Saturday, November 27, 2010

Juice Bar Solar Charger

The Juice Bar Solar Charger holds a ton of power, holds it for a long time, and gives it out quickly. However, for all the good that it does, there are some negatives that go along with this particular charger that make me wary to suggest it to anyone.

Like several other external batteries we’ve tested, the Juice Bar charges via USB cord. It’s not a quick charge, but it’s not entirely too slow. Just don’t expect to have a full battery in an hour or two. You’ll need probably 4 hours of solid charging to get every bit out of this thing, which can be a long time to drain your computer, if that’s what you’re connecting to for charging purposes. It also has a solar panel on the top of the device. Like every other solar charger, it’s slow. However, it’s another way to charge, and it does make the power you put into your mobile device last longer, if you’re using your phone in sunlight.

Once it’s fully charged, however, the battery will keep filling up your phone for well over two hours of use. When I used it, my phone sat idle for only a few minutes, and it still took my iPhone from 20% battery to full.

Now we get into the drawbacks. Like many other devices we’ve tested, this is an external battery that has to be toted along with the mobile device. It’s attached via cable, giving you a little more leeway, but your phone is still tethered to the Juice Bar. Luckily, it’s slim and lightweight, otherwise this would be a serious issue. However, this isn’t my biggest problem with the Juice Bar. This battery, when it’s being used, gets hot. I’m not talking like, put it in your gloves in the winter to keep your hands warm hot, I’m talking painful to keep your skin on it hot. Which means you’ve got to be careful where you put it while using it. You can’t leave it on something vulnerable to heat, and you definitely don’t want to have it in your pocket where you might accidentally put your hand only to get a little bit of a shock. Trust me on that one.

In all, this battery isn’t bad. If you can figure out a way to insulate the battery so you don’t burn yourself and also a way to charge while still being able to effectively use your phone (because of the connection), then this battery is great. Having a solar panel to accentuate your charging capabilities and expand the category of areas where you can use this device is also a bonus. But I feel like there are better choices for you to purchase.


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