There have been quite a few attempts at solar powered cell phones, but the X259, created by Indian manufacturer Micromax, is one of the first that actually looks quite promising. It costs roughly Rs. 2,499 (about $45) and comes equipped with a 2.4” color screen, camera, radio capability, dual SIM setup, and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s certainly no iPhone, but that’s a pretty decent list of features for something operated off solar power.
The X259 can of course be charged in a wall socket, but a solar panel on the back of the phone can provide 90 minutes of talk time after three hours in the sun. Power outages are frequent in India and the grid is still relatively unreliable, so this phone could be in demand. The price is also relatively affordable by local standards.
Many of us in wealthier or so-called developed nations tend to take electricity for granted, and rarely think twice about plugging in our phones whenever we need to, since they seem to not require much energy and the power grid is pretty reliable.