Samsung claims its new "Blue Earth" smart phone, which comes with solar panels on its back, will be able to get enough sun juice to power a call when outdoors on a reasonably sunny day.
In the smart phone market, every phone's dream is to become the next iPhone which fast became the best-selling phone in America. Competitors like Google's G1 phone, Verizon's Voyager, RIM's BlackBerry Storm, and the upcoming Palm Pre are all trying to catch the iPhone, but while generating decent sales, these touch screen offerings have fallen short of their prospective "iPhone Killer" labels.
So rather than beating the same old path that these other companies went on, Samsung decided to use its smart phone expertise to create a touch-screen phone which out-greens the iPhone. With electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt, and efficient electronics being one of the hottest trends on the market, Samsung based its new "Blue Earth" phone on these principles of greenness and efficiency.
The phone's case is made from a recycled water bottle plastic, called PCM. The phone is also free of Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalates, compounds frequently found in electronics and suspected and shown to be toxic in some early testing.
The Blue Earth also features the aforementioned solar panels on its back. While details on these panels are scarce (as is details on the phone's hardware and OS), Samsung claims that they will provide enough power for a user to make a call virtually any time outdoors. For more energy intensive touch-screen technology, the phone has a typical battery pack, which recharges via a newly designed "energy efficient" charger, keeping with the green image.
The phone also sports an "Eco mode" which allows the user to tweak screen brightness, backlight duration and Bluetooth for maximum energy savings. Samsung says its goal with the phone was "to draw attention to preserving our fragile environment." As to the design, it says the phone symbolizes "a flat and well rounded shiny pebble."
The phone features an "eco walk" application prebuilt into it, which acts a pedometer and counts the number of steps users take. It then tells them how much carbon dioxide emissions they save versus driving the same distance.
Samsung has not announced a firm U.S. release date, but the phone is hitting the UK in the second half of this year.