Aukey PB-P8 12,000 mAh Dual USB Port Solar Power Bank
- Has 2 USB Charging ports with relatively fast charging
- It can charge through solar rays
- Tougher than a normal power bank, and as a result it can withstand some water, shock damage and it's dust-proof
- The Solar recharging is slow
- It does have any place where you can hook it onto
Solar power bank chargers are a kind of power bank that can be better than your normal power bank chargers.
This is because their main attribute is its solar charging capabilities. They can charge by having solar rays from the sun charge the power bank itself and as a result, you don’t have to plug it into the wall to recharge it.
However, it can very well be used as a regular charger even if you don’t take advantage of the solar charging.
With that said solar power banks offer a little change when it comes to power banks and can be a better preference depending on your usage of it. With that said, this review is about this Aukey 12,000mAh solar portable charger. Take a read about if it gives a good standing to the solar arena of chargers.
Similar Solar Power Banks
So the capacity of this solar charger is 12,000mAh. That’s only the initial power capacity though and you can expect the power capacity that you’re going to get to be about 9,000mAh.
This is because this power bank doesn’t have much focus on good conversion and the heat during charging can make the power capacity lower.
Although it’s common for normal power banks to have this problem, one would think that it would have a better conversion rating considering that it’s a solar power bank and will mostly be used outside.
However, the lower power capacity of 9,000mAh can still provide enough charges to smartphones and tablets to still last long enough. You can expect many smartphones to get 3 full charges or much more.
Tablets will mostly be able to charge 1 full time or 1.5 times. Altogether, the real capacity is much lower than the initial capacity and we still think it should have lived up closer to its 12,000mAh power because this charger is at crossroads where it can really impress or just be another portable charger.
In this case, the power bank’s capacity can last for a few days but for it to last a week without being recharged is not apparent.
|Devices||Aukey PB-P8 12,000 mAh Dual USB Port Solar Power Bank (Output Capacity = 9,000mAh)||Phone Capacity||Aukey PB-P8 12,000 mAh Dual USB Port Solar Power Bank Left Over Capacity after One Charge
# of Full Charges for the Device
5.5 Full Charges
4.9 Full Charges
|iPhone 6 Plus||9,000mAh||2,915mAh||6,085mAh
3.0 Full Charges
5.2 Full Charges
|iPhone 6s Plus||9,000mAh||2,750mAh||6,250mAh
3.2 Full Charges
|Samsung Galaxy S6||9,000mAh||2,550mAh||6,450mAh
3.5 Full Charges
|Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge||9,000mAh||2,600mAh||6,400mAh
3.4 Full Charges
|Samsung Galaxy S7||9,000mAh||3,000mAh||6,000mAh
3 Full Charges
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge||9,000mAh||3,600mAh||5,400mAh
2.5 Full Charges
Going into the charging speed of the power bank, it does quite well. One of the USB charging ports has a charging speed of 5V/2.4A. The other port has a charging speed of 5V/1.0A.
USB Charging Port 5V/2.4A
This port has the max standard charging speed and the logical usage of this port is for it to be used by a tablet.
This is because most tablets like iPads can charge at a 5V/2.4A rate. However, with that said, I recommend using this port anytime you’re not charging an iPad with the power bank. This is because there are many smartphones and other devices that can charge above the 5V/1.0A charging speed.
By using the other charging port that only offers 1.0 Amp charging, the charging speed for the device that you use with it will have slower charging.
So use the 2.4A port at all times if you’re not using the Solar power bank to charge a tablet; the device will be able to charge at its maximum charging speed.
USB Charging Port 5V/1.0A
This port offers a slower charging rate, and that’s all that can be said about it. 1 Amp charging is a very limited charging speed for devices that can charge beyond the 1 Amp rate. So the only time you should use this port is if you’re going to be charging two devices at the same time.
However, you should connect the device that you want to charge fastest to the 2.4A port.
Overall, the two charging speeds of the power bank are standard and are kept constant because the max output of the charger is 3.4A. This means that it’s possible for the 2.4A port to maintain a 2.4 Amp Current and for the 1.0A port to maintain a 1.0 Amp current at the same time and as a result the max output is 3.4A.
Recharging can be done in two ways. Since this is a solar power bank charger, it can recharge via solar power. This means it can recharge when sunlight is directly hitting the solar panel, the power bank can recharge.
But does this mean that the power bank recharges itself as fast as being recharged from a wall charger?
How’s the Solar Recharging?
No, it does not. The recharging speed with solar panel only provides a conversion rate of 23.5%. As a result, if you wanted this power bank to charge to its full capacity using only solar power, then it could take days.
We’re not saying the solar part of the charger is a gimmick but it has its situations that it’s most useful and in some instances when it’s not useful.
The solar charging is most useful if you’re using it when the actual solar charging is taking place. Or at least, using the power bank while you’re periodically using the charger and recharging it via the solar panel.
If there’s something very important to remember, it’s that the power bank only recharges when sunlight is hitting it directly.
Another recharging option is to use the Micro-USB Input port and honestly, this will be the more preferred kind of recharging option to use. The recharging speed via the Micro-USB Input option is 5V/2.0A. You can fully recharge the power bank in about 7-hours by using the Micro-USB method.
Overall, the solar power bank’s powering capabilities don’t provide that much of a different charging experience. Sure, the power bank can charge via the sun, but it’s not to the point of absolute awe.
Size and Weight:
Solar portable chargers are mostly made for the outdoors. This is because the solar panel can be most useful when someone is outside and the sun is hitting the charger’s solar panel allowing it to recharge.
Not only that, but solar power banks also tend to have a tougher body structure and provide a more sturdy feel to them. That’s the case with this Aukey Solar power bank.
The charger isn’t that large when you consider what it’s capable of. The length of it is 5 inches, a width of 3 inches, and a thickness of 0.73 inches.
Its weight is what can make it seem quite large by weighing in at 9.7 ounces. It’s just the right size and weight for it to be taken into the outdoors setting. However, there are design choices that make the power bank not so friendly for hiking or camping purposes.
Like the lack of a hook attachment. There’s no way to connect this solar power bank to your backpack. Instead, you have to opt to hold the charger or place it in a bag.
The body of the power bank features ridges and grooves, that make it easier to hold and give a sense that it’s made for the outdoor world as they make it easier to carry.
You can find the two USB charging ports on the short side of the charger with the Micro-USB port near the 2.4A port and they’re both covered by flaps that can keep water out. But it’s important to remember that is power bank is not fully waterproof. It can handle a drizzle but not full-on rain.
In between the two charging port is a LED flashlight that can be turned on by holding the power button down for 3 seconds. You can find the power button on the long side of the power bank, along with 4 LED power indicators.
Of course, then there’s the solar panel that takes up an entire face of the power bank’s side. It makes sense for it to be so big and such a prevalent design aspect of the charger; because solar rays need to hit it for the solar power bank to recharge.
Structure and Material:
The main body structure of the solar power bank is made of plastic. The charger is nearly uni-body designed, it just has a large body structure as a base and a slim part where the solar panel sits on.
There aren’t any signs of the panel coming off and that’s good because the solar panel is the main attraction for the charger.
So as we mentioned in the design section, the solar power bank is not waterproof. It can only handle light rain or splashes of water.
Not as Waterproof as you Think
If you place this charger out into the heavy rain or submerge it into the water, then it will get damaged. Also, it’s very important to remember that it’s a few water-resistant capabilities only work if the flaps are covering the charging ports.
Other than being a light waterproof power bank, the charger is also able to be dustproof and shockproof. This means that dust can’t get inside of it and it also means that dropping it will have a less chance of damaging the power bank.
Like many solar chargers like it, the power bank is meant to be taken into the wilderness or a place that you wouldn’t take conventional power banks.
It’s great to use if you’re not taking it into the outdoors and instead of using it in everyday situations; because there’s not much that will be able to damage it.
Along with its strong physical structure, the power bank offers a multi safety tech protection system.
Although Aukey doesn’t specify what this means, it could mean that it offers the standard Over-Current, Over-Voltage, Short-Circuit Protection, and maybe Temperature control.
You’re probably wondering why I said “Probably” to Temperature control. This is because the charger can heat quite a lot when it’s being charged from the sun and so Temperature increases are unavoidable.
This might be why the output capacity of the charger is much lower than the initial capacity. But even so, the charger can heat up with just normal charging happening and no solar rays present.
By being a solar power bank, the charger can be reliable beyond its base operations as just a power bank. If you plan to use this power bank for rough situations while hiking and camping, then it’s going to deliver quite well.
It may not be fully waterproof but it is water-resistant, and along with the dustproof and shock-resistant capabilities, the charger can be very resilient in the wild.
The solar part of the charger is good but it doesn’t break any records. It’s important to know that overall, solar charging is not that fast and this power bank will recharge itself at 200-300mA if you’re recharging it through the Solar Panel.
It can recharge the power bank in increments but don’t expect it to recharge it fully because that can take days.
It’s a portable solar power bank, that offers toughness and solar charging capabilities, with just enough power capacity that can keep you going for days.
Its power capacity can be very underwhelming if you expect to use the full 12,000mAh power capacity but it ends up being 9,000mAh.
You can still charge most smartphones a few times over and tablets can take a full charge or 1.5 charges. There are two USB charging ports and overall they can total up to an Output of 3.4A.
Two options of recharging power bank: Solar can be very slow and uses solar rays, or you can use the Micro-USB Input port and recharge the power bank fully in about 7-8 hours.
It’s not that large of a portable charger and it’s somewhat heavy at 9.7 ounces. Grooves and ridges on the charger make it easy to hold but the solar charger does not have any hook that can be attached to a backpack.
Nearly the entire body is made of plastic, the charging port can be covered with flaps and as a result, the solar power bank can have a very advantageous build. It’s lightly water-resistant but nothing too serious. It’s dustproof and shock-resistant.
This makes the user experience much smoother and opens doors for it to be taken for activities that require the outdoors.
It’s a reliable enough power bank that should be taken into consideration for a purchase if you plan on taking full advantage of the solar panel.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll use the solar panel to fully charge the power bank, instead, it means that you’ll rely on the power bank to charge itself in increments.
The charger is also very resilient against dust, drops, and some water. So if you take all those things and think that it far surpasses what a regular power bank can offer, then this portable charger is for you. Simply because it has add-ons that can be worth it.
Specs of the Aukey PB-P8 12,000 mAh Dual USB Port Solar Power Bank:
- Capacity: Advertised: 12,000mAh Output Capacity: 9,000mAh
Port 1: 5V/2.4A
Port 2: 5V/1.0A
Max Output: 3.4A
- Input: 5V/2.0A via Micro USB Input
- LED Power Indicators: 4 LED Power Capacity Indicators
- Size: 5 x 3 x 0.73 inches
- Weight: 9.7 Ounces
Ultimately, solar power banks are not a revolutionary way for power banks to go. Sure, solar power banks can recharge without a wall charger, but the technology just isn’t there yet.
The solar charging aspect is just too slow to be considered acceptable as a sole way of charging. However, solar power banks do offer the same aspects as regular power banks with a few upgrades.
Such as better build by being dust-proof, water-resistant, and shock-resistant. If you value these add-ons and find that these things will provide more value to portable chargers, the solar power bank charger is definitely for you.