solar-powered gadgets, the next big thing in GREEN devices?

March 17, 2009 § 1 Comment

Solar Phones

Finally the big players in the telecom industry try to step up and do something environmentally conscious and , of course, a little image campaign doesn’t hurt. Samsung as yet has the best shot with its Earth Phone that has a real solar-panel on its back and is made of recycled PETs. Seems like proving green is something  Samsung is really considering. What about bio-degradable plastic electronic circuits and cases? Well, for that one I won’t hold my breath just yet. But surely my hopes are high.

Moreover this phone doesn’t contain brominated flame retardants or beryllium and neither does it contain phthalates, all of them very dangerous chemicals you shouldn’t be exposed to.

[Update: 2014]

Fast-Forward from this old article and there seems to be one NEWS that catches everybody’s attention. Although the solar-powered phones have somewhat disappeared in favor of separate solar chargers that can charge more than one device (a logical step if you ask me), when Apple talks everybody listens. This is not as much “talk” as rumor, but if the street gets it right, we might see the era of self-charging phones coming back.

The rumor goes like this: “Apple to Release iPhone 6 With Sapphire Glass Solar Power Panel in 2014”. Based on some patents Apple has been filling, some job postings and some other clues from around the solar-related industry, iClarified has put together this nice explanation.

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Here’s the picture of the Earth Phone:

The device is set to be energy efficient, with a new user interface making it easy to activate the phone’s energy saving mode. It also includes a pedometer, and CO2 emissions calculator, and Samsung is aiming for minimal packaging made entirely from recycled paper. (source)

Although the most noticeable, the Earth Phone isn’t the only phone to push the boundaries of green gadgets. You might want to have a search on these ones too:

  • () AU (KDDI) and Sharp are presenting a PV capable phone that follows the aforementioned Earth Phone. 1 min/ 2 std-by hrs for 10 minutes in the sun is not much but the fact that this is becoming a trend is rejoicing:

(image courtesy of Akihabara News)

  • LG showed an Earth Phone competitor this year at MWC, specs claiming 3 minutes of talking for each 10 minutes the phone charges in the sun:

  • Motorola W233 Renew is also a phone made of  recycled PETs and claims to be the first carbon-neutral phone. Nothing fancy or iphonesque but does its job and provides value for the people it’s intended:

  • China is proving to close-follow the big phone manufacturers and you can clearly see here and there sparks of inovation and the desire to be on-par with them. Coral-200-Solar is ZTE’s solar phone, promising 15 minutes of talking for every hour of sun bathing and a pricetag of only 40 bucks:

  • CECT C2000+I is a dual-band solar phone and comes with a 3.0-inch display, 1.3-mepapixel camera, Bluetooth, dual SIM slot, microSD slot and support MP3 and MP4 playback. The CECT C2000+I solar phone is available for $176 (source) :

  • Chinese again: HTW (High-Tech Wealth) S116 offers about 20 minutes of talking foe every 40 minutes of charging which is pretty impresive but impressive is the size of the back solar panel and also the price which is about $500 in China:

(source of the image)

Having some alternatives in the green solar phone market one should ponder, besides the “green” that comes from the solar panel, how green the phone is built, recycled or not, containing hazardous chemicals or not, how compelled the manufacturing company is to green standards, CO2 emissions during manufacturing, water usage, etc. This way, buying products that are trully green, we’ll force companies to addopt clean technologies and help preserve the environment.

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