It’s something of which North American cell phone carriers should take note. Kenya’s Safaricom, in partnership with Chinese cell maker ZTE, has launched a solar powered cell phone made from recyclable materials, Bloomberg reports.

ZTE Coral-200 Solar. Credit: Flickr/techfever

ZTE Coral-200 Solar. Credit: Flickr/techfever

ZTE claims its Coral-200 phone can recharge using the sun’s rays and has a talk time of a little over two hours. In a country like Kenya, the phone is a perfect addition to current cell options.

While there are more than 17 million cell phone subscribers in Kenya, only 1.3 million have access to constant electricity. Many people have to go into major metropolises just to charge their phones, a major inconvenience.

While the ZTE Coral isn’t the glitziest solar phone on the market, it serves a great purpose to people in Kenya.

Samsung Blue Earth

Earlier this year Samsung also introduced a solar phone with spectacular specs. The phone is made of recyclable plastic and boasts a pedometer, MMS‚ capability and a touch screen. LG and Sharp have also manufactured solar phones. None of phones are, however, slated for a U.S. release. What a waste.

Samsung Blue Earth. Credit: Flickr/uriondo

Samsung Blue Earth. Credit: Flickr/uriondo

Cell phone carriers in North America should look to these phones as options for at least the outdoorsy-types. Solar-powered phones give campers the ability to stay connected while in the wilderness, just in case something happens.

As low-cost options with GSM networks, consumers could purchase the phones as at least backups to their iPhones or smart phones until solar phones can boast more impressive features, more along the lines of those offered by smart phones.

I know I’d love to have one.

About The Author

Sachin Seth is the Blast Magazine world news reporter. He writes the Terra blog. You can visit his website at or follow him on twitter @sachinseth

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