Posted February 26, 2009
Despite all the hype about smart phones, most people want their cellies to do just one or two things well: make calls and maybe text. (By the way, those of us who are convinced we need supercomputers in our pockets are generally deluded; a study just came out revealing that the zillions of iPhone apps that get downloaded are seldom used.) The just-released Motorola Renew, offered through T-Mobile, takes the “keep it simple” mantra to a higher level: It’s the “world’s first carbon-neutral cell phone,” with 100 percent recycled packaging, plastic components made from recycled water bottles, and an energy-sipping power system that offers up to nine hours of talk time. It does have a few bells and whistles (a basic music player, a Micro SD memory-card slot), but what matters most is the call quality, which is very good, thanks to CrystalTalk noise-reduction technology. It’s also tiny (4.4 x 0.6 x 1.8 inches) and featherweight (3 ounces)—and, despite the general tendency of manufacturers to price ecoconscious gadgets at a premium, it’s refreshingly cheap.
$9.99 with service at T-Mobile.