These days, we really should do all that we can to save money and be more efficient with our mobile devices. One of the things that has helped me a good deal has been the use of portable battery chargers. In addition to being a bit less of a drain on the power grid, they enable me to spend more time using the mobile device when I’m on the go.
Solar chargers are even better. I spend a great deal of time in the car, and so anything that I can do toward keeping the load on my engine down helps efficiency as well. A portable solar charger from a company called Daylight Savings Inc. has been a recent addition to my stable, and has so far performed quite well.
The Daylight Savings Solar Cell Charger is essentially a 1200 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery with a solar cell draped over the top of it. Compared to my JavoEdge Portable Battery which is also 1200 mAh, the Daylight Savings charger is slightly thinner and a touch longer. Its pocketable, and with the included belt clip can be placed on a visor or backpack for constant solar charging when not in use.
There are two ports, regular and mini-USB. The mini-USB port can also serve as a means to quickly charge the Daylight Savings charger. This is sometimes my preferred method when there is a need for me to have both my chargers topped off for a trip. It takes about 2 hours to go from empty to full, which is in line with similar chargers.
The solar charging aspect takes longer, but is more reliable than the Solio charger that I’ve used in the past. The Daylight Savings charger needs real sunlight, like the Solio, but can charge on partly cloudy days, too. This was pretty cool, as there are days that I leave it in my car and by the end of the day there’s little sun entering the cabin. What gets in there is enough, at least when the charger’s not in the shade.
Solar charging takes about 8 hours, but again, you will be hard-pressed to keep mobing it for 8 hours. The times where you need complete solar charging it’s better that this accessory sits on a ground where it will not be shaded at any time.
Keeping it exposed reveals the Daylight Savings charger most notable issue: It’s not very rugged. It actually feels quite cheap (OK, so it is $20 before shipping). The plastic materials just feel as if it’s incapable of taking a bump. The few times that the charger was thrown from one side of my car to the other, I was afraid that I damaged the solar cells. The Solio was much more rugged in this respect.
But that’s really about it in terms of downsides. It is as effective as my JavoEdge charger, just as pocketable, and costs remarkably less. Some consumer reviews have stated that it is subject to the random failures, but to date I haven’t seen anything like this. For $20, it’s not nearly the gamble of similar pocketable solar solutions.
I personally recommend the Daylight Savings charger for its efficiency, price, and environmental impact. You cannot beat something like this in terms of efficiency.
The Daylight Savings Solar Cell Charger can be purchased from the Daylight Savings website.