Portable charging has been around for quite a while now, we would know because here at Charger Harbor, we’ve done many reviews on power banks of all sorts. That said, there’s another type of portable charger, and that would be Solar chargers. Solar chargers are similar to power banks in the way that they can be taken anywhere, at the same time, they’re quite different.
The difference is that Solar chargers don’t have a built-in battery, and they provide their charging power through solar energy from the rays of the sun. In this review, we’re going to be taking a look at Aukey’s 21W solar charger.
The charging power from a Solar charger is not going to be on par with that of wall chargers, and portable chargers, simply because the solar power is not able to transition into that fast of charging speed. As a result, what you’re left with is standard charging in most cases.
That’s what this Aukey Solar charger features, but on the bright side there are two ports that you can use and so you can fast charge two devices at once. Each of the two ports can output a charging speed of 5V/2.4A (12W). The max output of this solar charger is 3.1A, so about 15W.
So this Solar charger does not feature Quick Charge or USB-C Power Delivery (as there aren’t even any USB-C ports, to begin with), but it does have a pretty good fast standard charging speed.
Size and Weight:
This Aukey Solar charger, despite having three columns of Solar panels, is very compact and portable. So the charger can fold twice, and so when it’s opened up all the way, it has the dimensions of a 19-inch length, a 12-inch width, and a 0.8-inch thickness. However, when the charger is closed, it has a length of about 6 inches, and that makes it very easy to just carry around in a single hand.
Even though the charger is easy to carry around in the single hand, that’s not really what you’re going to want to do with it, as it’s a solar charger and it’s meant to be opened. You’ve mostly gone two options on how to use the charger and that would be either latching it onto a backpack with of the four carabiners that it comes with. This way you can have the solar panels facing outward from your pocket and getting sun while you’re hiking or just out on a stroll with your backpack.
Or the other way would be to set the charger down. Of course, the more standard way and the way that you’ll get the best charging experience is by setting the Solar charger down in the sun so you can get a constant power source.
That’s another thing, the charger requires that you have direct sunlight contact, otherwise it won’t be able to charge your devices, as solar panels have a 23.5% conversion rate.
Structure and Material:
When it comes to taking care of this Solar charger there are some things that you should know. You should avoid scratching the surface of the panels and bending them. Also, the charger shouldn’t come into contact with water. It’s mostly fine if water gets on the solar panels, but the charging ports can in no way come into contact with water.
On the tech side, the charger has to come into direct sunlight or near direct sunlight for it to charge. Also, it’s a good idea to have your devices covered when charging with this Solar charger as keeping them in the sun will cause them to overheat.
Just a reminder when it comes to relying on this Solar charger to charge your devices, this is not a portable charger and neither is it a Solar power bank. It’s simply a couple of Solar panels that can take in sunlight and charge your devices with it. It doesn’t store power, so the reliability factor depends on how much sunlight is out when you’re using it.
Also, don’t expect very fast charging as the two ports are standard 12W ones.
Charging power from this Solar charger, and most others on the market are not too impressive as it doesn’t feature fast charging. On the bright side, you can charge two devices at once.
The charger has carabiner holes and another plus is that it comes with carabiner holes, too, so you can latch the charger onto a backpack and charge your devices while you’re walking. The charger isn’t very large either, and once you fold it, it extremely easy to take anywhere.
The charger has general rules of care, such as not scratching it, or bending it, and keeping it away from water.
Solar chargers are not the most reliable form of charging, but they have a purpose of taking in solar energy for charging your devices.
Specs of the Aukey Dual Port Solar Charger:
Each USB Port: 5V/2.4A (12W)
Max Output: 3.1A
- Input: 21W
- LED Power Indicator: Single Green LED Power Indicator
Opened: 19 x 12 x 0.8 inches
Closed: 6 x 12 x 0.8 inches
- Weight: 12 Ounces
Aukey’s 21W solar charger brings a portable charging experience that is quite limited, but at the same time, it brings the bare bones of portable charging that is necessary.
AUKEY 21W Solar Charger with Foldable SunPower Solar Panels & Dual USB Ports Compatible iPhone iPad Samsung and More
$39.99 in stock
- SunPower Solar Panels with solar conversion efficiency of up to 23.5%
- Dual USB ports - Up to 2A output each or total 2.4A max output under direct sunlight - Automatically detect & adapt to your USB powered devices to provide the fastest charging speed
- Water & Weather Resistent - PET laminated solar panels with high-wear PVC fabric
- Foldable design for easy transport - great for camping, hiking, picnics, and other outdoor activities
- Package Contents: AUKEY 21W Solar Panel, User Manual, 24 Month Warranty Card, 24-Month Promise and Customer Support Card