Devotec Solar Charger Review

If there’s one thing that I know about all of the mobile electronics I’ve got, its that power is a problem. I’ve got more device holders and power cords in my car than I know what to do with, AND I have so many that I had to get a goo-jam that increased the number of power sockets in my car from 1 to 3.  Yeah…I’ve got gadgets.  Now about powering them…yeah, that’s a problem too.

Over the past year or so, I’ve bumped into problems where I’ve run out of power at the most inconvenient times and places.  So what do you do, especially when you carry more than one device, and carrying a spare and/or extended battery for each device is not an option?  The answer is simple if you have the Devotec Solar Charger…you carry it and the appropriate power tip. But does it do the job?  I mean, does it have the juice to give you what you need on the go?  Let’s take a quick look and find out.


Power on the Go
Having power on the go, especially for cell phone users, is important.  To someone like me, or to someone who carries more than one mobile device (cell phone, iPod, etc.), running out of power is a definite possibility. In fact, I don’t know anyone who, at one time or another, hasn’t run out of power. When you’re out and about, having access to an additional sip of power can mean the difference between the end of a conversation on your cell phone and wrapping it up; or a longer than necessary car/plane trip with a dead iPod.

I’ve had the Devotec Solar Charger since May, and I have to say that this little baby has saved me a couple of times from a longer than necessary trip.  My biggest problem with it, however, is remembering that I have it.  Its small, has a great many different power tips, and unfortunately for me, is easily forgotten in my gear bag.  However that’s more me than the Solar Charger.

The Solar Charger is about the same size as a candy bar cell phone

The entire contents of the box, including battery, power tips, USB cable and power tip extension cord

Strangely enough, Devotec doesn’t include or even make a Treo connector.  I found that very puzzling, especially considering how popular the Treo line is.

Battery Specifications:

  • Solar panel max efficiency: 15%
  • Solar panel specification: 5.5V/80mA
  • Battery size: 1800mAh
  • Output voltage: 5.5v
  • Output current: 700mA
  • Charging time: about 12 hours by solar, 4 hours by USB/AC
  • Size: 95x43x10mm

The bottom of the battery, with the USB cable connection

The top of the battery with the power tip connector

The left side of the battery…or is it the right??

The other side of the battery

The battery did well, but won’t power anything bigger than your iPod.  With 1800 mAh, however, I wouldn’t have suspected anything less. The fact that its solar powered, only made things easier, as I didn’t have to worry too much about it completely discharging. While direct sunlight worked best in charging and powering the battery, just about any light source did the job. I was disappointed to find out that Devotec doesn’t make a Treo connector. That still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Cost: The Devotec Solar Charger retails for £24.99 (or about $37.00 USD) and can be purchased from the manufacturer here.
What I liked: 1800 mAh of portable power, solar recharging, USB charging
What needs improvement: Solar charging takes too long. Can’t power anything (really) larger than your iPod or cell phone

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2 Comments on "Devotec Solar Charger Review"

  1. Joel McLaughlin | November 16, 2008 at 11:14 pm |

    You know I love the idea of solar power. Unfortunately, what we need a super efficient solar cells that are starting to come into existence, but are still cost prohibitive. This is a cool idea and a cool device.

    I like this idea and the voltaic bags I have seen in the past as well.

    Now what I would rather see is the cell being built INTO the device itself. Then you just mount them near your windshield and start charging.

  2. charliesangel | November 27, 2008 at 1:09 am |

    Yeah, 12 hours of charging is too long. I found a Solar Mobile Phone Charger at that requires only 3 to 5 hours of charging. Surely, it depends on the weather but at least we can save the rest of the hours waiting.

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