Solar-powered phones may not be that popular across Europe and North America, but there’s significant demand for them in developing markets.
That’s why Umeox – a largely unknown company – introduced a solar-powered Android smartphone at MWC 2011: the Umeox Apollo.
The Apollo’s back has a solar panel that uses technology from Intivation, the Dutch-based company that actually brought the device to MWC.
According to Intivation, if you keep the Apollo under the sun for 1 hour, you’ll get 16 minutes of talk-time. The really cool thing is that you can charge it not only under the sun, but also in natural light – the panel was even charging inside the MWC building where Intivation had its stand.
The Umeox Apollo will be launched with Android 2.3 in about two months, becoming the first solar-powered Gingerbread handset. Initially, the phone will be launched in markets like India and South America. It should retail for about €150 ($200), while operators will sell it for under $100. For that kind of money, apart from getting a phone that’s doesn’t necessarily need electricity, you’ll also get a 3.2 inch HVGA touchscreen, 3G, 3.5mm headset jack, stereo Bluetooth, 3MP camera, 1GB of on-board memory, and MicroSD card support (up to 32GB).
Here’s a video preview of a (sadly) non-functional Umeox Apollo:
Intivation has also showcased the Xpal-made SP1001 “high power solar charger” (pictured above), which lets you charge “any kind of handset or device.” More info on this charger can be found here.
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