AT&T bolsters green credentials with new eco-friendly smartphone

Smart charger, recycled material construction among green features of Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate

AT&T says it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate -- an Android device designed with an emphasis on sustainability -- on Sunday, June 10, in the U.S.

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In a statement, the carrier said that the device is the first 4G-capable smartphone to receive a UL environment platinum certification, adding that the Galaxy Exhilarate would also be the first to be rated under a new set of in-house environmental standards.

Its rear casing is made of 80% post-consumer recycled waste, and additional custom case options made of biodegradable and recycled materials will be available from partner Incipio. The Galaxy Exhilarate also comes with an energy-efficient charger that beeps to notify users when the device is fully charged.

However, the phone doesn't skimp on traditional features -- despite its use of a last-gen 1.2GHz Scorpion processor, the Galaxy Exhilarate packs front- and rear-mounted cameras and a 4.5-inch super AMOLED screen, and runs Android 2.3. The device is compatible with both AT&T's LTE and HSPA+ high-speed networks.

In addition to being easy on the environment, the Galaxy Exhilarate will be relatively easy on the wallet, costing $50 with a new contract.

AT&T Mobility Senior Vice President of Devices Jeff Bradley says that the device should "enable consumers to reduce their environmental impact without sacrificing features or the ability to enjoy a world-class smartphone experience."

The Galaxy Exhilarate was first previewed at the AT&T Developer Conference and displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but there has been little word on the device since then, according to reports from CNET and Engadget.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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