Review: Anker 21W USB Universal PowerPort Solar Charger

Anker 21W 2-Port USB Universal PowerPort Solar Charger

8.4

Power

8.5/10

Design

9.0/10

Build

8.0/10

Reliability

8.0/10

Pros

  • Performs very well when it's using light to charge devices.
  • As enough protection to keep itself safe.
  • Has a good design to use it optimally every time you use it.

Cons

  • Must be in a source of light to charge

Here at Charger Harbor, we’re not too fond of solar power banks and this is mainly because there’s just not much to them.

Sure you can recharge a solar power bank through its solar panels but the recharging speed is VERY slow. It’s so slow that you might as well just recharge it using the Input port that comes with the power bank itself. However, they are built very well, so there’s that.

In this review, though, we’re not reviewing a solar power bank, instead, we’re reviewing solar charger that doesn’t a hold a power capacity, instead, it just receives power through its solar panels and charges directly from them.

Let’s see how this can possibly be better or worse than a solar power bank.

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Power

Power Capacity:

What of the most important things to know about this charging device is what it doesn’t have.

In this case, this is not a power bank, instead, all it does is receives power and it channels that power into the device you’re charging. So there is no power capacity being stored on it.

Output Charging:     Per Port: 5V/2.4A     Max Output: 3 Amps

All of the powering capabilities are installed within it when it’s exposed to sunlight. This charger does this with the 3 solar panels that are installed on it and by doing so, the devices that are connected to the USB ports are able to charge.

So there are 2 Important things to remember for this solar charger to give a great charging experience.

1. The first thing is that it must be in sunlight or some source of light should be hitting the solar panels for it to charge.

Yes, so it doesn’t have to be just sunlight that’s hitting the solar charger, it can even be light from a lamp that can charge the solar panels and lead to you charging your devices.

2. There are 2 USB Output ports that you can use to charge 2 devices at once.

The amount charging speed that is Outputting through the USB Ports depends on the amount of light that each of the solar panels is getting.

With that said, the charging speed that the USB Ports are able to Output is really good. Both of the USB ports are able to Output 5V/2.4A of charging speed. The Max Output is 3 Amps.

So charging 2 smartphones with sunlight hitting all the solar panels is going to give a fast charging experience. You can even charge tablets like iPads at their max charging speeds of 2.4 Amps, and if you want to charge 2 iPads at once, then each one will be receiving 1.5 Amps of charging power.

If there’s one thing that’s a bummer is that this solar charger isn’t a solar power bank, but that brings us back to solar bank charges being absurdly weak.

With this solar charger, you will have to be in some sort of light source to receive charging but the charging that you get is really good, just without a power reserve to rely on when there’s no light.

Input Charging:

Since there’s no power capacity, there’s no way to recharge anything.

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Design

Size and Weight

This isn’t a solar power bank, and it isn’t even a power bank; it’s simply a solar charger that harnesses solar energy. With that said, it’s very logical to have the design that it has with it being really long and quite heavy.

It has a length of 11.1 inches, a width of 6.3 inches, and a thickness of 1.1 inches. It weighs quite heavy at 14.7 ounces.

So it’s a large and heavy charger but this doesn’t mean much since this is something that you carry in your hands. This is a solar charger and for the most part, you’re going to be setting it down and using it because you’re going to be searching for parts of the ground where there’s the most sunlight present.

If you’re not setting it down, and you’re on the move, then latching it onto a backpack is the next best thing. That’s the way this solar charger is meant to be used.

Functional Components

So there’s no power button, there’s no LED Lights or any other special functional devices.

All this solar charger has are its 3 solar panels on a single side, holes that you can use a carabiner with, and the USB port hub where you actually charge your devices from.

The USB Port hub has a Red Light on it that lights up when the solar panels are being charged by light. That’s about it.

You can fold the solar charger and it becomes the size of a folder; this ends up making it very portable as you can place it into a bag or simply hold it in your hand if you want to.

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Build

Structure and Material

Since there’s really nothing like batteries or some major circuitry that is at a risk of getting damage, other than the USB Port hub or solar panels, there’s not much else to protect.

The eye-hole rings are made of stainless steel and the rest of the solar charger is made of rugged polyester. The USB Port Hub is covered by the Polyester as well.

When you fold the charger it does a great job at keeping the charging ports very safe and although this solar charger isn’t exactly water resistant, it does a good job at keeping water away from the main parts.

Best of all, when you’re charging your devices, you can simply put them under the Polyester covering so they don’t get damaged.

Tech

On the tech side, this solar charger does well as it can with what it has.

It has quite a lot of certifications like FCC, CE, and RoHS certifications to ensure that the charging you’re getting is top tier and safe. Also, the charging power takes advantage of PowerIQ and Voltage Boost.

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Reliability

The reliability of this solar charger has a range and this is mainly because if the solar panels are not in a source of light then there is no charging. So it has to be in a source of light for this charger to be reliable at all.

On the flip side, when sunlight is hitting the solar panels, the solar charger does a great job at doing what it’s supposed to do with providing fast charging through both of its USB Output ports.

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Summary

Power:

It is not a power bank, so it doesn’t have a power capacity. You have to have the solar charger in some sort of source of light for it to be used as a charger.

When light is hitting the charging speed is quite good as each port is capable of Outputting 2.4 Amps and it has a Max Output Charging speed of 3 Amps.

Design:

It’s really large and quite heavy but for the most part, this isn’t a charger that you’re going to be holding.

It’s a charger that you’re going to be setting down or latching onto a backpack to allow the solar panels to harness enough power to charge.

Build:

The eye-hole rings are made of stainless steel and the rest of the charger is made of rugged polyester.

Reliability:

The reliability of this device is something that will frequently fluctuate as when it’s not in a source of light, then it doesn’t charge and is basically useless. However, it is reliable when it does have a light source that it can produce power from.

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Specs of the Anker 21W 2-Port USB Universal PowerPort Solar Charger:

  • Output:          Max Output Capabilities: 3A             Max Output Per Port: 5V/2.4A
  • Input:
  • Quick Charge: No
  • LED Power Indicator: 1 Blue LED
  • Size: 11.1 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 14.7 Ounces

Conclusion

This solar charger in some ways is better than a solar power bank, and it still has its limits.

The solar part of it is going to be the most used aspect since that’s how this charger actually works. Although, it doesn’t have its own power source, and that makes the reliability a little unreliable.

With that said, the powering capabilities are really good as the 2 USB Output Port share the same current and are able to charge very quickly when the solar panels are taking in energy.

 

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