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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tests done in a Lancashire setting
I have purchased this solar panel based on some of the reviews that it can charge well portable 5V USB devices. I have actually bought 2 of these panels and I can put some numbers based on a field test I have conducted.

This product is rated as 14W power output at 5V meaning that each port theoretically can output using ohms law 14W / 5V = 2.8/2 ports= 1.4...
Published 8 months ago by J. Linares

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great for my Samsung Tech.
I bought this for use in the English summer in early August for use with my Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Note 10.1 tablet and 15,000mAh Anker portable battery.

After 2 weeks of only charging in bright sunlight between midday at 4pm I noticed that although the batteries were charging a decent amount according to their meters they were discharging faster and I...
Published 3 months ago by M. N. Devonport


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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tests done in a Lancashire setting, 16 July 2014
By 
J. Linares - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I have purchased this solar panel based on some of the reviews that it can charge well portable 5V USB devices. I have actually bought 2 of these panels and I can put some numbers based on a field test I have conducted.

This product is rated as 14W power output at 5V meaning that each port theoretically can output using ohms law 14W / 5V = 2.8/2 ports= 1.4 amps.

These tests are done between 3pm and 7pm in Lancashire with cloudy and sunny periods.

First I would like to state that the website solarizen.com there is a statement that says that these panels do not charge when it is cloudy; it is not true, it does charge but the charge may not be enough to charge a large battery that may need some charge to recognise it, but may be enough to charge a small portable USB appliance. Another thing to note is that choice of USB cables does make a significant difference when charging from a solar panel as outputs can vary quite significantly and affects charging efficiency.

Using an ammeter and a portapow USB fast charge cable, I managed to pull from a single port around 100mA on a very cloudy and rainy day to charge 2 Anker 15Amp batteries. When it is sunny, it manages to pull out from a single port between 600mAh to 1000mAh which would in theory take between 15 hours and 25 hours provided that the sun is out for that long.

I have also tried to chain these panels together using a Y cable and the difference is noticeable when the skies are cloudy; from 100mAh to 250mAh when combined with a Delock Y cable. When it is sunny, both panels will not output double capacity; from my field test, I noticed only 200mAh jump from 700mAh to 900mAh when charging with both panels at the same time.

During 3 hours of occasional sun and cloud, it managed to keep charging both Anker batteries (one is at 50% charge whilst the other was >75%), a Garmin 510 GPS module from 75% to 100% charge and a samsung BT headset. One panel managed to output a total of 1.3Amps (0.9Amps to the battery and 0.3Amps to the Garmin and 0.1Amp to my BT headset).

Despite that the company claims it can output 14W which translates to roughly 2.8Amps per panel, the efficiency was 46.4% at around 6pm in a Lancashire setting. I would still need to test this during noon which is when UV tends to at its highest levels.

Overall, the product does charge well and it does do what is in the tin. My only gripe with this product is that the pockets could be large enough to accommodate batteries to keep it away from the heat as it deteriorates battery condition.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great for my Samsung Tech., 28 Nov. 2014
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I bought this for use in the English summer in early August for use with my Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Note 10.1 tablet and 15,000mAh Anker portable battery.

After 2 weeks of only charging in bright sunlight between midday at 4pm I noticed that although the batteries were charging a decent amount according to their meters they were discharging faster and I assumed it was only because of a fault with the charger. I plugged in my portable hard drive which had behaved perfectly in the past and watched within 30 seconds the battery level drop from 20% to 5%.

After I got back to civilisation I noticed that they were still discharging faster than previously, so my S3 used to hold a decent 10 hours was dead after 5 hours. My tablet also had an average of 10 hours previously but it's max was 3 hours. As a result I had to purchase a replacement S3 battery and send my tablet back under warranty to get the battery replaced. The portable battery pack wasn't used enough with it to notice a difference.

A great idea, strong build quality and definitely made for the outdoors but it just destroyed my batteries. I sent it back to Anker explaining the issue but have heard nothing since.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome solar charger, 28 July 2014
By 
ivoconk (london, england) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Awesome solar charger. Great build quality. In full sunlight it charged my iPhone 5 as quickly as the regular wall charger in a mains socket and did a good job even in bright overcast conditions. The little pouch that contains the USB ports is great as you can tuck your devices in there whilst charging. Very happy.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works really well, 6 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought the 14W version for a camping trip to charge phones and 18650 batteries (using a usb charger). I was really pleased with how well it worked and it usually charged at the same rate as a usb wall charger. I managed to fully charge an 18650 battery (2900mah) and keep two phones charged each day for 5 days. On the 6th day it rained and was very overcast, this was the only day that I couldn't really get much of a charge on anything. On a mildly overcast day the solar panel still worked fine, on a very overcast day it still charged but very slowly; but that's fine as I think that is extremely good performance from such a portable solar panel.
I did find that placement of the panel was key to getting a good charge and if you are leaving it for several hours you'll need to move it around a bit to keep it in the sun. I used a battery app on andriod that shows the charging current to help position the panel and it seemed to work quite well.
Overall I doubt very much if you would find a better product than this one for the price and if you are wanting one to charge usb devices on the go then I highly recommended it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solar Power Charger, 26 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Went on holiday for three weeks to Asia and the local electricity wasn't great so I purchased this item to charge my iPhone primarily and also a Samsung Note.

No problems charging the Samsung but the iPhone 5 had issue and sometimes wouldn't charge.
The Iphone would say 'Accessorise not recognised'. And then I would have to plug it in again for it to charge.

Overall it did come in handy during the day and when travelling using it as a portable charger on trips and in the car
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, great product, only hampered by Lancashire weather in April, 19 April 2014
By 
STalhill (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
Ok so firstly, by way of disclosure, I was supplied a sample for test and evaluation, and I promised to write a review that is fair and honest.

***EDIT - MAY 2014***
so, just got back from camping in Cornwall at the end of May, not perfect Summer sunshine, but some decent periods of sun to test out the 14w panel. Results? Well I had it sat on my dashboard in the car for 2 hours and it fully charged the iPhone 5 from 50%. Pretty impressive I'd say.
***
*****EDIT - JULY 2014****
ok took it to Tenerife last week, tested under glorious sunshine whilst sunbathing around the pool. So first point, yes, it can be taken through airport security (at Manchester and Tenerife South anyway....) for those concerned about recent security measures. Secondly as a word of warning- if you are charging a phone or tablet while sunbathing, please make sure your phone is well shaded or ideally under a towel or something. It's not enough to place under the solar charger which itself gets a little hot, and my iphone stopped working due to overheating and needed to cool down before it was happy to play again.
Anyway, in the glorious sun, no concerns at all, my wife's kindle and my iphone were both topped up very happily in the Tenerife sun at the same time in no time at all. Again watch out for cloud cover disrupting your experience (or indeed a neighbouring parasol) and finally, please don't underestimate just how much a cheap unbranded cable (especially apple lightning ones) can upset performance. I didn't realise I'd brought a "fake" with me until after a full afternoon so all that solar energy was wasted!!
****

Well, firstly the delivery, prompt and on time, the packaging is simple a straightforward, no fuss to get in, no need for scissors. A simple Anker printed manilla card box. Not as aesthetically pleasing as Ankers boxes normally are with a white colour printed sleeve but fuss free and functional and there is a certain appeal to simple function over form packaging, no waste, less cost etc

Ok so opening the box the solar charger is simply presented folded up, no overpacking inside! Included are the care card and simple instructions.

The solar charger is quite large, even folded its definitely a backpack carry, no chance of fitting in even the most generous of coat pockets. Folded it measures approx 28x17cm with a depth of up to 4cm. Unfolded the length is 89cm (x28cm) but the actual distance between the eyelets is 70cm.
Each of the 4 PV panels measures 21x13cm.

The "5th" fold/panel is reserved for the USB port connectors contained in a handy little pocket secured with Velcro - at best, expect to fit in only one smartphone, although it's still a squeeze trying to coil up a metre long charging lead with the phone in the pocket. more likely you'll not bother trying to put your phone in here so i just use it to store the instructions. Thankfully the small strip of Velcro doesn't seal the flap fully (bad thing if you did want to securely store your device while charging on a hike) so it doesn't prevent cables trailing out.
There's a nice bit of text printed here as well reminding that it is reliant on decent levels of sunshine (so no complaining if it doesn't work while you're stargazing....) but also supplying the anker support email address.

It appears to be made from a good quality heavy duty canvas fabric well stitched and constructed with handy eyelets for the creative user, no complaints there. I intend to put them to use on my next camping trip, can put guy ropes through them to secure it during the day perhaps, and even considering hanging it out the bedroom window on a string for testing, but not brave enough yet!
I do think it may be a problem that the eyelets don't cover the full unfolded length, the cover the 4 solar panels, but not the USB panel, so if you are hiking and have this fixed to your backpack, that 5th USB panel may be a bit flappy, won't be held in place, not sure folding it back behind will work if the eyelets are in use, but it's only an inconvenience and maybe Anker can revise in 'v2'?

The panels themselves are protected by a plastic facing to prevent scratching, appear sturdy enough but I am sure they will only work so long as they haven't been stood on, bent, cracked etc.

So actual use for what it's intended....
Admittedly this has not been helped by some lacklustre weather here in Lancashire in April - it's been terribly overcast with rain and frankly, on those days, don't even bother to get this out, it barely registers any charge.
Thankfully the last week has seen some improvement and I have been able to test the Charger under the burning sun!
The good news is it exceeds my expectations when the sun is out. It works thankfully through glass for those who are security conscious, so if like me you want to leave it on the windowsill, or even on your car dash while parked, it does work. I imagine performance will improve under naked sunlight, after all some glass (windscreens) include UV filtering, but I haven't been able to fully review the improvement yet so watch this space.
So far I have successfully charged a kindle fire, blackberry playbook, iPhone 5, 5c and a blackberry curve 9320. (Please note it has 2 USB ports only)
I managed to pick up about 25% battery on my wife's iPhone 5c yesterday over 2 hours, while trickle charging my sons Kindle Fire which had earlier picked up 40% battery to full over about 6 hours. An app on the kindle indicated charging at about 300mA but not sure how reliable or periodic/snapshot this is. On this point perhaps Anker should look to develop a battery performance/monitoring App that will allow buyers to check performance? (Equally useful for monitoring other Anker products such as the chargers and external batteries....)
I do intend to update the performance as I get more time to monitor what and how well it does.

The USB ports are marked USB1 and USB2 and appear to be identical straightforward ports (Not Ankers Smart ports, or specific to Apple or Android, just plain USB) sharing a max of 2A output at 5V. so one might give 2A, or 2 at 1A each. Theoretically it should charge an iPad...will advise soon.

Another side note here, Anker do recommend always using your supplied OEM charging cable for the device being charged. It might be disappointing at first that Anker don't supply cables, but it's a universal charger, so it's a guess for them which you'd want anyway, and speaking from experience, not all cables are made equal, regardless of whether they have the same connector. For instance I discovered that micro USB cables shared with Blackberries, most android phones, Nokias, and numerous others are just not the same - a blackberry does not like other cables, my sons kindle didn't like the Nokia cable or the Blackberry one...so be warned, if your device isn't charging so good, it may be the cables fault, not the charger!

Clearly of most benefit to those that are camping/hiking/on holiday, it does in fairness represent a benefit to those that are simply environmentally minded (and subject to a good supply of sunshine) this is better than leaving your device plugged in during the day (although clearly recharging your mobile phone overnight is a non-starter) - useful for topping up your ipad or tablet on the south facing windowsill while at work no doubt. Anyone familiar with roof mounted solar panels and value/benefits can surely apply much of the same logic here, not that I'm suggesting you can buy 100's of these to be mounted on your roof...

So my final scores are;
Packaging 5/5 - simple, fuss free, minimal waste

Appearance 4.5/5 - functional appearance, good sturdy quality and finish, folds up neat and tidy, not sure about eyelet position

Value 4/5 - £49.99 is a fair amount of money, it's a serious purchase that will benefit a serious user. For those travelling abroad, hiking, camping etc, this might easily become a 5/5 proposition depending on frequency of use!

Performance 4.5/5 - ok I'm reserving to 4.5/5 for now, and this might seem cruel as some of that is my local geographic limitation and clearly performance is linked to available sunshine, and it does work, when the sun is out. I've tried a different (smaller) solar charger in the past that was useless so it's already one up on the fact it delivers!

Overall 4.5/5 - it's a genuinely useful, practical device. Of phenomenal value to those that will maximise its use when either A. The sun is shining (lots) and/or B. Are detached from regular Electrical supply.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit, 5 Sept. 2014
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14w model supplies 500mA in the weak UK sun at this time of year and about half that when it disappeared behind a cloud. This is laid flat and not angled towards the sun.

Nice quality and a compact folded unit, it hangs nicely from my back pack or lays on the tent sided charging my goodies.

Clearly stronger sunlight will provide more output but given my northerly location and time of year I'm very happy with the output. Bigger/more panels was definitely the way to go.

There was a plastic smell at first, but its gone now after a little time in the open air.

Oh and if you use the panel to charge a battery and then the battery to charge your devices you lose power through inefficient conversions. Charge your devices directly from the panel, then if you have full devices charge another battery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great :), 30 Jan. 2015
Great little solar charger. Using it in Kenya to charge my satphone and iphone 6. (As the pics show) Does both at the same time fairly fast. Can't complain about this product at all. Just make sure you can charge your devices using a usb cable and your sorted. Folds up quickly and easily so you can just grab it in a hurry.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb build quality, plenty of power in bright conditions, even cloudy, 15 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Shropshire is a long way from Barbados and so camping last week was a good test of this unit. Under bright cloudy skies this solar charger does, indeed, work well. It won't charge your phone super fast under those conditions but once you can get to a patch of blue sunny sky then this unit is brilliant compared to other solar chargers I've used. The key is obviously the sheer number of quality panels and this is the advantage. The unit is really well built, certainly built for the rugged outdoors and the metal rings provide a great way to secure it. I bought a small wire padlock to thread through and secure it to a washing line on site. If left unattended I'd recommend purchasing a battery pack rather than leaving your mobile in there. You could leave that charging during the day and use the battery to charge your mobile in the evening.
This item works and works really well. Highly recommended. Especially if you're a camper who only requires a mobile or speaker or lamp to be charged. This is ideal. The panels fold up to give an A4 size footprint maybe 20mm thick. Easy to fit into a backpack
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, neat and effective, 10 Jun. 2014
By 
Andy_F - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Anker® 8W Solar Panel Foldable Single Port Solar Charger for 5V USB-charged Devices Including GPS Units, iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Air Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note Tab, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets (Electronics)
I was given a sample for test and evaluation, but please note that my review is honest and will highlight issues if any.

I received the solar charger last week and have been spending time evaluating the product.

Firstly the folded product measures 23 cm wide, 16 cm high, 2 cm deep and has a nice tough black canvas skin, weight is 390 grams.

There are 3 folds, the first two contains the solar cells and the last has a pocket with the USB outlet, the pocket has a Velcro strip to retain the USB outlet as well as the device being charged and when the case is folded a Velcro strip is used to hold the case closed.

The pocket is large enough to take a phone or ipod but not a tablet and whilst the description says dual port, there is only one USB outlet.

With this kind of kit, I did not need the instructions, I just unfolded the charger and plugged in the device to be charged.

The charger can be either laid out flat or folded into a triangle shape, the unit also has a number of cord hooks which allows the charger to be hung toward the sun and these were very effective.

Naturally with anything solar powered, the weather can have a dramatic effect and my first test in direct sunlight was great, my blackberry charged from 10% battery to 100% within 4.5 hours, there was a noticeable difference when the sky was overcast, and I had mixed results when I tested it from my bedroom window, but felt overall that the unit work best in good or direct sunlight.
(Have sinced used a USB power monitor and found output in good sunlight to be excellent).

Update July 2014 UK great summer, with the great sunshine we have been having recently, this has performed excellently.

I have used this to charge my tablet and e cigarette and the results have been good, the charger is not as fast as the mains chargers but does a decent job of charging my kit albeit at a slower rate.

Not only is the unit functional, it also looks and feels good quality and will be one of the first things I pack when I go on holiday.

I recommend this highly
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