best solar powered cell phone charger?

rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
best solar powered cell phone charger?
anyone got one they use and love?

I will be using it while I travel outside of USA.

My iphone will be my camera too and typically after 8 hrs the battery dies because I'm such a shutter bug. The iPhone 5, which has a battery capacity of 1,440 mAh

Not sure how effective solar is given that I might only have it exposed to sun 4 hrs a day.

Over at Amazon there are many many solar chargers to choose from.

Maybe a plug in the wall battery pack is all I need?

Would like to have back up power for 2 to 3 days max.


  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: best solar powered cell phone charger?

    On any phone but Apple you can use a standard USB solar charger, which sell for anywhere from $15 to $50, that plug into the USB port. Never tried any of the ones I see currently advertised, but the little tiny ones - like keychain size - are pretty useless. They would take days to charge up. More info on USB charging here
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: best solar powered cell phone charger?

    I run with the Solio Classic2. This is the latest and largest that is finally useful for smartphones. Hence the "2". The earlier versions were just too small to be practical for me in battery capacity and panel output.

    Still, we're talking about something that is embarrasingly-cute and toy looking. But it works, and without any proprietary adapters - just a standard usb-to-micro usb cable.

    From a full discharge it WILL take up to two days or more of good sun to charge - and that is if you are tweaking the positioning too. USB charging is about 6 hours. The three panels rotate in one direction when folding or unfolding it.

    Features I like are the SOC voltage status, the ability to switch between Apple and the-rest-of-us charge modes (blue for Apple, green for others), a red-led that lights up when you have enough sunlight to let you know you aren't wasting your time via solar (although in bright sun it can sometimes be hard to see!).

    Take it easy with the included cables as you might get the position of the jack upside down - don't force anything and flip it if you feel resistance. Same goes for using the included cable with your phone. One might want to use a known good cable that comes with your phone instead. Don't just jam the cables in.

    Ideally, don't just do a total drain / recharge with it - use opportunity charging to top it off as much as you can. Works for me..

    Forgot - just like a real panel, they don't like shade crossing them. If you use a pencil for a prop, make sure that if you stick it far enough beyond the unit, the pencil's shadow will slow things down.
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