same phone.

Customers can purchase the Optimus V without a contract and “unlimited” data plans start at just $25 per month, so this is one of the first Android phones that just about anyone can afford.

Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk Plans.

For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to purchase several Optimus V phones, but they are back-ordered online and sold out at every store I have been to. Best Buy, Target, and WalMart recently had the LG Optimus V on sale for only $129, so the remaining inventory was cleared out and we are waiting to see when their stock levels will be replenished.

The funny thing is Virgin Mobile is actually owned by Sprint, so they deliver the same 3G coverage areas. I checked with Sprint and they have plenty of their Optimus S in stock, but their cheapest monthly plan runs $79 per month ($69 Everything Data with 450 mins + $10 premium data add-on). This means that customers could have the same phone and same coverage area on both carriers, but the Sprint version of the phone costs twice as much and they charge three times more for monthly service.

I absolutely despise the 24-month contracts that most carriers require, so it’s nice to see a pre-paid option like Virgin Mobile start to embrace Android. Hopefully we will see them expand their Android lineup now that the Optimus V has become a huge success.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website R.S.

    I’ve never looked into prepaid phones but with cheap plans like that, it sort of makes me wonder about them.

    Provided that they aren’t the type to want the latest top of the line phone, getting the Optimus on Virgin’s seems like a great option for the average person. That is of course if Sprint has good coverage in their area.

  • http://Website JR

    They can have mine. I returned it due to horrible service. My $40 top-up is gone forever. No refunds.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Just curious, what types of problems were you having?

      • http://Website Farhan


        Do you have any info on the number of Optimus V phones sold? Being sold out doesn’t mean the phone is doing great – what if only 50,000 phones were made?

      • Bender

        Heres what people “dont” do prior to purchasing a prepaid phone and service. They dont check your local area and look at forums to determine if you have reliable 3G AND voice service in your vicinity. VM uses Sprint #G and towers and have very reliable service but blackout spots in more rural areas are common like most carriers rather than major metropolitan cities. Due diligence or your out of $ and you cant complain because its your responsibility as a consumer.

    • http://Website erfs

      One month after release, users still can’t maintain a data connection on their LG Optimus V phones for more than a few minutes at a time! I should have returned mine in the one month window. The dust under the lower right corner of the screen doesn’t help either. I’m hoping my data problems are due to the phone being defective, hoping they will replace it.

  • http://Website ari-free

    Come on! They ruined a classic to stick in $^%$#! Angry Birds.

  • http://Website B2L

    I had virgin mobile for 3 years before Tmobile. I Always had great service and coverage was good too. With how cheap the plans are now, I really wanted to go back. Now I only wish I could get my Nexus S to work on Virgin. Because I don’t think I could ever go back to a low to mid range phone. And you know they aren’t going to get anything amazing. I know There are plenty of people like me who would pay $600 for an unsubsidized phone and then save money the rest of the year. With tmobile I am paying almost $2000 a year for two lines, which is absolutely ridiculous.

    • Dave

      There is always Simple Mobile if you wanna try

  • http://Website jack


  • http://Website jack

    I had the Optimus V for a month, and it was an perfectly OK device.
    BUT i had issues with the terrible battery life.
    it lasted maybe 3-4 hours after you turn it on, and that was just too little for me.

  • http://Website jack

    Optimus V’s internet speed was actually very slow, to the point of unusable at times.
    I think the VM 3G speeds are not true 3G, it felt frustratingly slow at times.
    I suspect that it isn’t using the same 3G data connection that Sprint customers get.

    BUT for $25 a month, who cares!
    it’s the best deal in town, and it is the best smart phone for your money right now.

  • http://Website Frankenstein

    When the data is working, VM is actually pretty good. I switched for tmobile to VM. you really can’t beat $25/mo. My 3g speeds are pretty good. I get ~1.4mbps down and about 500k up. plenty fast for me. Call/voice quality is fantastic for me on my optimus. With moderate usage I can get a full day + on a battery charge.
    VM states all the recent data problems are due to network and tower “upgrades.” Hopefully whatever they are doing helps out in the long run.

  • invoice

    Because of its affordability, this smartphone is one of the most sought after today. I hope stock levels in different stores would be replenished immediately.

  • http://Website Dan Ellsworth

    check – they have inventory in stores for virgin mobile at multiple locations i’ve looked at.

  • http://Website thislandisyourland

    I got this phone about a month ago, and like others, I too sporadically (but only occasionally) lose data connectiviety. That being said, I’m in love with this little guy. Great call quality, great battery life for me ( I had an Incredible and D1 before all this, and I’m getting better than both with the V), and fantastic price. I love this phone, and after living with the freedom of a no contract smartphone, I don’t think I could ever go back to the prison that is the 2 year cellphone contract.

  • http://Website Ted Raymundo

    Picked up today at 2 different Radio Shacks as they only had 1 at each location. 1 for me and 1 for the wife ;)

    I use a Nexus One (factory unlocked from Google) with a $5.99 unlimited data plan. However, with AT&T looking to acquire T-Mobile, my days of unlimited cheap 3G tethered to my iPad are numbered.

    Still, I was surprised at how good this phone actually is and like others have stated, the price can’t be beat. It is snappy and responsive and has a capacitive touchscreen! It runs 2.2 which is more than some of the other top Android phones can boast, and it is Vanilla FroYo. No stupid skins or UIs which can hinder upgrades. It has a 1500 maH Battery which is amazing. That is a bigger battery than what is in the iPhone or my N1!

    One thing I would have preferred is the standard Gorilla glass that is on the higher end smart phones nowadays, instead of plastic. However, a nice screen protector should address this issue. For those that complain of the battery life, I really can’t see that if you know how to properly use an Android device of any kind. Turn off things you are not using like WiFi, Bluetooth and DEFINITELY GPS. Also download a program like Advanced Task Killer and periodically run it to kill programs that may be lingering and running in the background.

    This is the best bargain out there for the hardware/software combination with the best value on a data plan hands down. Let’s just hope it lasts and Virgin/Sprint don’t decide on killing a good thing out of avarice.

  • http://Website MS

    Got mine on Feb 19 at Radio Shack. 3g data was sporadic at first and I was told BS stories by VM on what the real problem was. It now does not work at all no matter what “fix” is applied. Its turns out that it is not a phone problem at all. The phone is fine, so trying to fix it won’t work for long. Its because VM does not have enough network space for the amount of 3g data they have contracted for to accommodate the LG Optimus. They manipulate the 3g traffic. It a huge problem between VM and Sprint – and it effects lots and lots of people. I simply want to take mine back and get ris of VM and Radio Shack for not supporting its customers, then on a plan that works. If Radio Shack would do the right thing on allowing returns after 30 days, I’d purchase another phone from them. No way that will ever happen now.. Really sucks to be suckered into something with flashy ads and promises then get F—d in the end. .

    • http://Website Danny Y.


      No store will let you return a wireless phone after 30 days for a refund that I’m aware of, and I’ve been selling cellular services for over 14 years. It’s not just a Radio Shack policy.

      • http://Website JG213

        Correcton if you buy from Virgin Mobile online they give you 30 days to try out the phone. Plus free shipping on all phones!

  • http://Website Troy

    You can do like I plan on doing, get an app from android to turn the optimus v into a hotspot, then I’m using my iPhone for Internet and everything else, no need for AT&T ridiculous rates, poor call quality, yet still can take advantage of my iPhones superior interface and web browsing. All for one-third of what AT&T charges me, and that’s with a 24% discount.

  • http://Website Diesel

    Ill chime in on this. Ive had mine now for a couple of weeks. I never though about going to prepaid. Until I started getting Poff at the prices I was paying with the can you hear me now network. Anyway, I got this OP V and while the phone overall is decent for what it is. I would agree that even though it says your on 3G your really not. I have 2 corp email accounts and two personal accounts setup. They are setup to auto sync with service at different time intervals. Sometimes it will pull the messages and sometimes it does not do a dang gone thing.
    The magic fix is to turn the airplane mode on for about 10-12 sec. Then turn it off. This appears to reset the 3G connection and things will flow in just fine. Internet connection speed is all over the board. Sometimes is faster than you know what. Other time I think I could drive to china and back before it loads a page. The other issue that really ticks me off is if your trying to get on Android market and you loose 3g connection (it says your connect on the phones icon) it can lock the phone up for a few seconds.
    Overall, for what I have and what Im paying I cant really complain. I know exactly what my bill will be every month. Voice calls are crystal clear. Im mean we cant compare apples to apples here. It virgin mobile not erizon. So, Ill take the good with the bad a live with it. No contract, no extra ghost taxes. And I can talk till im blue in the face all day long for 60 bucks. With the two phone that I had on erizon I took my # ported, no problem. Cut my bill from 180 with both phones on erizon to 100 bucks for Virgin mobile. 60 for me a 40 for her. I should have done the prepaid thing sooner. Best move I ever made. My friends are laughing at me, till I explained the prepaid deals. It got a lot of them thinking. Esp for what you pay with a contract phone, this Virgin does just if not the same thing my other phone did and them some.

  • http://Website jeff


  • http://Website jeff

    I got my opt v three weeks ago. I still have two months on my att contract but wanted to see if a smartphone was an item I really wanted or needed before I signed another two year deal. This phone and plan are ideal as a cheap try before you buy. I didn’t expect much from the service but thought it would be good to try out android before signing a two year contract with one of the big boys.

    I love this phone and the coverage both voice and data are much better than I anticipated. I have an att 3g data card for my computer at work and after downloading the free hotspot widget get better speed over the vmobile/sprint network. I won’t be signing another contract anytime soon

  • http://Website xAndy88x

    It is a good phone, I was expecting more but it’s the cheapest and best phone on the cheapest plan.

  • http://Website Diesel

    After the phone initial release. I think there were so many people trying to active these phones, hitting the data with them. The network was overloaded. I got this phone when it first came. Trust me I had the mack daddy 500 phone 150 a month cell bill. And was getting ripped off to no avail.
    I made the decision that as long as it made voice calls and the net work decent. I could live with what ever flaws the prepaid world may have to offer. Fast forward now 2 months later. Sure it has an occasional 3G isssue. But that 2% of the time. You could argue that 2% of the time is 2% too much. Well. If your saving 100 bucks a month. Would you complain? Think not.
    Overall I am happy with the phone and the service.
    Would I ever go back to a contract plan again? He ll no. I ll stick with prepaid. I get more for less. And what I really like is I know exactly what my bill is going to be. No hidden fees, no extra taxes. no whats this charge for, or its just on the bill cause they say you need to be charged for it.
    If you find this and have not looked at prepay. You need to consider it.

  • http://Website TrachyTakil

    If they could figure out the 3g it would be the best but it really gets aggravating when the 3g drops for no reason. At first I thought it was the local access tower and equipment but a co-worker just feet from me has solid 3G while mine has been down all day with the same phone and plan. Usually the Airplane Fix works but not this time.

    This is my third extended outage since I bought the phone about two months ago. It seems like most my outages occur at the most inopportune times. Today I was at a conference for work and was hoping to watch my stocks and check email but the only thing available are the open wifi nets around the area.

    If 3G internet connectivity is important to you then DO NOT go with Virgin and Optimus V. If you mainly want a phone and wouldn’t mind tinkering around with internet connectivity from time to time then it is a pretty good deal.

    Wifi is flawless and great for streaming radio around the house.

    ps. If it is indeed network over-saturation that is causing me grief with these outages I am going to steer as many people away from Virgin prepaid as possible! Hear that? THIS SUCKS DON’T BUY THE OPTIMUS V!!!

    ok let me go check for coverage again.

  • Rob Reppert

    Lacks memory lacks memory lacks memory.

    The Optimus V is my first smartphone and I love the features and price. I abhor phone contracts so I love that VM is available. However I live in an area where all Sprint coverage is roaming agreements (the towers here are Alltel, US Cellular, and 1 Viaero) so I only get 1g data speed when outside my homes wi-fi. My only other complaint (and this is a BIGGIE) is that it has LOUSY memory handling. You can install an app to the SD card to make memory room but once you use the app it seems to be invisibly moving it to phone memory to actually run then stay there until you uninstall the app. So the only “apps” that seem to work right are the ones the phone comes with by default. Want to run Google+? — kiss 25MB goodbye. Don’t use Twitter? Too bad because you can’t uninstall the default twitter app the phone comes with and it constantly “upgrades” it which consumes another 20mb. Listen to podcasts?–you better be in wifi zone or 3g so you can stream it because if you “download” kiss your memory goodbye as the phone won’t put them in the sd card to play. Getting the picture?

    It does seem to operate music from the SD card and photos though.

    Bottom line is this phone does well the default apps very well, and very little else.

    The phone DOES do GPS apps incredibly well though. I can get to within 1 meter of a geocache! Thankfully, for all that the c:geo app does it requires very little memory. It also the bar card scanning apps well. If you run no other apps than the default ones I did find that Netflix app can be ran well. Once you have other apps on the phone though their simply isn’t enough memory.

    If it wasn’t for the fact that my wife likes this phone I’d return it as I’m still within my 30 days. So when I get the phone with more internal memory this one will be hers as she doesn’t use many apps.

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