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Review of LG's Lotus Elite QWERTY messaging phone for Sprint

Review by Todd Haselton on Wednesday March 10, 2010.

lg lx610 lotus elite · sprint · cell phone reviews · lg news · cell phone news · todd haselton

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The LG Lotus Elite is a refresh of the original LG Lotus that launched two years ago. While a few design tweaks can be found, the LG Lotus Elite still leaves a lot to be desired. While it still serves as a top-notch messaging device for SMS addicts, it's not a phone I'd recommend if you're planning to surf the web.

Physical Aspects

The 87.1mm x 61.9mm x 18.5mm (3.43in x 2.44in x 0.73in) and 136g (4.8oz) LG LX610 Lotus Elite is a bit larger than the original Lotus, but sports the same compact flip-QWERTY form factor. This time around, LG added a 2.4-inch, 320 x 240 resistive touchscreen(INFO) to the outside of the device, which made it easy to view messages and control multimedia while on-the-go. Available in plain black or red with a floral print, the Lotus Elite on Sprint is one of the more fashionable and feminine feature phones on the market. Its flip mechanism is sturdy, and, when open, the device resembles a premium smartphone thank to its chrome accents and four-row QWERTY keypad. Moving around the unit, there are volume controls, a micro-USB port, and a dated 2.5mm headphone jack on the left side of the phone. The right side is home to a microSD card slot, a lock toggle switch, and a camera quick-launch button. There's also a 2 megapixel camera on the phone's hinge that faces forward when the phone is open and outward when the phone is closed. I'll talk more of that later.

When flipped open, the phone presents the user with a second 2.4 inch, 320 x 240 LCD display. The screen has 4 brightness settings, and the highest setting was adequate for viewing under direct sunlight, though I found that the external display was more difficult to view under direct light. Below the internal screen there are two soft buttons, a speakerphone key, a back button, and talk/end keys. In the middle of these sits a five way navigational pad. The talk/end and soft button keys could have offered more travel, but overall they functioned well during my testing. The end key also doubles as a power button. There are three shortcut keys below the aforementioned navigational pad: social, email, and text. These are rather unique on a feature phone, and I liked being able to launch my email or Twitter account at the touch of a button.

The keyboard's plastic keys feel a bit cheap, but they offer good bounce-back and spacing, so it was easy to type quickly on the LG Lotus Elite almost immediately.

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ol diva @ 6:10:16PM EDT on Wednesday May 12, 2010

i just bought the phone on 5-1-10, i am satisfied, except web browser very slow, touch screen kinda slow to move sometimes, phone has short battery life, so far it's OK. I like the design,the screen is very clear outer and inner. I had with touch outer screen though it's slow to move sometimes, but I work through it, overall I think it's a nice device. I

fredflintstone @ 12:18:13AM EDT on Monday June 21, 2010

I'm getting the Elite because I had the first Lotus and loved it. I loved everything about it...especially the style. It didn't feel slippery in my hand or so small I couldn't keep a grip on it. I loved that it was a flip phone with a querty keyboard. I had to give up my original when Sprint forced me to change carriers because of roaming charges, but my new carrier now has access to it, so I'm hoping I'll be happy once again. I'm a little concerned about the mention of the new keyboard layout because the old one was so great, but I'm willing to take a chance. The shape of the phone is my favorite feature because it fits comfortably in the palm of my hand, and I don't think I've dropped it once...unlike my current Motorola Crush. I'm looking forward to having the best of both worlds in the touchscreen and the regular inside screen and keyboard. The side slider keyboards were too wide and my fingers hurt after texting for any length of time, but the Lotus keyboard is perfect for me (wider, but not too wide). Maybe that's why the square shape was necessary. I'm just glad someone came up with the clamshell idea for people like me. Hope this helps someone. PS Also, when the original Lotus came out, there were similar concerns about the shape, camera, battery, etc., and I found none of those things to be a problem with my phone. In fact, I'd even recommend this phone to people who aren't big into messaging. It's that great.

hondagirl @ 10:31:34PM EDT on Sunday September 5, 2010

OMG...have just had the red Lotus Elite since April and the letters and numbers are disappearing from the keyboard. Something everyone should consider before purchasing this phone!!! Has anyone else had this problem?

LogCabinHead969 @ 5:31:08PM EDT on Saturday September 25, 2010

As per usual these days, If It Ain't Broke simply does not occur to people involved in updating anything from TV shows to cars to software to, in this case, a setup and layout that I had been very happy with. My original Lotus does have a few annoying strange quirks, but for what purposes I needed such a device it works fine and easily. But this not-so-Elite dropped the ball from the get-go. First there is having made the inside of the red phone ALL RED, the number keys thus left without any easy-to-see contrasting color, absolutely ridiculous. I was forced to get a black phone and then would have to buy a red cover [which thankfully I hadn't shelled out for before the phone's arrival]. The arrow/OK keys being made an all-silver oval is a further aggravation along with repositioning the BACK/END keys atop each other instead of alongside. The dedicated buttons for SOCIAL etc. - which sites I have nothing to do with - are a minor intrusion, but the dim-bulb lighting of the keys plus the harder-to-see numbers, now smaller due to a stupid rectangle being put around them, are intolerable to my eyes. Of course the thing still has volume issues even when all settings are put to the
max, and the idiotic switcheroo of the side toggles [camera one changed to left side now must be pressed UP to activate] along with the shrunken size thereof makes not a bit of sense. And, since after a few unhappy minutes I hurriedly put the thing back in its packaging without having activated it and called Sprint for a return kit, it wasn't until just now in this article that I discovered how to take other pictures with it. Whoever decided to put the camera lens facing the OPERATOR should have a faulty Dell motherboard shoved up his. To, as I originally thought, have to turn the phone around to take pictures [with attendant near-impossible handling of the keys] warranted a life sentence. But the revelation about having to keep the phone closed in order to take pictures other than of my weathered mug is hardly an improvement. Don't know and care less about operating that feature [or any other] via the external touchscreen - I'm too old-school for that crap. But just like how Bill Gates Inc. bloated out and gummed up the works of their successive operating systems with cutesy default color schemes and simple commands requiring extra steps to execute, the technogeeks at LG have similarly screwed up redesigning the externals of a cute little phone without much regard for the gut works. I hardly believe there was some kind of public groundswell protest in favor of having a SMILEYFACE key, whatever in Hades that's for. But no matter, I'm just going to buy a couple of decent-condition backup LX600 phones off eBay to hold in reserve for when this one conks out - may that day be long in coming - since there won't be no new replacements at Sprint. $150 credit gone to waste. But better that than having this waste of an ain't-"Elite" phone.

Phyllis @ 10:25:30AM EDT on Sunday October 17, 2010

I just got a replacement phone and the pics are fuzzy. Is there anyway to make them cleaer?

Cathy @ 8:40:25PM EST on Wednesday November 17, 2010

my daughter got the Lotus LG elite in the spring and the letters and numbers are disappearing!! what is wrong with this phone? looks like others are having same problem and its something that is defective not something that we should pay for in any form! not happy about this at all

Ash. @ 10:54:14PM EST on Saturday December 11, 2010

I also just got my Lotus replaced because my screen broke.Around september I got it and my color and numbers are also coming off ): I was upset at first but I got over it. I know where all my keys are. :/

mick @ 3:31:24PM EST on Wednesday December 15, 2010

Just wanted to add to Ash's comment regarding characters coming off. My wife has had her red lotus elite just over 3 months... long enough that sprint won't replace it and the letters/characters are coming off her phone too.

About the author

Todd Haselton
Todd is a senior editor at MobileBurn and works out of his home in New York City. He covers news for us and also writes reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @RoboTodd

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