With our phones and other gadgets there always seems to be a lack of power, we always need and want more. We go and spend money on extra batteries, or even larger capacity batteries, but batteries sometimes aren’t always the answer to the problem. The main problem of course is that manufacturers need to supply us with batteries that will last at least through one day, with Pocket PCs or Smartphones, this isn’t always the case, we’re lucky to get through a day without charging our phones, and it’s something that will just deal with for whatever reason. We use our phones during the day then plug them in at night, it’s become routine for us. To get more power to our phones we opt for buying additional devices like car chargers, and even possibly a second wall charger so we have one at the office or wherever other place as well. If you’re an outdoor type person, someone who might go camping, or just get away from the cities for times, you’ll still want to stay in touch of course, you never know what can happen, and our phones have GPS in them which can be very helpful on weekend treks. When you’re out in the wild though, there are no power outlets, it’s just you and nature, depending on how long your’ going to be going away, you might need to pack a few extra batteries, or check out the product I’ve got for review today.
Up on the old test bench today I’ve got the Solio Hybrid 1000 Solar Charger, it’s a lightweight and very portable solar charging solution for your phone or other gadgets. The hybrid part comes in where it can be charged via the sun or a standard USB port on your computer. So read on to learn more…
First we’ll start with the specs:
Solio Hybrid 1000 – Never be caught without a charge! Price: $79.95 (direct from Solio) **(Buy.com has it for $59.99)
Your Solio includes: -Adapter tip system cable (attached) -USB Charging Cable (plug into your computer’s USB port or your iPod’s USB Power Adapter) -USB Port Replicator tip (powers iPods and the original iPhone*) -Mini-USB tip (powers Motorola, Blackberry, Garmin, iriver) -Nokia tip -Instruction manual
*For the iPhone 3G and iTouch 2G you will need their dedicated adaptor.
When on the go power for your gadgets is key, plug into the Solio® Hybrid 1000. This hybrid boasts a powerful solar panel and battery in an incredibly compact and slender case, conveniently geared with a built-in rugged carabiner and cable. The Hybrid 1000 is simple to use. Just clip on, plug in, and charge up!
Universal Charger – Power virtually all your electronic devices. Works out of the box with most common mobile phones, MP3 players, and GPS units – simply change the adaptor tip.
Stores Power – Charge your devices anytime, day or night. Internal rechargeable battery stores power for up to one year. (A full Solio H1000 will charge a typical mobile phone once or give 10 hours of MP3 music – just 1 hour of sunshine = 15 minutes talk time or 40 minutes of MP3 music).*
Hybrid Charger – Charge anywhere on Earth. Plug into the Sun and charge Solio through its solar panel, it’s free and green! Or use the included tip to charge from the USB port of any computer.
Technical Specifications: Rechargeable battery 3.7V 1000mAh (Lithium Ion). Rated output 1.5 to 5 watts. DC input charge range: 5-6 volts at 400mA.
Solar panel output 0.6 watts. Dimensions 198 x 68 x 18mm.
*Performance times may vary slightly depending on type of device and intensity of sunlight.
The box for the Solio Hybrid 1000 is bright and lists specs and features of course.
Inside we find the user manual, USB power cable and three tips. One for Nokia, one standard female USB and one Mini-USB like most phones use for power.
The Solio Hybrid 1000 is small and lightweight, on the front is where you’ll find the solar panels, on the back is the start button, and the charging port. There’s a built in carabineer style clip on the Solio Hybrid 100 that can come in handy, let’s say you’re hiking, just clip in on you backpack and it will collect the sun and be ready when you need it. The majority of the product is plastic as expected, but it feels very well made, rugged and solid.
On the side of the charger you’ll find the female charging tip, it locked into place and is attached to a cable that wraps around the unit itself for storage.
Changing tips is easy, just pop it in and you’re ready to go. The tips are keyed so you can’t put them in wrong, they only fit in one way, and they fit very securely.
I used the Solio Hybrid 1000 to charge my Tilt, and had no problems with it, it worked perfectly fine. Charge time is a bit longer than using a standard wall adapter but that’s to be expected. The Solio will also act as direct power, which is nice, it works just like a regular charger does.
There are two LEDs on the front of the Solio unit, one red and one green. Red means it’s charging and green means it’s charged. That’s not all though, the green LED can also tell you the status of the charge that’s in the Solio, 1 blink is 20%, 2 blinks is 40%, and up to 5 blinks for 100% charge. While charging something the LED will stay lit solid green.
The Solio Hybrid 1000 is very easy to use, there’s nothing to it really, just charge it, pick a tip and charge your device, very easy.
One thing that kind of bugs me about this device is that it says it shouldn’t get wet, or exposed to rain. This is specifically an outdoor type device really, so if you’re hiking and it starts to rain, you’ve got to stop and put the Solio away somewhere, that doesn’t make much sense to me.
Charging the Solio takes a while, charging it via your USB port takes about 8 hours or so, charging it with full, direct sun takes 10-12 hours and one a cloudy day it can take up to 48 hours to charge. That’s up to 100% charge though, you can use it whenever and it will provide power to your device. What I would do is charge it before I left the for where I was going, that way it would be ready to go, and then I can just charge it again with the sun if need be.
The scenario with hiking is just one of the possibilities of uses for the Solio Hybrid 1000, you can use it for most anything, even in your day to day life, take it with you to the park, work or wherever.
For what it is it’s a nice product, though I wouldn’t but it directly from Solio as they sell it for $79.95 and I found it on Buy.com for $59.99, $60 is a more reasonable price for it.
I personally like the Solio Hybrid 1000, it’s a nice all in one portable charger.