The Umeox Apollo Solar Powered phone is slick looking, I'll give it that. Running on Android, it takes about 2.5 hours of sunlight to recharge from a day's use, trickling the phone with current throughout the day. But if it's dead, it'll take nearly 17 hours of continuous sunlight to bring it back to life. There are plans for two models: one for the US (MTK6573) with support for 850/1900Mhz bands, and one (MTK6516) that works in Europe and much of Asia.
Here's a breakdown of the specs:
* 3.2″ 320×480 Display
* Android 2.2 (Froyo)
* 1GB storage internally, with a microSD card slot
* FM Radio
* Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
* 3 megapixel rear camera
* 3.5mm audio jack
Green initiatives aside, why would someone need a smartphone that is powered by the sun? Well, there are cases, like hiking, where a solar option is ideal. I myself have had to charge my phone while camping with my son's scout den. And it was a frustrating affair since the sun moves and the phone doesn't. And then there's that pesky cloud thing.
Then again, traveling out of the country, there's concern over power issues and converters. So being able to just leave the phone near a window that has sunlight when not in use is quite beneficial. But a 3MP camera is sort of ho hum.
And considering the abuse that a cellphone can get riding in a pocket or purse, will that kind of work cause a drop in how well it charges? Would a protective case help or hinder the sun's transmission of solar power?
It's certainly worth keeping an eye on to see how well it performs or if the idea will catch on.