Solar-powered phones? Nokia says forget about it

Solar-powered phones? Nokia says forget about it
In these times of super big screens going to 4.7 inches and even 5.3 inches on the Samsung Galaxy Note, and LTE radios draining up power, battery life is becoming of paramount importance for smartphone users. One technology we’ve been very curious about is solar charging. The prospect of just using the sun’s energy to juice up devices is not new, but it seems like one of the easiest and most efficient ways to increase a phone’s battery life.

Nokia has done some research on solar charging, even built a prototype phone (and based on the pictures it didn't have a huge screen to drain battery), but sadly concludes that the solar charge it got is not enough for daily usage. The Finns sent out five testers with the prototype phone in different parts of the world - from the African country of Kenya where the sun shines bright nearly all year long, to the Arctic Circle where the angle of the sun is pretty low.

The biggest charge was of course generated in Kenya, but it turned out that a lot is dependant on the lifestyle and the angle of light, and not only the weather conditions and pure amount of sunlight. In the Arctic Circle though the tester was forced to move the phone from one part of the house to another to track the sun. Not the most convenient way to use a cell phone, is it? This basically means that Nokia will look for another alternative way to juice up its devices and we can put our futuristic hopes for charging away for a while.


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6 Comments

1. Phullofphil

Posts: 1789; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I think that charging the phone is a bit of a reach also but don't give up on it. It would be great to just be able to have your phone drain slower at best. Too get twice the amount out of a battery or more without doing anything but holding it in your hand in the sun or using it outside is great with the amount of juice smartphones use these days. I guess the way that sounds kinetic chargers would work the best if possabile to make those practical. I think having solar or cometic devices built into clothes ( I know it's been done) bit have manufactures like samsung or apple implement them would be great also. Have a nice hat or coat or even a sticky solar cell that is cheap enough if lost would work great.

2. Fernmar

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

I'm saying why not use a battery and a solar panel to charge the phone like the concept of a calculator instead of only solar. Let the battery give power to the phone when not in sunlight, and let the solar panel give power to the phone when in sunlight.

3. RazaAsad

Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 24, 2011

A mobile phone battery needs much more power than a calculator and even if it switches to solar when available, it won't be enough and thats the point of this posting.

4. seanjohnusa91

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

But when the phone has a solar panel and is sitting idly in the sun it can keep it's battery percentage if not go up one or 2 instead of draining is more of what he means I think. Or at least that's how I envision it. It's simply used to keep charge/slightly extend the life. I'm not expecting a phone that relies on the sun to work or charge fully.

5. jcoberg10

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 30, 2009

I agree sean, problem is... are the little bit of extra energy worth the R&D$$ and based on the picture... size increase of the phone.

6. Fernmar

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

That's the real question jcoberg10

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