The trickle of eco-phones is about to become a flood, if today's announcement of a solar-powered mobile from LG is any indication.
The as-yet-unnamed handset has photovoltaic solar cells embedded in its battery cover " to conveniently harness the sun's limitless and pollution-free energy."
The panels, which take up most of the back panel of the phone, can gather and convert enough solar power in ten minute's of bright sunlight to power a three-minute phone call, and are claimed to be able to recharge the phone completely "'if left in natural light for long periods."
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There's no further details on the handset yet, although it apparently has a 5MP camera with LED flash. LG plans to launch its solar phone in Europe by the end of the year.
"Using renewable solar energy in a mobile handset is an example of our ongoing efforts to help create a safer, cleaner environment for our customers," says Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.
Other green intiatives from the South Korean company include the HFB-500 Bluetooth solar car kit and eco-friendly packaging using recycled paper and soy-based inks.
LG is also reducing the use of hazardous substances in its products, planning to make its mobile handsets free of halogenated substances, a known endocrine disruptor, by removing brominated flame retardants (BFR), chlorinated flame retardants (CFR) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from the manufacturing process by 2010 and making all handsets antimony-free by 2012.