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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 20, 2013
We got a free one as part of supporting a local radio station. In this case we got what we paid for. It worked once, charging an iPhone from 95% to 100%. Since then it goes dead within seconds of plugging in a phone, and letting it bake in the sun for a day just causes it to report it's fully charged - to go dead again seconds after anything is plugged in.

A nice idea, and it would have been useful on mission trips to Haiti where power is frequently hard to come by. But the implementation is a disaster.
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We got a replacement unit, and this one didn't die the first day we used it. So I tried some experiments.

First, I charged it in the sun for a half day, and it showed some blue on the indicator bar. so I plugged in my iPhone. The iPhone battery began to drop, fairly quickly. Frustrated, I disconnected the iPhone and plugged the juicebar into my laptop, to charge it that way. After a few hours the bar went solid blue, and I plugged the iPhone back again.

Now the iPhone began to charge.

Apparently, the juicebar compares its internal battery to whatever it's plugged into, and decides whether it should charge itself up, or charge the other device, based on that. In other words if its internal battery is low and you plug it into a mostly-charged iPhone, it's going to assume you want it to drain the iPhone to charge its own battery. Consequence: forget using the juicebar to "top off" a mostly charged iPhone. You'll drain power instead.

Looking at the specs, this is a 2000 mAh battery and a 100 mAh solar cell (some apparently are rated at 80mAh). Even in a perfect world, it would take 20 hours of noonday sun to charge up the juicebar. 20 hours of bright sunlight being hard to come by in a day, this means that if you want a purely solar solution, you probably need to let the juicebar sit in the sun for 4 days, and maybe longer, to get it full. Then you can use it to charge a few devices, but once the juicebar starts to get low, it may start draining power instead.

I suspect the device would be fine in an Arizona summer. I live in Massachusetts. I doubt the juicebar is going to provide a complete charging solution. I kill an iPhone battery in a typical day of use.

Yes, you can fill the juicebar from your laptop. That goes quickly. But it's not efficient to charge a juicebar to charge an device; it wastes less power to just charge the device directly. The only way the juicebar is a win is if it charges from free sunlight, and see above.

I'm hoping this will be a better solution on trips to Haiti, which has plenty of bright sun and (where I go) unreliable power. In Massachusetts, my combination of heavy phone use and cloudy days means I'll continue to be tethered to charging from laptops, some amount of the time. And given how cheap it is to charge an iPhone, it would take a LOOONG time for this device to pay for itself on solar power.

Amusing idea, but in terms of ideal implementation, this is no titanium spork. Improvements: add a switch that tells the juicebar whether to charge, or be charged, from the USB port. Put a better battery indicator on it. Make it larger so a bigger solar cell can be added, or give it a fold out solar cell.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
Great find! Small size, easily portable. Well built unit. I usually charge it via USB cable but it is nice having solar panel as a backup and I think that helps keep it at full charge between uses. Battery will give a full charge to my smartphone while on the road which is great for travel or when an electrical outlet is not handy.

Only negative is that the included adapter plugs are flimsy and the one I use most broke in half. So I replaced the entire cord/adapter combo with a dedicated micro USB cord.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2013
Verified Purchase
I just took this charger on a 5 day hike. Everyone was asking to borrow it for their stuff. It can recharge itself so quickly that I had no problem lending it out. Great product.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2013
Verified Purchase
This is a great charger! I love the fact I can charge my phone anywhere and if the charger loses power I can charge it in the sunlight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
Verified Purchase
The idea is solid. The charge meter is hard to read. You must leave it baking in the sun a very long time and does not hold a charge well. I would not suggest buying this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2013
Verified Purchase
Solar power, an internal rather large battery and a powerful flashlight to boot. Great for vacations and long trips with the kids, where a re charger isn't always available or practical. The price is the only reason I wouldn't give it 5 stars, but it is well constructed.
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on August 10, 2012
I admit, I was a tiny bit skeptical when I first ordered the juice bar. But after receiving it, I am truly amazed! It charges so easily in the sun or plugged into the computer, I wonder who could possibly live without it! If you have ever had your cell phone die because of a low battery, then I highly recommend buying one of these! With a built in usb port and adapters that come with it, it can charge up pretty much everything that can be charged! I have used it with my PSP, my son keeps taking it from my desk to his room to charge his cell phone, and it's really a tiny little solar-powered life saver! Wow!
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on July 17, 2014
Verified Purchase
This product shipped without two adapters one of which being the 3ds adaptor and this was the whole reason I bought it. My son has autism and is obsessed with his 3ds. I'm very disappointed to say the least. It is being returned.
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on January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase
Good idea for carrying power with you.design was thought out well.the main reason im giving it a 4 star is because it takes a while to charge and connecting points seem fragile.but rather then that im happy with it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
I've owned maybe a dozen solar chargers. This is the first I've ever had that has an indicator on the back that tells me exactly how charged it is. That makes planning for trips and conventions about 10 times easier, for one thing.

The design is fairly sturdy- it feels mostly hollow, and I wouldn't take it mountain biking, but this is definitely the second strongest solar panel I've had, and that other one cost $110.

The charging is fantastic. My iPad, iPod, and both my wife's and my own phone charge. My phone never charges to USB, and my iPod refuses to charge from anything before this came along.

It charges quickly, holds a charge well, has a mini flashlight on it, and can be plugged into a wall for speedy charging.

It also has a USB out, so instead of carrying 50 adapters with you everywhere, you can just plug any USB cable into it- very few solar chargers have that feature, requiring you to buy crappy adapters on eBay, 90% of which don't work.

By far, this is the best solar panel I've ever had!
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