updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed October 14, 2009
Samsung Blue Earth phone with solar panel now out
Samsung on Wednesday launched the Blue Earth handset after unveiling it early this year. The environmentally-friendly phone sports a full touchscreen, unlike other "green" handsets, and has multimedia playback capabilities. To earn its credentials, it has a built-in solar panel for charging its battery using the sun. The handset is made of Post Consumer Material (PCM) plastic from used water bottles and, along with its charger, is made without harmful substances such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or phthalates.
Other features of the handset meant to save natural resources include an Eco mode, which sets screen brightness, backlight duration and Bluetooth status to battery life-friendly levels. There is also Eco Walk, a pedometer that calculates a user's steps and their corresponding CO2 emissions reduction as opposed to driving a car. The Blue Earth translates this value into the number of trees the reduced CO2 gases potentially saved. It still helps when inactive and uses just 0.03W of power in standby mode.
The package is also minimal and easily recyclable paper, with soy ink used for the printed text. There are instructions to convert the box into a photo frame or pencil box.
Blue Earth will launch in October in Sweden, with France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal and other European and Asian countries receiving it at a later, unspecified date. Pricing also remains unknown.