Sprint and Samsung have introduced the Android-running Replenish smartphone just in time for Earth Day. Featuring a 2.8-inch QVGA display and a dedicated QWERTY keypad, the phone not only boasts eco-cred but has motivated Sprint to waive the $10 premium charge it tacks on to unlimited data plans these days.
With an Everything Data plan and a new two-year contract, the Replenish is just $50 and available beginning May 8. Users can choose from shades called Onyx Black, Arctic Blue and (though not until June) Raspberry Pink.
"Samsung Replenish is as green as we could make it with more than 80 percent recyclable materials, housed in partially recycled plastics, energy efficient and built with fewer environmentally sensitive materials," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in an April 15 statement. "As if this is not enough incentive, we are also lowering the monthly rate for this phone by $10 for new or existing customers so it pays for itself within just five months."
The Replenish runs Android 2.2-"Froyo-is WiFi- and GPS-capable, has a 2-megapixel camera with video recording and a microSD slot that supports a 32GB memory card.
The phone can also be used with a solar-charging battery cover that's sold separately. The smartphone comes in fully recyclable packaging, has an energy-efficient charger that meets the EC Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency of External Power Supplies and, as Hesse alluded, is RoHS compliant and free of bad stuff such as brominated flame retardants.
The Replenish can, of course, access the Android Market, now 150,000 apps strong, and offers special access to a Sprint ID Pack geared toward the environmentally conscious. The Packs aggregate widgets, applications and mobile shortcuts geared around various interests. The four screens of the Green ID Pack, for example, offer the latest news from TreeHugger.com, Earth911.com and GreenBiz.com, video shorts from TreeHugger TV, a personal carbon footprint calculator, a widget from GreenDeals.org offering coupons and shopping advice and a "Take Action" screen linking users to opportunities to volunteer for various green organizations, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Audubon Society.
"Sprint is striving every day to become more environmentally sustainable," Ralph Reid, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sprint, wrote in a statement. "We want to help our customers to do the same. From the Green ID pack to the Samsung Replenish, the latest device to meet Sprint's Device Eco Criteria, we are committed to providing mobility products and solutions for a better planet."
Sprint's Everything Data plan starts at $70 a month and includes unlimited text, Web and calling to and from "any mobile in America while on the Sprint network," says Sprint. (Competitor T-Mobile recently also announced an unlimited plan of sorts.)
With its green vibe going, Sprint added that the Samsung Restore, another eco-geared device, will be available to Virgin Mobile USA customers-Sprint's prepaid carrier brand-as of April 18 for $80 with no annual contract. Virgin Mobile's Beyond Talk unlimited data plan starts at $25 per month.