Did you know that Samsung launched the first solar-powered cell phone?

Did you know that Samsung launched the first solar-powered cell phone?
There are well over a thousand models in Samsung's cell phone portfolio, ranging from basic handsets and pocket-friendly feature phones to top-of-the-line Galaxy smartphones. The phones we're highlighting today are far from smart, yet we do think their uniqueness makes them worthy of a spot under the sun... quite literally.

In 2009, Samsung released the world's first solar-powered cell phone. It was known as the Samsung Guru E1107 and featured a solar cell built into its back plate. When exposed to sunlight, the cell generated electricity which in turn recharged the phone's battery. The small solar cell could not provide a lot of power, however. To generate the charge needed for a 5- to 10-minute voice call, the phone had to absorb an hour's worth of solar energy. Still, the solar charging feature made sense given the markets the phone was aimed at. The handset was designed for consumers living in developing markets and areas where power outages were a frequent occurrence.

Samsung Blue Earth

Samsung Blue Earth

The Guru E1107 wasn't the only solar cell phone made by Samsung. Later in 2009, the company released the Samsung Blue Earth, which also featured a solar cell on its back – an hour of sunlight was converted into 10 additional minutes of talk time. Unlike the Guru, the Samsung Blue Earth offered a handful of advanced features, such as access to the web, YouTube, and social networks. It could connect to the internet over Wi-Fi or 3G, while a GPS radio enabled location services. Marketed as an eco-friendly product, the phone was built of recycled materials and came in a recycled cardboard box that doubled as a stand.

Should Samsung give solar energy another try in its next batch of smartphones, or should people go for a dedicated solar charger instead? Let us know in the comments!

references: Samsung, Inhabitat

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17 Comments

1. MarquiX unregistered

No, but I'm not surprised. They are the most innovative phone company there is.

2. mrej201

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

wow innovative

11. brunelian92

Posts: 79; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

Tbh it's no more innovative than a calculator. You just slap a solar cell in the back. The term innovative is used too lightly.

3. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Not a good option for a rainy day hehe just kidding, its a good idea.

4. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 724; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Samsung isn't going anywhere. It's laughable when people say that crap. They are singlehandedly pushing the smartphone industry forward. That's a fact.

5. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Nifty

6. mikeguy1981

Posts: 88; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

its a nice idea but the last thing you should ever do to a phone is leave it in sunlight and charging at the same time. just leaving it in the sun, say like on the dash of your car can make the phones battery burst. ive seen it happen with a solar battery charger i had. it actually puffed up and cracked the solar panel and all i did was put it in the sun. so neat idea if u can cool the device too but its basically a novelty i mean come on the solar cell you would need to really charge the thing would have to be so much larger than the phone.

7. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

All of the OEMs should do it. I have hopes for WYSIPS crystal by Sunpartner and will hope to see sun collecting phone screens go big soon!

8. NotAGeek

Posts: 279; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Samsung should just implement those solar panels into a case for their galaxy phones

9. waddup121 unregistered

Samsung should implement this again...awesome innovation which isn't even mainstream yet. Galaxy Alpha 2.0 Maybe? ;)

10. TechDork

Posts: 394; Member since: May 10, 2010

Samsung. Always full of gimmicks.

12. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

One problem: We don't go out much :/

13. _PHug_

Posts: 476; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

No windows where you live/work/commute?

14. justForTheRecord

Posts: 51; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

solar power: great idea in theory but for cell phones the battery heating problem needs to be "fixed" -- ie, new technology or physics breakthrough needed -- before one can leave them laying about in the sun ... ON THE OTHER HAND, adding a little charge while laying about the office / home would be of some benefit for those folks that can tolerate not actually holding the phone 24/7.

15. CitizenX

Posts: 40; Member since: Jun 27, 2014

Absolute way of the future. The tech is available now (that is better than what we had before). Energy companies have huge amount of power and influence over all industry and in most cases work hand in hand with them. Solar energy is a huge threat to them, therefore the tech is throttled and held back for as long as possible.

16. brunelian92

Posts: 79; Member since: Feb 04, 2015

This is most definately a shoddy idea for phones and I can explain why Taking the UK as an example: The average solar irradience in a day in the UK is 100 W/m^2. If you covered the whole back panel of a reasonably sized phone... Say the note 4.... You would have a total surface area of 0.012 m^2 (0.08 by 0.15). Therefore the total average power irradiating the phone is 1.2 W. The battery capacity of a note 4 is 3220mah. The nominal voltage for a lithium polymer cell is 3.7 volts. P = IV yields roughly 12 Wh capacity for the battery. Therefore a 100% effecient system would take 10 hours to charge in average conditions. Then consider that the most effecient solar cell, which currently only experimental, is 46% effecient, the panel would yeild 0.55 W. Therefore increasing the time to roughly 21 hours. Then consider that yes solar cells can charge indoors but much less efficiently. Windows block most UV light which is the best juice for a solar powered device. Finally conside. The damage to the battery due to trickle charging constantly as you cannot stop the cell producing voltage. Seems very silly to entertain the idea to me. Solar cells should be left to larger installations where they are more effective. But even then, the technology is pretty shoddy due to the coverage required and ineffeciencies involved.

17. creektilghmank45

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 03, 2017

if you want to know how to make some of your diy stuffs yourself , just go to inplix website. There you'll find your answers :)

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