There are two things that are brilliant. 1. A phone that has power. 2. Getting that power from the sun. And that’s where solar mobile chargers come in.
There are quite a few solar chargers for mobile phones on the market now and there is quite a disturbing trend I’ve noticed lately:
Fake 5 star reviews.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the solar charger is bad but it doesn’t mean it is excellent either.
So what I’ve done here is put together a list of my top 3 solar mobile chargers.
My first choice for a mobile solar charger is definitely not based on fake reviews as there are over 400 (and no one’s going to pay for that many)!
Before we get to the list (or go straight to the top 3 with this link if you’d like), if you’ve never used a solar mobile charger before, here are some things to keep in mind.
What Can Solar Mobile Chargers Power?
Solar chargers designed for mobile phones can charge not only iPhones and Android phones but also a number of other devices. Depending on the solar charger, you may also be able to charge:
Some solar chargers come with multiple USB ports and some have a variety of port sizes.
How Much Power Do You Need?
If you’re just using your solar charger as a power bank to keep around for power emergencies, you’ll need less power.
If you want to power a few different things and you’ll be taking it traveling or camping, you may want to go for more power.
Keep in mind that the more power you need, the larger the charger will be (and more panels too).
How Do You Use Solar Chargers for Mobiles Phones?
This is the basic run down of using a solar mobile charger.
- Charge the charger. (Some need to be charged by outlet first, not solar.)
- Plug in your phone or other device via USB cable (some chargers come with these, some don’t).
- Recharge your charger / power bank by putting your solar panel(s) in direct sunlight from anywhere from 10-40 hours (depending on the charger). You can hang on a backpack, tree or lay it out to charge.
When Not To Use Them?
Cloud cover can seriously reduce charging of pretty well any charger – even the best. So you can use it at this point or you may not want to bother.
In general, they can’t be left in the rain – and there’s no sun at this point so that’s not really an issue.
They are also not really able to be used as solar trickle chargers.
Are They All The Same?
Short answer: no.
Solar panels can vary significantly in quality but that’s not the only issue.
You want to be aware of the following:
- Some solar chargers need to be charged primarily through outlets with solar as the emergency back up or just a top-up option.
- Some chargers will protect your device (phone) better than others. Some have built-in components that regulate current and not allow the current to go backwards or send too much charge.
- The larger the panel, the more power you’ll get and the bigger it will be. Keep this in mind if you’re planning on carrying your charger around.
- Solar mobile chargers generally have 2-3 outputs.
Top 3 Solar Mobile Chargers:
This is one of the best solar mobile chargers on the market. It is the one I was referring to above as having over 400 reviews and most of them 5 star. So real people have confirmed that this is a great charger.
But that’s not the only reason I’ve put this as number 1.
Why the RAVPower UK Solar Charger is my top choice:
- Great efficiency
- Unique and high quality solar panels
- Lighter than other solar chargers of similar design (It’s 754g)
- 3 USB ports
- Will distribute charge evenly between all devices plugged in
RAVPower has developed what they call “signature solar cells”. What this means for you is that you get an increased efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% – 23.5%.
3 USB ports automatically detect and deliver the right charging current for the device plugged into it. (This is great.) It delivers up to 2.4A per port or 4.8A from all when you’ve placed it in direct sunlight.
Other important points:
- It’s 24W
- Durable and waterproof (but don’t use in rain)
- 4 hooks to hang where needed
TIP: don’t put it on concrete, sand, rock or other surfaces that conduct heat. It won’t work nearly as well as it should.
This one solar panel charger has dual USB ports plus a type-C output. It will charge an iPhone 8, 8.5 times.
One of the real pluses for this one is that it is built with a variety of eco-friendly materials. So if one of the reasons you are looking into a solar mobile charger is to be more green, this is the best charger I’ve seen promoting their materials as eco-friendly.
This is a good solar panel for camping since it can double as a torch or lantern with its double LED lights.
- Hook for hanging
As the solar panel is small, this one good for emergencies or topping up. It can also be charged VIA an adapter or computer to shorten the time it takes to charge. You can plug it into an outlet to charge and use as a power bank that way.
Note: It can take a long time to charge if only using the sun.
- 2 solar panels
- Covers are durable and waterproof
- Takes 20-25 hours to charge fully in the sun
An up and comer.
This one is getting great reviews but there are only a couple.
If you haven’t liked the ones above, check this one out but have a careful look at the reviews to see if they’re real or not. (Not all 5 star at around the same time of year with weird phrasing or grammar.)
Well, that was my top 3 (plus 1) solar mobile chargers.
I hope you find one you really like. I really think the first one is the go. And of course, we all thank you for choosing solar!