Gadgets are generally not known for their eco credentials, with many coming across as beautiful but evil pieces of technology designed to seduce the human race into eliminating the earth’s natural resources.
However, every now and then something comes along that is a little kinder to the planet but still manages to function well and look good. Step forward the new Puma Phone, a joint venture between Puma and Sagem Wireless. It’s a smartphone with entertaining features wrapped up in a glossy exterior – that just happens to be charged up using solar power.
Obviously, if you want to get the best of the solar panel, you need to be outside. Luckily, there are a few features that will encourage a bit of outdoor activity. In the spirit of the Puma brand, the phone has a pedometer, a stopwatch, a GPS tracker to trace a running or cycling route and a bike speedometer. There’s even a compass in case you happen to get lost in a forest or when heading out to the open seas.
When the rain starts coming down, you can stay indoors and play with the phone’s ‘spin and scratch’ music player instead – a good, silly feature that sums up this phone’s cheeky attitude. There’s even an on-demand puma called Dylan that you can call up whenever you like, if that’s your thing.
Aside from the fun stuff, the phone has a strong set of basic features, including a 2.8-inch touch screen and 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash. There’s also internet access, video calling, Bluetooth photo sharing and an integrated FM radio.
The solar power on this phone hints at the importance Puma is placing on greener issues, and this is being carried through to the development of new packaging for its sportswear. The ‘Clever Little Bag’ is a reusable shoe bag that protects new shoes all the way from the factory to your house.
Less packaging means less raw materials, reduced weight, lower fuel consumption during transportation, and no need for plastic bags on purchase. Puma’s clothes are also being given a packaging makeover, being bagged with sustainable material instead of polythene.
Overall, this phone is a good-looking smartphone with some fun features and useful sports tools. And the fact that it can be topped up with a little bit of sunshine while you’re out and about can only make for a happy gadget. Available from April 2010.