A dead cell phone is never a good thing and even worse in an emergency. We purchased 2 of these little solar phone chargers about a month ago and have been quite pleased with their performance. I have to admit that at $17 each I wasn’t expecting a lot as regular power banks often cost more. That being said, you have to take into account the limited output of solar panels in general and particularly one of this size.
The unit should be fully charged using a wall unit before using the 1st time, but after that you can use as you would any other power bank or charge it using solar only. We keep one in each car, placing it on the dash whenever the vehicle is parked. I read a few reviews that claimed it actually ‘melted’ doing this but we haven’t experienced anything remotely like this. It typically charges my Galaxy 7 at a rate of about 1-2% a minute to a max of around 70-75% when fully charged. While this isn’t exactly great performance it’s decent for what it is.
The unit also contains a LED light which is quite bright and has an ‘SOS’ feature to it, which basically means it flashes. Kit came with a USB cord and a little clip to hang it from your gear, but the compass is basically useless. The unit seems pretty tough and has survived me dropping it on multiple occasions with no signs of damage. While I wouldn’t plan on using this for charging my cell phone on a daily basis it’s a pretty good back up when regular charging options are not available. Note: the user manual is practically useless.
Hope you found this helpful!
Update: we’ve found these little chargers so useful that we’ve added 2 more. We still keep one in each car, but we also keep two in a southern facing window as extra back up.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.