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Umeox Apollo smartphone: $100, solar-powered, Android 2.2

It’s being touted as the world’s first Android solar-powered smartphone. Unveiled by Intivation at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress 2011, the Umeox Apollo smartphone will sell for just $100 off-contract.

“It’s targeted at people who don’t have 500 dollars or 500 euros to spend on a phone”-  Intivation co-founder Frans W. Biegstraaten explained to us- “people who have a little bit less, but still want to have a fully-featured phone.”

It won’t offer the speed nor specs of most of the newer smartphones on the market, but it’s meant to be a basic device for those in emerging markets who might not have regular access to the grid.

It’s a hybrid phone offering both the solar charger and a plug-in option. To charge the phone using the sun, it will take about 2.5 hours to top it off after daily usage. Though if you fully deplete it, it will take 17 hours to charge it back up.

Specs (there will be 2 phones: 1 for the U.S. and 1 for Europe and most of Asia):

  • Android 2.2 operating system
  • Rear solar panel
  • MediaTek processor
  • 1GB storage internally, with a MicroSD card slot
  • 512 RAM
  • SIM card slot
  • 3-megapixel rear camera
  • 320×480 capacitive touchscreen in a 3.2 inch display
  • 1 GB storage and 512MB RAM
  • built-in flashlight
  • FM radio
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • bluetooth 2.1
  • 100g weight

In this video, we talk to Biegstraaten about this cheap and rugged phone. He told us marketing samples would be available in April and it should be on the market in June/July of 2011 (Beginning in Europe, India and Latin America, but it will eventually go global).