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Samsung Delays Android, Unveils Solar Touchscreen Phone

Gordon Kelly


Samsung Unveils Solar Powered Touchscreen Phone

While we do expect the Mobile World Congress to still have a few gems to show us, another one has been dug up early...

Called 'Blue Earth' it has a similar bar-of-soap look to the Palm Pre but forges its own path with an impressive environmental agenda.

Unlike well, every handset on the market Samsung claims the Blue Earth can run almost entirely on solar power (via the cells on the back) despite featuring a full touchscreen display. Other specs are hazy at this stage (smoggy?) but the Blue Earth further enhances its panda-hugging credentials by being built with recycled plastic called PCM which is extracted from water bottles.

An integrated pedometer also draws attention to the health of its user, flags up potential CO2 emission savings and consumes less than 0.03W in standby. Should a manual charge be necessary, the Blue Earth ships with a five star rated energy efficient charger.

"Samsung's ‘The Blue Earth Dream' demonstrates our small but meaningful commitments for the future and our environment," said Samsung Communication Division Executive VP JK Shin. "We are committed to achieving the highest eco-status with our customers and business partners by providing the best eco-products and promoting eco-activities."

Obviously we need far more info about the Blue Earth to judge it fully (complete specs, battery life, the choice of OS would be nice) but with a release timeframe placing it in the second half of 2009 we shouldn't have to wait long to find out...

In related and less positive news Samsung has also confirmed it has had to delay its first Android based handsets meaning no debut at Mobile World Congress and most likely a later Q4/Q1 '10 launch. Doh.


Samsung UK


February 13, 2009, 7:30 pm

I have to leave my phone on the windowsill when at home, as it's the only place it gets a reliable signal - so for me, it probably wouldn't need plugging in! Hope the recycled bottle plastic doesn't melt in direct sunlight though ;-)


February 13, 2009, 9:55 pm

I've always like the idea of having a solar panel built in to gadgets, seems so obvious. Sadly the current they generate is usually so small to be of little practical use.

I bought a Silva2 5W (13.6V 350mA) folding solar panel a couple of years back (about half the size of a netbook, and it folds in the middle) and has a car charger end so you can charge anything with it. But, it does get REALLY hot after 2-3 hours in direct tropical sunlight (which is what it takes to charge a big phone battery fully from flat). In 'normal' mixed weather it could take 6-8 hours and overcast conditions...well, ages.

I wonder how well this phone's case and internal electronics cope with the soaring temperatures, I certainly wouldn't want to leave my phone in direct sunlight for too long.


February 13, 2009, 10:10 pm

Do you think there is a hidden reason(s) that nobody else has put android on their phones yet? (Apart from the G1)I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet.

Jay Werfalli

February 16, 2009, 12:52 am

It's about time!! The last successful integration of this type, I saw, was a Casio calculator back in 1986 :). So I agree with lifethroughalens that the idea of solar panels built into products seems like a good one. And even though the generated current is so low, I am sure, for example, that it would be possible to integrate a small photovoltaic array across the entire back of a notebook/netbook's lid so it could at least 'extend' the device's battery life with a small trickle charge...


February 16, 2009, 10:39 pm

Nice idea but dubious the panel is big enough.

Tried keeping my phone charged from a much bigger panel this summer with only moderate success.

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