- BlitzWolf 15 W Solar Panel Phone Charger
- 0.79 x 11.42 x 6.3 in
- Transformation efficiency up to 23.5%
- Nektech 20 W Solar Charger with 2 Port USB
- 1.06 x 6.3 x 11.1 in
- Transformation efficiency up to 24%
- Anker 15 W Dual USB Phone Charger
- 6.3 x 11.02 x 0.75 in
- Transformation efficiency up to 23.5%
- iSunshine Tech 15 W Dual USB Phone
How to buy a solar phone charger? Points to Consider
Solar Charging Efficiency
Believe it or not, solar charging is not a very efficient process. While industrial grade solar panels can have efficiency levels of 80% and above, your portable type of solar chargers like a solar powered phone charger are going to have efficiency levels that top out at just 25%.
Therefore, the first thing you must look for when considering a solar powered phone charger is to look for the efficiency rating. Depending on the price and quality of the charger, this can range anywhere between 15% and 25%. Anything more than 25% means that the charger is really powerful but probably also with a fairly expensive price tag. 20% + chargers are reasonably priced and can do very well for your needs, at just about $40.
If you are in need of a solar powered phone charger, chances are that you are not alone. Whether it is a biking friend, a fellow camper or accompanying hiker, they are probably going to want to charge their phones as well. This is why it makes sense to look for a charger that can simultaneously charge two phones. Most of the good solar phone chargers will have this feature.
Ideally, a phone charger must be able to deliver 2 Amps to 3 Amps per port. If you see anything lower than that, your charger will still charge your phones, but will take longer. That brings us to the next point to consider before picking out what you want to be the best solar powered phone charger.
Phone compatible charging
Every phone uses slightly different technology when it comes to charging capabilities. This is why manufacturers of phones advice that you charge your phone only with the factory charger, to make the most of quick charging. While it is indeed recommended that you charge your phone with the factory charger, there is absolutely no harm in using external technology as long as it is compatible with your phone. The charger’s manual should specifically say that it is compatible with your particular phone model, be it the iPhone 7, iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Sony or whatever brand and model you have.
If you don’t see an explicit compatibility mentioned, keep shopping until you actually find a charger that communicates this compatibility.
Sometimes, a phone charger that is solar powered will come with multiple cables to allow for compatibility with a whole bunch of phones. If this is the case with a charger that you have in mind, it is important that you choose only the cable that is recommended for your particular phone brand and model.
Some solar powered phone charging devices might come with multiple adapters. Just like with cables, it is important that you choose the right adapter to use on your phone.
A phone charger that relies on solar power will obviously need to be constantly exposed to the elements. It is therefore very important that the build quality be very good. Look through the solar charger reviews to see what people are saying about durability. The charger should be able to handle a little bit of rain, dampness and a lot of dust, without malfunctioning. There are completely waterproof solar powered phone chargers but they usually tend to be a little expensive.
You can settle for a less expensive water resistant as opposed to water proof phone charger, one that can handle a little splash here and there.
While checking durability, look at the strength of the straps, the eyelets or the little holes through which straps or lace is weaved through to see if it will hold up. Since you are always probably going to be on the move when using your phone charger, it should be able to take some steady wear and tear.
You must only select portable solar phone chargers that come with all the usual safety guarantees. Check for FCC certification, RoHS certification and CE certification. These are the bare minimums when it comes to checking compliance to safety regulations. You must also look for guarantees and warranty information. Ideally, you want at least 12 months of a guarantee or warrantee before you go ahead and buy a solar powered phone charger. At least a 12 month guarantee or warrantee shows that the manufacturer is confident enough to stand behind their product.
Some chargers will promise of very fast charging but will have a panel that is ridiculously big. While a big panel might not be an issue when you are camped or in a stationary location, it can be a big hassle when you are trying to bike, hike or trek. About 1.75 feet x 1 feet is a reasonable size and can be worn like a backpack on top of your backpack. Anything larger and carrying it around is going to be clumsy.
Also, remember, the clumsier it is to carry a charger around, the less efficient the charger is going to be, as panels are probably not going to be properly exposed to the sun.
Now that you know what to look for in solar recharger reviews before you spend some money, let’s look at some of the most popular solar chargers for mobile phones, at a popular marketplace like Amazon.
BlitzWolf 15 W Solar Panel Phone Charger
Boasting what could be the highest charging efficiency with a range of 21.5% to 23.5%, this is easily one of the most popular chargers on Amazon. It comes with an unfolded footprint of 1.7 feet x 0.95 feet, with a thickness of just 0.33 inches.It has two USB power ports that are both capable of 2 A / 15 W output. It is compatible with all the latest models from Apple, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Huawei, Nexus etc. The product comes with an assuring 18 month warranty and a lifetime guarantee, giving you plenty of peace of mind that you can count on this for a long time to come, even if you have issues, which will be fixed by the company.
This BlitzWolf product has a waterproof PVC case that will protect the charger against rain and moisture. It puts out a max current of 2.4 A and will charge at 5 V, 9 V and 12 V, thereby supporting the latest in fast charging. Another nice feature is that this Blitzwolf charger has an automatic restart cycle if you run out of sun. In other words, if you leave your phone connected at night and wake up several hours after the sun has come up, the charger would have used those crucial hours to recharge your phone, so you have usability without having to wait any longer.
Nektech 20 W Solar Charger with 2 Port USB
This is another excellent solar charger for your smartphone that ramps up wattage to 20 watts. Conversion efficiency is claimed at 21% to 24%, depending on quality of sunlight and the exposure to that sunlight.It features a dual USB port that can support a maximum charge of 2 A. But, if two phones are connected, it can only output a maximum of 3 A total. What makes this product really popular is that it has a very small foot print. With an unfolded foot print of just 6.3 inches x 11.1 inches, this is about the smallest solar phone charger you are going to get in the market today. It is however a little thick, with thickness coming in at just more than an inch.
This model is not water proof but can handle light rain and exposure to damp conditions. It is compatible with most of the latest smartphones, GPS units, cameras or other USB powered devices. Read through some of the solar phone chargers reviews for this particular model and you will find people attesting to its small footprint and light weight. It is very popular with those that are finicky about how much weight they carry while out camping, biking or trekking.
Anker 15 W Dual USB Phone Charger
Anker is a solid brand and has been reliable for several years. This product of theirs is no exception. Under bright sunshine, this charger can output 2.1 A and 15 watts as the max output. Efficiency is rated at 21.5 to 23.5%.Durability is very high, thanks to the use of industrial grade PET polymer in its construction. The footprint is a bit on the higher side. When unopened or unfolded, it stretches out to 18.1 inches x 11 inches. You might want to keep that in mind if are not exactly looking for a wide and long solar powered phone charger.
This model is a very popular choice for those who camp and want to use a solar charger when they are put in one place, as opposed to when they walk or bike around. Like all Anker chargers, this model is compatible with the latest iPhones, Galaxy models, Edge Models, Note Models and LG, Nexus and Sony phones.
iSunshine Tech 15 W Dual USB Phone
Capable of outputting 15 W or a max of 2.1 A per port under bright sunlight, this is another great solar phone charger that comes with an 18 month worry-free warranty. The warranty protects you against short circuit and damage caused by malfunctioning water resistance.The build uses a magnet closure for quick folding and unfolding. Since it comes with 6 loops that you can hang the charger with, along with 2 eyelets, you can easily position this on to a backpack or even the front side of your shirt, depending on the position of the sun.
When unfolded, this charger has dimensions of 21.3 inches x 7.6 inches. Though not compact, it does have a long profile with minimal width, something that may work for people in specific need of a slim charger, even it is a long charger.
It uses Auto ID Tech that is smart enough to understand what exact phone you are using, to then replicate the exact recommended charging protocol for your phone, thereby charging it just like a factory charger. It is waterproof and can handle dampness but the manufacturer recommends that you don’t try to test out waterproofing too much and instead use it mostly in dry conditions.