As the name suggests, the Emergency Solar Charger for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch is a compact little solar-powered battery and charger, which can be used to charge up your iPod Touch or iPhone in an emergency. The charger contains a battery which is charged up via the solar panel. When you need the extra power, you just connect the charger to the iPhone. The charger will automatically charge the iPhone, giving it roughly 20% of charge.
How It Works
You can charge up the charger using solar energy (so leaving it out on a sunny dashboard or windowsill) or you can charge it up via USB using the Apple USB cable (which could be via the PC, mains adapter, or via a car adapter). For the purposes of testing, I typically used the USB cable, as the charger was charged within just 2 hours. It takes a couple of days to charge the charger in sunlight, so really, you want to place the charger in strong sunlight when you’re not using it. That ensures you always have the emergency charge when you need it.
Once the charger is charged up, you just connect it to an iPhone or iPod Charger and it starts charging straight away. It takes about 20 minutes to charge up the iPhone or iPod to about 20%. If your device is completely dead when you start charging, then the charger charges the device up to around 16 to 18% (due to the power consumption when first switching on the iPod Touch or iPhone).
The charger is very simple, it does exactly what it says on the tin. However, there are a couple of things that I suggest as minor improvements. Firstly, sometimes you need to wiggle the plug on the charger to get it to be recognised by the iPhone or iPod. I suspect there’s a microscopic difference in the connectors which means the charger is not always recognised as a charging device.
Secondly, it’d be good if there was an indicator to show how fully charged the charger is. Just a few small LEDs or a small LCD display to show if the charger is empty, half-full or fully charged. Currently, there’s no way to know how charged the charger is. Some attention here would be appreciated.
The Emergency Solar Charger for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch is a genuinely useful little gadget. I can imagine that it’s going to come in very useful when out and about with no power source! And costing just $5.51, it’s not going to break the bank either! Thanks to Budget Gadgets for sending me the charger to review.