This is a great phone and I'm not disappointed with the phone plan either. Although the item is listed here, I ordered my Optimus direct from VM, since this particular item states it won't work for my zip code.
Although the Optimus V can't perform as perfect as other Androids from contract providers, it's definitely a step up from my previous carrier. And... coupled with VM's (very) affordable phone plan, it's definitely worth every penny.
The battery: Battery life is pretty marginal. There are apps that the user can download to help curb battery consumption, and help it to last longer. The standard battery that's supplied with this phone is 1500mAh, and with my normal usage, last about a day and a half. I opted to purchase a higher capacity battery on-line, which is 3900mAh, and lasts me 3 days, with my average usage. It's faster to charge the higher capacity battery thru the phone, then with an external charger.
Receiving Calls: I've had no problems listening to my incoming calls. Reception is really good, and... using the speaker phone option allows me to do other things with my free hand.
Making Calls: I'm fortunate that VM's service (via Sprint), works really well in my area. However, from my home location, service is spotty, and I have to find a 'hot' spot if I need to make calls or receive them. Data service works really good from my home location. I guess this minor inconvenience is due to the fact that I live 7 miles away from the city, and am just at the fringes of the cell site (I had the same issues with AT&T). Making calls with the on-screen keypad works well, even for guys with large fingers such as myself.
This product also has the "voice to text" option. I tried it once, but it seems that the phone either couldn't understand the words I'm saying, or just doesn't understand me at all. So I hardly use this option. When composing messages with voice-to-text, the user has to say "Question Mark", "Period" (.) or "Paragraph", otherwise you'll be typing one long, complete sentence.
Under my current VM plan, I'm allotted 300 AT minutes, but I'm not much of a talker with cell phones, am mostly a data user.
Keyboard: Although the Optimus V has the Swype keyboard, for me, I find it easier to create messages and texts with the standard Android keyboard. In fact, for me... I find it faster to type with the Android keyboard than with Swype. One thing I wish either keyboard had was a cursor key that would allow me to place the cursor at a particular point in the message, or to better select a clickable link while surfing.
Texting: Sending texts with the Optimus V is much faster as compared to my old phone. It did take me awhile to get acclimated with the on-screen keyboard, and have adapted to the "one-finger" typing method (sometimes 2, if I use it horizontally).
Surfing the web: Surfing the internet with this phone is definitely an improvement, as compared to my old phone. Although this product doesn't support Flash, it does play YouTube videos flawlessly. There is a downloadable app that allows the user to view some Flash videos, but not all. With 3G speed, the phone loaded up the pages in no time. On Wi-Fi, it's seems faster to me. FYI... using Wi-Fi for surfing whenever possible saves you from reaching your allotted GB allowance each month. Although my VM plan allows me 2GB of data, I find that I don't even reach 1GB each month (I use my laptop for the majority of internet usage). My data usage is basically for checking emails, and text messages.
Now... you may have heard horror stories from other owners, about the Optimus freezing up, or is slow at loading up web pages. The user must remember, that the Optimus is a mini computer, and like a computer, it's best to clean up the phone after surfing the net. Meaning, you should make it a habit to delete out your history, cache and cookies, to free up memory space in the phone, for your next jaunt on the internet.
The Optimus doesn't have a large internal memory capacity (100MB?), so you have to be conservative and empty your waste, so to speak. It's best to move any downloaded apps onto the SD card, so that you'd free up space in the internal memory.
Emails: The Optimus is great for checking emails on Yahoo or Hotmail. Although this product is Google based, you can download the apps for Yahoo or Hotmail. You can also program this phone to link up with your corporate email account. I like the notification alert when I receive new emails on my Yahoo account.
Camera: The 3.2 megapixel camera takes good pictures. It would have been nice if the Optimus had a flash for the camera. But the camera does have auto-focus, which is good to take really, sharp pictures.
Video Recorder: The video camera is okay. Playback is somewhat pixellated, but it does the job good enough.
All in all... this is a great product for the money... my money, at least! I am not disappointed with the Optimus or VM's phone plan. This is not a 'high-end' Android like those offered by contract providers, but for a pre-paid service... it's a great deal.