We're not sure if the recent trend for greener gadgets comes from a wish to save the planet, assuage consumer's guilt, cash in on a trend, or some combination of the three, but we'll tell you one thing: it's not going anywhere. Of course, with a product named "Blue Earth" you know that you're not just getting a handset, but some vaguely eco-friendly ID, including: an outer shell (mostly) fashioned from recycled water bottles, a solar panel, and a pedometer (you know, to encourage walking / discourage driving). Of course, these are all things we can abide, but the question remains: how does this handset hold up, you know, as a handset? Well, GSM Arena recently put one through its paces and was kind enough to let us in on its findings. As feature phones go, says the author, this one stacks up quite nicely with something like Nokia's 5530 XpressMusic -- and even does it one better by throwing in a GPS. On the other hand, this isn't the thinnest phone in the world, the lack of HSDPA will be a deal breaker for some folks, and the 3 megapixel fixed focus camera leaves something to be desired. And how about the solar panel? According to Samsung, one hour of solar charging is good for 2 hours of standby and a little over 15 minutes of call time in 2G (or 10 minutes of talk time in UMTS). Also, it seems that they make the phone bulkier and harder to handle -- although we imagine it can't be as bad as whatever users of after-market solar panel attachments are experiencing. Other features include a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen (quite responsive, apparently) and WiFi. But that ain't all -- you really need to wade into this review yourself if you want all the juicy details. Luckily, it's but one click away: hit the read link to see for yourself.


Samsung S7550 Blue Earth reviewed, Monkey Wrench Gang unavailable for comment