A few months ago, when someone said “eco-friendly mobile phone”, the thought that crossed my mind was, “Good-bye advanced features!”. However of-late, the new enviro-friendly handsets that have been stepping into the market, have blown me off my feet. They’ve managed to hit two birds with one stone by not only being green, but also packing in those advanced features, like 3G capability, WiFi and sometimes touchscreens too. In fact you can do almost anything on these phones that you would on laptops. While I would not call them 100% green, these are definitely the first steps… Here are some impressive eco-friendly, yet advanced mobile phones:
Sony Ericsson Hazel
The Hazel is a mobile phone made from recycled plastics and is said to be free from hazardous chemicals. This slider phone has plenty to offer in terms of specs too. It supports WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth. Stay in touch with people via calls, SMS, MMS, emails or IMs. You can as well hop onto the internet for a surf. A-GPS is also offered for road navigation. Extra-storage with microSD cards is available too. There’s entertainment on-board with an FM radio, a media-player and games. Another interesting feature is the 5MP camera that’s housed in this handset. It lets you click photographs and shoot videos. This mobile phone promises a talktime of 10-hours on GSM or 2G and about 4 hours on 3G. One more noteworthy aspect is the Noise Shield Filter, integrated in this device. It helps cut out background noise, so the person on the other end of the phone can hear you better.
Sony Ericcson Elm
The Elm is quite similar to the Sony Ericsson Hazel in terms of specifications. The only difference is that the Elm is a candybar handset, while the Hazel is a slider. Thus it offers the same goodies, like WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, A-GPS, microSD card storage, a 5MP camera, FM radio, media player, built-in games, the Noise Shield Filter and more. It offers a similar battery life too. Again, this handset is also made from recycled plastics and is free from hazardous chemicals.
The Samsung Reclaim is yet another ‘green’ phone which packs in quite a punch. It is a vertical slider, with a QWERTY keyboard. It supports 3G networks, Bluetooth, has a GPS receiver built-in and offers a microSD card slot for extra memory. Apart from basic phone functions, you can as well browse the internet and email. A 2MP camera comes packed in it, which lets you shoot stills and videos. You can listen to music and play games on this handset. What’s most interesting is Samsung’s endeavour to make this handheld an eco-friendly one. This device is said to be 80% recyclable. Its case is made of bio-plastics extracted from corn. Things that accompany the phone, including packaging material, are recyclable. Users are encouraged to use the online manual to save paper. The essential printed material that comes with the handset, uses soy-based ink. The charger of this gadget is an “Energy Star” proficient one. Phew!
The Nokia X6 is perhaps one of the most feature-rich green mobile phones. It is a full touchscreen handset with a 3.2” display. A full-fledged networking set with WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth is offered. There’s support for GPS as well. 16GB of internal memory, a micro-USB connector, a standard headphone jack are all present in this gadget. A 5MP camera is packed within too. Coming to its eco-friendly features – the X6 is 80% recyclable. The materials used in its making are PVC-free. The packaging is made from recycled material and is 100% recyclable as well. The handset itself has features like ambient light sensor, power save mode and an efficient charger which gives a reminder when the charging is complete.
Apple has an extensive eco-friendly process for the manufacture of their products. Right from the manufacturing and packaging stage (including raw materials used), to the lifetime and recycling after usage, Apple have ensured that they keep everything as green and clean as possible. The latest iPhone 4, which is said to be the best ever smartphone seen till date (keeping aside the antenna design and signal strength issues), is a PVC-free device. It is said to use bromine-free PCBs, mercury-free LCD display and arsenic-free display glass. The packaging material is obtained from recycled fiberboard and bio-based materials. The headphone and USB cable that come in the package are mentioned to be PVC-free as well.
The latest and pleasantly surprising mobile phone, which lays emphasis on eco-friendliness is the Puma Phone. No prizes for guessing, but yes, it is made by the popular sports brand – Puma. This mobile phone has a 2.8” touchscreen. It offers almost all essentials that you’d look for in a modern-day touchscreen mobile phone. There’s WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, microSD card support, a 3.2MP camera, plus a second VGA camera in the front for video calls, FM radio, media player and more. The rear side of this handheld is covered with solar panels for charging. Puma claims that this phone will deliver a talktime of 90 minutes after being left out in the sun for an hour. It can however, also be charged with an electrical charger.
Many of the mobile phone makers are turning towards making greener products these days. Some of them are conducting extensive researches for incorporating eco-friendliness, without sacrificing technology. This is because, while being eco-conscious is the need of the hour, it does not make sense to have primitive devices, with limited functions these days.
Article by Trinity Nick from the UK. A technical-geek, she reviews laptops and mobile phones that are released in the UK market
photo: samantha celera, Sony Ericcson, Nokia, Samsung, Applie, and Puma.