updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
LG Optimus Elite ships to Sprint on April 22
Sprint on Tuesday confirmed some rumors and unveiled the LG Optimus Elite. The carrier's version of the Optimus Net, which will also have a Virgin Mobile equivalent, will be the most affordable US smartphone ever to support Google Wallet, costing just $30 on Sprint after a contract and rebate. Its support for the needed NFC is an exception to entry level specs, such as a 3.5-inch, 320x480 display, an 800MHz processor, and a five-megapixel back camera with none at the front.
A minor amount of eco-friendly credentials join the design, including a shell made half out of recycled plastic, better-than-EU power charging, and ULE Platinum-level sustainability claims. Sprint's main contribution is completely recyclable packaging.
As with other LG phones on Sprint and Virgin, the Android 2.3 install is being kept mostly stock with the exception of Sprint ID and core carrier apps. As a promo, those who get the phone before July 22 can get 50GB of free cloud storage on Box.net.
The Optimus Elite bows on Sprint's website first, joining the LG Viper 4G LTE and Samsung Galaxy Nexus on April 22. Retail stores get it on May 18. Virgin's edition will get more details soon, although unofficial tips had it arriving in May.