Image via Scosche
The solBAT II from Scosche is the latest tiny solar charger to hit the market, boasting a 1500mAh capacity battery and 5-volt output. And it's priced at just $30. Not bad right? Other handheld chargers like this can go for anywhere from $50 to $100. So...what's the catch?Crunchgear writes, "I'll be damned. A solar charger with a 1500mAh capacity battery and 5-volt output from a relatively well known manufacturer priced at $30. That actually seems reasonable."
"Seems" being the operative word. It takes 4-5 days to charge the internal battery to full. That feels like forever, no doubt - and we aren't terribly fond of solar chargers that take that long to get one battery's worth of power since it's a product most people aren't likely to buy. Small size and small price means small charging capabilities. But, if you're looking to charge your phone once a week on solar rather than grid power, then, well, this is a solution. Still, a solar charger that takes 4-5 days to charge one small battery seems like a waste of materials, with a bigger embodied energy input than its output can ever really justify.
What this charger really does is makes us super excited for when solar cells increase in efficiency to the point where this little guy takes just 4-5 hours, not days, to charge up, and still maintains a $30 price tag. Now that is something to look forward to! If you're willing to put out a little more dough and have a charger that takes up a little more room, there are already some excellent options out there for you.
Follow Jaymi on Twitter: @JaymiHeimbuch
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