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LG Displays Its Own Solar Phone Karishma Sundaram | , 9:04 p.m. Feb. 27, 2009 2009-02-27

The environment is most definitely an important issue, and something all manufacturers should consider. In fact, everybody should consider the environment, and take a leaf out the book of eco-conscious mobile manufacturing big-wigs; because that is the latest trend in the mobile phone industry: ‘Save the Environment’.

Hot on the heels of Samsung’s environmentally friendly smart phone, LG also reveals their very own prototype. Unfortunately this new prototype does not yet have a name, which probably means it will not be ready for release any time soon. 

The phone was displayed at the Mobile World Congress 09 in Barcelona, and essentially it was the back panel of the mobile phone that was really on display. The phone itself is probably ordinary, or maybe not, but it is the back panel that draws attention.

The back panel, covering the battery, has a number of sonar panels attached to it. In fact, it comprises of only solar panels. The only information that was forthcoming about this unique panel was that ten minutes of charging yields three minutes of talk time. How this translates into other applications, like messaging or web browsing was not discussed. Additionally, if LG decides to implement the solar panel back panel in say a music phone, it may need to seriously step up the charging capabilities, as multimedia playback definitely consumes more power than a telephone call. 

Unfortunately, comparisons between Samsung’s Blue Earth and this unnamed contender are bound to take place, and as a result, Blue Earth wins this particular competition. While the very materials used to make the Blue Earth mobile phone are recycled from plastic bottles, the LG mobile phone can claim no such amazing feat. However, the packaging of the mobile phone is recycled paper. Additionally, the inks used to print the documents are soy-based, and completely free of lead chemicals. However, that is perhaps the least one can expect from a mobile phone designed to be beneficial to the environment. 

The back panel also functions as an adaptor for other electronic devices by LG. This panel can be added as an accessory to other devices, making them capable of receiving solar energy to operate, and reducing the need to use conventional electricity a little bit. It also remains to be seen how the mobile phone will function in cloudy weather spells.

The phone has definite aesthetic appeal, looking much sleeker than the Blue Earth phone. There are reports that the mobile phone will be released before the end of this year. It looks extremely similar to a handset made earlier by LG, the KF750 Secret. However, along with the name and the price, the specifications are not available either. 

How far these phones will be economically viable for the average mobile phone user remains a mystery, since solar panels are not an inexpensive technology by any means. Also, whether the products will deliver the same sort of service and power that a normal mobile can is a point upon which consumers will need to have reassurance. However, without a doubt, this is a step in the right direction, technologically and ecologically speaking.

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