Disclaimer: I was provided Juicebar portable solar charger from Cableorganizer.com for testing and review. The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own
As described, the Juicebar pocket portable solar charger is a pocket-sized mobile battery/solar charger compatible with a wide variety of mobile devices, complete with a selection of adaptors for use with your particular device. For my case, I’ve tested it with my iPod touch and LG Optimus S phone and found no issues with connections or compatibility.
The Juicebar is simple enough. One side houses the solar panel, and the other has charge indicator bar and two buttons, one to display the available charge and the other for a small LED flashlight – the addition of the flashlight may be an indication of the intended use of the Juicebar, which we’ll get into in a moment.
Testing and use
Out of the box, as per instructions, I charged the battery via supplied USB cable connected to my iMac to get the unit fully charged, which took a couple of hours. With the fully charged Juicebar battery I was able to recharge my iPod touch in a relatively short time – about two hours.
The next test was recharging the now depleted Juicebar battery in direct sunlight and using it to charge-up my LG phone. The instruction manual says that Juicebar takes between 10 and 12 hours to fully charge via the device’s solar panel. In the late-winter sun I had available to me for the test, I was able to give the Juicebar about six hours of sunlight, providing enough juice to charge the phone from approximately 32 percent to about 90 percent before the Juicebar gave out.
I attempted to recharge the depleted battery in sunlight, but after nearly a full day in the sun (about 8 hours – still less than the recommended time for a full sunlight-fueled charge), Juicebar was only charged to approximately 60-70 percent. Attempting to recharge the iPod touch from around 30 percent, I only got about three-quarters charge before Juicebar itself needed more charge; time to plug it back into the iMac to get a good, full charge.
I’ve been using the Juicebar portable solar charger for a little over a week now, and while the unit does have some limitations, once understood the Juicebar should prove a useful device in the right situations for keeping my mobile devices charged – namely when I’m traveling or temporarily away from a convenient source of power.
The Juicebar isn’t intended (0r isn’t suited for) replacing the main source of power for recharging your mobile devices (typically the plug on your wall). I’ve seen Juicebar advertised as an energy-saving device to help reduce your energy bills, which in my opinion is very misleading. In terms of energy conservation the results are negligible almost to the point of being non-existent – though every little bit helps.
But that’s not really what the Juicebar is for, Perhaps I haven’t had enough opportunity to try it exclusively as a solar charger but it seems to me there will be occasions when a full recharge via USB cable will be necessary. The principal utility of the Juicebar is for when you’re traveling, away from a standard power source and need a charge, and generally keeping your mobile devices charged in a pinch. And for that the Juicebar Pocket Mobile Charger does a fine job.
The Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger is available from Cableorganizer.com for $49.99