Review of Anker 14W Solar Panel charger w/lots of pics!!!


Last Updated: 2014-05-01 02:58:22
  1. twister6

    twister6 Guides Guide

    This is a review of Anker 14W Solar Panel charger. Anker 14W Solar Panel Foldable Dual-port Solar Charger for 5V USB-charged Devices Including GPS Units, iPhone, iPad, Android Phones and Android Tablets

    My obsession with external batteries started a couple of years ago after a few nasty storms we went through here on East Coast. Nothing is worse than loosing power for a week or more and figuring out how to charge your phone. Around that time, I was thinking how great it would have been to have a solar panel. Just recently, I was actually asked if I'm planning to review a solar charger. Looking around for available choices, I was pleased to see 14W foldable dual-port model from Anker. Though there were other solar chargers on Amazon, none got as many 5-star reviews as this one, so I decided to request a review sample. With a Spring finally in full effect and sun is out - I figured it will be a perfect opportunity to take a closer look at this 14W solar charger. Here is what I found.

    I was pleased to see that no matter how big or small a product Anker sells, it still arrives in an environmentally friendly packaging. Once you take it out of the box, you can really feel it's hefty weight, almost 1.7lb. Unfolding the charger revealed 4 solar panels, each one about 6" x 9". Everything was packaged inside of foldable rugged construction made out of heavy polyester canvas material. The solar panels were not removable and stored inside of individual pockets covered by heavy duty clear PET plastic screen material. A lot of thought went into the design to make sure the construction is durable for outdoor use and the front of the panel, which supposed to be exposed to a sun, will remain undamaged in direct heat. As a matter of fact, once you unfold this solar charger, you will find an extra fold with a dual output USB port and a velcro pocket where you can store your smartphone or external battery to keep it away from the direct heat. It actually came very handy when I left my phone outside charging and was able to keep it out of the direct sun light inside of this pocket.

    Without a doubt, this is a very compact foldable solar charger, but how does it perform in the sun? Unfortunately for a few days when I was testing it, I wasn't able to take advantage of a full direct sun (cloudy). From the spec of this charger, it can supply 5V with a combined 2A between both ports. It's definitely possible and I've read plenty of reviews with people who were able to get maximum charging speed. In my case, the first test didn't yield the greatest results because I was sitting in a shade and was only able to get 300-400 mA of charging current. The next day I was able to get better results with 800 mA of charging current, though it was still a bit cloudy outside. I'm pretty sure in a direct sunlight I will be able to get a much higher current reading. So my plan is to continue testing and posting my updates.

    Overall, this was my first Solar Charger experience, and I found it to be very impressive. Of course, the big limitation is finding a perfect sunny spot to take full advantage of maximum charging speed. But even if you are stuck in a shade or the sun is down already, you can still get enough charging current to boost your smartphone or tablet battery. With a very competitive pricing and backed up by 18-months warranty, this solar charger can come very handy in a lot of places where you're away from the power outlet.

    Here are the pictures.

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