A solar mobile power bank that recharges itself with light: the idea sounds attractive for summer trips, but it also has some drawbacks. The purchase decision depends on the specific needs you have for your mobile and for your travels.
Is it really worth buying a solar external battery for the mobile? In this article we are going to review the advantages and disadvantages of an accessory of this type to recharge the smartphone.
Do you need an external battery for your mobile?
Although during a normal day of routine at home and at work it is not usual to have problems with the battery (and we also have plugs at hand), things get complicated when we spend many hours away from home or when we are traveling.
The advantage of adding an external battery to luggage is obvious: we can recharge it from a socket at night and have an extra battery the next day when we are away from home.
On the other hand, if throughout the day you are going to go through places with a plug (such as restaurants) and you have a smartphone with fast charge , the external battery may not be essential.
Many models can recharge up to 50% or 60% in a short time. A meal time or a snack in a cafeteria could be enough to receive the necessary extra autonomy until the end of the day.
Remember also that not all external batteries are adapted to your needs. If you have a phone with a 3000 mAh battery, a 1000 mAh battery will not do you much good : it will give you extra autonomy but it will not allow you to recharge the smartphone 100%.
In addition, if you want to use the external battery to charge several devices (for example, two mobile phones, or a mobile phone and a tablet), you should bet on one with a higher capacity: 10,000 or 20,000 mAh , for example.
Advantages and disadvantages of a solar external battery
The main advantage of an external solar battery is that we can recharge it outdoors , taking advantage of times in full sunlight (on the beach, in the pool, etc.).
Many are sold with some type of hook or carabiner so that we can carry it outside the backpack taking advantage of the sunlight while we move from one place to another.
However, current technology only offers us a solar recharge of up to 20% of the battery capacity. For example, if you have a 1000 mAh external battery, the sunlight will only offer to recover about 200 mAh of charge without going through the plug.
For practical purposes, it is convenient to recharge the external solar battery normally, connecting it to the current. Solar charging must be considered as a complement that can help us have a little extra energy throughout the day, but not a complete recharge.
On the other hand, you have to take into account the size and weight . External batteries are usually perfect allies on trips, but on getaways with hand luggage you have to think about saving weight and space.
In this sense, a solar external battery will always be more bulky and somewhat heavier, because it houses small solar panels and will always be somewhat less "portable" than other external non-solar batteries.
In terms of price, there is quite a variety of prices depending on the characteristics of the battery, its capacity, and the brand. However, there are no big differences between the solar and the others, so the price will not be a problem when choosing .
If you are going to spend many hours without power outlets on your next trip, be sure to buy a large capacity external battery for your mobile.
Opt for a standard and compact one if you want to save space and weight, since every gram counts. However, the external solar battery has the added advantage of offering you an extra charge if you leave it in the sun for a while. Of course: only 20% of its total capacity!
Remember that an external solar battery also forces you to recharge from a socket, since most of its capacity will only be renewed when connecting it to a power source.