Tokyo Edge: March's coolest gadgets

We're already a quarter of the way into 2009 and the gadgets are coming thick and fast despite the recession that is gripping many countries. This month it was time for new digital cameras with the PMA show in the US and a couple of follow-ups from Panasonic and Sony in their CES announcements from back in January. Mobile World Congress in Spain also proved a springboard for some new cell phones, among which were a couple of interesting prototypes from Samsung and LG. Both phones, which are detailed below, made use of solar panels to charge the battery. Green gadgets are definitely going to be a theme this year so watch out for similar prototypes and products as 2009 rolls on.

Solar-powered cell phones: Among the most interesting prototypes from the month was a pair of solar-powered cell phones from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Samsung's phone is called Blue Earth and is a touchscreen model with rounded corners designed to look, said Samsung, like a "well-rounded pebble." Continuing the environmental theme, the phone is made from recycled plastic and doesn't include harmful substances like brominated flame retardants (BFRs), Beryllium and phthalates. The solar cells on the phone occupy most of the rear of the phone's case. LG didn't release much information about its prototype phone, but it appeared to be a version of its KF750 Secret handset with solar cells covering the rear of the phone's case. There's no word on when they might make it into products.

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