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Review of the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger: Solar Power For The iPhone

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/24/2011
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The sun may be dangerous for your health if you stay out in it too long but it can be good for your iPhone. Kiss that AC or USB socket goodbye. When your iPhone gets hungry juice it up with the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger instead. Make the rays of the sun work for you.

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    Keeping the iPhone Powered Up

    I don’t care what model of iPhone you have - the blessed thing never has enough power to suit me. That includes my first iPhone 2G on up to the 3GS now working in my pocket. Sure I can argue that if I don’t run any movies or graphically intensive operations like GPS the battery will provide enough power between charges, but what’s the use of that? The fact is that the iPhone screams for use that goes well beyond just looking at email or checking the weather. Is it Apple’s fault that I’ve become an iPhone power-draining junkie? Sure it is.

    With that out of the way, what to do about it is the issue. Sure you can plug the iPhone in for a charge at home or in a convenient AC socket in a location if you can find it, but tell that to someone like me who once got stuck in the Atlanta airport hub and had to stay near the door gate to make sure I wouldn’t lose my stand-by status. Was there a “convenient” AC plug there? Heck no!

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    What's An iPhone To Do?

    So some kind of charger needs to be in my travel bag or knapsack, depending upon where I am going or have just arrived at. But the same problem my iPhone will have if it’s weak on power is true of the charger - it has to be charged to have power to do the charging. And if you don’t think that most powered battery chargers don’t lose their moxie when left alone for a week or two, you’re probably appropriate for selling swamp land in Florida too.

    The solution as I see it is a charger that can not only connect to the iPhone when it’s needed, but pull power to use at that same time. Which is why I’ve started to use solar power for my iPhone by carrying the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.

    Juicebar box 

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    Charging Ahead With the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger

    Rating Average

    First - a disclaimer. I live and mostly work and travel in Southern California and those places where sunshine is abundant - and rain pretty much an urban myth. No sun, no charging, no value if you live in a fog or rain-soaked location. I don’t.

    The Juicebar consists of the main unit which looks for all the world like a small cell phone with the lid closed. Lightweight to be sure, in fact I think the plastic clamshell it came in weighted more. That does include the plethora of connectors you can plug in - the first being to charge the Juicebar from a USB connector or another to do the same from the AC socket. Yeah that doesn’t really fit with the whole “Solar” concept but you don’t have to bother doing it this way (or you can just use it to “top” off the Juicebar).

    Juicebar connected 

    Basically all you need to do is pop in the appropriate connector into the Juicebar and then the other end into your device (iPhone in this case). Then the charge working already in the Juicebar, goes off to your device. This can also be done while it’s charging, providing it’s got enough power already contained in the built-in lithium battery.

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    Using The Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger

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    Juicebar connected I’ve found that putting the Juicebar in a nice bright spot on my balcony in the late afternoon when the sun has yet to set does the trick in a few hours. My niece applauded my being “green” which shows that you can gain points from doing the right thing without having to compromise. Of course the situation at my last trade show in Las Vegas was a bit more complicated - I duct taped it to my knapsack so it could hit the rays whenever I was outside. Obviously that took a lot longer for it to charge over the course of the day, but the red light wasn’t on saying it was still charging so I knew it was ready to rumble at about the same time my iPhone needed it to be.

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    Connecting To The Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger

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    Connectors The Juicebar solar charger isn’t made exclusively for the iPhone, by the way, and I like that. Sure the connector works on my iPod as well, but there are also other devices that can use a jolt and which come along for many of my rides, like my Sony PSP (yeh it’s huge but there's games on it that I just have to have sometimes). Add to that other cell phones like from LG, Sony and Nokia among others and even the Tom-Tom GPS.

    Overall I’ve no complaints with the Juicebar - especially as the company went hog wild with the connectors. Thank goodness they included a travel bag to store them and the Juicebar in, although as you might have guessed the plugs tumbled out crazily the first time I emptied the travel bag without thinking. That’s when I just attached the needed plug to the Juicebar and retired the rest to a drawer until needed. Which is the whole idea of the Juicebar anyway - using it when needed and being able to ensure you can get a charge into it without hassles.

    So if you're looking to go green or you just need power on the go an iPhone solar charger could be the answer and the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger is a great example. Check out the link below to buy one at Amazon.

    Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger

*Please note - the author received 'sent unit to try out' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.