Sony Ericsson did more than just announce its new "GreenHeart" strategy Thursday, the company also unveiled two new Earth-friendly cell phones. According to Sony Ericsson, the Naite and the C901 Cyber-shot will help it reach its goal of a 20 percent carbon footprint reduction by 2015. The handsets offer such features as recycled plastic, low-power chargers, and waterborne paints. Also, by including electronic, rather than paper user manuals, Sony Ericsson said it can reduce packaging size. The company promises that the overall carbon footprint of each phone will be reduced by 15 percent.
Both the Naite and the C901 have standard candy bar designs with trim profiles. The 262,144-color displays looked sharp during my brief hands-on, and I didn't notice any immediate problems with their navigation controls and keypad buttons. That's a good sign considering Sony Ericsson doesn't have the best track record when designing user controls. On the downside, while the recent Sony Ericsson W995a has a 3.5mm headset jack, the Naite and C901 have proprietary jacks.
The C901 and Naite are quad-band GSM world phones, but the C901 only supports 3G networks outside of North America. The Naite, which comes in red and silver designs, should be out by the third quarter of 2009. The C901, which will be available only in white, should go on sale during the second quarter of this year.
Features on both phones are mid-range, but are more plentiful than Motorola's Renew W233 recycled phone. As a Cyber-shot phone, the C901 centers on its camera. The 5-megapixel shooter captures still photos and video and it includes such options as auto-focus, photo geo-tagging, and a Xenon flash with red-eye reduction. The camera lens on the phone's rear side has a sliding cover.
The C901 also promises a music player, stereo Bluetooth, a speakerphone, messaging and POP3 e-mail, instant messaging, USB mass storage, motion gaming, PC syncing, an FM radio, a wireless Web browser, and a personal organizer. And back on the green front, you can use the C901's navigation toggle to adjust the display's brightness level and save battery life. Having those controls on the toggle saves you from digging through a menu.
The Naite has a 2-megapixel camera and camcorder, a music player, a wireless Web browser, a speakerphone, messaging and POP3 e-mail, instant messaging, an FM radio, stereo Bluetooth, Google Maps, USB Mass storage, PC syncing, and a personal organizer. Like the C901 the Naite has a special Walkmate pedometer, which also tells you how much carbon emissions your steps are saving