Solar claims that it takes up to ten hours to charge the Pico fully using direct sunlight. Given Blighty's weather of late, it’s been hard to get ten consecutive hours of sunshine. You don’t have to have a full charge, of course, to get you out of flat-battery purdah, but the timescale is still long.
USB and Mini USB provide power to adaptors
I found it hard to get a full charge using solar energy alone. Having left the unit in a window over a weekend with long periods of sunshine, it still had very little energy to transfer to a phone. A second attempt, this time leaving it outside, facing South and under direct sunlight for ten hours, only cranked up a single bar on the Samsung.
This is better than nothing, but it’s free energy very sparingly absorbed. To use the Pico on solar alone, you’d need at least a full day of sunshine to charge it before taking it with you as an emergency recharger. Quite honestly, for the few pence a USB charge costs, that’ll be a better option in most cases.
The bundled adaptors
The Pico could come into its own on holiday, but only if you're visiting somewhere with more continuous, brighter sunshine than the UK can manage.
At just £17, this recharger isn't a bad buy, even if you don’t use the solar panel. The ten-hour sunlight charge claim seems a tad optimistic for typical British weather, though. ®
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What use is 800mAh?
Given that most smartphone batteries are in the order of 1000 to 1500mAh, you are barely going get 1/2 charge from this gizmo without allowing for losses.
though that takes away the appeal of getting ‘free’ power
not if you charge it at work
Can someone remind me what happens to the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery if you leave it out in hot sunshine for a few hours? Specially if you apply a black material of some sort to the upper surface?
Battery is probably heat tolerant and if we're talking about the UK ...
Batteries get hot. We survive, except when they explode.
I might make the solar panel fold up from the battery and serve as a sunshade for it. On the other hand... why not have an inexpensive collapsible structure to concentrate light onto the solar panel? Like a parabolic mirror?
Inside a window may be not a good place to collect solar energy, e.g. ultraviolet light is blocked(?), what do the instructions say?
Ah, but what's the battery's voltage?
Power and current are different.
But you may be right.