Samsung Blue Earth: More than just a gimmick

With its eco-friendly design and spiffy solar panels, the Samsung Blue Earth is more than just about being green; it's also an appealing cell phone with character.

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As it does with most trends, Samsung is pursuing eco-friendly cell phones with vigor. It already gave us the Samsung Reclaim, and now we finally have a chance to review the Samsung Blue Earth. Like the Reclaim, the Blue Earth's shell is made from recycled materials--specifically, plastic water bottles--but it goes a giant step further with solar panels on its rear face. The solar panels actually work and can charge the phone in a pinch.

The Blue Earth is also free of harmful materials like polyvinyl chloride, and you can minimize battery use by adjusting the display settings. Outside of being green, the Blue Earth offers a functional feature set, but its small touch screen hampers its usability and there was static during calls. Check out our Blue Earth review for a more detailed look.

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