Weekly high-tech product releases: smartphones making world firsts, eco-friendly products

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The Independent Tech

High-tech product releases announced the week ending March 24 include the world's first 4G Android phone from HTC, a smartphone that's also a walkie-talkie, an Android Mini 3 for US consumers, an eco-friendly charger that turns itself off after charging, a cheap environmentally conscious QWERTY mobile, and an alarm clock with a built-in projector.

World's first 4G Android phone comes with amazing specs
The HTC Evo is the first Android phone to run on the 4G network. It comes equipped with some pretty 'supersonic' specifications too. For instance, the phone has one of the biggest pinch-to-zoom touchscreen displays at 4.3 inches (making it a pretty nice phone to cuddle up with and stream the latest video on the go). It also has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, dual cameras (an 8 MP auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a 1.3 MP forward-facing camera), wireless tethering for up to eight WiFi-enabled devices, and an aggregated social networking experience thanks to the HTC Sense user experience. No price or availability information has been announced.

World's first Push-To-Talk Android-powered smartphone
The Motorola i1 is the first push-to-talk smartphone to run on Google's Android platform, meaning consumers can use the phone like a walkie-talkie to talk to other contacts with iDEN-equipped handsets. Motorola clearly called on military influences when designing the Motorola i1, making sure it can withstand users who like to play hard. The smartphone is equipped to handle harsh weather conditions, meeting military conditions for dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain protection. It also comes with a 5 MP camera with flash and video, geo-tagging, panoramic photo capabilities, a 3.1 inch HVGA screen, WiFi, and has Opera Mini 5 as the default mobile browser. The i1 will be available in North America in summer 2010. Pricing is yet to be announced.

The lightest Android smartphone comes to the US
US customers will now be able to get their hands on the first Android-powered smartphone from Dell to be released in the country. The Dell Aero was previously released in China and Brazil in late November 2009 under the guise of the Mini 3. While the handset comes with many of the same features seen on its Chinese and Brazilian relatives, its user interface (UI) has been reworked for AT&T (the exclusive US carrier) with a custom Dell-Android skin. Other features include a 5 MP camera; Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and TwitPic integration; a 3.5" nHD display, Flash Lite support and onboard GPS. No price or availability has been announced.

Eco-friendly phone charger that automatically turns itself off
The ZERO Draw Charger is a universal charger that minimizes the amount of power you consume when charging your mobile devices. It automatically turns itself off when your phone is fully charged, saving "enough to power 24,000 homes for a year." The ZERO Charger can be used with many different current (and future) mobile phones thanks to its ‘block and cable' design. It has a 5-star efficiency rating and comes in 100% recycled paper packaging. The device can be purchased from AT&T starting from May and will cost around the same as an existing replacement charger.

Cheap and eco-friendly smartphone slider
LG's Remarq is a compact and affordable mobile phone that is 87 percent recyclable. The device sports a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the back of the phone and comes with a 1.3 MP camera, an MP3 Player with microSD slot (for microSD cards up to 16GB), Stereo Bluetooth and built-in access to sites like Facebook and Photobucket. The phone's outer casing is made from 19 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and comes in your choice of dark silver or turquoise. The device will be available on May 9. It will be free (after rebates) on a two-year plan.

An alarm clock that projects the time
Sony's ICF-C717PJ alarm clock is not your regular bedside device. It features a built-in projector that can be swivelled around to project the time on a wall or ceiling, a room thermometer, an AM/FM digital tuner and five different nature sounds that will help you fall asleep at night. The compact brushed aluminium time piece can also be connected to your digital music player so you can wake up to your favourite tunes. The alarm clock will be available in April. No price has been announced.