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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freeloader Pro
An excellent product - it allowed me to keep my phone on full charge for a week in the wilds of Romania. Robust and easy enough for any idiot to use, it comes with all the adaptors you could need and a nice wee cloth bag. I wish I had taken the camera battery charger with me too...I think it is worth paying the extra for this unit rather than the lower power basic...
Published on 22 Sep 2009 by Dr. A. Craig

versus
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only good for charging by the pool, stick with the cables
I bought the charger as I wanted to charge various tech items (phones, eBooks, Archos) whilst on holiday, and thus could remove the need for all the cables. Well, it sort of does this - the problem is, the solar panels never really give out enough juice.
In a cloudy or not direct sun situation - forget it. In the UK, there is no hope of ever getting enough charge...
Published on 15 May 2010 by Mr. J. Brown


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only good for charging by the pool, stick with the cables, 15 May 2010
By 
Mr. J. Brown "Jaffa Brown" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
I bought the charger as I wanted to charge various tech items (phones, eBooks, Archos) whilst on holiday, and thus could remove the need for all the cables. Well, it sort of does this - the problem is, the solar panels never really give out enough juice.
In a cloudy or not direct sun situation - forget it. In the UK, there is no hope of ever getting enough charge to power a mobile phone for anything more than 5 minutes. Also, it works on UV rays, so IT NEEDS TO BE OUTDOORS. Dont think that you can leave this on a car dashboard or on a window sill and it will charge - it wont happen.

It has to be in direct sunlight and flat (the connection between the two panels is loose so it cant be on the move). So really, its only good for sitting by the pool, with the charger on a table or the lounger by your side.
I used it in the Caneries in very hot and bright sunlight, and had it on charge for 8 hours, for 2 days. The result is that the charger said it was 50% full. I transferred this to my HTC mobile phone, and the result was that the phone had enough charge for a 10 minute conversation - not very impressive.

I suspect the biggest problem with the design is that when it is charging, there are two lights to tell you its charging - which drains any charge it is picking up.

In a nutshell, good idea, but the technology is just not ready so AVOID!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me at all..., 23 Oct 2010
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
I primarily bought this product to charge my phone Xperia X10 and as a replacement charger for my Sony Handycam battery. It failed to do either of it.

I considered various products before buying this one. This one seemed just perfect for my requirement before I bought it.

The USB output could not even start charging my phone despite multiple attempts.. perhaps the current rating of the charger was not strong enough to start charging my phone.

The attachment charge camera / camcorder batteries was not designed to accomodate my camcorders battery. Even though the product claims that it can charge all sony camera and camcorder batteries. So I ended up buying another charger for the camcorder.

The product looks quite compact in the photographs but in reality is quite bulky..

After a days effort to get this going for me.. I gave up and returned it to Amazon
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freeloader Pro, 22 Sep 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
An excellent product - it allowed me to keep my phone on full charge for a week in the wilds of Romania. Robust and easy enough for any idiot to use, it comes with all the adaptors you could need and a nice wee cloth bag. I wish I had taken the camera battery charger with me too...I think it is worth paying the extra for this unit rather than the lower power basic model. The only grouch is there is no clip to attach it to my backpack so I had to charge it when it was static - a disappointment on a hiking trip. I guess I will need to buy some rubber bands...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good job Freeloader, 3 April 2010
By 
Atul Chaturvedi (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
I bought this from Maplins last week. I have charged this from USB as that is what you have to do first time. It charged in few hours however not sure of how quickly it can recharge in english weather :). For me solar is for one of those camping days this summer. For me I needed some versatile battary source to carry on my business visits and charge the ever hungary HTC HD2 mobo. I have tried charging my ipod touch and it is doing a decent job of charging it in like one hour. However on irritating this is that you have to keep pressing the center button to put this one; this goes off every 5 mins or so. May be that is the design. I need to see if this happens with other devices as well. Overall I like it. Cheers Atul
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good little gadget!, 25 May 2011
By 
D. Conroy (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
The key to enjoying this product is managing expectations.

In the UK this device is never going to replace your traditional charging method as the power gained from charging daily in the sun is not enough to keep most devices running for any length of time.
However if left the sun, even on a partially cloudy day indoor on a window sill it will slowly gain a trickle of energy over time. In my experience if left alone for a weekend in any form of daylight it will go from empty to half full.

It can be used as an emergency phone charger when away from home to put a trickle of energy into your device if needed, but its not going to run your Kindle on the beach all day cos it can't charge take in and put out energy at the same time.

If you see it as a supplement to your normal charging methods or as an emergency low power charger when away from civilization then this is an excellent product.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great product - even in the UK, 14 Sep 2010
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
This is an excellent product. Despite other reviews, in September in the UK, the Freeloader reached three-quarters charge in just a few hours and was completely full with a top up the next day. It took a blackberry from virtually empty to 95% charge in an afternoon - with some charge left in it. It doesn't come with a micro USB plug suitable for new Blackberries, but a certain well known auction site has a mini to micro USB adaptor for £2.99! This will be an excellent product for a safari (hopefully).

One word of warning - check the Freeloader website for camera battery compatibility for the CamCaddy which comes bundled with the Freeloader.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good device for African sun, 22 Aug 2011
By 
B. Gruner (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
Took this gadget (and most importantly the camcaddy it came with) on my trip to Zimbabwe. Electricity supply is more than haphazard there, so I was most grateful for a charger independent of the ever failing grid. Previous reviews pointed out that it charges slowly. I've never charged it from completely empty to completely full, so can't comment on that (somehow my unit NEVER reaches the "full" state on sunlight alone, only if charged from USB port - however, even on 3/4 full it charges 2 mobile phones from empty!!!). 3 hours in full sun got it up to 3/4 full. A previous reviewer mentioned it doesn't work behind glass. It did for me (had it on the dash board of the car, charges slower than in direct sun light but definitely works).

The best bit about it though is the camcaddy which can charge just about any model of camera battery. Of course Li-ion batteries should be charged carefully from the mains to not mess up their capacity. But guess what, that becomes less important if you're in the bush with an Elephant in front of you and your battery passing out. The gadget got my camera going again in amazingly short time. I'm very happy with the purchase. Only niggle would be the 5V/9.5V switch - I never remember which setting for which gadget! (I know, it's in the manual, but who takes a manual on holiday).

All in all more than happy with this purchase. It will never replace a mains charger, but on holidays off the beaten track it is the perfect solution for all your electronic gadgets (comes with LOADS of adapters).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little awkward to begin with but pretty good overall, 12 Jan 2010
By 
C. Thomas (Weston super Mare) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
Ironically I purchased this item while being snowed in during the British winter. On arrival I read the instructions which tell you to remove the plastic covers from the solar cells. These are awkward to remove and are so fine they may have been sprayed on.
Solution: Duck Tape over the plastic cover then slowly peel off the tape and the cover comes off too.

Some of the write ups to this product indicated you can charge up from the panels while recharging a device. The instructions say otherwise. I appreciate that recharging is slow but Will try nontheless. It might be possible in the desert at midday.
So far I have charged it in full from USB and recharged my Nokia N95 8GB. Worked fine. It is currently recharging via solar on my window sill - this may take some time through a window during British winter.
I will see if I ever have to recharge my Camera, Phone or DS lite by any other means
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good idea in sunny places, 24 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Freeloader Pro Solar Charger (Sports)
I bought this because I have an "office" that gets sunlight pretty much on a daily basis, and it certainly gets a lot of discussion among colleagues! This is later in the year so the sun isn't as high as it could be, and charging through a tinted window it seems to be topping itself to about a halfway level over a few hours.
At the moment just using this top top off a Nokia and a Kindle, those extra jacks are a good addition to the package! The size is very convenient too, just a little concerned about the bag supplied doesn't give it that much protection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful kit for multiple devices, 23 Mar 2010
By 
S. Turner (Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this to charge camera batteries whilst travelling but vehicle based. It has proved very versatile, charging batteries from two different camera's and the Ipod and mobile which means you don't need to carry a bag full of chargers. The Camcaddy will also charge batteries plugged direct into either the computer or the car's 12V via a USB adapter (though it will apparently only charge 3.2V batteries this way). The kit is good quality, only gripe is that the supplied bag is only for the solar unit and not all the ancillaries. Would happily recommend.
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Freeloader Pro Solar Charger
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