New iPhone launch – how good are portable solar chargers?

Calm down dear – it’s only the new iPhone!

Well be that as it may, I can’t wait to get my hands on one and trying to be ‘green’ (and not wanting to run out of battery on a lonely moor), I thought it was an excellent time to look at a solar recharger for my gadgets and gizmo’s.

Well that certainly opened a can of worms. The problem is two-fold.

Firstly, there’s an awful lot of different solar charging products out there – from ones incorporating torches and radios to smaller panel ‘sets’ that open fan-like and plug or generate and store the energy for when you need to plug in and recharge.

Secondly, there are lots of reviews accompanying these various products and there’s always a mixture – some good, some not so.

Complaints seem to range from “not compatible with my device” to “took so long to charge”. Some which fit directly onto the phone like a kind of extended case warn you not to leave it in the sun (say on a windowsill) as the heat can damage your phone.

Sorry but I thought the whole point of a solar charger was to put it in the place where it will get the most sunlight?

So over to you – our gallant and intrepid readers. Have you any experience of solar charges for portable devices like phones and MP3 players? What worked and what didn’t? What didn’t live up to your expectations and what exceeded them? I need some help here folks.

photo credit: mackarus

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