on 17 August 2014
External batteries are a must in my electronic-dependent life, and the addition of emergency solar charging makes this Expower power bank a real winner. Yes, the solar power panel is not as efficient as charging it via wall outlet or computer, but I was able to get a 1/4 charge in a few hours of direct sunlight, something that could be a lifesaver for a camper or hiker or anyone in the midst of a long power outage. With 5000 mAh of battery power, this has the ability to fully charge smart phones at least twice, depending on the phone. (Note: power attrition rates lower the actual available power for all external batteries. This one will charge my iPhone 5 with its 1440 mAh battery about two times, with a little power left over.)
My main concern with this battery -- and it doesn't limit the performance -- is the claim that it's waterproof. When I charge the battery in the summer sun, the plastic case buckles in the heat, and it separates on one side. It is impossible to snap the case together. When it cools, however, the case once again fits in place. The problem is that there is nothing between the case and the inner workings of the battery. The electronics are exposed as soon as the case is compromised. Even when the case seems to be tightly connected, I can see little gaps where water could get in. I would say that this battery may be somewhat water resistant, but not waterproof. If you are looking for an external battery to take, say, whitewater rafting, you may not be able to depend on it. Otherwise, this is a fine battery.
This charger comes with a carabiner-style clip (make sure the rubberized oval is securely back in place in the oval after you attach the clip), a short micro-USB to USB cable, and an old-style Apple adapter. The battery can be charged via USB or, in an emergency, partially charged in the sun. If you have a newer Apple lightning cable device, you'll have to supply your own charging cable.
This external power bank is a great choice for emergency power as long as you don't count on it to be waterproof. Note: I received a sample for review.
-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
on 18 October 2014
Well, the product is not bad looking. But that's all.
The capacity is NOT 6000mAh. According to the test I've made charging different types of phone many times - it's not more than 4000mAh.
It CANNOT charge iPad 3G. So I support for the other tablets also.
The USB ports are protected with some kind of funny rubber covers, which easily fall off and leave the USB ports unprotected.
The solar panel - well you should know the performance of this kind of stuff - almost none. With charging speed of 200mAh. the time for charging is significant.
Inside of the box, the product description is saying that after full recharge(which is during 5-7 hours) the charging LEDs should turn OFF. After almost 12 hours they still don't turn off. This means that the software is not properly written and it can be overcharged the battery.This is lithium polymer battery, there is a possibility of explosion when it's overcharged. So this is a big deal.
P.S. I bought two, they are the same! Even on one of them, the second LED light isn't working.
P.S.S. The power bank is 6000 mAh at 3.7V. The output is 5V. The first conversion will bring you almost 85% of productivity. The second conversion is inside the phone - your battery is also at 3.7V. For this conversion you will have also 85% of productivity. To finalize - 6000 mAh*0.85*0.85= real 4335 mAh(at most).
on 20 October 2014
Lots of satisfied customers - but I'm not one of them.
No matter what I did, it never charged above 50% - and that was using a 2A USB charger...
Into the bargain, the micro USB port area became extremely hot. That, by itself, was enough for me to return it for a refund - I have no desire to become one of those newspaper stories about a house fire caused by an over heated gadget...
After a 24hr charge it managed to almost charge my kindle before its warning LED ended up flashing to warn the battery was exhausted.
Overall - not impressed.
The 1 star is down to Amazon's simple and fuss-free returns procedure.
Since making the decision to return this item, I spoke to a pal who bought one. He also described the exact same issues as me. While I see 5 stars and positive comment, I question quality control as I am happy to believe I got a bad one, but given that the only other person I know personally who bought one, also had the same issues - there is a clear disparity between the performance between any given units.
Saying that - given the simple Amazon returns process - were it not for the fact that I followed said friend's recommendation for what he replaced his unit with, I'd have been happy to swap instead of refund - hoping to have ended up with one of the better units.
Amazon removed my Seller Feedback due to the fact that it looked a bit like a Product Review - however, tacked on the end of the Feedback I submitted was the following: "As described = Yes, but refer to the instructions (solar charging limitations) left out of description by the Seller..."
Yes, I can understand why Amazon chose to not allow my Feedback, but I am dismayed that the above comment on the Seller's description ends up unpublished. My fault for for badly writing the Feedback, I suppose - but at least the Comment is up here now.
on 13 July 2014
Expower Solar Charger with its capacity of 5000mAh and waterproof/shockproof capabilities offers good value for money if you need power bank solution for all-weather. And most importantly, it's better compared to other solar chargers I've tried so far.
This is the first product I received from Expower for review purposes and it came in nicely designed package box which offers good protection during the transport. Inside the package beside charger, customer will get carabiner, microUSB cable and instruction manual.
Besides being water resistant and shockproof which are indispensable functions if you plan to use the device outdoors, this charger using its 2A output will at the fastest rate possible charge your mobile or tablet devices. Speaking about the capacity, so far I used it with iPhone 4s and iPhone 5c and fully charged battery will do two full charges.
Speaking about solar feature, it seems new generation of solar cells are used on this device which can be seen because of their better and faster charging, though don’t expect miracles – after 12 hours of loading, you will charge around 40% of the battery which is very good compared to other solar chargers I tried so far. Still these solar cells are not enough to keep you ahead with energy - you will have to pay much more for something similar. The solar cells are protected with well-made plastic cover though be careful because be careful not to damage them with dropping something heavily or hit it directly.
A good add-on user can find is a LED light on the device side, which is not strong enough for flashlight but can be used as handy light for night.
As already mentioned, this is the first product tried from Expower and comparing to other power banks they managed to make good job in terms of investment vs. received. Therefore I can recommend this solar charger because unlike other solar devices with this one solar charging feature is something more than just the declared function that cannot be used.
I received a sample of Expower Solar Charger for the purpose of testing and unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.
on 31 July 2014
Take an external battery pack, add a solar panel and make it shower proof for good measure and this is what you end up with.
As an external battery, you have a 5000 mAh battery with two USB ports capable of outputting 1 amp each to charge your phone and other devices. A separate microusb port is used to charge the battery from your computer or other power supply unit (not supplied), and this is the usual way to charge the battery.
The battery pack also features 4 leds to indicate the state of charge, one of which also is used to indicate that the battery is charging from the solar panel. A white led on the side can be used as a torch, but the light output and throw is limited.
As for the solar panel and solar charging, this is best used only in an emergency and shouldn't be used as the primary way of charging the battery. Even the instructions advise against leaving the battery out in the heat of the sun.
Note: The solar panel is rated at 200 mA, therefore in ideal conditions the solar panel would take at least 25 hours to fully charge the battery from flat assuming 100% efficiency.
Overall a good external battery to charge your devices, but best not to rely of the solar panel to charge.
on 6 July 2014
Lets face it, we're now connected to the internet 24x7 which means we can't spend more than a day away from a power socket without needing to re-charge the mobile. This little device, means you can spend a few days away on a camping trip, and still update FaceBook. Great for the Summer Festival season.
What is it, and what does it do?
It's a terrific little external (Lithium Polymer) battery with solar charger. Basically, if you're out and about, camping or at a festival for a couple of days, and away from mains power, it's a portable power cell - which you can connect to your mobile or tablet to get a full recharge.
As an added bonus, it's also possible to recharge itself for free, user the built in solar power panel.
What's it like?
Quite a nice chunky design, it's about the size and heft of a phablet - almost exactly the same size as my 5 inch Google Nexus phone. It comes in at 5.5 inches long by 3 inches wide and a half inch deep. Quite a chunky design, with a solar powered face framed by a rugged plastic yellow shell, and rubber around the edges (to protect it from a few knocks).
It comes complete with:-
1. The battery itself with a built in solar power face, 4 blue power status LEDs and a small white LED torch.
2. In instruction page - small print but clear
3. A USB to micro-USB cable - so you can charge most Android phones, and power this device
4. A converter which converts the micro-USB cable to an iPhone 30 pin. (For an iPhone up to the iPhone 4GS).
Basically, you plug in the supplied cable into one of the USB ports in the battery, press the black button (top right), and the other end in your smartphone to re-charge.
Note - if like me you NEVER read the instructions first, be aware you need to switch on the battery to start charging your phone. You’ll know it’s switched on, because all four blue LEDs will light up to indicate the power level left in the battery. You can also “double-click” the power button to light up the white LED “torch” - a handy extra if you’re out camping and it’s dark.
Straight out of the box it indicated 4 lights (75-100%), and will gradually goes down as you discharge the battery.
What will it charge?
Just about anything with a Mini or Micro USB or a cable with a full size USB plug - which is pretty standard on nearly all battery powered devices. A little research shows it's good for:-
* Apple iPhone 5, 5s and 5c. (Using your own cable)
* Apple iPhone 3, 3G, 3Gs, 4, 4Gs. (Supplied 30 pin adapter)
* Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S4 S3 S2 Note 2
* Blackberry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony android Smart Phones and Tablets.
* Google Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones and Nexus 7 and 10 tablet computers
* Kindle Paperwhite Fire HD, GPS and just about anything else with a USB connector.
Does it work?
Glad to say, yes. it charged my Google Nexus 5 from 25% back to 100% in a just over 1.5 Hrs - very impressive. The battery is rated at 5,000 mAh (the higher the better) which means it should charge a smartphone several times before finally needing to be plugged in.
For example, here's the battery capacity (mAh) of some popular smartphones:-
* Google Nexus 5 - 2,300
* Samsung Galaxy S3 - 2,100
* Samsung Galaxy S4 - 2,600
* Apple iPhone 5 - 1,400
* Apple iPhone 5S - 1,570
* Apple iPhone 4S - 1,432
* Apple iPhone 4 - 1,420
* Apple iPhone 3 - 1,150
So (roughly speaking), you should get around 2+ full charges out of an iPhone 5 before you need to re-charge the unit.
What's Good about it?
* Nice build quality with black rubber edging around the top and base
* Two USB ports - mean you can charge two devices at once (subject to the battery power you’ve got left)
* Enough power to charge a standard smartphone 3+ times.
* Built in 4 blue LEDs indicate how much power you have left (nice)
* White LED which helps is your out camping - stumbling around in the dark
* Rubber covers over the USB ports to keep out dirt or sand.
* Added benefit of a solar charger if you're out camping/festival (weather permitting)
What's not so good?
Not a lot really. I was a bit confused at first about needing to switch it on, but otherwise fine.
Be aware it does take 7-8 hours to recharge from flat when connected to the power. Not really a problem if you plug it in over-night before your camping trip.
Finally, you'll need a very sunny day in the UK to benefit greatly from the solar power. I left it in the garden for several hours on bright sunny day, and the power indicators when up one notch, but I'd expect re-charging it from flat would take several days in bright sunlight. I will update this review once fully tested.
Great as an added bonus, but I wouldn't rely upon the British weather.
Provided you see this as a powerful battery to recharge your smartphone or tablet, I'd say it's highly recommended (ie. don't expect miracles from the British sun). It's nicely designed, appears fairly rugged, and at this price is a great addition to your out-door toolkit.
Disclosure: I was kindly sent this by the manufacturer to give an independent unbiased review.
Don't forget to fully recharge it though, before you go on the camping trip!
Note: The maker supplied a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view
In the box with this power bank you get a Carabiner, USB to micro USB lead, and a 30 pin apple adapter to put onto the micro USB tip.
The bank is a pretty solid feeling device with bumper protections around the sides and flaps covering the USB and charging ports. On the top a power button with 5 LED's these show you the charge state/remaining capacity and activate a small LED torch light (this isn't massively powerful but good enough to see at closer distances)
Front is dominated with a solar panel this is rated to a charge output of 200mAh max, that is the specification for the panel and a quick calculation reveals that at a capacity of 6000mAh it would take 30 hours (best case) to charge the bank with sunlight. Real world it could take somewhat longer cloud cover will reduce this and very overcast days will yield a slow trickle charge to the lithium cell. Of course you can use the USB cable to charge it, and the sunlight as a "top up" that is how I would suggest using the power bank they are not quick to charge but the solar charging does work, but slowly.
2 x 1.0 amp output ports means you can charge two devices at ones and there is enough power here to charge most phones 2-3 times or a tablet once (bar the biggest ones) It's an ice little power bank being weather resistant and tough it's a good choice for mobile power on the go if you're camping or on a trip. A few places I'd modify this firstly I would hard bond the rubber mouldings they are attached to the case but not glued in place I'd prefer that. Also the 30 pin apple connector, whilst handy, has really been superseded with the lighting one which I think would be more useful here. In other ways though it's a decent power bank and offers a mid level capacity in a small package and the ability to use natural light to help top it up.