Free stuff is awesome. It comes with a feel good feeling – getting more for less (or in this case nothing). The XD Design Sun Solo is a power bank which also utilises the sun’s energy to stay charged on the go. Here at TeD, we’ve gone ahead and put this charger through its paces.
The Sun Solo charger comes in a white, clean plastic unibody design. The front of the device is flat, with two large solar panels and a suction cup whilst the back is curved and has a central screw which is used to tighten the suction cup – allowing the Sun solo to be easily attached to any flat window surface. It is imperative that you make sure that the window surface is flat, as even the slightest curvature can stop the device from fastening properly.
It has no observable buttons – just a ‘touch spot’. Simply put your finger in the concave amd this will turn on the LED indicators placed under the plastic which will indicate the battery level. Thus, everything about this device is sleek and premium. It’s one design disadvantage may be that at X cm, it’s lightweight, but quite large to carry around with you. Granted, the large size is required for the solar panels to have a larger surface area, but since portability is a major factor when determining whether to buy a portable charger or not, the large size may be somewhat of a turn off.
Charging and Capacity
Using the Sun’s rays, the Sun Solo took me about 3 days to fully charge from almost zero. That’s quite a long time, but it’s not something that XD design in particular can fix easily. When battery differences are taken into consideration, other solar devices I’ve reviewed offer similar charging times.
And why almost zero? Well for solar charging, you have to make sure that charger has some juice left in it, otherwise it won’t charge. This is somewhat of a disadvantage when you consider that the power bank’s capacity is 2500 mAh. Although this is a large capacity for a solar power bank, many of today’s smartphones offer batteries which are larger than this capacity.
So What Else?
The Sun Solo charger comes in at a reasonable £49.95 – which isn’t cheap. But personally, I’ve grown quite fond of the Sun Solo. I’m writing this review in a park, and I’ve got my phone connected to the Sun Solo. And even though I know my phone’s gobbling up more juice than the Sun Solo can produce, I can’t help to love the device. It’s just fun to own. And hopefully, it’s a glimpse of what or how future devices can become more sustainable and less dependent on the grid for electricity.
Keep in mind, if the Sun solo isn’t your cup of tea, XD design offer a whole range of other solar chargers for your devices. From flower chargers, to tree chargers to other window mountable chargers, just hop on their website and have a look.