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Best Solar Powered Phone Case Chargers and Batteries. Solar rechargeable phone

Best Solar Powered Phone Case Chargers and Batteries. Solar rechargeable phone

    The Best Portable Solar Chargers of 2023

    Adam has been writing about mobile technology since 2011. He is the former host of the Android Authority podcast, and his work has appeared in numerous publications.

    Rich Scherr is a seasoned technology and financial journalist who spent nearly two decades as the editor of Potomac and Bay Area Tech Wire.

    The best solar chargers use the sun’s abundant power to keep your devices and batteries topped off. Solar chargers aren’t just for nature enthusiasts. Anyone who spends time away from an electrical outlet will find them helpful.

    We recommend the X-DRAGON SunPower Solar Panel Charger for its 40W power output and high-efficiency cells. This charger doesn’t include a power bank to store all that juice, but if you are away from power and need to charge your phone or even your laptop, this is a great option. Opening the eight solar panels will give you plenty of power as long as there’s daylight.

    Best Overall

    X-DRAGON 40W Portable Foldable Solar Panel Charger

    Our best overall charger can produce up to 40W of juice from its eight efficient panels. It opens wide to collect a lot of sunlight with eight high-efficiency panels, but it folds down small enough to fit into your backpack. There’s no water-resistance rating here, so be careful not to get caught in the rain, and no battery is included. But if you have large items that need a charge, the X-DRAGON SunPower Solar Panel Charger is a great choice.

    You can plug in your phone and tablet, but you can also scale that up to your laptop with the five included different-sized barrel chargers and connection for your car battery. This is a great item to keep in your emergency car kit or your backpack for camping. The 18-month warranty will give you peace of mind too.

    Number of Ports: 2 | Power Output: 2.8A max USB, 18V DC | Types of Ports: USB-A, DC | Number of Cells: 8 | Efficiency: 22 to 25% | Battery Capacity: N/A

    Most Portable

    BigBlue 28W Solar Charger

    The Big Blue Solar Charger is a highly-portable solar charging solution that folds to a tiny 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches when closed. It’s long but narrow and thin, easily fitting into most backpacks. Included carabiners allow you to open and strap it to your bag outdoors.

    There is no built-in battery, but the three USB-A ports allow you to charge any phone or tablet quickly. The panels are waterproof, which our reviewer tested by submerging the cells in a bathtub.

    Our reviewer also noted that the advertised 28W output is misleading. There are four 7W panels which add up to 28 Watts. Unfortunately, the panels could output only around 17W maximum during our testing.

    There’s a pouch for holding cables or devices while charging, which is a nice bonus. Given its water resistance, we’d recommend this for hikers and campers, even in inclement weather. Of course, cloudy days will mean less charging, but at least you know your panels can stand up to it.

    Number of Ports: 3 | Power Output: 5V / 4.8A | Types of Ports: USB-A | Number of Cells: 4 | Efficiency: Not listed | Battery Capacity: N/A

    What to Look for in a Portable Solar Charger

    Water Resistance

    Solar power works best outside, so looking for water resistance in case you unexpectedly get caught in the rain or snow is a good idea.

    Built-in Battery

    Solar panels generate power, and that power has to go somewhere. If you have a solar panel and nothing plugged in, the panels will not generate energy, which is fine, but a battery would allow you to generate power and store it until you need it.

    Power Output

    Keep in mind the kinds of devices you’ll be using. Most solar panels can do the job if all you need to charge is a phone or tablet. If you need to power something larger, such as a laptop or car, you’ll need a powerful setup to get the job done.

    That depends mostly on the cells’ efficiency and the amount of sunlight you’re getting. Solar panels are getting more and more efficient these days, which means they’re capable of generating a lot of power. On a bright, sunny day, it’s not unreasonable to think you can generate enough power for a phone and tablet or even bigger items.

    If it’s big enough, a solar panel can deliver a charge to your car’s battery to allow it to start. A jump start technically means you’re drawing from a power source to start your car right away. The solar option is more of a car battery charger, meaning you’ll need to wait some time for your car’s battery to charge before you can turn the key. But yes, it is possible.

    Solar panels should never be left in a window or in a car to charge. The glass from the window can FOCUS with light on the panels and cause them to overheat. Solar panels are meant to be outside and under the sun, or put away.

    Best Solar Powered Phone Case Chargers and Batteries

    I love solar gear because it allows you to be off the grid as much as possible.

    Solar powered phone case chargers are being sought after more and more each year. The industry has made a few attempts, but they have all failed.

    There are no working solar charging cases that I know of (at least that work on iPhone 8 and above).

    But I understand the desire. And so does iPowerup. They are in the early stages of getting funding and backers.

    Why is this a needed product? When you’re hiking, camping, backpacking, or spending time outdoors, you may be using navigational apps, tracking apps like Strava, taking pictures, and more. Batteries tend to drain much faster as a result.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to let mother nature charge your phone instead of carrying extra battery packs or ending up with a dead phone?

    Well, since a solar phone case doesn’t exist, let’s look at the best solutions at this time.

    Best Solar Power Phone Cases and Solutions Reviewed

    This is one of the reviews I did because I was seeking out my own solar-powered charger and figured I’d write a post while researching.

    In my opinion, the technology is just not there yet to make solar charging a great option for being on the move.

    You’ll be spending ~20 for the solar capability on a battery pack just so that you can probably never use it.

    In my opinion, that 20 is better spent on 1) a larger portable charger, or 2) for a larger solar panel that can actually make a difference.

    The Anker Power Core Solar Charger for Phone

    Anker is one of the few solid brands in the solar charging space. It has a great reputation and is the most popular brands for battery packs.

    My girlfriend uses this on backpacking trips.

    To be honest, 99% of the time it gets charged at home and it never uses the solar function. It would take days to charge this via solar in many situations, so it’s not super practical (see #3 for a more practical, but bulky solution).

    Splashproof, dust resistant. Great for the outdoors.

    Support REAL reviews. I don’t accept free gear or use sponsored content. However, I still may earn a commission if you use this link and make ANY purchase at no additional cost to you.

    What you’ll like:

    • Can charge most phones 1.5 to 2 times
    • Can charge a variety of devices
    • Easy to attach to a backpack
    • Great solution if in the same spot most of the day and can let it sit in the sun

    Things to note:

    • Solar panel is small, actually, tiny
    • Durable, but not waterproof
    • Expensive for 10,000mAh, can get a 20,000mAh Anker battery, without solar, for the same price.

    This versatile battery pack is a great alternative to a solar panel cell phone case. It can be charged by the solar panels OR it can be charged through a microusb charger at home.

    However, it should NOT be relied on in terms of rechargeability. The solar panels are small. You could hang it on your backpack, but you’re not going to get a full charge very easily. Charge it before you go out. If you’re going to hang out at camp for a while, put it in the sun and get a little more charge out of it, but don’t expect to have it charge fully back in a short time using only the solar panels.

    The Anker Power Core (Solar Alternative)

    If you want to save a couple bucks, take a look at a very similar product, just without solar.

    This is by far the best option. It’s about the size of your existing phone and can charge it between 1.5 and 2 times depending on your phone.

    Support REAL reviews. I don’t accept free gear or use sponsored content. However, I still may earn a commission if you use this link and make ANY purchase at no additional cost to you.

    What You’ll Like

    • Fast charging (0 to 50% in 30 minutes) via USB-C
    • Slim and sleek look
    • Lightweight (7 oz)
    • Charges a wide variety of products
    • Can charge most phones 1.5 to 2 times

    Things to Note

    • It takes ~4 hours to charge
    • It can’t be used while being charged.
    • Could get a dud, I find this common with many battery packs
    • No fast charging to a Galaxy s21
    • Not a solar charger

    Solar Charger 24000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank with 3 Foldable Solar Panels

    This is a little more practical solution if you’re looking to really use solar to charge the device.

    Support REAL reviews. I don’t accept free gear or use sponsored content. However, I still may earn a commission if you use this link and make ANY purchase at no additional cost to you.

    What you’ll like

    • Can attach to backpack easily and get a charge while hiking
    • Compact while panels are folded
    • Good value to performance ratio
    • Bright flashlight included
    • surface area means more solar power

    Things to note:

    • Charges slow, but that is pretty standard in many of these style panels
    • Durable, but not waterproof
    • Not available for most phones as of this writing
    • Difficult to get the phone out

    To me, this is the best option available if a normal battery pack isn’t sufficient. Although it’s not a cell phone case, it is similar in size and can do much more work than the surface area of just a phone.

    As like other solar battery packs, you can charge it by sun OR it can be charged through USB charger at home. A friend of mine uses a similar model on backpacking trips to charge her phone and camera. It’s especially good in desert climates in the fall and winter where the cold at night can deplete your batteries, but you have some sun during the day to charge.

    This is also good in the summer even with Cloud coverage. The 3 panels provide a good amount of surface and can be folded so it doesn’t take up much more space than the ones that have 1/3 of the panels.

    Overall, this is the most practical product. It has enough surface area to be useful, it can easily be hung on a backpack or set down to charge, and it is small enough to still be portable and bring on backpacking or kayaking trips.

    So What is the Best Solar Powered Case for Your Phone

    It turns out, the best solar powered phone case is actually not a case at all!

    Why? The technology just isn’t good enough and affordable for companies to invest enough to make a decent product.

    The ideal one would be have to have foldable panels to offer greater surface area to be practical to get enough sun power.

    If you put that on a phone case, it can be heavy and bulky (as of now).

    I expect we’ll be adding to this list over the next years as the technology becomes cheaper and more efficient.

    I have access to several brands discount codes and scrape the internet for them as well. When I find a good one, I post them here.

    Use AFF240 for 30% off a Jackery Explorer 240 (US only)

    OR use JADEAL for 10% off other sizes (works for US and Canada)

    Sale ends 6/30.

    Ready Hour Wireless Solar PowerBank Charger 20 LED Room Light

    This wireless solar charger is rugged and dependable, perfect for emergencies, natural disasters and power outages. It’s waterproof too. Take it camping or on a hunting trip. Keep in your RV or cabin.

    Any time you’re outdoors and need to charge your devices or gear, you’ll want a powerful device like this.

    A TRUE POWERHOUSE

    High-Powered Charging : Stay connected with sustainable power to carry you through the unexpected! No sub-standard power here. With 20,000 mAh power capacity (triple lesser competitor units. be sure to compare).

    Power the devices you depend on, anytime and anywhere—three devices at once with 2 USB ports 1 USB-C port or a single device like a cell phone four times before recharging.

    Whole-Room Light : Or count on the bright, long-lasting LED bank of lights. Once you see this unit, you’ll want every member of your family to have one.

    Fast Charging : Two of the three USB ports on this device are fast chargers, so you won’t have to sit around and wait for hours. Or, set your device or cell phone on the wireless charging surface!

    BUILT TO LAST LONGER

    Water Drop-Proof Casing : Carefully crafted with a premium silicon protective case. a durable build with side grips that makes it easy to hold or use the lanyard clip. waterproof and shockproof.

    High-Energy Density Lithium Ion Battery : Put through rigorous testing to ensure durability

    SPECS

    Charge on the Go. 3 USB Cable Outputs. Output 1: 5V/3A; Output 2: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A; TYPE-C Output 3: 5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A.

    Fast Charging. Solar Panel, Micro-USB USB Type-C input to charge, charge and discharge more than 800 times; include a 4-stage power-level indicator; can recharge in approximately 60-90 minutes by wall outlet, depending on power adapter block.

    LED Bank of Lights. Hold on/off button to turn on a bright panel of LED lights with a flashing red light S.O.S signal mode, puts out 520 lumens

    Dimensions. 4 x 1.2 x 7.38 and weighs 1.55 pounds

    What’s in the Box. Wireless Solar PowerBank Charging Unit, micro-USB cord, manual

    Storage: Optimal storage conditions range from 30-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not expose to temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Battery Care: As with all battery-run devices, proper upkeep is critical for the prolonged function of this unit. If the unit is left to sit for long periods, the battery can drain and even become inoperable. Make sure to charge the battery every few months to extend its life and performance.

    The solar panel with this unit is primarily intended to power your LED flashlight. A couple hours of intense sunlight equals a couple hours of LED flashlight power.

    Although the power bank will charge via solar panel, that is not the primary intent on having the solar panel. The conversion rate for this size of solar panel under optimal, full sun conditions is 550 mAh per hour. It would take on average about 40 hours to fully recharge the 20,000 mAh battery once the sun’s rays are intense enough to reach the maximum conversion rate. On a full battery, the LED flashlight can last up to 72 hour. It is recommended to have this unit standing by, fully charged by by an electrical outlet, ready for use during emergencies.

    The Best Solar Phone Charger For Smartphones Tablets?

    After the incredible success of the Voltaic Fuse 4 Watt solar charger on my previous 14-month-long bicycle tour in Europe and Africa, I decided to upgrade to the larger and more powerful 6 Watt solar charger on my travels this year. While the two products are similar in size, the new Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt solar panel produces 50% more electricity by way of its larger surface area and is the perfect size for charging smartphones, GoPro video cameras, tablet computers and other small USB-powered devices.

    best, solar, powered, phone

    With the universal attachment system that comes standard on all of the Voltaic Fuse products, the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt solar charger connects in seconds to backpacks, bicycles or wherever solar power is needed. Available in three different colors and priced at only 129 USD, the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt is the perfect device for charging any USB device – including all Apple, Android and Blackberry smartphones.

    You can see my 6 Watt charger in use in the image above (it’s resting on top of my bicycle’s saddle) and in the various photos throughout this review.

    best, solar, powered, phone

    How Does It Work?

    The Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt solar charger works in two distinct ways:

    The first and easiest way to use the product is by connecting the small battery that comes with the Fuse to any standard power outlet. Once the battery is fully charged, simply connect the included battery to any USB-powered device that you wish to recharge.

    The other (and more obvious) way to use the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt charger is to leave the product out in the sun for several hours. The more sunlight that hits the panel, the faster the internal battery will charge. Once the battery has generated a charge, simply attach your smartphone, video camera, or any other USB-powered device. It’s simply that easy!

    The company that produces the Fuse 6 Watt panel (Voltaic Systems) says that 3 hours of direct sunlight will charge a smartphone, 6 hours in the sun will charge a small tablet, and 11 hours of sunlight will fully charge a larger tablet computer.

    best, solar, powered, phone

    My experience with the product tells me that these estimates are pretty darn accurate, but it should be noted that “direct sunlight” is necessary for this type of optimal charge. Cloud-cover of any kind, or placing the solar panel at an improper angle, will increase the amount of time needed for the included internal battery to fully recharge.

    On a personal note, I’m able to charge my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone approximately 2.5 times from the fully-charged Voltaic V39 battery. However, the size of your smartphone battery and/or other electronic device will determine how many charges you can generate from the included battery.

    To learn more about how the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt functions, please see my previous review on the smaller Voltaic Fuse 4 Watt or my video review of the larger Voltaic Fuse 10 Watt (both of which operate in exactly the same way). The only real difference between these three products is the size of the panel(s) on the front of each charger and the type of battery included with each device.

    My Experience With The Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt Solar Charger

    I’ve been using the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt Solar Charger on a daily basis for the last 6 months. I’ve been bicycle touring across more than a dozen different countries in Europe and Asia over this time period and the 6 Watt Fuse has been responsible for keeping my smartphone charged for much of this time.

    There is, however, a major difference between my bicycle tour this year and the one I conducted in 2012/21013 with the smaller 4 Watt charger. This year (2014) I upgraded from a small iPod Touch to a much larger Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini smartphone. As a result of this upgrade, the amount of power needed to keep my smartphone charged (which I use for work, entertainment and navigation while I’m traveling) has increased significantly. My new smartphone has a much bigger battery than my old iPod Touch and I’m using the device more often as well (while at the same time demanding that it perform more complicated tasks). This has resulted in me draining my smartphone’s battery at an unprecedented pace.

    It didn’t take me long to discovered that even my larger 6 watt solar panel wasn’t going to be enough to keep my smartphone charged for weeks at a time. If I wanted to keep my smartphone charged for long durations, I was either going to need to drastically reduce the amount of time I spent on my smartphone each day (thereby saving the phone’s battery), or I was going to have to figure out a way to charge my batteries at a more Rapid pace.

    What I ended up doing was upgrading to the larger V39 battery (which is an optional upgrade with the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt charger) and ordered a second V39 as a backup as well. With these two large batteries in my possession, I constantly had one of the batteries charging on the solar panel, while the other battery was working to charge my phone. When the battery running my phone ran out of juice, I’d simply switch the batteries with one another, replacing the battery in the solar panel with the one that was now drained. Because the battery coming from the solar panel had been charging for a day or more at this point, it was usually near full and ready to expel its built-up electricity into my waiting smartphone. This process of swapping the batteries back and forth allowed me to keep my smartphone powered for a week or more (even with moderate daily use).

    best, solar, powered, phone

    It should be noted, however, that even with two batteries, I’m a pretty heavy smartphone user… and if you’re anything like me, you should know that using a solar charger like the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt is not the same as having your smartphone constantly plugged into a power outlet. If you want to go for long periods of time using the solar charger as your only electricity-generating device, then you need to be conservative with your electronic use. Even with two of the larger V39 batteries in my possession, I’d eventually run out of electricity and need to find a power outlet in which to charge my various electronics.

    Would I Recommend The Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt?

    Solar power is pretty darn incredible… and small solar chargers like the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt are quickly becoming standard pieces of equipment for hikers, bikers, and modern travelers of various kinds.

    If you have a smartphone, GoPro video camera, tablet computer or other small electronic device you want to keep powered either at home or out on the road, there are few products out there that could serve you better than the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt.

    Currently priced at only 129 USD, the 6 Watt Fuse is the perfect size for hiking and/or cycling. The charger fits perfectly onto the back of a backpack or on the front or rear rack of any type of bike. The 6 watt panel is large enough to produce a significant amount of electricity, but small enough that it doesn’t weigh you down or take up a lot of room. Plus, you can use the included USB battery to keep your electronics charged at all times – whether you’re traveling close to home or on the other side of the planet. The battery alone is worth the price of purchase in my opinion!

    While the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt solar charger isn’t large enough to power DSLR camera batteries or laptop computers, it is the perfect device for charging smartphones, tablets and other small USB-powered electronics.

    I imagine I’ll be using the Voltaic Fuse 6 Watt solar charger on my bicycle tours for the next several years… and I recommend you look into using one for your travels as well.

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