Currently a late-stage prototype without a fancy name, LG's solar-powered phone is one of a very few handsets to harness alternative energy as part of its design.
LG, like Sony, is on the green bandwagon but in a good way. The company has promised to remove a bunch of toxic substances (like brominated compounds and PVC) from its handsets by 2010, and another bunch by 2012. Along those eco-lines, this new solar-powered phone doesn't have to be plugged in to charge.
It has a solar panel built into the back of the handset, as part of the battery cover. If it's sunny enough, you could go without a plug -- at least briefly. Ten minutes of sun exposure will get you three minutes of talk time. With continuous exposure, the phone can stay in standby mode on solar power alone -- but the solar power is mostly a "top off" feature in this phone.
Details on features are a bit scarce now, but as for availability, the company says the phone will be on sale in Europe by the end of 2009 [source: LG]. It will ship in packaging made of recycled paper and soy inks.
Up next, the Motorola Renew.