The phone comes as a big relief for people living in far-flung areas where there is erratic or even no power supply.
Thursday, June 11, 2009: Now you can charge your mobile anywhere the Sun is shining when electricity is unavailable. Samsung has introduced its first solar-powered mobile phone, the Samsung Solar Guru (Guru E1107), in India. However, the solar power charging is only an option and not the main mode of charging. To charge the battery fully via the solar panel, the phone needs to be kept in the Sun for 40 hours.
The Samsung Solar Guru has the capacity to provide around five-10 minutes of talk time with one hour of solar charging. (Measured when the phone is turned-off under the sun light of 80,000 Lux. Results can be different depending on circumstances.) Moreover, the solar panel charging allows its users to save money and energy consumption on traditional electrical charging.
Last month, a Chinese manufacturer also announced a solar-powered cell phone. It claims that placing the phone under strong sunlight for one hour will support 15 minutes of talk time and about eight hours exposure to strong sunlight is required to fully charge the cell phone. Japanese electronics company Sharp is also planning to launch its solar-powered phone SH002, which can give one minute of talk time and two hours of standby with a 10-minute charge in the sun.
Solar Guru comes in a compact design with essential mobile phone features such as FM radio, MP3 ring tones, embedded games and a powerful torch light. For consumer safety, the phone offers mobile tracker, which automatically alerts when the SIM card is changed or sends out an SOS message in an emergency. Solar Guru also has a fake call feature, so users can pretend they have an incoming call to escape unsafe situations.
It measures 105.2 x 44.15 x 16.4mm, has a 1.52-inch screen with a resolution of 65K CSTN (128x128), supports dual GSM bands (900/1800MHz), comes with 1 MB of user memory and a 800mAh battery.
“Solar Guru represents our effort and commitment to strengthen our leadership in the solar panel mobile market,” said JK Shin, executive vice president, head, mobile communication division, Samsung Electronics.
Shin added, “With Samsung’s cutting-edge technology and consumer-oriented strategy, I believe Solar Guru will be the perfect fit for anyone in any market -- not only because it is solar powered, but because it has features that were designed to appeal to various cultures.”
Solar Guru also offers localised features for different countries. For instance, it offers profile screening for bikers in the Southeast Asian market that provides incoming call alerts only from selected contacts for safe riding. The phone also provides specialised features for different religions, such as alerts for prayer time.
Priced at Rs 2,799 (($59), the Samsung Solar Guru will be available in India, Europe, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America from June 2009.
Initially, the phone is being imported from Korea. Samsung said Solar Guru would be manufactured in India from next month at the Noida factory.
You can also look forward to Blue Earth -- a pebble-shaped, solar-powered touchscreen phone from Samsung. Samsung presented the solar charging phone Blue Earth at Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona earlier this year. The phone uses a small solar panel to provide power. A full solar charge of around 10 to 14 hours will provide enough power for around four hours of talk time.
Blue Earth is made from recycled plastic and features a special Eco Mode that users can access with a single click to wring the maximum energy use from the device.