Solar Phone Charger: Is It Worth It?

About Solar Phone Charger, Even if your phone power banks have a good battery life, they will die while you’re outside. 

For such instances, there are a number of portable charging devices you can get to charge your device. Among those options, you’ll find solar phone chargers to be the best option. Now, to get a better understanding of how they work, read the article below.

How a Solar Phone Charger Works

A solar-powered phone charger has three main components: the battery, charge controller, and panel. 


The battery’s function is to store generated energy to allow you to charge your phone regardless of whether sunlight is present or not. 

However, panel-only chargers don’t have a battery as they charge your phone from directly absorbed sunlight.

Solar Panel:

It is the most important part as it is responsible for converting sunlight to energy. It absorbs and stores energy from the rays of the sun. 

The bigger the surface area of your panel, the quicker it’ll charge your phone. 

Charge Controller: 

Its functions are to manage and regulate the voltage of the battery, thus ensuring safe and stable charging while also preventing short circuiting and overcharging.

 If the charge controller is absent, your battery’s life will be significantly compromised.

Solar Phone Charger With Foldable Panels

Solar Phone Charger With Foldable Panels

Types of Solar Phone Chargers

Below are three main types of solar phone chargers.

Panel Only Chargers

Such chargers have a straightforward design and are considered the most basic type of solar chargers. 

It generally comprises a single solar panel or multiple foldable panels and a power outlet. 

Since they don’t have somewhere to store energy, they rely fully on direct sunlight to charge devices. 

Therefore, they take longer to charge devices to full capacity, and sometimes, they aren’t capable of charging bigger devices. 

Also, their efficiency is affected by the angle of the sun and weather conditions, making them unreliable in some situations.

Panels With Integrated Batteries Chargers

Such chargers serve as an all-in-one unit, combining a battery pack and solar panel that generate and store energy for later use.

 Their design allows you to charge your device with little or no sunlight. Furthermore, they eliminate the need for extra battery chargers, thus reducing clutter and saving space. 

However, if you’re on a tight budget, they’re unsuitable since they cost more than panel-only chargers.

Panels With Detached Batteries Chargers

The main benefit of chargers with detached batteries is that you can place them anywhere. 

Therefore, you can enjoy using your charger even in a shaded place. 

Also, detached batteries are easy to replace in case your current batteries are unable to store as much power as before or if they get damaged. 

However, such chargers also have disadvantages, as they need more maintenance to ensure they work efficiently.

Is a solar phone charger better than a power bank?

Both solar chargers and power banks have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Solar Mobile Device Charger Advantages and Disadvantages


  • They offer potentially endless power supply because as long as the sun is out you can use them to charge your device.
  • They offer convenience since even if you’re in an area without electricity, the sun is always available. Unlike power banks, you don’t have to precharge a solar charger. You can always pull out your solar charger and charge your device whenever necessary.
  • They are environmentally friendly since they convert solar energy to clean energy without leaving a carbon footprint.


  • They are weather-dependent. If you’re outdoors and the weather isn’t cooperative, you could be left without a source of power. For example, if it’s cloudy outside, you could only get about 25% of your charger’s rated capacity. 
  • You need to give your charger direct sunlight. Failure to do so could result in your device not charging or the device charging at a slow rate.
  • Solar chargers need space. For example, if you are seated at a table and want to use your charger, you’ll need to clear some space to place your charger. 
  • It takes a significant amount of time to fully charge a device, regardless of whether it has direct sunlight. A standard charger could take over three hours to fully charge your device.

How long your charger charges your devices depends on its model and capacity rating.

Power Bank Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Unlike solar chargers, power banks don’t rely on sunlight. You can use power banks indoors even if you don’t have power.
  • Power banks are easy to move around with as you can even simply put them in your pocket.


  • Often, they have misleading charge rates. It’s best to expect ⅔  of what the box is advertising to be on the safe side. 
  • You have to recharge the device to use it later.
  • If you’re looking to charge multiple devices, you’ll need to carry multiple power banks or a big power bank, which adds significant weight to your luggage.
  • If you want a power bank with good power capabilities, you should be ready to spend significantly. Also, getting multiple power banks to charge various devices is costly.

So, Are Solar Power Banks Better Than Regular Power Packs?

Both options are great for charging your device while on the move; each is ideal for certain applications.

Power banks are more reliable; however, solar chargers are perfect for charging multiple devices while outside for a number of days. 

You can consider getting both according to your intended application and usage.

Power bank with a cable

Power bank with a cable

Considerations When Choosing a Solar-Powered Charger

In addition to the type of charger you choose, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a solar charger.


Not all solar chargers are the same, and some are only compatible with certain devices. 

Therefore, before purchasing a solar charger, ensure it’s compatible with the device you intend to use it with.

Charging Speed

Although solar chargers are environmentally friendly, they are not always efficient. 

Ensure to choose a solar charger that’s capable of charging your device within a reasonable period of time. 

Get a charger with a high amperage or wattage to ensure your device charges normally.

Weight and Size

There are multiple lightweight and compact solar chargers available in the market that are ideal for on-the-go use. 

For better portability, some models incorporate foldable panels. 

However, keep in mind that often smaller chargers translate to lower power capacities, meaning your phone will take longer to charge. 

 Therefore, it’s important to balance between functionality, size, and weight when choosing a solar charger.


It’s important to choose a long-lasting charger that is capable of withstanding the tear and wear of frequent use. 

A good charger is made of high-quality materials and has a rugged, weather-resistant design capable of handling exposure to extreme temperatures, rain, and other environmental hazards.


There’s a wide variety of solar phone charges in the market, each having its own unique specifications and features. 

Some models feature multiple USB ports, enabling you to charge multiple devices at once.

 Furthermore, other models are foldable and compact, making them easy to bring anywhere.

Different types of USB ports

Different types of USB ports


Whether you’re looking to utilize clean energy or camping in the woods, a solar phone charger is a great addition to your tech collection. 

Depending on your intended application, you can choose the best solar phone chargers after considering certain factors when buying a solar charger. 

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