Samsung Blue Earth Preview
13th February 2009
more information, click here.
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
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.
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.
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!