Solar Phone Charger: The Best Picks and How to Choose
Suppose you’re in the middle of a scenic hike, and your phone runs out of battery. Now, you can’t rely on GPS or access your trail map. That’s a challenging moment for you, and finding wall outlets or other means to power smartphones can be even more difficult. That’s where a solar phone charger comes in handy.
You don’t have to worry about enjoying outdoor adventures or handling emergency situations without a smartphone because Jackery solar generators make powering devices easy. The solar generator is source of renewable energy that makes powering devices easy.
Cell phones consume around 2-6 watts of power. The portable and cost-effective nature of solar power chargers allows you to charge mobile phones, laptops, etc., to make your trip memorable. A small solar power generator of 160 watts would be sufficient to power up small devices like cell phones, whereas you might need a large generator to charge devices like coffee makers, etc., during your trips.
This article will reveal everything from different types of portable solar chargers available on the market and what size you should purchase to ensure you always keep your phone charged.
What Is A Solar Phone Charger
Admit it or not, smartphones are the lifelines, especially when you are away from your house. Whether you’re enjoying a breathing camping view or facing a long-term power outage home, having your gear charged and working is essential.
A solar phone charger does the same for you when no electricity is available. It is one of the best methods to use clean and renewable energy and power your devices. However, checking the capacity of solar panels and the device power requirement is essential before finalizing any solar battery charger for a phone.
Solar Charger For Phone
Solar charger for phones uses solar panels to convert sun rays into electricity and store it in the battery. They are portable charging methods that allow you to charge smartphones anywhere and anytime. Whether planning camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities, you can take your solar charger to power devices.
The solar phone charger is an economical, environment-friendly, portable, and sustainable energy source available to charge small devices. It works by absorbing sunlight with the help of a solar panel or photovoltaic cells. Solar energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery, so you can power mobile phones at night or during cloudy days.
Types Of Solar Phone Chargers
Many types of solar-powered phone chargers with different capacities allow you to keep your gear charged during an emergency, camping trip, hiking, etc. Some of the most popular and common types of solar phone charges include:
Portable solar charger generator – allows you to charge your cell phones anytime. The solar generator’s lightweight nature and wireless charging option make it suitable for beach trips. Jackery offers multiple solar power generators that are portable and waterproof. In addition, numerous USB ports available will help you to charge devices at once.
Solar panels – enable you to charge cell phones directly with the sun. Instead of transferring electricity to the battery, the solar panels charge the smartphones with direct sunlight. Jackery 100-watt solar panel are an alternative choice to power bank for charging phones or other small appliances. The robust nature of solar panels is a renewable and clean energy source for everyone.
Heavy-duty solar panels – these large solar panels can charge everything from phones to laptops to mini-fridges. As these panels come with a charge controller, they transfer their charge to the power bank to charge all the devices.
Below are the best portable solar charger for phones available on the market.
BigBlue 28W Solar Charger
Hiluckey 25,000mAh Power Bank
Battery Capacity Of iPhone, Samsung, And
Solar chargers are built for outdoor usage, and they are powered with the help of sunlight. While choosing the best solar charger for your needs, analyzing the solar panel size, charging speed, battery size, and the number of ports is essential. Watt and watt-hour should be considered to narrow your research and purchase the best solar panels.
What Are Watt And Watt Hours?
A watt is a power unit that measures the energy transfer rate. In electrical terms, the watt is the rate of electrical work done by a device during appliance powering.
The simple formula of watt is equivalent to volt-ampere. Here is how to calculate it:
Power is the energy rate at which energy is consumed or generated; hence, it is measured in watts. Meanwhile, watt-hour is the rate at which one-watt power is consumed in one hour. Here is the formula to calculate the watt-hours of any device.
Watt-Hours = Total Number Of Watts Total Number Of Hours
Battery Capacity of Phones
Generally, a solar phone charger that can supply 10 watts is sufficient to charge a smartphone for one day. Many solar power panels have robust battery protection systems, so you can power all your devices safely.
For instance, if you know the battery capacity (mAh) and volt (V), you can easily calculate the watt-hour.
Formula is (mAh) (V) /1000 = Wh.
Suppose the battery capacity of the solar power charger is 300 mAh, and the volt is 5V. Here is how to measure watt-hours.
Watt-hour = 300 mAh 5V / 1000 = 1.5 Wh.
Here is the breakdown of the estimated solar power needed daily to charge different types of smartphones.
How Many Charges Daily
Estimated Solar Power Needed Daily (Watt-hours)
iPhone 14 Plus/ iPhone 14 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Most solar generators can charge your phone several times. That said, you don’t have to worry about recharging and charging your solar power.
Portable Solar Charger For Phone
If you are looking to choose the best solar panel charger for a cell phone, you can never go wrong with Jackery solar generator. It combines a portable power station and SolarSaga panels that capture the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity.
Compared to traditional generators, solar panel generators are portable. Not only does it allow you to charge cell phones, but it can also power other small electrical appliances depending on the power they consume.
Jackery solar generators are available in different sizes. This solar generator is suitable for campers, emergency backups, and RVs. The best part about all the solar chargers for a phone is their foldable design and less weight. It makes it easy to carry wherever you go.
I bought this for dry camping in my RV. I wanted an easy way to recharge my multiple Ipads, iPhones, and computers. I just returned from an 18-day trip, and the Jackery 500 with the 100-watt solar panel performed flawlessly. Recharging it was the easiest system I have ever worked with. In sunny AZ, the system went from 83% to 100% in 2 hours. If it was cloudy, I plugged into my 12-volt plug while driving and generally went from the low 80s to 100% within a 3-hour drive. I have not used the 120-volt charger yet as it was not needed. In total, I recharged 2 Ipads, 2 phones, 1 computer, and 1 jet pack overnight. The battery would be in the low 80% by morning, sometimes 75% by evening back to 100%. I highly recommend this system. Addendum photos first photo 11:48 am, 2nd 12:42 pm, 3rd 1:48 pm, 4th 3:02 pm, 5th 3:55 precharge in Tucson, AZ. May 23, 2021 Went from 100% to 81% after charging 2 Iphones, 2 Ipads, and 1 jetpack. 1 iPad in use for a couple of hours while being charged-Susan
Jackery 500 gave me a lot of power for 7 days of camping. It powered my Alpicool ref, USB lights, cell phone, etc. The lowest power I had overnight was 87% until I could charge my solar panel the next day. I highly recommend this. I will use my CPAP on my next trip and trust it will give me power all night. I used Goal Zero before. I was not impressed, and Jackery’s price is more reasonable. Buying expensive things like goal zero does not prove great performance but is overrated as a waste of money. Go for Jackery. It is also lightweight.Maria
As you can see, Jackery products are loved by the customers. They are durable, cost-efficient, and powerful solar generators that ensure you never run out of power. Here are the top Jackery power stations you can purchase to charge your cell phone.
Portable Power Station Capacity
(When the portable power station is fully charged)
Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel (This solar panel has a USB output and can charge the phone under the sun directly)
Depends on the weather condition
Jackery Solar Generator 240 (Explorer 240 SolarSaga 100W)
- USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A
- USB-C Output: 5V, 3A
- AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 200W (400W Surge Peak)
- Car Output: 12V, 10A
- DC Input: 12V. 30V (65W Max)
Jackery Solar Generator 300 (Explorer 300 SolarSaga 100W)
- USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A
- USB-C PD Output: 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V, 3A
- DC Input: 12V. 30V (90W Max)
- Quick Charge 3.0 Output: 5V, 2.4A
- AC Output: 110V, 60Hz, 300W (500W Surge)
Jackery Solar Generator 500 (Explorer 500 SolarSaga 100W)
- USB-A Output: 5V, 2.4A
- Car Port: 12V, 10V
- DC Output: 12V, 7A
- AC Output: 110VAC, 60Hz, 500W (1000W Surge)
- DC Input: 12V. 30V (100W Max)
Even if the portable power station is out of capacity, you don’t have to worry about charging your appliances. The pass-through charging capability lets you recharge the device and solar generator at the same time. In addition, the input and output ports on the portable solar generator protect your device from overcharging.
What Size Solar Charger For a Phone Do I Need?
Solar cell phone chargers come in different sizes, shapes, and types. The simple rule to purchasing a solar panel is understanding its compatibility with your device.
Calculate the size of the solar charger for a phone with this formula:
Working time = Watt-hour of the solar power station 0.85 / operating wattage of your device.
For instance, if we assume that the cell phone consumes 10 watts and the watt-hour of the solar power station is 167Wh, the working time will be 167 Wh 0.85 / 10 = 14.2 hours.
Purchasing a solar power station with a 167 Wh battery capacity can charge a phone at 13 Wh capacity 11 times. You can calculate the number of charges a solar panel supports with a simple formula:
The number of charges supported = 0.85 Power station capacity/phone capacity.
Depending on the requirements and phone capacity, you can determine the size of solar panels you’ll need.
FAQs About Solar Phone Chargers
Solar phone chargers come in many variants with different designs, functions, sizes, etc. Checking on the tech specs and understanding the power requirements are the two most important aspects you’ll need to consider before choosing the best solar power generator. Here are a few common questions that people often ask before buying a solar power generator.
What is the best solar phone charger?
Jackery is the best solar phone charger amongst all the other power generators available on the market. The combination of the portable power station and SolarSaga solar panels charges all your small appliances, including cell phones, multiple times after full charge. Some unique features that make Jackery military-grade solar phone charger the best choice include:
- Lightweight and compact in nature that makes it easy to carry around wherever you go.
- As it receives power through the sun and no other forms of fuel are required, it is clean, quiet, and renewable.
- Multifunctional outputs like USB-A, USB-C, Car Port, etc., ensure that you can charge multiple devices simultaneously and save time for charging.
- High conversion efficiency solar generator ensures that you use maximum sun’s energy and store it to power devices.
The input and output USB ports available on the solar phone charger make it easy to use. You can power your cell phone by plugging the USB cable from the charger into the smartphone. Jackery solar generators have a device protection system, so you don’t have to stress about overcharging the appliance. Another feature of the solar phone charger is another USB input port that allows you to recharge the solar generator even if you are powering the devices.
Where to buy a solar phone charger?
You can purchase the best solar phone charger from the solar power generator collection of Jackery. They have a wide range of solar generators that last decades and power all your devices without hassle.
How does a solar phone charger work?
As the name suggests, the solar-powered phone charger absorbs and transfers sunlight. Here’s how it works in simple steps: photons carry the sun’s energy to create an electric field. This sunlight powers the photovoltaic cells or solar panels, transferring the power to cell phones. Most solar panels come with a battery to store the power. This means you can charge your phone even when there is dark or no solar energy available.
So, if you have ever put off your camping and hiking idea thinking about how you’ll charge your cell phone, consider purchasing a solar phone charger. You can use the solar phone charger to power all the small appliances that consume less power, including smartphones, and stay connected.
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The 4 best solar phone chargers of 2023
The struggle to keep your phone charged while out and about is real, especially while on the road, during camping trips, backpacking, at festivals, or spending the day in the park. The good news is that there is now an easy charging solution. solar phone chargers.
These portable chargers allow us to take advantage of free and abundant solar power to ensure that we’ll never be without a backup for charging all of our phones, no matter where we are.
There are virtually thousands of options for solar phone chargers available online. But don’t worry, we did the hard work for you and scoured the internet for the best solar phone chargers in 2023.
Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.
Why you can trust SolarReviews:
SolarReviews is the leading American website for consumer reviews and ratings of residential solar panels and solar panel installation companies. Our industry experts have over two decades of solar experience combined and maintain editorial independence for their reviews. No company can pay to alter the reviews or review scores shown on our site. Learn more about SolarReviews and how we make money.
The best solar phone chargers of 2023
Here are our picks for the best solar phone chargers on the market.
Best overall solar charger: BigBlue 28W USB solar charger
Our top pick, the BigBlue 3, with its four solar panels and a compact design. Image source: BigBlue
Price: 68.96 Buy Now
Pros: The BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger is our pick for the Best Overall solar charger. With four highly efficient foldable SunPower solar panels that fit into a compact bag, they can be easily stored in your backpack. It has two charging USB output ports, so it can charge up to three devices while still delivering decent power. Reviews consistently claim that the charger provides decent output in cloudy conditions, as well.
Cons: This charger’s on the heavier side for solar panel chargers, weighing in at 1.3 pounds, even though it doesn’t come with an external battery bank. Although it will fit nicely in your backpack, it might weigh you down. If you want to store power for later, you have to purchase a battery bank separately.
Compatibility: Most 5 volt USB rechargeable devices, including iPhones and Androids. Not compatible with the iPad Pro.
Best budget charger: BLAVOR Qi Solar Power Bank Portable Charger
The BLAVOR QI portable charger is a great option for avid hikers who need a durable portable charging option. Image source: Amazon
Price: 26.99 Buy Now
Pros: Because the BLAVOR Qi Portable Solar Charger is durable, shockproof, and weighs only 10 ounces. it is the best solar charger in terms of portability and is ideal for hiking and camping. It has over 25,000 reviews, with an overall 4.4-star rating on Amazon. This solar charger power bank adds virtually no weight to your backpack and is wireless. That’s right. you don’t have to worry about having a cord to charge your phone. Simply place it on the charger and you’re good to go. It also acts as a flashlight and comes with a compass.
Cons: The BLAVOR Qi is so lightweight because it has only one small solar panel. This means it can take a very long time to charge using the sun. Most users will charge the battery as much as they can at home and then let it sit in the sun to top it off.
Compatibility: iPhone, Samsung, Android, Windows, GoPro, GPS, tablets, and most USB charging devices.
Best travel charger: Hiluckey Outdoor USB-C Portable charger
Hilucky’s Outdoor solar phone charger has great reviews and is one of Amazon’s Choice picks for portable solar panels. Image source: Amazon
Price: 46.99 Buy Now
Pros: Hilucky’s Solar Phone Charger comes equipped with four fold-out solar panels that charge its battery bank. The included rechargeable battery can fully charge a smartphone over 7 times. It comes with LED light settings, making it perfect for outdoor use. It has enough USB ports to charge three devices.
Cons: Having four solar panels makes it a little bulky, even if it does increase the surface area of the charger in order to collect sunlight. It will also add an extra 1.3 pounds to your backpack.
Compatibility: Almost all 5V devices such as iPhones, iPads, tablets, and other smartphones.
QiSa 38,800mAh Solar Power Bank
The QiSa charger has a compact, foldable design that provides you power you can easily take with you. Image source: Amazon
Price: 89.98 Buy Now
Pros: QiSa’s charger is compact but doesn’t sacrifice on power. This makes it a great option to put in your backpack on a hiking trip or even take it with you on your commute, just in case. It can charge three devices at once and has a wireless charging function, so you don’t even have to fuss with cords. The device itself is waterproof and drop-proof. It also has a built-in flashlight!
Cons: Although it has overwhelmingly positive reviews, some commeters report that the QiSa’s charging speed is a bit slow, especially when on the wireless charger. The wireless charger also has an auto-off function that can make be frustrating if you’re trying to juice up a dead phone. Plus, this is a more expensive option than some others on our list.
Compatibility: most USB-C devices
What features to look for in a solar phone charger
When you’re shopping for a solar phone charger, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get the right one for your needs, including:
How Long Does It Take a Solar Charger to Charge a Cell Phone?
Cell Phones are becoming increasingly essential for daily living.
In off-grid living, they help in keeping communication with friends, family, colleagues, and the likes.
For this reason, a solar charger is important to charge a cell phone outdoors.
Smartphones are very portable, making them easy to use outdoors.
However, the main problem is their duration of charge with solar chargers.
A solar charger will charge a typical cell phone in 2.5-3 hours from a 5W solar panel, 1.3-1.6 hours from a 10W panel, 52 minutes to 1.1 hours from a 15W panel, and 39-50 minutes from a 20W panel. These stats are based on a solar charger utilizing 80-100% of its listed power output.
Both the wattage of your solar charger as well as the battery size of your smartphone come into play when estimating recharging times.
The average charge times for various popular smartphones can be seen below. BigBlue 28W solar charger (portable solar panel)
Goal Zero Venture 35 Solar Kit with Nomad 10 (portable solar panel with battery bank)
Hiluckey Solar Charger (power bank with embedded solar panel)
- Portable solar panel with USB ports – Plug in your phone directly into the panel
- Portable solar panel with a battery bank – Either plug your phone directly into the panel or use the battery bank to charge from solar first before using the battery bank to charge your phone
- Power bank with embedded solar panel – Solar panel is sealed to the battery bank
Most solar power banks with embedded solar panels have a good size battery but lack solar panel output power.
The best “solar charger” for recharging your cell phone is a portable solar panel of 10W or more along with a battery bank.
Using the solar panel to recharge the battery bank will be the best way to recharge your cell phone from solar because solar power is inconsistent due to weather changes.
This could affect the way the panel charges your phone if you connect them together without the use of a power bank.
For example, I used my Nomad 10 solar panel to directly charge my iPhone 7 and it worked successfully, however, any Cloud cover would stop the charging and my phone would go back and forth from charging to not charging.
Charging a power bank would simply allow a faster charging process because it will provide consistent power to recharge your phone – as opposed to your phone constantly going in and out of sleep mode to show it’s charging.
If you’d like more information on power banks with embedded solar panels, I created a list of the top models and go into more detail on them in my article here: Top 7 Solar Panel Battery Banks – A Battle for Power.
Top 3 Solar Phone Charger Examples
The following examples will be portable solar panel models that can be used to charge your phone directly or indirectly via an optional battery bank.
In several cases, you can buy these in a kit along with a battery bank, like the Goal Zero Venture 35 with Nomad 10 kit (affiliate link).
BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger
The BigBlue 28W USB solar charger is one of the most suitable chargers for cell phones. It possesses four different foldable SunPower solar panels that are very compact.
Also, it has three 5V/2.4A (max) USB output ports for simultaneous device charging.
However, the panel is best used with a maximum of two USB ports simultaneously to get the full 5V/2.4A for both ports.
This means that the USB ports combine for a maximum of 24W of output (5V/4.8A), which is not 28W but is still a relatively high number for a portable solar charger.
According to reviews, the BigBlue 28W USB solar charger appears to deliver a good output in sunny and, surprisingly, cloudy conditions.
On the downside, the BigBlue is a long solar panel when unfolded (33 x 11 x 0.2 in). Hence, users need to remain conscious of their size when using it for backpacking needs.
Nekteck 21W Solar Charger
The Nekteck 21W solar phone charger has three solar panels and two standard USB-A ports.
Each port is capable of 5V/2.0A when one port is used, but when using both ports, the maximum amperage is 3.0A (15W max).
Like the BigBlue, the Nekteck outputs less power than the panel says in its listing. That being said, 15W is enough to power up a smartphone or multiple phones when needed.
Although it has less power than the BigBlue panel, it’s more compact with an unfolded length of 26.2 inches.
This may be easier for you to mount onto your backpack or tent as it is about seven inches shorter than the BigBlue.
Impressively, it is also a lightweight solar charger, weighing only 18 ounces in total.
Goal Zero Nomad 10 Solar Charger
The Nomad 10 is an impressive product from Goal Zero.
It comes with a foldable solar panel, which has a wide surface area.
It weighs 1.2 pounds, which makes it relatively heavy, but compact.
The 10W, 6-7V panel comes with a built-in USB-A port, which functions effectively.
I’ve used this panel to successfully charge my phone directly, but the best option is to use one of Goal Zero’s battery banks for charging up.
The Flip 12 or Venture 35 are some options that are smaller for portability.
The two downsides to this panel are its decreased power output compared to the previous two panels as well as its cost.
The Nomad 10 by itself costs almost double that of the BigBlue or Nekteck panels.
But its compact size makes it useable for almost any purpose (9.5 x 14.5 x 0.75 inches unfolded).
You can see how the Nomad 10 worked in my own testing to charge my Sherpa power bank in my video below.
You can speed up your solar charger by angling it perpendicular to the sun and charging one device at a time. A direct angle to the sun allows the charger to absorb as much sunlight as possible. Charging one device at a time avoids splitting the charger’s output power between multiple devices.
If the device is placed outside your backpack while moving, please note that it may not charge fast.
Since you are on the move, there’s a high probability that the panels aren’t always facing the sun resulting in inconsistent charging.
If you want a faster charge from the solar phone charger, you may also consider using shorter cables.
Please note that shorter cables don’t necessarily make the solar phone charger work faster. However, it helps in the overall charging speed due to a minimal amount of wasted energy.
It may also be advisable to purchase a solar charger with a battery to help store power, which allows the user to charge at a time of convenience.
Do Solar Phone Chargers Really Work?
Solar phone chargers really work as long as they’re exposed to quality sunlight. It’s essential to pick a solar charger with at least 10 watts of power. A 10W solar charger will recharge a typical cell phone in 1.3-1.6 hours. Any charger less than 10W may output too slow of a charge to your phone.
Solar phone chargers that are closer to 15 watts or higher can charge a mobile phone along with other devices simultaneously.
The portability of your solar phone charger matters a lot.
Hence, it is important to confirm the weight and dimensions (folded and unfolded) of any panel you intend to purchase.
If your solar phone charger has large folded solar panels, it may be too heavy to carry.
However, large folded solar panels may have higher efficiencies (charge devices faster) due to a wide surface area.
For example, my Elecaenta 120W solar panel is massive and weighs almost 12 pounds! But this is clearly too powerful of a panel for simply charging a phone in most scenarios.
Some solar phone chargers don’t function well compared to others, depending on their output.
Ensure that you pick a brand of solar charger that works efficiently and that has good and honest reviews.
If you ever come across issues with your solar charger, I have a guide to troubleshooting your panel to get it working again. I also have some maintenance tips to prevent you from running into any issues while using it off the grid.
Is There a Difference Between Rechargeable and Solar Batteries?
There is no difference between rechargeable and solar batteries. Solar batteries are used in storing chemical energy, which gets converted to electrical energy. Solar panels trap energy from the sun, and it gets stored in batteries for later use. Hence, solar batteries are rechargeable batteries.
In some cases, solar chargers don’t come with rechargeable batteries (or any battery at all), which is usually a challenge.
A significant example of a product that doesn’t come with a battery is the Nekteck 21W solar charger. Users will need to buy a separate battery pack to make it a power bank as well.
Rechargeable batteries are electrical batteries that can be discharged and charged multiple times. However, they are produced in different shapes, sizes, and specifications.
There are lots of different combinations of electrolytes and electrode materials utilized. Examples are nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), lithium-ion (Li-Ion), nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH), lithium-ion polymer (Li-Ion polymer), and lead-acid.
Li-ion batteries are very stable batteries with a low self-discharge rate but high energy density and voltage capacity. Besides, they are very durable batteries.
Li-ion batteries tend to last for eight or more years and have nearly zero memory effect. So, even if the are a little high, it is worth the investment.
Hi! I’m Max and I am passionate about off-grid solar technology and adventure! I’m using my knowledge of solar generators, solar panels, and everything in between to provide you with the best tools to keep you powered while off the grid. Read more about me here: About Max Peters.
As electric cars become more popular, so does the idea of charging them with renewable energy sources. Solar power is one of the most promising and widely available renewable energy sources, and.
Solar generators have become a popular alternative for power supply, particularly in outdoor settings, emergency situations, and for off-grid living. These portable and eco-friendly power stations.
My name is Max Peters and I have a passion for off-grid gadgets and adventure. I studied sustainability in college and want to share with you the best in solar generators, panels, lights, and more to make your outdoor adventures unforgettable!
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How to use wireless charging on your Samsung phone
Today’s Samsung devices, including the latest Galaxy phones, Samsung smartwatches, and even compatible Samsung earbuds, all work with wireless charging. Place your device down on the right pad, and it’ll charge up all on its own. That saves time and wear and tear on your cables — but it’s important to know how it works first. Our guide will go over all the basics so you’re ready for every kind of Samsung wireless charging.
Wireless charging basics
If you’re primarily interested in the nuts and bolts of wireless charging, here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Make sure you have a compatible Samsung device. For phones, that means have either a Galaxy S6 or newer, up to the current Galaxy S22, or a Galaxy Note 5 or newer (excepting the Galaxy Note 7, which is not compatible). Samsung’s latest foldables, like the Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, also work with wireless chargers. Galaxy A series devices are not compatible.
For smartwatches, you’ll need the Galaxy Watch 3 or newer, up to the current Galaxy Watch 5, or a Galaxy Watch Active model.
For earbuds, the Galaxy Buds, Buds 2, Buds, Buds Live, and Buds Pro all work with wireless chargers.
Step 2: Get a compatible wireless charger. Samsung’s devices use the common Qi standard, so most any wireless charger you find should work. However, newer chargers are more likely to support faster charging speeds. You can also get chargers that can charge multiple devices at once, like the Charger Trio, in order to charge a Samsung phone, watch, and earbuds at the same time.
Step 3: Plug your charging pad in, and place your Samsung device on top of it with the back facing the charger. When the charger has connected with the device, it should turn on an indicator light. You may have to reposition the device until this indicator light comes on.
Step 4: Wait for the device to charge. While chargers vary, a steady red or blue indicator light usually means something is still charging, and a green light means a device has finished charging.
Helpful tips for wireless charging
Wireless charging is simple, but there are a few things everyone should know to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Wireless charging can work through cases … but not all of them. Thinner cases will allow wireless charging to work, although you may need to double-check that the positioning above the charging coil is correct. Thicker cases can run into problems, especially thick leather cases or similar materials. These can block wireless chargers from working until you take them off. Cases should specifically say that they are compatible with wireless charging. We have guides to our favorite cases where you can find more options.
Step 2: Wireless chargers generally stay in one spot, which means you need to spend some time picking the right spot to fit your daily habits. Some prefer chargers at their bedside, where devices can recharge while they sleep. Others prefer them on desks or in offices where devices can charge while they work. Sometimes a central location on a counter or an entryway shelf is ideal.
Step 3: If you are charging at your bedside, be wary of bright indicator lights. Some indicator LEDs are more or less unobtrusive, but others are bright and could be annoying if you’re trying to sleep. If it’s too late to get another charger, you can always cover the indicator with a piece of tape to remove the annoyance.
Step 4: The wattage of the charger indicates how fast it can charge devices. Currently, you’ll want around 10W to 15W on your wireless charger for the fastest possible charging speeds. Note that for multi-device chargers, the wattage will typically be divided among different charging coils, so those numbers will naturally be higher.
Use Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare to help charge your accessories
You can’t be near a wireless charger all the time, but there’s another solution for that. You can find Wireless Power some new Samsung devices, like the Galaxy S22 or the Note 20 Ultra, and it allows those devices to act as remote wireless chargers for other devices. That means you can charge wirelessly on the go for your device or a friend’s device that’s running low. Here’s how to enable it.
Step 1: Check your battery. Your Samsung phone should be charged to at least 30% or more before using Wireless PowerShare.
Step 2: Swipe down from the top of the screen to open up Quick settings. Then swipe down again. You should see an option to turn on Wireless PowerShare with the icon of a battery and arrow. Select it.
If you don’t see this icon, check that your Samsung phone is up to date. Head into the Quick settings customization to manually add it. You can find this in options, the three vertical dots in the Quick settings menu.
Step 3: Place the device you want to charge on the back of the Wireless PowerShare phone within 60 seconds of turning Power (again, thick cases may prevent this feature from working). PowerShare works with most Qi-compatible devices, so it doesn’t matter if the other device is Samsung or not. You can even charge other phones this way.
Upcoming features for Samsung wireless charging
If you want the very latest in wireless charging technology, there are reports that Samsung is working on its own wireless charging hub designed to juggle multiple Samsung devices at once. You’re likely to see this charging hub go on sale sometime next year, possibly coinciding with the release of the Galaxy S23 (also expected in 2023).
But there’s more: Reports also show Samsung has earned Bluetooth certification for its charging hub. Why does a wireless charger need Bluetooth? That’s a good question, and it’s almost certainly about additional Smart features. That could be the ability to get alerts when your Samsung device is done charging, for example. If that’s sound like a cool feature to you, you may want to wait until this hub is announced.
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler’s into it. When he’s not…
Whether you’re planning a special surprise for someone, want to get an embarrassing photo out of your life (but not too far), or just want to keep certain images hidden, there are plenty of reasons to hide a photo on your iPhone’s camera roll. Thankfully, iOS 16 supports a quick and easy way to separate out specific photos into a locked Hidden folder.
Smartphones are excellent, and they’re only getting more polished. However, things can still go wrong, like crashes, slowdowns, and other such problems. When issues arise, it can be tough to find out what the problem is. Is it an app you’ve downloaded? Maybe it’s your phone itself? Not knowing what’s causing problems is just as frustrating as the problem itself, but that’s where Android’s built-in safe mode can come in handy.
Every smartphone manufacturer updates its flagship lineup annually, packing in all of the best components that are available. For Google, this is the Pixel 7 lineup, and Samsung has the Galaxy S23 series.
However, not everyone wants to — or can afford — to pay flagship all the time. Thankfully, both Google and Samsung have more budget-friendly options with the Pixel A-series and Galaxy A-series devices. If you want a good smartphone without paying too much, then these are both pretty good phones to check out.
Upgrade your lifestyleDigital Trends helps readers keep tabs on the fast-paced world of tech with all the latest news, fun product reviews, insightful editorials, and one-of-a-kind sneak peeks.
The Best Solar Chargers of 2023
Cory Gunther / How-To Geek
Sydney Butler Writer
Sydney Butler has over 20 years of experience as a freelance PC technician and system builder. He’s worked for more than a decade in user education and spends his time explaining technology to professional, educational, and mainstream audiences. His interests include VR, PC, Mac, gaming, 3D printing, consumer electronics, the web, and privacy. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Research Psychology with a FOCUS on Cyberpsychology in particular. Read more.
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Whether you’re dealing with an unreliable power supply or want to make sure you can charge your essential gadgets when far away from the grid, a solar charger is an essential part of your hiking, travel, or emergency kit.
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What to Look For In a Solar Charger in 2023
Before we get into what makes for a good solar charger, let’s clear up what we mean by “solar charger” since it’s distinct from concepts like a “solar power bank” or “solar panel.” A solar charger is a device that converts solar power using solar panels into an electric current suitable for charging devices, usually in the form of a USB power port conforming to USB power specifications. Solar chargers typically don’t have any power storage of their own, but you can use the charger with a power bank of your choice. In general, putting a lithium battery in direct sunlight is not a good idea, so it makes sense that most solar chargers don’t integrate them. Instead, you’d use a lengthy cable to connect devices under shade or in your bag, protected from direct sunlight. It’s important to use a solar charger with the necessary safety circuitry to prevent device damage. In models with poor safety controls, too much voltage may go to the device, damaging it. The charger may also keep pushing charge to the device even though it’s full. So look for mention of overcharge protection and other similar features. If you do use a charger that doesn’t explicitly mention these features, it’s usually a better idea to charge up an inexpensive power bank, rather than charge your tablet, phone, or other devices directly. Then use the power bank to charge your devices in turn. Size, weight, and mounting features are other key considerations. Small, foldable, and light solar chargers are more common now. Despite their size, they can produce usable amounts of power thanks to advancements in solar panel efficiency. Chargers may come with backpack mounts, kickstands, frames, or other mounting solutions. It’s best to pick one that matches your use case. For higher-capacity chargers, it’s always nice to have multiple ports to charge several devices simultaneously. Weatherproofing is a must since the odds of it raining at some point are virtually assured. Finally, an oft-overlooked feature is “auto resume.” Many solar chargers will stop charging when the sunlight drops below a certain level, and then fail to resume unless you manually reinsert the charging cable. Chargers with auto-resume ensure you don’t come back after a few hours to find that your device stopped charging ages ago.
Frequently Asked Questions
Solar chargers don’t store energy, and they need sunlight to produce electricity, so sadly, you can’t use them without sunlight.
Yes! Even if it’s cloudy or overcast, you’ll still get power from the sun. Things may not charge as quickly, but there’s still plenty of usable light.
In theory? Yes. In practice? Apart from the flashlight putting out a low total amount of power as light, it’s not in the same spectrum as sunlight, and it would be so inefficient that there’d be little point.
It all depends on the peak wattage of the charger in question and how much sunlight you’re getting. Under good conditions, it’s totally possible to get the same charge rate as typical wall chargers.
Best Solar Charger Overall: Anker 24W 3-Port USB PowerPort
Anker has developed a reputation for affordable gadgets that perform better than they have any right to. The PowerPort Solar is a great solar charger, even more so for its low price point, and it’s the one we recommend most people in the market for one of these devices to look at first.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first, because if they’re dealbreakers for you, it’s best to know them upfront. First, there are no USB-C ports, so you’ll have to keep a USB-C to A cable handy for your USB-C devices. Secondly, this charger is not water resistant, so you’ll have to be vigilant for rain. The panels themselves have an IPX4 rating, but not the electronics box.
If you’re happy with these small compromises, you’ll find a lightweight, foldable, and flexible solar charger with a built-in kickstand and enough power output to charge most phones and tablets at rates similar to wall chargers. Each port can provide up to 12W of power. Considering that common “fast” chargers are 18W and typical iPad wall chargers are also 12W, this isn’t a bad result.
While it would have been nice to get more than 12W for single-device charging, Anker makes up for it thanks to its auto-resume charging if the sun is blocked temporarily. Whether you’re camping or want a backup power solution to keep in your car for an emergency, this is a fantastic choice.
Solar Charger, Anker 24W 3-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable CIGS Panel for Camping, PowerPort Solar for iPhone 12/SE/11/XS Max/XR/X/8, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S20/S10/S9/S8, and
The Anker PowerPort strikes the perfect balance between price and performance. It’s thin, flexible, and supports multi-device charging with auto-resume if sunlight is interrupted. It’s not 100% water resistant, but in every other way it’s a great deal.