FWIW, I just started my first new month since getting the Elite, and was only charged the $25 I expected. Also showing $25 due again in 30 days. So, so far so good!
I bought and activated my elite on the 26th, my plan renewed on the 27th for $25 and it shows $25 for my monthly charge. I love the phone so far. I had two batteries for my OV so I dislike the battery life but have one on order so that will be taken care if soon.
Well, I have had the phone for about a week now. As I wrote previously, OE is just a smidge wider and taller than OV, but it really does feel less noticeable in the pocket because it is so much thinner and lighter. The phone still has crappy volume buttons, but they seem to be working. The fit and finish is not quite as good as OV, but then again OV is a tough comparison because it was built like a tank. Overall I have no problem with build quality aside from the call volume buttons. I'm not sure why, but my OV has had serious problems with data. I usually keep it off to save on battery life, and only turn it on when I need it. OV would often fail to establish data connection after enabling it requiring a complete reboot. As I said, I am not sure if that was a hardware issue, or something I installed on my OV, but it did have data problems. So far I have had no such problems with OE. When I enable data, it usually takes 1 to 5 seconds for 3G symbol to appear, but it never fails to establish data connection unlike my OV, and the data connection never drops either. The earpiece is clear and although I have not had to use it in a really noisy environment, I have not had any problem with volume so far, in fact in one instance I actually had to dial it down a notch or two. I was initially concerned with the fact that earpiece is used as a speakerphone, but the ringtone volume is very loud. I have tried it in speaker mode during conversation and it works fine too. I have also tried it for google navigation and although directions are still kind of muffled, at least it is not incomprehensible garbage it was on OV. The signal strength seems to be a bit less than OV, it's difficult to say for sure of course, the phone shows less dBm, but I have not had any dropped calls so far. And of course new software, the 2.3 OS and larger 3.5" screen along with faster CPU and RAM also improve experience a lot. It's much easier to type on a 3.5" screen, the new 2.3 way of selecting text is a lot easier, and new "inline" swype dictionary suggestions are also much better to use than old 2.2 OV swype popup screen. I never get low on ram notifications and the phone feels a lot more responsive. Overall, I'm satisfied, it may not be an EVO, but for someone like me who is fed up with OV slow downs and would like something better, but at the same time wants to keep his costs low because he does not use the phone enough to justify an EVO, OE is a fine choice, even if it does have slightly worse reception.
Another nice thing about the Elite compared to the OV is the lack of junk apps. Everything is in the iD now which can be uninstalled. I am not sure why they put the iD in the launcher, do they expect people to constantly switch iDs? Seems like you would just pick one and stick to it.
Has anybody noticed the weird noise when playing music on headphones? On both versions of my phone, it gives a weird click/slurp(?) noise usually when a snare drum hits. But not every time. Its not annoying and maybe I only notice it because my ears notice things from working in a recording studio for years.
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WiFi Antenna Build
Has anyone else had problems with the wifi on the elite, youtube and pandora are barely usable as the phone must frequently buffer sometimes the buffering takes several minutes. I ran speed test and am getting about 10 Mbps, my ov runs pandora and youtube perfectly via wifi so it seems unlikely that it is an issue with my router. Despite the slow 3g speeds pandora actually runs better over 3g then my wifi. Does anyone have any ideas?
It's pretty easily ignored. It automatically downloads the Virgin Mobile Essentials ID pack when you first get everything activated, but it's all removable. After that, it's like it's not even there except for it being in the dock. That's easy to get rid of with a different launcher, though.