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Introducing the LG Lotus Elite
The LG Lotus Elite is a stylish QWERTY clamshell messaging device with a 2.4-inch external touch screen display of 240x320 pixels. The Elite is the refreshed version of the original LG Lotus with nearly identical features like the 2 MP camera, 2.4” QVGA main display, 3G, and microSD card support.
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The LG Lotus Elite basically looks very similar to the original, but is curvier and sleeker than the chunky Lotus. The Elite is a well constructed phone that is decorated with a fancy flowery tattoo that’s enough to appeal to the masses.
The external 2.4” touch screen has a resolution of 320x240 pixels with support for 262,000 colors. The touch screen is resistive so it’s not as responsive as a capacitive touch screen. The external touch screen offers access to limited menu options and you will also find basic indicators like the time and date, battery and signal strength, and icons for messages or missed calls on the external touch display. Underneath the display are stereo speakers and flipping open the Elite will disclose another 2.4 inch QVGA non-touch display with crisp and vibrant colors.
The phone has a full QWERTY keyboard with dedicated keys for email, social networking, and text messaging. The 4-way directional pad with a middle Menu/Ok key is flanked by speakerphone and back keys, along with the Talk and End keys. With the exception of the speakerphone and back keys, all the other keys are flat.
Along the left side of the phone are the 2.5mm headset jack, the volume rocker and the charging/data port while the right side houses the camera key, screen lock button, and the microSD card slot. The 2 MP camera is located on the hinge of the phone towards the right. When the phone is open, the camera appears on the hinge between the internal display and the keypad and the internal display can be used as a viewfinder. When closed the camera faces backwards and the external touch display can be used as a viewfinder. Despite being heavier than the Lotus, the LG Lotus Elite’s design is definitely better than the original.
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The phone has a 1,000-entry phone book with space in each entry for six phone numbers, three e-mail IDs, a URL, a memo, an IM username, a DOB, an address, a company name and a job title. The entries can be saved into caller groups, paired with a picture for caller ID, or with any of the 33 polyphonic ringtones. Other features include a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, an alarm clock, a calculator, a calendar, a world clock, a stop watch and a notepad along with advanced features like USB mass storage mode, voice dialing, voice command, voice memo recorder, wireless backup service, stereo Bluetooth, document viewer and a mobile Web browser.
Messaging is the key feature of the LG Lotus Elite. Therefore, along with text and multimedia messaging, it also offers instant messaging and e-mail support.
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On the inside the LG Lotus Elite runs the OneClick interface that lets you access phone functions such as messages, account details, email, etc. without delay. Important shortcuts include quick views of your Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts, along with a Google menu that offers access to Gmail, Google search, and YouTube. These shortcuts work on the home-screen only, and you can easily remove or add shortcut tiles from the OnceClick interface.
The external touch-screen also proves to be quite useful as you can access messaging, speed dial, contacts, slide show and history from this display.
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The LG Lotus Elite is an average multimedia device despite having a decent music player. You’ll have to buy an adapter for your headphones as the headset jack is 2.5mm instead of 3.5mm. Also, there is no quick way to launch the music player. You’ll have to launch it from inside the entertainment folder, located in the main menu. However, it can be controlled by means of the external touch screen. Overall, the music player isn’t very smart and is very slow in loading albums.
Sprint TV comes preloaded on the Elite and runs smoothly on the device. The service is more comprehensive as compared to Verizon and AT&T's TV offerings, but the quality is still not up to the mark.
Despite lacking flash and auto focus, the image quality on the camera is pretty decent. Color representation is fine and pictures turn out well except in low-light conditions and when shooting up close. However, considering the camera’s 2 MP resolution, it does a decent job. Videos can be shot at a maximum resolution of 320x240 pixels. An interesting addition is the auto-send feature that either automatically uploads a picture to the site of your choice or sends it out via email.
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The LG Lotus Elite’s call quality is quite impressive. Callers can clearly hear each other without any distortion and the automated-calling system recognizes your voice very easily. Speakerphone calls, on the other hand, are rather bad. And the same goes for music audio quality. Due to the phone’s tiny speakers, the voice seems quite muffled.
The LG Lotus Elite has a rated battery life of 5.9 hours talk time which is average but is still plenty.
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Overall, the LG Lotus Elite is a good refresh of the LG Lotus. It has a remarkable design and offers great performance and outstanding messaging features. If you want a stylish messaging phone and do not mind the poor speakerphone or picture quality, then you should buy the LG Lotus Elite.