updated 03:10 pm EDT, Fri April 15, 2011
Samsung Replenish hits Sprint with cheaper data
Sprint at a Friday event confirmed the existence of the Samsung Replenish. The phone is its first eco-friendly smartphone and is built out of 82 percent recyclable material with a minimum of toxic materials as well as 34.6 percent recycled plastic on the outside. The carrier goes so far as to make an optional solar rear charging panel and to offer a special green Sprint ID pack to theme the OS for its mission.
As a phone, it focuses on the budget arena with a 600MHz processor, a 2.8-inch 320x240 touchscreen and a two-megapixel back camera, although it still has the usual 3G, GPS, and Wi-Fi. The Replenish is tailored as a messaging device with a fixed QWERTY keyboard but has a microSDHC slot to pack up to 32GB for music and videos.
The Replenish should be available on May 8 and will cost just $50 on a contract, but it will also have a rate perk to drive adoption. Unlike all of Sprint's other smartphones, the $10 premium data fee is being waived and will let users run the phone for the same $70 monthly plan that Sprint had before the rate hike. Service at that tier gives 450 minutes of voice along with unlimited text and on-device data.
Also coming is a Virgin Mobile edition of Sprint's earlier green messaging phone, the Samsung Restore. It remains fundamentally identical to the original but will be cheaper to run at $80 without a contract and as little as $25 a month for 300 minutes of voice and unlimited data plus text.