Week In Gadget News

Time for another edition of This Week In Gadget News.  Let’s start off the week right with some environmental news and cell phones shall we?  Let us shall!

Samsung Mobile Announces Two Eco-Friendly Phones

Samsung Replenish

Earth-friendly yet powerful

Samsung Replenish™, Sprint’s first eco-friendly Android smartphone boasting access to more than 150,000 apps in the Android Market™, is partially built with recycled plastics and recyclable packaging making it the ideal choice for the environmentally conscious consumer who needs the latest technology. The stylish touch QWERTY device will be offered with the first solar charging battery cover for a wireless phone in the United States. Replenish will also be enabled with Sprint ID which lets customers personalize their device instantly with eco-friendly focused apps and mobile content. This device will be available in three color options – Onyx Black, Arctic Blue and Raspberry Pink (in June).

Eco-Friendly Design

Reduced environmentally sensitive materials (RoHS compliant, free of intentionally added polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), phthalates, and beryllium).  Energy efficient, with a charger that meets the EC Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency of External Power Supplies, Version 4, as well as a visual alert for full charge

Casing includes 34.6 percent post-consumer recycled plastic content (the highest level in our eco-portfolio) and 82 percent of the device is made from recyclable materials.  Fully recyclable packaging that incorporates 80 percent post-consumer waste material and uses soy inks. Includes a postage-paid envelop to recycle your old phone and promotes a virtual user guide available on the Sprint Website – www.sprint.com

Entertainment/Personalization

  • Touch QWERTY bar phone with 2.8-inch QVGA display
  • Android 2.2, Froyo, with access to more than 150,000 apps on the Android Market
  • Special access to Sprint ID Pack, including Green ID pack
  • 2 megapixel camera and camcorder –upload, share and store pictures with Photobucket, Facebook®, MySpace® and upload video to YouTube™
  • Wi-Fi and GPS capable
  • Bluetooth® 2.1
  • 2GB microSD card slot; supports up to a 32GB memory card

Specifications

  • Processor: MSM7627-2 600MHz Single Core ARMv6
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 4.8 x 0.5 inches; 4.1 ounces 
  • Display: 2.8-inch (1.8 inch x 2.6 inch) TFT  (240 x 320 pixels and 262k vibrant colors)
  • RAM/ROM:  256MB/512MB
  • Standard 1160 mAh battery: up to 5.4 hours continuous talk time

And then Virgin Mobile Announced this phone also from Samsung

Samsung Restore™ by Virgin Mobile USA

Virgin Mobile goes green

As Virgin Mobile’s first eco-friendly1, no contract device, Samsung Restore™ is perfect for the tech savvy, yet eco-friendly consumer. Restore’s casing includes post-consumer recycled plastic and 83 percent of the phone is recyclable2. Samsung Restore is a full-feature messaging whiz, offering a slide-out full QWERTY, 4-row keyboard, 2.0 MP camera and camcorder, and media player with microSD card slot.

 

Eco-Friendly Design

The phone casing contains 27 percent post-consumer recycled plastics and the handset as a whole is 83 percent recyclable. The device meets strict RoHS3 standards and only has low levels of environmentally sensitive materials (PVC, BFRs, Phthalates, Beryllium).

Restore will launch in Virgin Mobile’s new handset packaging that is also more eco-friendly.  The green packaging is now composed of 100% recycled plastic and uses almost 50% less plastic than prior packaging.

 

Entertainment/Personalization

  • Social networking shortcuts to sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter
  • 2.0 megapixel camera and video camcorder
  • MP3 player with microSD card slot (supports up to 32GB)
  • Navigate with Google Maps and Virgin Navigator
  • Stereo Bluetooth® wireless technology
  • Access to e-mail, including AOL®, Gmail®, Yahoo!® and MSN/Windows™ Live Hotmail

Specifications

Dimensions: 4.6 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches; 3.7 ounces 

Display: 1.4 x 1.9 inches TFT (240 x 320 pixels and 262k vibrant colors)

Standard 1140 mAh battery: up to 6 hours continuous talk time*

Here is the official press release from Sprint and Samsung Mobile on when you can expect these phones to hit the market.

Sprint (NYSE:S) today unveiled several progressive initiatives building on Sprint’s environmental leadership in the wireless industry, including upcoming availability of the stylish Samsung Replenish from Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States.1 Samsung Replenish, an Android touch QWERTY smartphone enabled with Sprint ID, will be available on May 8 at the affordable price of just $49.99 with a two-year service agreement and new-line activation or eligible upgrade.

Sprint is waiving the $10 monthly premium data add-on charge for Samsung Replenish to make it easier for customers to make eco-friendly buying decisions. In addition, the Earth-friendly2 Samsung Restore, first available from Sprint in 2010, will be offered to Virgin Mobile USA customers without an annual contract beginning on April 18.

“We want to make it as simple as we can for our customers to go green with a robust selection of products and aggressive pricing,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Samsung Replenish is as green as we could make it with more than 80 percent recyclable materials, housed in partially recycled plastics, energy efficient and built with fewer environmentally sensitive materials. As if this is not enough incentive, we are also lowering the monthly rate for this phone by $10 for new or existing customers so it pays for itself within just five months.”

With four eco-friendly phones launched to date, Sprint has made available the most green devices and accessories of any U.S. wireless carrier. Marking another U.S. first, an optional solar charging battery cover will be available for Samsung Replenish. The solar battery cover and an Eco-cover made from Naturacell3 will be available for purchase on May 8.

Which means keep your eyes open at your local Philadelphia area Wal-Marts and make sure to check in at your local Sprint retailer and get some more info on this as it becomes available.

So there you have it May 8th expect two eco-friendly phones to hit the market and hey who isn’t happy about a little eco-friendly phones now and again?

Next up on this WEEK IN GADGET NEWS, Solar power without the solar?

Scientists Discover New Way To Create Solar Energy Without The Sun

That is right University of Michigan scientist had some extra time and was shooting lasers into glass (a typical Wednesday activity) and discovered something rather unexpected.  That light passing through a non-conductive surface like glass generates impressive magnetic effects – up to 100 million times greater than expected. The resulting magnetic force could replace the electric effect exploited by current technology, paving the way for “optical batteries.”

What that means to the consumer is that taking the solar out of solar panels could eliminate those huge solar panel farms you see cropping up everywhere.  So basically what these crazy cats have done is overturn nearly a century old tenet of physics just for fun!

To break it down for you so that we can all understand.  Stephen Rand and William Fisher discovered a new way to conduct and capture solar energy and transform this energy into cheaper electric conducive power.  In traditional optical rectification, light’s electric field causes a charge separation, or a pulling apart of the positive and negative charges in a material. This sets up a voltage, similar to that in a battery. This electric effect had previously been detected only in crystalline materials that possessed a certain symmetry.

In a nutshell these guys found a way to make home solar cell energy match that to commercial grade solar cells.  Simply amazing I say.

Ok next up on This Week In Gadget NEWS we have Best Buy having an iPad 2 deal?

Best Buy Big Event Before The Big Event

Seems like Best Buy has a stock pile of iPad 2’s in its inventory and has been holding onto that inventory for a big event.  Well seems like this Sunday they are going to tap into that stockpile and it does seem like inventory will be very short and to the point.  3 each this tip sheet says and if you are holding onto a ticket for a backorder but still no tablet this might seem like a good day to pick one up.

Finally in This Week in Gadget News is a sad story…so let’s get to it

Flip Camera Dead…and Your Cellphone Is To Blame

Earlier this week, Cisco announced that it’s trendy and early to the party Flip Camera brand is no more.  Seems as if Cisco couldn’t bear to believe that modern day Cellphone cameras are capable of capturing better quality video than the Flip Camera.  I however do still enjoy my Flip Camera.  Your smartphone video quality is fantastic, however something about shooting at 60fps just makes slow motion much more fun.  I will continue to carry my Flip Camera wherever I go because of image stabilization and just to be a trendy guy.  I feel sorry for the 550 employees losing their jobs because of this revelation and that is another reason I shall still carry and use my Flip Camera.

Cisco has stated that it will continue to support the users and the software for the Flip Camera just for how long wasn’t announced.  Goodbye old friend and your innovations were noted and surpassed long ago.

That is this Week In Gadget News…stay tuned as this will pop up from time to time

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