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Samsung Launches World’s First Solar-Powered GSM Handset

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SEOUL, South Korea- Following up on its announcement of the world’s first solar-powered handset, aptly named Blue Earth, at Mobile World Congress in February 2009, Samsung has now launched the Samsung E1107 Crest Solar – the first commercially available solar-powered GSM handset, in selected markets of India, Europe, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America.

The E1107 Crest Solar is equipped with a large solar cell on the back panel for solar charging. As per claims of Samsung, the device is capable of providing talk time of around 5-10 minutes with one hour of solar charging (measured when the phone is turned-off under the sun light of 80,000 Lux. Results subject to vary depending on circumstances). This makes it perfect for regions with low-power availability, and hence Samsung is concentrating on emerging markets with its E1107 by targetting the rural customers with an entry-level handset for its foray into solar-powered GSM handsets.

The device is equipped with dualband GSM (900/1800MHz) connectivity, and a 1.52 ” CSTN display with a resolution of 128×128 pixels capable of rendering 65k colours. CSTN display technology is one of the viable alternatives to popular TFT displays but at half the cost. This has enabled Samsung to price the handset at just around US$60, making it one of the most economical entry-level GSM handsets.

Other features of E1170 include a built-in FM radio, MP3 ringtones, a flashlight/torch function, and software such as prayer reminders, mobile tracker, fake call, and bike-specific profiles.

Mobile Tracker is a theft-prevention software developed by Samsung capable of alerting users when the phone SIM is swapped and send SOS messages during emergency. Bike-specific profiles¬†allow calls only from certain preset numbers, making it ideal while riding a bike. The fake call function can be used to fake a call, which can be effectively used to “ditch” awkward or unwanted social situations.

The devices comes pre-loaded with 40 polyphonic ringtones and at 105.2×44.2×16.4mm, the phone weighs a mere 85g.

Launched in India as the Solar Guru at an attractive price of INR 2799 (US$59), the device is expected to be launched in various markets including Europe, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America before the end of the current month.

(INR 1 = US$ 0.2108)

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By , Chief International Correspondent on Jun 21st, 2009 GMT +2

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