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ZTE debuts solar-powered phone

Created with Digicel and Intivation, the ZTE Coral-200-Solar is a sun-powered cell phone destined for emerging markets. It should be available in June.

The Coral-200-Solar gets its power from above. ZTE

Samsung wasn't the only company showing a solar-powered cell phone at the GSMA World Congress. On Wednesday, Chinese manufacturer ZTE launched a green model of its own.

Created with Digicel and Intivation, the Coral-200-Solar is designed for emerging markets where electricity may not be readily available. And, of course, it's Earth-friendly.

Exact feature details are sketchy at this point, but from what we can tell, the phone won't offer a lot of goodies. Considering its target markets, the Coral-200-Solar is really about making calls. It should be available in June.

Text and dial with the ZTE D92. Kent German/CNET Networks

The candy bar design is pretty plain and not nearly as appealing as the Samsung Blue Earth. On the front, there's a display, a functional navigation array, and a keypad. Except for the solar panels on its rear face, the Coral-200-Solar largely resembles the ZTE C78 that's currently with MetroPCS. On a side note, a C78 is on my desk back in San Francisco awaiting a full review.

Unfortunately, hands-on time with the Coral-200-Solar was difficult. Apparently, the phone is as scarce in Barcelona as the Blue Earth.

When we wandered around the ZTE's booth the day before the announcement, it was nowhere to be seen, yet we did spy the aforementioned C78 and the interesting ZTE D92 slip phone, which features a Fastap keypad that combines a full alphabetic keyboard and a standard numeric keypad. The D92 also offers Bluetooth, 3G, and a 1.3-megapixel camera.