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LG Optimus Elite hands-on video: Cheap and eco friendly, but not much else

We don’t always cover enough budget-friendly phones, but last night we got a chance to check out a view. We just posted our thoughts on the LG Viper 4G LTE, and the LG Optimus Elite is the next step down from that. Costing only $30 with a two-year agreement, the Elite is bone-cheap, but it’s also bone dry on features. Aside from Google Wallet (NFC) support and the fact that it’s made from 50 percent recycled plastic and doesn’t use carcinogenic parts, there isn’t much of a story to tell here.

The specs are rather meager, with a weak 800MHz single-core processor powering the phone, no front camera, a small 3.5-inch screen with an even smaller 480×320 pixel resolution (compared to 1280x720px and 1.5GHz quad-core chips in high-end phones today). The only redeeming factor here — again, aside from price — is the 1GB of RAM, which helps the phone’s older Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system speed along at a surprising pace. The slower 3G connection (no WiMax or 4G LTE here) doesn’t help things either. 

Overall, if you are on a tight budget, try to get the LG Viper, or something with 4G LTE and a dual-core processor. The Viper is only $50 after a mail-in rebate, which is almost as cheap as this phone and we guarantee it will be a better experience over the next two years. At least, we hope so. 

The LG Optimus Elite should be hitting stores sometime in the next two days. Just in time for Earth day!