Are solar phone chargers the future?

Harnessing the power of the sun to fill your smartphone battery sounds like a dream come true, but does the reality match up? We’ve had a good look at all of the pros and cons of swapping a traditional charger for the solar alternative, to help you decide if you’d like to make the switch.

How solar phone chargers work

Able to provide a much needed charge on the go, these handy devices boast a small solar panel that charges a battery. This battery can then be used to provide juice for your smartphone (or digital camera, tablet and so on). Some chargers also make it possible for you to charge your phone directly from the solar panel, useful when you need a quick fix.

Power on the go

The biggest advantage of a solar phone charger is the fact that you have the potential to charge your phone wherever you are – even if that’s several miles from the nearest mains connection. This makes them absolutely ideal for campers, adventurers, and anyone who likes the idea of having an emergency power boost in their bag.

Solar power as a space saver

Another potential benefit of solar power chargers is the fact that, providing you also buy adaptors to fit all of your devices, you can ditch all of your plugs and separate cable chargers in favour of one, compact unit. Especially handy when you’re travelling to places where your traditional chargers would need power plug adapters too.

Here comes the sun

There are some parts of the world (the UK in particular!) where the sun is sometimes in short supply. The average solar phone charger needs somewhere around seven or eight hours to completely charge its battery, which could make hitting 100% tricky. However, a much shorter burst of sun might be all you need to give your phone the power it needs for a quick call.

Will solar phone chargers save you money?

Swapping a mains charger for a solar powered one does mean you could be saving money on every individual charge, but at the moment the price of solar power chargers is a little on the high side – something that’s likely to be off-putting to many phone owners.

That said, as technology continues to improve, they might just prove the perfect money saver, especially if you’re keen to do your bit for the environment.