Best Solar Phone Charger – Top Reviews of 2019

If you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective way to get into the solar energy game, a charger for your phone is a perfect start.  It’s a great way for you to ease into embracing solar power in your life, for a very small investment. It’s also an excellent way to encourage family and friends to do the same, while also providing them with a tool that offers convenience and even emergency help.

A solar phone charger is an excellent way for you to charge your phones and other devices for free with the power of the sun.  Solar panels designed for the unit will collect energy from the sun. The unit converts this energy into electricity and stores it in a high-capacity battery.  You can then use that free energy to charge all your phones and devices.

While this is a very convenient tool for travel and everyday use, it’s also highly valuable in emergency situations.  This tool guarantees that you will not get stuck on the roadside or on outdoor adventures without power for your phone. If you find yourself in a dire situation that requires you to call for help, you’ll be extremely grateful to have a solar phone charger.

These products promote eco-consciousness and helps to reduce carbon impact, pollution, and global resource costs, all just from making the decision to use clean power.  Additionally, most power sources are equipped with a set of additional features and functionality, like the ability to charge multiple devices at once, or offering a waterproof, shock-resistant model perfect for more rugged use.

A solar powered charge-bank is a must-have for your home in case you lose power.  It’s perfect for your RV, boat, or summer cabin. You’ll appreciate having this with you at the beach, at the campground, or on the hike.  A tool like this is almost a necessity for the busy executive on the go. Don’t risk losing a call or finishing a meeting because your battery dies and you have no viable way to recharge.  Keep reading for more information about how to choose the right solar phone charger for you.

Suaoki Solar Powered Charger

Bonai High Capacity Solar Bank

Be-Charming Portable Solar Charge Bank

Best Solar Chargers for Your Phone – Top Reviews of 2019

Below you’ll find reviews for some of 2019’s most popular options to charge your phone with solar energy.  If you’re on a budget, don’t worry; we’ve gathered the specifics on the best option for you. Are you an avid outdoor adventurer?  We’ve collected the low-down on everything you need to know to buy the best solar phone power source for you. Keep reading to find out what makes each model so great and which is the right model for you.  Check out 2019’s top reviews of the best solar powered chargers for your phone. (Click here to check out our list of the best solar laptop chargers!)

Suaoki Solar Powered Charger

Editor's Pick

This solar charger is our top choice because of its portability and flexible functionality.  It’s also one solar phone charger with the highest efficiency. It has a lot more fold-out solar panels than most, so more energy can be captured and converted at any one time. So when there’s sun, you can expect a much faster charge.

This power bank is one of the best portable solar powered chargers out there, because it’s so much more than just a phone power source – it even has a laptop output! The ability to charge a laptop definitely comes in handy – you never know when your laptop might unexpectedly run out of power.  However, this means it’s also bigger than most other solar power phone resources. When it’s all packed away in the carry case it’s the size of a small laptop case. So it may not be suited for those who just want a small handbag device. Instead, it’s a favorite amongst enthusiastic campers, road trippers, and off-grid travellers.

Although it’s a little on the pricey side, it certainly packs a punch. It can output 60W, and can charge devices between 5 and 18 volts. This smart phone power unit also comes with a carry case, complete with a small section to put your phone inside. This delivers that extra peace of mind that your equipment is safe whilst charging.

PROS:

  • Very high capacity battery gives you the freedom to charge more devices
  • Fold-out solar panels mean the power bank can be charged more efficiently 
  • It can be used for laptops as well as phones, thanks to the included 10-in-1 connector
  • It comes with a carry case for protection

CONS:

  • It’s not as portable as some similar products

CXLiy Solar Powered Charger

This isn’t a foldable solar bank but it does come with some pretty impressive features. It boasts 25,000 mAh of power, as well as two flashlights on the front of the casing. This makes it the ideal device to take camping or keep around for emergencies.

It’s fully waterproof and can charge a typical iPhone up to 8 times before needing to be recharged. If needed, it also has an SOS flashlight setting (red and blue lights) to attract attention in an emergency. It’s very affordable and compared to other power banks with a similar mAh, it’s a great deal.

It comes with a micro USB cable and can charge up to 3 devices through USB at the same time (but bear in mind the more devices you have charging at once, the faster the battery depletes). This makes it a great device to take anywhere you’ll need backup power. It can also be recharged using USB through either micro USB or an iPhone cable.

PROS:

  • It has a high capacity of 25,000 mAh, so you’ll be able to get several charges out of it
  • Two built in flashlights come in handy when camping or walking home in the dark
  • It’s waterproof, so it can handle any accidents or adventures
  • It has an SOS flashlight setting for help in an emergency
  •  3 USB ports mean you can charge multiple devices at any one time
  • It’s very affordable compared to other solar powered chargers of similar capacity

CONS:

  • The charge time can be a bit slow

Be-Charming Portable Solar Charge Bank

Best Value

This is a perfectly average solar power bank compared to some of the others on this list, but it’s a reliable, affordable option, which makes it our choice for the best phone charger on a budget. It’s one of the best solutions for iPhones. This power bank has a high capacity (24,000 mAh) which means it should charge a standard iPhone about 5-6 times before needing a recharge.

It’s not waterproof, but it does have a dual flashlight (LED) on the front of the casing. It can be charged either by sunlight or USB depending on what’s available. It also has 3 output USB ports so you can charge several devices at the same time. One point to bear in mind with this option, is that it can’t charge devices at the same time as being recharged itself through USB.

PROS:

  • It’s affordable, so it’s great for those who just want a simple solution to phone battery emergencies
  • It has a relatively high capacity of 24,000 mAh, giving you up to 6 phone charges
  • It has a built in flashlight
  • 3 USB outputs give you the option to charge several devices at once

CONS:

  • You can’t charge devices with it whilst also charging the power bank

Elzle Portable Solar Power Bank

The Elzle power bank is another great option to keep your phone charged on the go. Its high capacity (25,000 mAh) power means it can support long charging times. However, it can only charge one device at a time. It has a high power flashlight/torch, and the whole device is shockproof. It can prevent devices from overcharging by shutting off when they’re fully charged (though most power banks can do this now), and comes with a micro USB cable.

This is a good option for anyone who’s looking for a solar power phone charger that’s also a high power torch light. However, it’s not so great for people who want to charge more than one device at a time.  This item is intended for ‘rough’ campers and hikers that may risk dropping devices on the move. This might not be the best device for charging things like cameras and phones at the same time, but the powerful torch does make it a great choice for camping or emergency car kits, plus it’s very affordable.

PROS:

  • It has a high capacity of 25,000 mAh, so you’ll get a fair few charges out of it
  • This has a built in flashlight, which makes it a great option for camping trips
  • It’s shockproof, so there’s no risk of it breaking after an accidental drop
  • It automatically shuts off when devices are fully charged to prevent overcharging

CONS:

  • It can only charge one device at a time

Bonai High Capacity Solar Bank

Most Popular

The Bonai solar phone charger is the highest capacity power bank we’ve looked at. With 30,000 mAh, it can charge devices for an impressively long time. It can charge an iPhone about 8-10 times. The best part about this product is that it actually has 4 USB ports so you can charge all of your devices at the same time. It can also charge through USB, and can even charge a phone through a Type C connection, meaning it can charge upto 5 devices, all at the same time, without slowing down the charging speed.

Although it can be charged through either USB or solar power, there is a catch. It’s not recommended to charge it on only solar power, all the time. The solar function should be used as an emergency option if there’s no alternative. This helps to preserve the overall lifespan of the product.

PROS:

  • High capacity battery gives you up to 10 phone charges, making it the best for cell phones
  • 4 USB ports and 1 type C connection allow you to charge up to 5 devices at once
  • It can be charged with a USB cable or with solar power

CONS:

  • The high capacity battery means it takes a long time to charge on solar energy alone

Solar Phone Chargers – Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Phone Chargers – Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you’ve had a chance to compare and contrast some of the most popular options available, get answers to all your remaining questions.  There can be a lot to consider before you make your purchase, so we’re here to help make that decision easier for you with these common questions:

What is a portable solar phone charge-bank?

A solar phone charge-bank is basically a solar power bank that’s charged with sunlight (or UV light). Rather than plugging your power bank in and charging it up before a day out or a big trip, you can just leave it outside to soak up some rays. This is particularly useful if you’re traveling, camping or if you’re staying somewhere without any power outlets.

Some portable solar power sources are actually hybrids, in the sense that they can also be charged electrically. This means it can be charged indoors overnight, or on days that aren’t particularly sunny (although most solar phone chargers can still charge in cloudy conditions). The vast majority of solar phone chargers are actually just normal power banks that have been fitted with a solar panel on one side which lets the device trickle charge an internal battery from the solar panel.

Where can I buy it?

Like solar car battery chargers, you can find portable solar phone chargers in most tech stores, but physical stores usually only have one or two types of power banks to select from. If you want to browse a wide range of options, it’s worth buying one online, especially because you can read reviews and compare.

Amazon is a particularly great place to buy products like this. There are hundreds of different items to browse, so you’ll have more to choose from, and you can more easily check the specifications and reviews. We’ll get into the best options in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at which features and functionality are important when you’re buying a solar power source for your phone and other devices.

How can I be sure of what I need?

There are different battery sizes and solar panels when it comes to solar phone chargers.  The battery size determines what the power bank can charge, and the recharging frequency. And the solar panel surface area affects how quickly the tool can recharge itself. Another point to consider is that the more power you want the unit to store, the heavier it usually becomes. This isn’t necessarily important if your vehicle carries you to your outdoor adventure, but if you’re hiking, a lightweight model would be best.

How do I select battery capacity?

If you want to find the best solar charger for you and your lifestyle, you’ll need to decide how long you need your battery or bank to last. If you need a unit that lasts while several complete phone charges are made, you’ll need one with a relatively high ‘mAh’ or capacity.

A battery’s capacity is typically described in ‘mAh’, which stands for milliampere hour.  This is the measure of you battery’s power over time, and in this case, how long you can charge devices before the power bank is empty. The higher the mAh, the longer the unit lasts before needing to recharge itself with solar power.  Keep in mind that when you use a product with a high-capacity mAh, it has a longer runtime, but the charge time will be slow. That is to say, it will take at least several hours in full sun before the power bank is refilled. Usually, a single phone charge uses 2000 mAh, so a 10,000 mAh solar portable unit would be able to charge a phone 5 times before needing to replenish. Most solar powered chargers are either 10,000 or 25,000 mAh, but some reach as high as 30,000 mAh.

How do I choose between portability?

You should also think about whether you want a compact design, or a power source that unfolds, giving you a larger surface area of solar panels. A smaller power bank will have smaller solar panels, so it’s going to take a while to charge.  A foldable solar charger will be slightly bulkier in design, so it’s a bit trickier to pack. However, it’s much easier and quicker to recharge via solar power because there are more panels filling the same internal battery.

Should I get a hybrid model?

Some models are charged only by the power of the sun, but in many cases, solar chargers are made with a hybrid design to allow for greater adaptability.  These models are charged by solar panels or by traditional electricity via USB port. If you want to go solar only, you can forego this feature, but if you want to ensure you can always get a charge regardless of where you are, the hybrid model is the best solar phone charger for you.  If you do decide on a hybrid model, be aware that most manufacturers recommend you alternate between charging methods when you can, rather than stick to mostly one or the other. This helps you to prolong the unit’s lifespan.

How does the power bank work?

How long your solar charger lasts will depend on the mAh. A power bank with a lower mAh will only give you a few phone charges. A power bank with a higher mAh will last a lot longer. Of course, if you’re charging smaller devices like iPods or headphones, they’ll charge faster, and won’t eat too much power.

A 10,000 mAh bank will charge your phone (a typical iPhone like an iPhone 6+) around 4-5 times, whilst a 25,000 mAh bank will charge your phone just over 12 times. Even this varies slightly though, as certain power banks and batteries have different levels of quality in their production, so you might find that certain brands perform better than others.

Once your solar bank  is fully charged, it will usually retain full charge for about 4-6 weeks. So it doesn’t matter too much if you don’t use it straight after charging it. That being said, like any high power batteries (especially Lipo batteries) they do lose charge over time, and it’s not advised to leave them long periods of time without discharging or using them. They work best with ‘regular-average’ use. For most of us, this just means using the power bank at least once a week to keep the battery working in top condition. You can also improve the overall lifespan of your product by not running too many devices from the power bank at the same time.

Will a solar charger work indoors?

Most any solar phone charge-bank works indoors to charge other devices.  This is because solar energy has already been collected, converted, and stored in the unit’s solar bank, so the unit doesn’t need to be sitting in direct sun to work.  However, whether a solar bank can be recharged indoors is a little bit different. If you buy a model with a high-quality, high-capacity solar panel, it’s possible to charge your solar bank, in some cases, by the interior fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs that mimic the sun’s spectrum.  While it is possible, it is certainly not the most efficient way to charge the bank. Many models even charge outside on cloudy days, and even this would be a more efficient method of refilling your bank.

Can you charge a solar charger through a window?

If you don’t want to venture outside to charge your solar bank, it can still soak up sunlight through a sunny window. Place them on window ledges in your home, or even on the dashboard of your car.  However, it won’t charge as quickly this way. It will take up to three times longer to charge a solar power bank through a window, due to the iron content typically in glass. This is something to really consider, when deciding whether to spring for the waterproof model.  If it’s waterproof, you can leave your unit outside without worrying it might get wet.

Can I take a solar bank on a plane?

Just like standard power banks, you can take solar powered chargers on planes, as long as you pack them into your cabin luggage. If you accidentally leave a solar phone charger in your checked baggage, you risk having it confiscated or destroyed by airport security. Security officers need to be able to see the sticker showing the capacity and voltage of the power bank. Sometimes they throw the device away or refuse to let it through security if they can’t determine the mAh and voltage.

Also some airlines, airports, and countries have restrictions on what types of power bank you can travel with. Some airlines don’t let you onboard with power banks that have above 25,000 mAh power. Others have voltage restrictions, or even cell restrictions.  If you’re a frequent traveller, do your due diligence and research the rules for the countries you typical travel to, the airlines you use, and the airports you’ll move through. You’ll be able to find an option that fits happily within all sets of parameters and still offers you high quality and dependability.

What’s the best solar charger for backpacking?

When you’re backpacking, you want a solar phone charger that’s waterproof and durable. You may often end up in rainy, humid, or otherwise wet conditions, so you really need a waterproof solar powered charger. Look for a model that’s also highly durable.  There are several models on the market that feature a shock-resistant case, so if you drop it, no worries. You should also keep in mind that when hiking or camping, keeping your gear lightweight is important. Find a model that is compact and light so it’s easiest to carry. There are often even models that feature a backpack clip so the unit can ride on your backpack in full sun as you hike.

Conclusion

Best Solar Phone Charger Conclusion

Hopefully now, you have a strong understanding of what features and functionality routinely come available with solar powered chargers, banks, and solar battery tenders.  There’s a lot to keep in mind for such a versatile and crucial piece of equipment. But through our top reviews and our frequently asked questions, surely you’ve built a clear idea of what you need.  Consider all the ways you may find yourself making use of a bank of free power from the sun. You should feel confident enough now to successfully buy and use a solar phone charger for yourself, friends, family, or just to keep on hand in the RV, boat, or home. You can even build your own solar charging station if you don’t feel like buying one!

4.6 rating
Based on 29 reviews

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