In San Francisco, California at the Climate One discussion, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse unveiled Sprint’s latest eco-friendly efforts in the form of the Samsung Replenish, an eco-conscious Android smartphone. While the phone is touted as environmentally friendly, it doesn’t skimp on specs and the Samsung Replenish should be able to take on messaging devices with a front-facing keyboard, such as the Droid Pro from Motorola, also an Android smartphone, and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones.
The Replenish will be available beginning May 8th for just $50 on a two-year service agreement. The device will be compatible with Sprint ID, which are bundled apps, wallpapers, ringtones, and other pre-selected software components that help users customize and personalize their devices in a simple click. Some features of the Replenish include:
- Touch QWERTY bar phone with 2.8-inch QVGA main 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
- Solar door charging accessory (sold separately)
- 2MP camera and camcorder – upload, share and store pictures with Photobucket, Facebook®, MySpace® and upload video to YouTube™
- Wi-Fi® and GPS capable
- MicroSD card slot that supports up to a 32GB memory card
- Three color options – Onyx Black, Arctic Blue and Raspberry Pink (in June)
The Replenish features a case made of 80% recyclable materials. Additionally, there’s an optional back battery cover that houses a solar power panel for charging while on the go.
At the announcement, Sprint is boasting about its status as the sixth most green company in America, and the company really is putting its money where its mouth is. In addition to making America’s first green and eco-conscious smartphone, Dan Hesse also announced that Sprint will be helping to make the Android-powered phone more affordable and attractive to consumers. With the Replenish, Sprint will be offering customers a $10 per month discount on their monthly rate plans to new and existing customers. Additionally, the Replenish will feature the following environmentally-friendly features:
- Reduced environmentally sensitive materials (RoHS compliant6, 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 envelope to recycle your old phone and promotes a virtual user guide available on the Sprint website – www.sprint.com
Compared to the Motorola Droid Pro, the Replenish offers the same, narrow form factor, which will be beneficial for users who prefer to use their devices one-handed while on the go, to be able to grip and thumb at the keyboard in one hand. The keys on the keyboard offer some tactile curves to help aid in typing accuracy and unlike the Droid Pro, the Android navigation buttons are actual physical buttons, requiring a mechanical press–the Droid Pro’s navigation buttons are capacitive touch buttons. However, the downside is that the small screen is lower resolution–the Droid Pro offers an HVGA resolution while the Replenish utilizes a QVGA screen. On a smaller display, however, that may not be as noticeable.
Like the Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon, the Replenish for Sprint will be a 3G smartphone that has access to Sprint’s Now Network.
The Replenish will also be coming to Sprint’s pre-paid Virgin Mobile brand on April 18th for just $80 sans contract.