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Category Archives: Green News

Sony Ericsson Cedar Review


The latest in a range of eco-conscious phones under the ‘GreenHeart’ moniker, the Cedar is an affordable, yet feature packed handset that maintains its planet friendly reputation with a host of concepts that is refreshing to find in the age of disposable technologies.

Sony Ericsson’s green approach is initially apparent by the lack of paper manual and sparse recycled packaging. It doesn’t stop there though, as their environmental ethos has been carried through into the design of the handset itself.

The Cedar is constructed of recycled plastics, utilising water borne paints and utilises a low voltage adaptor to help minimise your impact on our ecosystem. Who said functional and green needed to look frumpy? The smooth curves, bright screen with vibrant colours and animated wallpapers add a touch of sparkle to an old tried and tested form factor.


The Cedar handset is lightweight, with just enough weight to feel secure in your grasp, whilst the smooth curved underside of the phone complements the shape of your hand, providing ergonomic relief for even the most avid thumb typist.

The large four-way navigation pad is suitably raised and has a satisfying click to it. In addition, the keys are angled inwards, rising along the bottom edge, thus resolving the small keys/big thumbs conundrum.

Whilst WIFI is absent, the snappy 7.2Mb/s HDSPA connection means that you are never far away from an update via the included Facebook, Myspace and Twitter widgets. The 2MP camera is included as a formality, but integration with the social media functions means that neither you nor your friends will miss that vital photo opportunity.

Internet access is available via the built in browser, and whilst it is somewhat cramped on the smallish screen, remains functional in the event of a Google emergency. Those wishing for a fuller internet experience can always plug into their laptop and use the Cedar as a fast 3G modem.

Entertainment features include the reliable media player functions and solid build quality synonymous with the Sony Ericsson brand. Storage comes via Micro SDHC card, allowing up to 16GB of removable storage, and thankfully this time you can use your favourite headphones via the welcome addition of a 3.5mm jack.

‘TrackID’ can identify any music that you hear, avoiding embarrassing encounters with stroppy DJ’s, whilst the ‘Playnow’ portal gives you access to a plethora of new music, ringtones games and applications.

The Youtube application provides on-demand entertainment on the go, whilst the FM radio rounds off the fun features with a touch of the old school, just plug in some headphones and let auto-tune find your favourite stations for you.


Despite all this under the hood, the battery still manages to pull an impressive 2 days or more of moderate use, which will be a relief when you’re caught away from the mains. And whilst the Cedar has a definite playful side, it’s not work shy either.

Push email is provided to the relief of business users, and the built in calendar, note functions and files are easily synced via Bluetooth, and the convenient inclusion of a micro-usb port that doubles as the charger socket.

Those traveling or working abroad will also be happy to hear that the phone is quad-band GSM and therefore usable worldwide, although don’t forget to offset your carbon footprint before you buy that long distance plane-ticket!

To sum up, the Cedar provides an impressive balance of work and entertainment features especially considering its size and price point. This would be an ideal phone for businesses or individuals who want fuss-free communications, whilst maintaining their green credentials.

Its generous battery life will be an eye opener for users moving from more flashy handsets who still need to keep tabs on their digital social lives, whilst its bevy of social communication features provide a perfect entry level phone for those wishing to take their first steps in the world of mobile connectivity without breaking the bank.

RCA Airnergy: WiFi Harvesting Charger

Attendees of CES were reportedly underwhelmed with much of what this year had to offer. However, word is still trickling down of some neat ideas that beg to be covered: in this instance, a charger that sips on WiFi.

It sounds amazing…



The spokesman here says that he charged a Blackberry Bold from  30% to full in approximately 90 minuntes, adding that the rate of charge obtained depends upon WiFi signal strength.

The RCA Airnergy is set to reach the market this summer for the $39-49 mark.


The plan then is to scale down the technology in the unit from its present form (1) to a smaller battery-sized unit (2).

2.

Some people are saying that the maths doesn’t add up – and are having trouble seeing how WiFi, which puts out a fraction of a watt, can fuel such a device.

But if this product works, then the potential for free, green energy is huge!

[Via OhGizmo!]

Samsung E1107 Crest Solar: World’s First Solar Powered Handset Announced

solar-guru

The recently announced Samsung E1107 Crest Solar is a different kind of environmentally conscious handset. It is the first ever solar powered GSM actually available to buy, and is aimed squarely at emerging markets with a great price point.

Whilst the Blue Earth eco concept phone seemed more for hybrid driving soccer moms in the West, the Crest Solar is packed with features to appeal to those that need it most. With a massive solar cell occupying the back of the device, Samsung states that an hour’s sun translates into 5 to 10 minutes of additional talktime (whilst the phone is switched off).

Now that doesn’t sound like much, but the solar aspect provides the E1107 with additional charging options, not necessarily as the main source of power. Easily enough to get an extra couple of phone calls just by leaving it in the sun of an afternoon.

The Samsung Crest Solar is replete with features that are common (and extremely useful) in an emerging market handset like a torch, MP3 ringtones, FM radio, Mobile Tracker and Fake Call (which is useful in any market).

At a price of only $59, the E1107 Crest Solar will launch in June in Europe, parts of Asia and South America, following in India where it will be known as ‘Solar Guru’.

solar-guru-launch

Source: Samsung Hub

Orange Vegas Touchscreen Phone

Orange are getting ready to sell one of the world’s most affordable touch screen smart phones, the Orange Vegas.

orange-vegas1

The handset is dual band GSM/GPRS and features a 2.4 inch TFT touchscreen display. The phone is retailing for only €69 on Pay As You Go, making it one of the cheapest touch-screen phones you can buy.

orange-vegas2

The phone also has:

  • Bluetooth
  • MP3 Player
  • FM radio
  • 1.3MP camera
  • 64MB of internal memory
  • 1GB MicroSD card
  • Talk time: up to 3 hours
  • Stand by time: up to 7 days
  • 84 grams

The Orange Vegas is already available in black and pink on Orange’s UK website but isn’t available to buy quite yet. It’s expected to go on sale in European markets first of all.


Green Theme at Mobile World Conference 2009

ecowalk

It’s a green theme at this year’s Mobile World Conference.

LG are showcasing an eco-friendly prototype phone with a built-in solar panel, that’s made of recycled plastic. The phone will be showcased in an Eco-Friendly Zone within the WMC exhibition floor.

An Eco-Friendly Zone shows how much the environment has come to influence phone manufacturers and their marketing departments.

At Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show last month, Koren manufacturers LG Sky Charger went all-out with the eco-friendly product premiers. There were low carbon TVs, Sky solar charging tents and complimentary solar car chargers dished out in the  press room. This time around, their solar-powered phone boasts 3 minutes of call time after only 10 minutes of charging.

lg-ecofriendly

LG aren’t the only ones trying to cement themselves as a green company this year. Samsung will be showcasing their Blue Earth solar-powered, eco-friendly phone at the MWC.

They guarantee their pebble-like, ergonomic handset is energy efficient without the spec or the UI being deminished. With this one Samsung have one of the first solar-powered touch screen handsets that can keep up with the rest of the touch screens on the market.

Included in the phone is an accelerometer that calculates your steps as you walk and tells you how much CO2 would have been released had you made the journey by car. This is all shown by a cute display showing the number of trees you’ve saved on your journey.

The big manufacturers are taking the green theme and running with it. Companies like LG and Samsung may have the best of intentions but there is a real gap in the market for cheap solar-powered phones in areas where mobile uptake is only just taking off. Solar-powered phones are on a par with the clockwork radio in terms of how they could for improving the infastructuer of devloping countries.

A partnership between two relatively unknown companies, ZTE and Digicel, may change things. They’ve produced the world’s first solar-powered, low-cost handset that will allow those without access to electricity to open up their communications. The details on this one are still to be clarified but the press unveiling is next week so we’ll let you know the details as and when.