Are there solar powered cell phones available on the market?

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Answered by: Jason, An Expert in the Cell Phone Reviews and Profiles Category
While as of today, February 19th, 2011, there are no solar powered cell phones available on the market, before the end of the year the company Umeox will be releasing their new brand of phone called the "Apollo" which will feature a solar cell on its back. No more than five inches by three, this solar panel will be able to recharge this solar powered device in just two and a half hours provided the battery has not been entirely depleted. In the case that it is, the recharge time is a seventeen hour trudge through the mud, though luckily, the phone is more than likely going to feature traditional charging options as well, which will take much less time.

Solar powered cell phones are immensely useful in emergency situations: in applications for extreme hikers and climbers or being used by research teams in Antarctica or other desolate areas. There could be no better feature on a phone than the kind that keeps it charged even without an electric outlet nearby. Having a team outfitted with solar powered cell phones could literally mean the difference between life and death in the event of a plane crash or similarly tragic act of God. For this reason, solar cell phones may become a more popular survival tool than two-way radios or satellite phones. Only time will tell whether a phone that yields charge from the sun will save as many lives as other emergency equipment such as the flare, signaling mirror or HAM radio though when those options are stacked against a cellular device, they come up tragically short of being able to communicate with authorities or aid thousands of miles away.

Solar powered cell phones are obviously not going to feature bells and whistles found on an iPhone though the functional "Apollo" does bolster a three MP camera, an FM radio, a headphone jack and Bluetooth compatibility. The screen resolution is 320 x 480 on a 3.2 inch screen so while you may not be able to play games like bejeweled on your sun basking cell phones just yet, you'll still be readily able to browse applications, check email and do most of the things that you've come to expect out of a phone. It will also feature one GB of internal memory and an expandable memory via an SD slot.

While the "Apollo" will be rolling out by the end of this year, Umeox is a Chinese company and there is no guarantee that there will be a United States roll out for this phone. A promising sign that there will be a version for the US is that two different versions of these solar powered cell phones are slated for production: one that will be operating on the frequency that AT&T uses in the Americas and one that is associated with Europe and Asia. Given the huge market in the US for green technology, chances are that State-siders will see it but no official statement has been made yet.

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