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Solar Powered USB Cell Phone Charger – is it worth it?!

Solar Powered USB Cell Phone Charger – is it worth it?!


So last year when I was hiking around Havasupai
and away from my charger for a couple days, I thought it would be really nice to have
something that was solar powered so I could recharge my phone, my drone, and my camera
batteries. Having a decent working solar panel would mean I wouldn’t have to carry as many
batteries or power banks on long trips. If you have a solar panel you can even take your
Pokémon hunting expeditions way out into the boonies. So I decided to finally get a
solar powered charger. So today we’ll see how well it works or even if it’s worth
our time to set up. Inside we have 4 panels that can receive power from the sun. And there
are 4 little rings, two on each end so you can hang up the panels from trees or hammocks
or tents and angle it towards the sun. On this side we have some instructions and on
the inside it comes with one micro USB charging cable and it has 4 USB outlets. Two of them
are 2.4 amp and 2 are regular one amp USB ports. It also comes with a little carrying
sack and two carabineers. So now that we have it, let’s take my Galaxy S7 Active with
its 4,000 milliamp battery and charge it up outside using only the power of the sun. So
I just plugged in my Galaxy S7 Active. It’s a little bit damaged but this phone is freaking
expensive so we’re going to use it for another video. It’s going to take an hour and 3
minutes to charge, it’s at 45%. So I’m going to switch it over to the solar charger
and see how long that takes. So obviously solar panels work a lot better when there’s
a lot of sun in the sky, so today there are hardly any clouds so it will be the perfect
day to test out our solar panel. So it might be a little hard to see but it says an hour
and thirty two minutes until fully charged. So a half hour longer. We’ll see if that’s
what it actually takes. It’s completely unfolded. We’ve got the two hooks at the
end just in case you want to hang it on a tree or a hammock or something like that.
We have the four panels here. And then we have 4 USB ports and a little LED light to
tell if there’s power going to it or not. So I have it in one of the two smart ports,
the 2.5 amp, and I’m going to tuck the phone underneath so it doesn’t get hot from the
sun. There we go. So it’s been a half hour and we have 52 minutes until fully charged
and the phone is at 71% so it’s moving along pretty quick. That’s impressive. So we’ll
leave it plugged in a little longer and see what happens. So it’s been plugged in for
about an hour now. We have 28 minutes left until it’s fully charged. It’s at 85%.
We started at 45%. So it’s a little bit slower than plugging it into the wall, but
still, this phone’s being charged by the sun. So now I’m testing the charging of
my OnePlus 3 and my Galaxy S7 and it’s charging them both at the same time. So this can charge
multiple devices at once. So obviously plugging your stuff into the wall is going to be a
little bit faster than using a solar powered charger, but sometimes you don’t have wall
power access. I imagine that the easiest thing to do would be to pair this with a power bank
and just leave this at your camp site or wherever you’re working and charge up the power bank
all day. Just keep in mind that when you charge up your power bank and then use your power
bank to charge up your phone after that, it’s not as efficient and you lose some power between
each transition. So it’s much more efficient to plug your phone directly into the solar
power charger so you don’t lose any energy between the transitions. Either way I’m
pretty impressed with how fast this charged my phone. It went from 45% all the way up
to 100% in about an hour and 20 minutes. I did start charging my phone at the peak brightness
of the day though. I started at 1:15. So you’d get less power in the morning and less power
at night. But if you’re using it in direct sunlight, right in the middle of the day,
that’s when you’ll get the most power from it. If you have any questions leave them
down in the comments below. I will keep this video updated in the video description. I’m
going to be using this over time. I’m headed to Thailand next week and I imagine I’ll
be using it quite a bit over there. So we’ll see if it starts to fail or stops charging
as fast as this first time. Thanks a ton for watching. Hope to see you around.

100 thoughts on “Solar Powered USB Cell Phone Charger – is it worth it?!”

  1. woah man !! your scalp is a great reflector lol !! your videos are awesome and you're even more awesome !!

  2. People should also remember that there's different types of solar panels and since solar is being constantly developed don't expect a cheap product necessarily be as good as a more expensive product. You get what you pay for.

  3. Depends on how you define worth. If you're thinking in financial terms, you can never break even the cost of the solar panels from merely charging the phones. It's more likely that the equipment breaks down first.

  4. Please do let us know how this works with repeat usage. I am a financially particular kinda guy who appreciates purchasing 'quality' the first time. Also, I'd like to thank you for the work that you do, your videos are very informative. If you are ever in Arizona, and would like to stress – test phones with large John Deere construction equipment, let me know.

  5. Huh, so this unit uses SunPower PV panels @ 23.5% efficiency. Not bad for silicon-based technology! That made me sad, however, that the 31.6% efficient Alta Devices GaAs-based panels have never seen a widely available product to this day. It's like the Chinese company that bought them, Hanergy, is just sitting on their acquisition. That's just maddening!

  6. hey Jerry. I think that is time to make a test on the moto z and z force this phones are light,thin and have some huge 5.5 inch screens. The best environment for a bend to take place.Can you prove that I am wrong or correct. Thank you.

  7. Jerry can you please in the next Bend,Scratch test, when you use the picks to scratch the phone can you go to 8 scale i want to see what happens thx.

  8. which phone do you use??
    i am looking for a phone is a oneplus 3 good
    and is the Sony Xperia Z5 beter ????

  9. you should have suited it up with an meter..http://s32.postimg.org/vm3e3yv7p/WP_20160519_18_39_59_Pro.jpg
    to see what wattpower it actually delivered and if the spec 28w was on call with optimal sun.. judging from your charge-time.. it couldnt have been fare from that, so the 28w seems legit.

  10. I'm a bare bones, broke back mountain, back country camper and the issue I have with solor panels is simple. They only work with sun. SO, my suggestion is to pair it with a battery bank (or banks depending on what it takes for each of your devices to charge from completely dead to 100%) charge your banks before you leave and and bring all of it. Only charge your devices off the solar panel until it starts getting shitty out and then you'll have your batteries to back you up in foul weather.

  11. I'm in bkk would have been cool to meet you. hope you got out to an island or the mountains up north. Bangkok can be a drag. Thanks a lot for your great videos.

  12. why doesn't a Phone today have a built in solar panel? old 1970 calculators have it, why doesn't our smart phones?

  13. I hang the panel off the back of my backpack as I walk around town doing what I do, I also place the phone in airplane mode for faster charging.

  14. the Army gave me a six panel charger. we had night vision goggles, radios, red dot sights, gps. something always needed charging, and you wanted 100% before sundown. i had it lashed to my rucksack. it worked great when new, but as it got scratched over time it slowed down.

  15. 1. Plug in the phone to the solar panel
    2. Open flashlight and point it to the solar panel
    3. Infinite battery life

  16. I bought one of those when I went to Greece. I believe mine was made by a different company though, maybe it was Anker..
    Anyways, it worked really well for me. It did take some time to charge but it still worked!!

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