For the past month, I’ve been putting this charger to the test.
As a photographer and tech trainer, I have a several devices needing power all the time. I’ve seen various solar chargers and wondered how they would hold up to the workload.
When I first got this charger, I plugged it into the wall and fully charged it. Charging the device took about as long as charging my phone. I then used my phone (iPhone 6s) all day and tried to drain it down to the warning message. Using the charger on full bars, I was able to charge the phone to full capacity. The charge was quick, similar to plugging a phone into the wall. Afterwards, the charger battery was low, but not totally dead. It still had 1/4 bars left.
The next day I didn’t charge either phone or charger using the wall socket, but tried to use the sun as much as possible. I kept the charger in a window most of the day, house or car. It worked great. On the leftover two bars of battery from the day before, I was able to keep my phone topped up most of the day. I was not able to recharge the battery more than the initial two bars using the sun, and eventually it fell to one bar.
These two days were in Texas, where sun is plentiful. I wondered how the charger would do during a Missouri dreary winter.
Missouri Winter Grey
I used the battery completely and put it into the East facing window of my Missouri house. After several days, power increased one bar. Over a week later, I got another bar. Keep in mind I wasn’t using the device at all. It did nothing but charge itself all day. Thinking it might be the location or direction, I put the charger onto a South facing window. The change was much better, but still slow. I gained one bar for each day I left it in the window.
UPDATE: This thing’s battery exploded after a few months use. Do not buy.
Build & Features
Gear needs to be rugged to survive in my house. This item comes with a rubber grip edge and a handle to attach to your bag or camera. The handle is very solid. The charger also has rubber covers for all ports and rubber molded backing.
It works for iPhones, Android phones, and most tablets. You can use either a standard USB cord or microUSB. While using my iPad with several apps running the iPad went from 38% to 42% in 10 minutes. The iPad topped out at 60% before the charger was finished. That’s the worst case scenario I could create that would happen during a normal week.
This charger works great if you need a rugged spare battery for a weekend adventure. It will work with all your devices, but don’t expect the sun to re-charge it very fast. On the upside, adding the solar option doesn’t hurt anything since the battery is about the same size as a wall-charge-only spare battery.