In this article, we’ll give you the full lowdown on solar phone chargers. Besides the basics on what you need to select and use a portable phone charger, we’ve highlighted ten customer favorites and best sellers from Amazon.com
If you plan to be off the grid, or want to make sure you stay connected at, say, the next music festival, a solar phone charger is a must-have device. Some units can also be plugged into an electrical outlet, allowing you the flexibility of charging up wherever you need to.
What is a solar phone charger?
A solar phone charger is generally a backup charger that can be used when you expect to be without access to electricity, or in an emergency situation. Using solar panels, a solar phone charger charges your cell phone battery in one of two ways:
- With a rechargeable internal or removable battery that is used to charge your phone. Using this method, you are able to charge your phone at any time, even overnight. The caveat is that you will have needed to have previously charged the battery using a portable solar power unit. Different types of batteries determine how frequently you’ll need to use the solar panel.
- With an integrated battery that comes equipped with a set of connectors that fit directly into your phone.
How do you use a solar phone charger?
Depending on the type of charger you use, and for what type of phone, you can expect some minor variations in how you to set up and use these devices. For the most part, though, they are plug-and-play and you can easily find models that are compatible with standard cell phone ports (USB, mini USB, micro USB/Apple)
- If you are charging a battery (see method one above), position the solar panel in direct sunlight, and then plug in the battery.
- If you are charging the cell phone directly (see method two above), connect the device to the phone following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Please note that both of these methods take time, so plan accordingly!
Buying guide: choosing the right features when choosing a solar phone charger
Some key features that you’ll want to be on the lookout for when choosing a solar phone charger include:
- Ease of use. Avoid complicated models with complex writing and confusing setups.
- Adequate wattage: For most smart phones, we recommend at least 15 Watts (though if you have a fairly simple phone you can get away with less).
- Adaptors: we recommend these for USB connectors so that you can use them when off the grid.
- Portability: look for easy pack and carry pockets.
- Price: finding the charger that meets your needs doesn’t always mean paying the maximum amount of money. In fact, there are several reasonably-priced models on our list.
- Solar panel surface area: larger surface areas on solar panels collect more sunlight for charging batteries faster.
- Rigid or semi-flexible panels: this is a consideration if you will need to fold up panels for travel.
Top 10 Amazon Best Sellers Solar Phone Chargers in June 2016
Here are the top 10 ranked Amazon Best Sellers in Solar Phone Chargers category, for June 2016. This top 10 list is based on actual Amazon sales rank, so this gives you a great idea of what are the best products based on customer demand. You will likely find a great buy from this list.
Features and benefits at a glance: 12000mAh high capacity internal lithium battery that has its own solar panel for emergencies. Dual USB Charger Ports: 2.1A USB port for iPad/Tablets. 1.0A USB ports, allowing you to charge two devices at once. LED flashlight. Hook for hanging the device.
Features and benefits at a glance: Fast charge up to 2.1 amps under direct sunlight. Ability to charge two devices at once. Weather resistant and durable. Portable, lightweight and foldable. 3 ft USB cable. 18 month warranty.
Features and benefits at a glance: Fast charge up to 2.4 amps under direct sunlight. Ability to charge two devices at once. Weather resistant and durable. Highly portable, lightweight and foldable ultra-thin design. 3 ft Micro USB cable. 18 month warranty.
Features and benefits at a glance: Built-in 10000mAh Li-polymer Rechargeable Battery. Ability to charge two devices at once. Shock proof, even when dropped. Hanging clip. One-year warranty .
Features and benefits at a glance: Dual USB ports for charging two devices at once. Smart technology for optimal charging. Portable and foldable. Hanging hooks. Water and mould resistant. 18 month warranty and money back guarantee .
Features and benefits at a glance: iSolar fast charging technology which adjusts to current and voltage to for maximum power up to 3.5amps. Ability to charge two devices at once. Rugged exterior, with anti-shock protection. Grade A cell and premium microchips with over 500 battery charge cycles. Automatic shutoff to avoid battery overload. Two Micro USB data cables.
Features and benefits at a glance: Compatible with iPhone 6s / 6 / Plus, SE, iPad, Galaxy S6/S7/ Edge/ Plus, Nexus 5X/6P, any USB devices. Ability to charge two devices at the same time. 100cm Micro USB Cable. Durable and moisture resistant. 12-month warranty .
Features and benefits at a glance: Has a single crystal silicon solar panel. Ability to charge two devices at the same time. Lithium Ion battery. The device is able to hold 10000mAh of reserved power. Water resistant, dust proof, and shock proof. Dual super bright LED light with. Compass. Hook for hanging.
Excellent customer service and support .
Features and benefits at a glance: 10000mAh Solar Charger. Comes with a micro USB Cable. 12-Month warranty.
Features and benefits at a glance: Built-in 10000mAh Capacity lithium polymer battery. Over 800 charger. Smart microchips that guard against overload and short circuiting. 9 LED light with diffuser.