Review: 7 in 1 Solar Power Charger
Cost: Currently $18.24 w/Free Shipping
NOTE: You should be able to get another 5% off by using the coupon code RM5OFF2 during the checkout
I had very low expectations before getting a chance to review this product, but once I did it really went above and beyond what I was expecting.
Solar chargers are known to be slow and almost not worth the effort. I mean, who wants to plug their Blackberry into a charger for hours just to get a bar or two of power out of the sun? The problem is that getting power from the sun just takes a long time. But that is where this solar charger really took a great idea.
While you can plug the solar charger into your BlackBerry and charge it directly from the sun very slowly, this solar charger has a built in battery. What that means is that you can leave the solar charger by itself in your window for an hour or two and just let it charge its own battery slowly in the sun. Then later, when your BlackBerry runs out of juice, you can plug it in and it will charge your battery straight from the solar charger’s battery. This let’s it work faster when charging.
Oddly, it also comes with a wall charger so that you can charge the solar charger’s battery and just use it as a backup battery without the whole solar power part. I guess this is great as an extra feature, but if the whole idea is to be able to charge it off the natural sun, then this doesn’t really make all that much sense.
When charging, the solar charger comes with a million different kinds of plugs for BlackBerrys and other types of standard phones. Most importantly, it comes with a USB connector so that you charge almost anything from its USB. I tried it out on my BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 and it got me about two power bars off of an hour or two worth of sun-charging. I think that’s pretty good for a backup power supply. I tried it with my wife’s old iPod Nano and it also charged nicely. Although, my friend let me try it on his iPhone 3G and it wouldn’t charge. The device does come with a MiniUSB adapter which will work on the Bold and older devices but the newer 8220, Storm, & 8900 use a MicroUSB jack which is not provided so you have to just use its USB cable.
A minor annoyance is that when charging some things it makes a funny hissing noise. That just sounds like poor craftsmanship to me.
All in all I think this is a pretty “green” and “cool” charger that is good for use when traveling or just outside the home. I wouldn’t use it for a full-charge, but its great for a quick power boost. For instance, I just took it with me on a vacation to Puerto Rico and it was hot and sunny. I was out on the beach all day with no power outlets in sight. But the solar charger was perfect to give me a little power jump during the day.
Here is the score-card breakdown:
- Green factor
- Charges easily
- Has its own battery
- Can be charged from an outlet
- Comes with all sorts of adapters.
- Doesn’t charge all devices
- Makes weird noises when charging
- Can’t fully charge your phone
- Takes a while to charge the internal battery.