LG Optimus Elite to Launch on Virgin Mobile, Features NFC and Google Wallet

Virgin Mobile announced that it would be launching the LG Optimus Elite on May 15 and will offer the device for $150.

Customers can pre-order the handset on the VirginMobileUSA website.

One of the most enticing things about the Optimus Elite is that it will feature NFC (near-field-communications) and Google Wallet.

"The first device in the Virgin Mobile lineup with NFC and Google Wallet will go on sale for $149.99 on May 15 but get a jump now with pre-order starting today," said Virgin Mobile in the press release for the device.

The LG Optimus Elite will come in Titan Silver and feature Android 2.3, Gingerbread, a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, an 800MHz processor, and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

It will also be paired with Virgin Mobile's no-contract Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans that start at $35 a month.

The LG Optimus Elite is the first device on Virgin Mobile to feature NFC and Google Wallet.

The feature is currently available on specific handsets offered by Sprint including the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper 4G. Both of these devices are also the first two that are compatible with LTE on the carrier.

The Galaxy Nexus on Verizon features NFC, but lacks Google Wallet due to the carrier reportedly working on its own mobile payment system.

NFC will also be featured on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3.

Special editions of the smartphone will be given to athletes participating in this year's Olympics for the sole purpose of them taking advantage of the new NFC-powered PayWave application that will allow them to purchase items by waving their phones.

This will be done through a partnership with Visa and Samsung.

The PayWave app lets users make purchases by holding the phone near an enabled terminal that reads it and deducts money from the owners account.