Monaco Mobile Phone Solar Charger

Aug 30th, 2010 | By Chris

Manufacturer: Monaco
Distributor: Wireless Ground

Mobile phone accessories are a must in today’s daily life. Many consumers don’t give a second thought about dropping tens of dollars on cases, holsters, and skins, as the consumer culture demands us to be as unique and personalized in every possible way as we can be. In the technology world, however, consumers like me are drawn to the newest, flashiest, and more expensive items on the shelf. And what are we looking at today? A mobile phone solar charger.

Solar chargers of many sorts have been around for quite some time now, but only recently have they really been brought down to the average consumer level. Solar power is a “Green” alternative, meaning that it is good for the environment. Taking direct sunlight in and transforming it into a usable resource is both a convenient and impressive feat, so let’s check out what Monaco has put together for us.

The Product and Accessories

The Solar Charger comes packed with a few cables and adapters in a small, unmarked box. First off, we have the Solar Charger itself and a USB/Mini-USB cable. A 120v wall socket adapter is also included, designed to charge USB devices and more specifically, power the Solar Charger. See, the Solar Charger isn’t only designed to charge devices from the sun’s rays; it can also charge devices from either the computer or wall outlet, so you can still use it if the sun isn’t showing its face. The immediate thing I noticed that should have been included was a small carry pouch; carrying around so many adapters and cables could easily lead to losing one or two.

The entire face of the Solar Charger is the charging solar panel. Right below it is the indicator LEDs, and along the base we have the “POWER IN” and “POWER OUT” ports. Any device that charges through USB can be inserted in the “POWER OUT”.

As for charging a device, we have ourselves another USB cable, this time with an adapter end; here we can either insert the Mini-USB or Micro-USB into the end. Remember, any device that uses Mini-USB or Micro-USB can be charged here.

The Solar Charger is roughly the same size as any modern handheld, as you can see as it sits between my iPod Touch and Nokia E72. There is no doubt that it is much thicker than said devices.

Specifications and Compatibility

The charger/battery unit has a charging capacity of 1800mAh, weighs only 93.5 grams, and measures 5.55 x 10.58 x 1.45 cm.

Monaco has ensured that the Solar Charger is compatible with many devices from some of the largest cellular manufacturers, such as Apple, Blackberry, Motorola, and Nokia, just to name a few. Here is an entire list of compatible devices:

Testing and Conclusion

The Solar Charger’s LED glows red to indicate that the internal battery is charging, and glows green when charging is finished.

There is no indication on the Solar Charger when a device is drawing power from it, but since you have a device plugged in, chances are that device will give its own indication that it is charging (seen here on the iPod Touch).

Utilizing solar power is turning into the way of the future. The Solar Charger presented here today is an excellent power alternative to powering your mobile phones and other small hand-held devices. While out on the road, this device can be a real lifesaver, giving juice to your Blackberry when you need to make that emergency call, or simply powering your iPod when you need to listen to some tunes on a long road trip.

The Monaco Mobile Phone Solar Charger is green, effective and simple. You can’t go wrong with it!

A special thanks to Wireless Ground for making this review possible.

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