reporting that the LG Optimus Elite is headed to Virgin Mobile USA. The Elite appears to be a variant of the Optimus Net, currently available from Net10. It's expected to replace the LG Optimus V in the Virgin lineup.
Unlike the Net10 version, Virgin Mobile's will include a Near Field Communication (NFC) module. NFC is a low power radio technology that allows devices to talk to each other. It can be used for lots of things such as pairing the phone with a Bluetooth speaker or headphones by taping the two devices together. The biggest buzz around NFC is its potential for turning your phone into an electronic wallet. The only currently available NFC wallet is the Google Wallet application which comes pre-installed on Sprint's NFC enabled Samsung Galaxy Nexus S 4G. It stores electronic copies of you debit and credit cards and lets you use them to make purchases by taping your phone on a reader attached to the cash register at Gap, Home Depot, Petco, Radio Shack and other stores. Virgin Mobile is part of Sprint so it seems likely that Google Wallet be included with or available for the Optimus Elite.
Other than NFC, the Optimus Elite is a failrly typical mid-range prepaid Android phone. Specs include a 3.2-inch 480 × 320 px screen, 800 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of built-in storage and a 5 MP camera with LED flash. While those specs aren't high end, they do represent a step up from the Optimus V in processor (800 Mhz vs 600 Mhz), internal storage (4 GB versus 170 MB) and camera (5 MP vs 3.2 MP). The Optimus V is one of the best performing Android phones in its price class, so I expect the Optimus Elite will offer a lot of bang for the buck. No price has been announced but somewhere between $120 and $150 seems about right.