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Commtiva Sola: Solar Powered Phone

 Commtiva Sola Cancelled
19th February 2009

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For many mobile phone users, battery life is a big issue. Perhaps they live or work in an area with poor access to electricity, or perhaps they want to get away from it all, but still need to keep in touch in case of an emergency.


The Commtiva Sola is designed for just this market. As the name suggests, the Sola is a solar-powered mobile phone that manages to deliver a basic but practical feature set to customers.

 Commtiva Sola The main selling point here is the solar panel on the back. Commtiva say that the Sola can provide 40 minutes of talktime and 39 hours of standby time on a two hour solar charge. We guess that your results may vary depending on just how sunny it is, but these seem to be pretty good figures. Of course you can also charge the Sola in a conventional way, in this case through a mini-USB connector.

Commtiva are not a company that we have heard of before, and up until now they appear to have been involved primarily in contract manufacturing and outsourced design. The solar technology has been supplied by Intivation of the Netherlands who specialise in designing solar cells for small devices.

This isn't the only solar powered phone that has been announced recently. Intivation have also worked with ZTE to produce the Coral 200 Solar handset, and Samsung recently showed off their Blue Earth device. But out of the three, the Commtiva Sola seems to strike the best balance between features and energy efficiency.

 Commtiva / Intivation The Sola is a fairly basic but quite practical handset. It has a 1.8" 128 x 160 pixel TFT display and a speakerphone, MIDI ringtones and apparently can even play back MP3 and AAC files, although we do not know how much memory the phone has. There's a 2.5mm audio socket, and space for 100 contacts and 50 SMS messages in the internal memory.

The Commtiva Sola comes in either a dual-band 900 / 1800 or 850 / 1900 version, and can optionally have GPRS support, in which case it comes with a WAP 2.0 browser. It weighs around 90 grams and measures 105 x 45 x 16mm.

There's no Bluetooth or digital camera on the Sola, but that sort of thing will just drain the battery. On a full charge, the Sola should give over three hours of talktime and about 10 days standby time.

Although one possible sales area for this device is emerging markets such as Africa, the Commtiva Sola has the potential to sell in industrialised countries too, especially to those people who spend a lot of time out-of-doors.. or for those who think that the solar charging is quite cool.

There's no word on pricing or availability at present.

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Commtiva Sola at a glance




GSM 900 / 1800 or 850 / 1900


GPRS (optional)


128 x 160 pixels, 65k colours




Medium monoblock
105 x 45 x 16mm / 90 grams



Memory card:







Not specified



Battery life:

3 hours talk / 10 days standby


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