Nokia Solar
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Nokia teasing solar charging on future Windows Phones?

We could well be looking too much into something, but it's fun nonetheless. Nokia has published the above photo onto its Facebook account, which appears to be teasing solar charging for smartphones. The caption reads "Sun, sun, sun, here we come!" and we're not the first to question what exactly Nokia is teasing here.

Summer's well on the way (unless you live in England) and this would be a perfect opportunity to reveal solar technology on Windows Phones. Could Nokia simply be looking forward to picnics and the beach? Possibly, but then we already know the good weather will come.

But this isn't the first time we've heard about Nokia and solar energy. We previously looked at reports suggesting Nokia is looking into the technology as a source of charge for a mobile device. Adding this to wireless charging, the manufacturer is certainly investing in battery management, as well as ways to make it easier for consumers to keep their smartphones fully charged and ready to go.

How successful the technology could be, and if what we're seeing here will even become reality (if Nokia's indeed working on it) remains to be seen. It's an interesting thought of the day. Be sure to check out our previous coverage of What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface (the product that would enable such an implementation).

Do you believe Nokia can successfully implement such technology?

Source: Facebook; thanks, Tanmay, for the tip!

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Reader comments

Nokia teasing solar charging on future Windows Phones?

103 Comments

Indeed it is possible, but has it been upgraded enough to be plausible?

They could easily implement it into the phone as well. I'm curious though, if they did would they remove wireless charging? I would assume it would, but who knows.

Yeah and they f&&&ing sucked! When phones start getting monocrystalline cells we can talk, but for now... no! Currently almost all consumer solra panels on phones and laptops, tablets and on to even solar monkeys are polycrystalline stuff made in china. The worst of the worst, you get hardly and % of power out of each cell
 

It hit record 95 degrees here in San Antonio yesterday...

Summer is here unfortunately in Texas.  9 months summer/3 months mild and warm ---- gahhh I gotta get out of this state!

OMG! Yay for San Antonians! Its nice to see 3 of us on here. Summer is gonna be terrible though.

Wow I don't know how much of a charge it will provide, but if its anything like a hybrid to extend battery life in between real charges then this is def good. Also with Nokia being an innovator, I see it happening or at least have hopes for it.

i heard it will be used in next gen lumia's to extend baterry life up to 20%, i don't know if it will actually be able to charge the device...

That's nice, but remember that the 928's body is aluminum.
I can't imagine a fully charged 928 but the user can't touch it without a pair of thick gloves.

You've emphasized "Can" so much, meaning you didn't think that I thought about it before I put my comment here.
Look, it's a pity for Nokia IF they implement a super sensitive touchscreen that can be used with gloves just bec. they've thought about making a smartphone with an aluminum body with solar charging tech. in the future.
C'mon man, use some Logic.
Of course Nokia won't think that way, and the way you said "Maybe" in your comment shows that you've thought that Nokia will possibly do a shameful thing like that.
Oh my...

I see your point. The can was emphasized because the ability is already in place. It was directed to the comment about the phone being hot because of laying in the sun to charge. They get warm enough with a normal charger.

Sorry if I seemed condescending. It was not my intent.

Personally I don't think we'll see a solar charging phone this year from Nokia. I'm reading into this as Nokia welcoming in spring/summer and using a yellow Lumia because it's the representative colour of the sun.

That being said, if Nokia did release a solar charging phone this year, I wouldn't turn it down.

The only way they can get this to work is if they used an acessory. No way they'll get enough efficiency out of a 4-5" phone for it to be worth it.

Especially one whose backside is rarely facing the light source. Pie in the sky. Remember the solar calculators? The PV cells were on the front for a reason.

Could you imagine if this could provide enough energy so that it cancels the drain of using the phone! That's insane!

Would be great if it was an accessory cover you can buy for the 820. Sadly I live in England so it would only be worthwhile for two days of the year

Well it would work from the energy from the sun(and certain light bulbs) so cloudy just won't be as efficient (not that what we have now is very efficient but that's besides the point) but should still charge

I do not see any cell panel in the back of the phone; furthermore such panels are not supposed, at least as they are right now, to be able to handle accidental drops.

Not possible, sorry. It would only slightly augment the battery life if present. It's nothing to even think about. The results would be negliable. 

What if it is suggesting the superior visibility of lumia's in the sun with clear black and that sun boost mode(forget what they called it)

EXACTLY! I was wondering how long down the thread I would have to get before another reader with 1/2 a brain mentioned the Sunlight Readability feature!
Yea, no solar charging here, move in your way...

Solar charging doesn't seem likely. With the size of the phone and the efficiency of photovoltaics you are looking at less then 300mw of charging capacity in direct sunlight.
 
First, most people carry their phone in a pocket, bag, etc. and not exposed to the light. This leaves it only to charge when you are using it. While it may help a little to extend battery life it doesn't seem worth the cost and effort.
 
Second, where would the photovoltaic panels reside on the phone? As a screen like the tech linked? Well, don't you hold the screen towards your face when talking blocking the sun from hitting it? Would you really hold your phone out when walking about to charge it? In an office/home you could place the phone in the sun and charge some but I don't know... seems like a stretch.
 
My guess is something to do with better sunlight pictures, maybe an additional sensor to measure light or something.

Any time I'm at home the phone isn't in my pocket. I'd happily set it in a sunny spot instead of setting it on the wireless charger, which is where it normally goes.

Or then they are teasing about a camera update to improve the performance in daylight pictures ;)

A yellow, sunny phone, when summer is getting closer. that's all this is. calling this article a stretch is understating it.

Definitely. Could well be nothing, or Nokia could indeed be hinting at something. Summer comes each and every year, what makes the summer of 2013 anything special?

Definitely a plausible reference. Could it be more? There's a possibility, especially if the previous report is taken into account. Could we be looking too much into it? Absolutely, which is why it's stated in the article.

I would LOVE this tech on my next phone. Combined solar and wireless charging would be killer. Solar charging might also be the thing that pushes my gf over to the smartphone world, too.

Hell, if calculators can have solar charging, why can't Nokia smartphones!  The technology is there already!

Glad to see they're interested in developing this tech. I would love to be able to charge my phone via solar power.

What would be amazing, would be if they would work on some kind of wireless charging that does not need to be docked or placed on top of some kind of charger.

Why are people doubting that that this could be solar?  I have a solor powered watch - google it!  Granted the phone uses more power...but it also has a much larger surface area to capture.   At the very least it would serve to extend battery power.

could a phone withstand the heat from the sun? being charged at the same time would get it much hotter. either way it would be good for emergency charges. its much better to have than not even if it could harm the phone

Don't think it's possible. Solar panels are awfully inefficient in energy conversion. Even if the back of the phone is entirely wrapped in that stuff, and basks in harsh sunburst for 24 hours, I don't think the result will be good enough to balance off the normal energy drain. For those countering with solar-powered watches and calculators... Well, a smartphone consumes much, much, much more power than those.

Yea I'd be a little worried about the direct heat damaging my phone over time. Now if they could develop a solar case that is insulated and works with the qi charging, then that's another story.
Basically the case works as a qi charging station that charges with solar power. Even electric cars don't run solely on electricity. It'd have to be a complimentary setup.

I can do this at home right now. Get a photovoltaic cell and use a 3d printer to print the rest of the shell. The energy wouldnt be enough to recharge the phone, but rather keep it at an eqilibrium. Imagine a phone that has a standby time of infinity, lol

Shot in the dark here, but is there a European or Asian carrier who uses the Sun as their logo that Nokia has been trying to get on?

Interesting that they are showing the Lumia 820 where you can change the cover. So a new cover with a solar panel wouldn't be completely impossible ;)

Here's what will happen. Nokia will do it and no one will care, apple will steal the idea and everyone will shit themselves at "their new innovation"

You guys are pushing it now. Solar charging? That picture doesn't imply anything like that.

Nokia -- Fixing the world's problems.
Kid: Mom, I am going outside to play Angry Bird.
 
At least they already have the ClearBlack displays.

Several clues can be found just by following @nokiasolar on Twitter.  It seems pretty obvious that a solar phone is just around the corner.

They have the input form the case to provide a charge to the battery, so it's just a case change. It's not efficient enough to negate usage, but if you could set your phone down in a sunny spot to charge for a couple hours, it would sure extend use. I think if the price piont would be right it could be a pretty neat technology.
 

Let's see Sun is a star. Stars form constellations. This time of the year is represented by Pisces. Pisces is a fish. Fish can be considered food. Food is a source of energy for life. Life includes plants. Plants use photosynthesis for energy. Photosynthesis results in glucose creation. I see it Nokia will create a phone that creates glucose

whoa whoa whoa wait a minute.  I thought it was bad for the battery to get hot.  If you have it exposed to direct sunlight isn't that going to harm the battery?

Na.. They were just mentioning their new pureview which most probably is a lens which takes great pictures in high sunlight

As long as they don't make the phones even bigger.. I love my 920 but it's the fatest I can have really.. :P

I remember reading something about Nokia looking into adding some type of solar cell into the screens or tue screen being a type of solar cell, something like that tonite phones.

This would be awesome! I could go on a weekend outdoor event and never worry about charging at my car. Just point the phone to the sun periodically throughout the day, and voila!

I think they should implement the solar charging screen that was hinted at a few months ago. The phone battery would benefit from that extra boost. It could make the difference in your phone lasting all day or not.

This is embarrassing even by the standards of this site. Did you notice that the phone is yellow and spring is approaching? I guess that is just too simple. Oh, this is called a rumor (and a really stupid one at that) not news.

They could be talking about new phones coming this summer. If they were teasing solar charging would they have had the screen facing the sun instead of the back, since the technology would be on the front?

But if anyone can do this, it's Nokia. I sure hope they can bring this technology to the market soon!

Less than a year ago Nokia finished an experiment with some special made Asha models and the once with solar panels on back couldn't recharge fast enough for it to be a commercial success (or and alternative to ordinary chargers) - this experiment was made in the most optimal environment. You can probably find an article in the Nokia conversation blog...

put differently, I don't think Nokia is referring to solar panels on the back or/and in the screen.