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Samsung Blue Earth Preview

 Samsung Blue Earth Discontinued
13th February 2009

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The Samsung Blue Earth is an innovative touchscreen device from Samsung with a number of "environmentally friendly" features that are worth a closer look.

Something that we haven't seen before is a phone with a solar panel - and the Samsung Blue Earth has a relatively large panel on the back. Yes, we know you can get solar chargers for mobiles and a few manufacturers have announced concept designs, but this is the closest to the real thing that we can think of.

Another feature is the casing, which is made from recycled water bottles. This is a much better approach than the bioplastics used in the Samsung E200 Eco. The Blue Earth doesn't just rely on solar power, there's also a charger with it - but even this has a clever trick, if it is plugged in and not in use then the power consumption drops to a measly 0.03W, a lot less than a traditional charger.

 Samsung Blue Earth Advanced power management is a feature of the Blue Earth too: you can easily reduce the brightness of the display and the power going to the Bluetooth radio to reduce power drain, a useful thing if you are trying to survive on sunlight alone.

Built in to the Blue Earth is a software application called "Eco Walk" which you can think of perhaps as a "carbon footprint pedometer". If you choose to walk somewhere, the Blue Earth can tell you how much CO2 you have saved, represented in the form of trees. We don't know if this means that the Blue Earth has GPS, it could just use some sort of accelerometer.

The packaging has been designed to be small and light, and it contains a high degree of recycled materials. Of course, it has to be shipped from a factory on the other side of the world, but then that's true of most goods these days.

 Samsung Blue Earth screenshot We can't tell you much about the Blue Earth's specifications. It appears to have a 240 x 320 pixel display, the user interface is the same as on the Pixon and several other recent Samsung phones. There is no front-facing video camera which indicates that perhaps the Blue Earth lacks 3G.. taking 3G away would certainly prolong the battery life.

Samsung say that this device will feature at next week's Mobile World Congress where perhaps full specifications will become known.

It's a clever idea, and it's a good looking handset too. But our big question is this: is a solar powered phone actually sensible? You will have to somehow leave the phone out in the sunlight to charge it, and that could well attract thieves. And as most of our readers are probably struggling through a cold, dark winter then you will know that sometimes sunlight is hard to come by.

An of course you don't need to buy the Blue Earth to do all these things. As we said, you can buy solar powered chargers for many phones, or unplug your charger when not in use. And upgrading less often and recycling your old phone will also help a lot. But we must give Samsung credit for the Blue Earth - it's an intriguing looking device and we can't wait to find out more!

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