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Thursday, January 24, 2019

iClever Solar Charger & Battery Pack Review: Wave Goodbye to Wall Plugs

iClever solar charger, open on a wood table

If you do a lot of adventuring or hiking and you hardly ever have access to an outlet to charge up your phone, you may very well benefit from iClever’s solar charger, a combination solar charger and battery pack.

Even while traveling most of us can get away with just a battery pack to charge up our phones when it needs a top off. Then, once we arrive at our destination (or whenever we have access to an outlet), we can charge up the battery pack and repeat the process.

But for those who brave the great outdoors and won’t even see an outlet for a while, the sun can pick up the slack. That’s where products like the iClever (and other solar chargers) come into play.

iClever solar charger, closed

iClever’s solar charger and battery pack is an iPad Mini-sized device that comes with two solar panels that can fold up and be stowed away like a notebook in a backpack. It’s certainly much larger than your typical battery pack, but it was never really meant to slide into a pocket anyway—you need decent size solar panels to get a decent charge going, after all.

When closed, there’s a small flap that folds over and clasps everything together with magnets, so there’s definitely a certain premium feel to it. What’s cooler is that the flap is also where the charging ports are—just peel off the rubber cover on the end and you’ll see a microUSB port for charging up the battery pack the old-fashioned way, as well as a full-size USB-A port that can push out up to 2.4A of juice to your gadgets. We’d love to see USB-C and support for fast charging, though that might be a bit much to ask, at this point, from a device that only retails for $49.

There’s also an LED grid for a visual representation of the battery level, as well as a small power button to turn on and off the charger, although it turns on and off automatically when up plug and unplug your devices.

iClever solar charger, open with charging ports displayed

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