Published: 1 August, 2012
It's frankly surprising these days that there's a feature phone worth writing about but AT&T's latest offering does have at least one thing to recommend it - it signals the start of the AT&T's in-store eco-rating system. The handset in question is the Pantech Renue which looks like it wants to be a smartphone with a touchscreen and slideout keyboard but there's no mobile OS in sight.
Described as a "quick messaging phone" the Pantech Renue offers up a 3.2" capacitive display, the slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a rear-facing 3mp camera that can record video, OS-wise it's running the Brew Mobile Platform. Normally the eco-credentials of handsets aren't that impressive but the Pantech Renue should earn some green respect as it's made out of 67% recycled components and is probably the most attractive feature of the device.
While the phone won't have much of a negative impact on the environment, its price-tag isn't going to have much of a negative impact on consumer's wallets. It costs just $69.99 on a two-year contract (though that's after a $50 mail-in rebated) and is available right now online and in AT&T stores.
As for the rating system it is now being used in the carrier's stores on "all new AT&T-branded postpaid mobile devices" as well as on thirteen existing handsets. It was initiated after a survey was taken revealing that consumers would be likely to be influenced in their buying decision if a device was environmentally friendly. The system assess phones based on 15 key factors and then processes the results into a star system, with five stars representing the highest level of eco-friendliness.
It all sounds very environmentally responsible of the carrier though there's clearly room for improvement as the Renue sits just above the middle of its scale with three stars.