It was apparently on sale in some locations if you looked hard enough last week, but the latest rendition of LG's ubiquitous Optimus series of midrange Android phones -- the Optimus V -- is now totally official for Virgin Mobile USA. Though it's basically a dead ringer for the Optimus S sold by parent company Sprint, Virgin has naturally red-ified the UI... and it has also inexplicably changed the order of the physical buttons, continuing Android's proud, longstanding tradition of hitting end users with every possible permutation of button order under the sun. It's available immediately online and from Radio Shack for $149.99 off-contract with other retailers picking up stock throughout the month. Follow the break for the full press release.

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LG Optimus V™ Joins Virgin Mobile USA Offering "Optimal" Experience for No-Contract Customers

Virgin Mobile Celebrates Valentine's Day with Launch of LG Optimus V To Make Your Sweetheart Swoon

WARREN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virgin Mobile USA continues to enrich its handset lineup with the introduction of LG Optimus V, expanding its selection of Android handsets. Rolling out at Radio Shack stores and at www.virginmobileusa.com beginning today for $149.99, LG Optimus V creates a unique user experience that will keep people connected and in-the-know while on-the-go. LG Optimus V will become available in other major retailers throughout the month as well.

"More than 44 percent of smartphones purchased in the third quarter of 2010 were Android based with the iPhone coming in second1," said Bob Stohrer, vice president-Marketing, Virgin Mobile USA. "With LG Optimus V on Android, Virgin Mobile customers who crave constant connectivity get a highly functional device with a high-resolution 3.2" touch screen paired with an affordable monthly plan and no annual contract."

"Users get the best of both worlds with LG Optimus V," said Tim O'Brien, vice president of LG marketing. "Bringing an easy-to-use blend of applications and sleek design, LG Optimus V delivers the features users want with the efficient performance capabilities they deserve."

Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk plans start at just $25 dollars a month for 300 minutes of voice and include unlimited messaging, IM, email, social networking and web access. For those who talk a bit more, the $40 plan offers 1,200 minutes of voice and for heavy gabbers, the $60 plan offers unlimited voice minutes each month.

Top handset review websites have described the LG Optimus S™, "as the best Android phone available," "affordable yet full-featured," "impressively quick and with [all of] the functionality most consumers need." LG Optimus V, similar to the LG Optimus S, gives Virgin Mobile customers full integration of social networking apps, Microsoft Outlook Exchange e-mail and advanced messaging capabilities. In addition, Optimus V users also have access to more than 100,000 applications currently available on the Android Market™.

LG Optimus V also comes with a 3.2-inch touch-screen display, 3G and Wi-Fi capable, a 3.2 MP camera and video, and preloaded applications, including popular social apps such as YouTube® and Google Talk™. Additional features include:

* Swype, a faster and easier way to input text on any screen, with one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard. The patented technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods-at over 40 words per minute
* Contact and calendar sync via ActiveSync
* Android Web browser
* Full integration of Google Apps™ such as Google Maps™, Gmail™ and Google Navigation™
* Document file viewer
* Built-in music player

Optimus V is the second Virgin Mobile phone to offer Virgin Mobile Live, an online music stream of performances by past & present Virgin Mobile Festival artists including studio tracks, exclusive Festival performances and more, for free!

The launch of LG Optimus V also marks Virgin Mobile's new handset packaging that is more eco-friendly. The green packaging is now composed of 100% recycled plastic and uses almost 50% less plastic. The design of the outer box has been revised to more clearly highlight the device, its features and Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk Plans. "The new packaging will provide a better customer experience in opening the package as well being kind to the environment," said Stohrer.

About Virgin Mobile USA

Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint's prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk™ plans for mobile phone service and prepaid Broadband2Go high-speed Web access. Virgin Mobile branded handsets are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target and Walmart. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide and can be used for Broadband2Go services. Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and www.virginmobileusa.com.

About LG Electronics, Inc.

LG Electronics, Inc. (KSE: 066570.KS) is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances, employing more than 80,000 people working in over 115 operations around the world. With 2009 global sales of 55.5 trillion Korean won (USD 43.4 billion), LG comprises four business units – Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance, and Air Conditioning and Energy Solution. LG is one of the world's leading producers of flat panel TVs, audio and video products, mobile handsets, air conditioners and washing machines. LG has signed a long-term agreement to become both a Global Partner and a Technology Partner of Formula 1™. As part of this top-level association, LG acquires exclusive designations and marketing rights as the official consumer electronics, mobile phone and data processor of this global sporting event. For more information, please visit www.lg.com.

About LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company

The LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company is a leading global mobile communications and information company. With its cutting-edge technology and innovative design capabilities, LG creates handsets that provide an optimized mobile experience to customers around the world. LG is pursuing convergence technology and mobile computing products, while continuing its leadership role in mobile communication with stylish designs and smart technology. For more information, please visit www.lgmobilephones.com.