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Samsung debuts solar-powered cell phone

Samsung introduces the E1107 that's capable of providing around 10 minutes of talking for each one hour of being left under the sun.


If you're an outdoorsy type, you might never have to worry about your phone running out of juice again.

Samsung announced Wednesday its first solar-powered GSM mobile phone, the E1107, also known by the catchier name Crest Solar. The phone is a dual-band GSM (900MHz and 1800MHz) and can be charged anywhere the sun is shining.

The phone is about the same shape and size as most regular compact cell phones, but with one big difference: on the back it has a solar panel that's capable of providing enough juice for about 5 to 10 minutes of talk time for each hour of charging.

Of course, this depends on how sunny it is. According to Samsung, the above estimate was based on 80,000 lux of sunlight (an average sunny day) with the phone turned off and sucking up rays.

The Crest Solar comes with many features. Its essential mobile phone features include FM radio, MP3 ringtones, embedded games, and the capability to work as a flashlight. The phone also has a few original security features, such as Mobile Tracker, which automatically alerts you when the SIM card is changed and sends out an SOS message in an emergency. It also has a fake call feature, which means you can pretend to get an incoming call when you need to get out of an uncomfortable situation (like a bad date).

Other than that, Samsung offers localized features. For example, in Southeast Asia, it offers profile screening for bikers, which provides incoming call alerts from selected contacts only to promote safe riding. The Crest Solar also provides specialized features for different religions, such as alerts for prayer time.

The Crest Solar will be available in numerous markets including India, Europe, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America staring this month. In India, it costs $59, which is a really good price. However, its price is generally determined by the carriers. There's no word as to when or if it will be available in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled another solar phone, the Blue Earth.