Photo via MobileWhack
Samsung isn't the only company launching a solar-powered cell phone this month. ZTE wants in on that side of the mobile phone market too. They've released the Coral-200-Solar, a fairly basic phone designed to be used in locations where electricity and charging outlets are not readily available (like, say, Uganda). Read on for more about this new phone.The angle for this phone is interesting. While it is marketed as environmentally friendly, the only thing green about it is its ability to charge up with the sun. And that's pretty much the only information given about the phone so far - except that it'll be out around June.
Tom Bryant, Digicel Group VP Distribution Procurement comments; “Solar-powered handsets are clearly the way to meet the needs of power-challenged users across the globe. While the idea of solar-powered handsets has been around for some time, it has taken the leadership of Digicel and the technology and manufacturing skills of its partners Intivation and ZTE to make the Coral-200-Solar handset a reality."
True - solar can be used in any type of handset if you have a solar charger powerful enough to charge the phone's battery. But is this solar cell strong enough? The phone is really bare bones, it looks like, so it very well might be enough, especially if the phone is only used for short, infrequent calls.
It's nothing like the Samsung Blue Earth, which is meant to be a fancy phone used throughout the day, and whose solar cell is likely not powerful enough to keep the battery full all day long. And the Blue Earth's plastic parts are made from recycled plastic, giving it another one-up over the Coral-200-Solar.
Again, this is supposed to be a basic phone for basic use in places where electricity is scarce. But if that's the case seems like a greener, cheaper option would be to organize better used cell phone redistribution programs and package them up with quality external solar chargers that use fewer materials in total.
At any rate, until real details on these phones are available and we have a chance to test them out, all this is just guess-work.
More on Solar Power and Cell Phones:
Samsung's New Blue Earth Phone is Solar Powered and Made From Water Bottles
New Solar Powered iPhone Charger from Sollight
New Solar-Powered Phone Unveiled
Motorola's Solar and Wind-Powered Cell Phone Base Stations in Africa