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Samsung's solar-powered Blue Earth touchscreen phone review

Review by Todd Haselton on Friday February 05, 2010.

samsung s7550 blue earth · cell phone reviews · samsung news · cell phone news · todd haselton

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At its core the Samsung S7550 Blue Earth is a simple and limited feature phone. But with an eco-friendly focus - from its design to its packaging - and a solar panel for charging on the back cover, it's a very unique device that will please gadget lovers and environmentalists alike.

Physical Aspects

The 108mm x 56mm x 14.2mm (4.25in x 2.2in x .55in) Blue Earth sports a candybar form factor that's very intuitive to use. It feels very small and, at just 90g (3.2oz), it's light in the hand and pocket. The plastic shell has a beautiful dark blue finish that fades to a brighter sky-blue shade around the screen. Upon close examination I noticed some small sparkles in the paint that added to its premium looking paint job. The front of the Blue Earth has send and end keys and a centralized key for accessing the phone's home screen from any menu. The end key also doubles as a power button. A volume rocker is on the top left side of the device and a micro-USB port and a hold/camera toggle switch are on the right side of the phone.

The rear cover is home to the device's 3.2-megapixel camera as well as its solar panel, which dominates most of the rear. If you remove the battery cover you can add a microSD card as well. Oddly, the Blue Earth lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, but thankfully comes with its own headphones and a micro-USB adapter for listening to music and using the FM radio.

I found that the send and end keys offered very good feedback when pressed, but I think the keys should have been moved up just a hair so that they were below the screen. When I hung up phone calls I often overshot the end key with my thumb.

The 3-inch, 400 x 240 pixel resistive display, with haptic feedback, was bright enough to view under direct sunlight even at a 50 percent brightness setting, but I thought it should have been a little larger given that it serves as the main form of input on the phone. I was able to choose an "Eco mode" for the screen also, which set the backlight duration to just 8 seconds and the brightness to a level of 2.

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stolto @ 8:39:22AM EST on Monday February 8, 2010

How can you recommend such a stupid and useless phone?
Actually, I still have to see a review with 'not recommended' conclusion. If this phone didn't get it it is obvious that 'recommended' is the worst possible conclusion you can give...

Michael Oryl @ 1:44:47PM EST on Monday February 8, 2010

Ah yes, spoken like someone who has never actually used the phone. Todd and I, however, both used it and both liked it.

stolto @ 7:56:43AM EST on Tuesday February 9, 2010

True, I have not used this phone. And you too seem not to have reviewed it very accurately. The only thing worth mentioning was the the solar panel but you don't mention how (if) beneficial/effective it is in terms of autonomy. Also not clear if the camera is 2 or 3 mega pixel (see part 1 and part 3 of the review).
Even if you don't want to be critical at lease you should be accurate.

Michael Oryl @ 8:55:01AM EST on Tuesday February 9, 2010

So, a typo in the review regarding the camera, and now the review is inaccurate? Again, I ask, how would you know? You've never used the phone. Yes, better coverage of the solar cell would have been a good thing, but that hardly invalidates the entire review, and especially doesn't lend any weight to your original comment, that the phone is "stupid and useless". And if you took the time to bother to click on the explanation link next to the rating, you'd see what it means. The phone works, and it has no deal-breaking issues with it. By that definition there are, indeed, few Not Recommended ratings. But again, that has no bearing on the review, nor the accuracy of what is said within it.

stolto @ 10:19:32AM EST on Tuesday February 9, 2010

One last point of your inaccurate review. You mention: "The Blue Earth supports WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and AT&T's EDGE network in the United States. On AT&T's EDGE network I averaged 107Kbps with a full signal, which is far slower than you could expect in a country that supports full 3G on the phone.".
In fact this is a dual mode (2G/3G) phone. Possibly it doesn't support the 3G frequencies in the US. Isn't it stupid to distribute a 3G phone that doesn't work as a 3G phone in the US? And my point: isn't it silly to recommend this phone?

Michael Oryl @ 1:12:06PM EST on Tuesday February 9, 2010

Wow, you are a piece of work. Yes, it is a 3G phone, but only supports EDGE in the U.S. It would be faster in Europe, which is where it is sold. That's what Todd said. It is still recommended because half of our audience is not from the United States. We don't review only for Americans, we review for people all over the world. No U.S. consumer will find this on a U.S. carrier site, so there's little room for confusion here about supported bands. The people that can actually buy the phone will still be interested in knowing that we liked the phone - even if you don't. Luckily, nobody likely cares if you think it is a stupid phone - they didn't come here to get you thoughts on it, especially considering you have no first hand knowledge of the device. If you think you can do better, start your own website. I'm sure there's a class of people that your senseless rants would appeal to.

We're done here. I have no more time to waste on you.

European @ 6:38:08AM EDT on Monday September 20, 2010

Way to go Michael :D
I can say that I dont know much of electronic devices but Im sure this phone meets all and more of the features im asking from a phone. I also think that the solar panels and the eco-thinking is very appealing and I really like the looks of this phone. Its the first touch screen phone Ive ever considered of buying! ^^

Wesley @ 2:50:37PM EDT on Monday November 1, 2010

I bought the phone in October. It was 100 euros. It is a 3G phone and works great in Germany!

question @ 2:09:30PM EST on Tuesday February 8, 2011

Will this phone work 100% correctly in the United States?

Jillee @ 5:14:53PM EST on Wednesday February 16, 2011

I'm really interested in this phone, but are you saying it will not work well in the united states?

rachel @ 3:43:45PM EST on Saturday February 19, 2011

my phone worked fine when I got it but after 2 days it wouldn't let me send texts, I am able to receive them but not send, help?

Kavi @ 6:07:14PM EDT on Wednesday September 28, 2011

I think this phone is brilliant and it shows how much samsung wishes to help the environment and the issue of global warming. Whomever wishes to criticize this device definately doesn't care for the future of their children and others, not to mention themselves in helping the earth. Thumbs up to Samsung!

lyn @ 8:42:23PM EST on Saturday November 12, 2011

how much is that new samsung S7550 BLUE EARTH 3g WIFI GPS 3.15MP

About the author

Todd Haselton
Todd is a senior editor at MobileBurn and works out of his home in New York City. He covers news for us and also writes reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @RoboTodd

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