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Solio Classic Universal Hybrid Charger

Posted

Pros: Love the idea

Cons: Bizarre instructions, my cell doesn't fit the standard connector tips

This was part of my lovely prize pack, so I really want to be able to write up a glowing report.  However, this is only the begining of my review...as I have not successfully used the solio yet!!

 

We took it with us on our trip to Canada.  I charged the thing up, no problem.  However, I didn't realize that if I wanted to use the solio, I needed to bring a cord with me (the instructions are incredibly vague- they are actually illustration instructions rather than written instructions...), so usage attempt number 1- failed.

 

Back in our apartment, I figured out the cord problem, and was going to try charging my cell phone.  But my cell phone doesn't fit any of the standard connector tips (LG VX8300).  It will work for Matt's cell, and our iPods, so some day I will try the solio out, but so far, it hasn't been happening.  :(

Posted

Pros: Easy to use, able to charge MANY devices, alternative energy conversation starter.

Cons: Charge up time...

This cool little solar hybrid charger is an easy way to take re-charge power with you where ever you go... As the picture shows, it has 3 small solar modules that are exposed when you unfurl it into a propeller shape. A short pencil or stick through the middle hole will allow you to prop it up at an angle for better solar charging. It also ships with a suction cup so you can stick it to windows while driving or flying to charge it. When not charging the panels slide on top of each other into a kind of flat egg shape that fits in your pocket, or just about anywhere else. This "Classic" version of the solio is available in a few colors like silver, black, pink, and white. It is also a "hybrid" in that if you don't have a day or two (or three) of sunlight to charge it up, you can plug it into a wall outlet to charge it's internal battery as well.

It only has one button on it. If you want to know how much charge is in it, press the button once. 1 flash = 25%, 2 flashes = 50%, 3 = 75%, and 4 = 100%... When you are ready to charge a device, you attach an appropriate addapter (several "tips" ship with it, many others can be ordered for an additional charge), attach your device to that adapter - and press the above mentioned button once. It will first flash green the number of times relevant to how much charge it has left, then it starts to a repetative shorter flash meaning that it is charging.

One adapter you may consider ordering is the standard 12v car-style adapter. Many devices come with car chargers and this allows you to attach any of those to the Solio.

<<Updated>>  Before the last two big software updates on the iPhone, the Solio seemed to only be able to charge it to 50%... while draining the Solio's entire battery.  It will charge it up just fine now - some of the software/firmware patches for the iPhone involved battery life, so perhaps a fix helpled the charging...  It will tend to drain the Solio's battery completely if left to charge for too long.  I am guessing that once the battery is charged (and probably while it is charging, to some extent) the iPhone uses what it thinks is "grid power" to energize WIFI and such. 


For my iPhone, I only charge it with my Solio or in the car (hybrid). No grid power at all... Been going fine that way for close to a year. If I need to charge the Solio - I just leave it in the back yard during the day proped up with a pencil while I am out... I don't need it every day so the 8-10 hour charging time is no big deal for my useage.  It usually takes me 2 days for a full charge, but if completely drained - 3 days...

...it also is a good alternative energy conversation starter!

Posted

Pros: backup power, easy to carry, impressive

Cons: long time to charge battery, first version of product

The Solio is a great device if you are on the go. This product lets you charge small devices such as your cell phone or ipod through the sun. How it works is basically three small solar panels with a small battery, the user can charge the device through the sun or can plug the solio into an outlet. The acutal solio is nicley designed and built, but the connector tips to connect the Solio to your phone or ipod are very poorly made. I feel that is the downside to the product, the company did not spend much time developing the connection tips and it shows. Charing the Solio from the sun takes about 8-10 hours, charing it through an outlet takes 6 hours. 60 minutes of Sun exposure can give your mobile phone 10 mins of talk time.

The solio is not the most user friendly device to know if the solio is fully charged or not, you have to count flashes of a light, for example 1 flash indicates 25% charge, 2 flashes indicates 50% charge, 3 flashes indicates 75% charge, and 4 flashes indicates 100%....this could be annoying to understand how much charge is left in the solio becasue the falshing light can be difficult to see outdoors.

This products looks really cool and charging it with the sun will impress the people you know. This is first generation product, so I can only see it getting much better in the future.

Posted

Pros: Doesn't require a plug when travelling, great conversation starter

Cons: Takes a while to charge, I need to buy more adapters each time I change a phone, etc.

I love this toy! I've owned it for about 3 years now and it's great thing to have when travelling. It's also a great conversation piece. I do wish it took a little less time to charge. If you're not in an overly sunny area, it can be a bit of a problem. Plus, each time I've upgraded a phone or my palm pilot, I have to buy more adapters. Minor complaints when compared to the convenience. It's a great product.

Solio Classic Universal Hybrid Charger
By:
Description:

Solio™, the Universal "Hybrid" Charger is powerful enough to charge all of your handheld electronic products at home or on the move, anywhere under the sun. Solio is a Hybrid because it can accept power from either the sun or the wall storing this energy within Solio's internal rechargeable battery. Solio then uses this energy to power your gadgets at the same rate as your wall adapter. Solio will also hold its charge for up to a year. Solio limits your need to purchase and carry around multiple chargers and is your one stop charging solution for all of your products from cell phones and iPods, to digital cameras, game players, and GPS. * A fully charged Solio Classic will charge a typical mobile phone more than twice or give over 20 hours of iPod music. * Just 1 hour of sunshine = 20 minutes talk time or 50 minutes of MP3 music.* * Provides an emergency power source when away from power outlets. * Battery is easily replaceable and lasts for up to one year * Works with multiple gadgets, including mobile phones, iPhone™, Bluetooth® headsets, smartphones/PDAs, MP3 players, portable gaming devices, digital cameras, GPS and much more (tips for most devices come included.) * Reusable - use it again and again. * Compact lightweight design - convenient for travel or emergency use. To check the compatibility of your device with Solio, please visit our Device Compatibility page. * Performance times may vary slightly depending on type of device and intensity of sunlight.

Details:
DetailValue
Size4.72 x 1.34 x 2.56 in (120 x 34 x 63.5 mm
Additional Features6 Watts maximum wattage; -4F to 131F (-20C to 55C) temperature range; Available in pink, white, black, silver
Rated Power/Wattage Generated
Release Date
Type
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Related Media/Links:

 

Applications:

This charger can be used with

  • Cell Phones/iPhones
  • iPod/MP3 Players
  • Smart Phone/PDA
  • game players
  • GPS
  • Digital Cameras


Things to Consider

From my experience using the Solio, there are some "tips" for the tips needed.   When I purchased the Solio on-line direct from their site, it came with a starter pack of several tips to attach to various devices.  These would be tips like USB, mini-USB, Motorola, Nokia, and others (site will list them).  The main tip you might think of getting is the standard 12v socket tip (like a 12v car socket) - with this tip, any car charger can plug into your Solio, which might save you buying individual tips for multiple devices.  Be reasonable tho - don't think it could charge a portable DVD player that has a huge NiCad battery 3 times the size of the Solio itself (LOL).  Also, the Solio site states specficially that you should not attempt to attach any 12v inverters to it...

 

It also comes with a wall charger if you need to plug it in.  This can be handy if you know you will need it to have a full charge in the morning (no daylight left).  Kinda defeats the advantage of the solar aspect of the charger, but there are situations where this can be handy - to get a friend's item charged the next day, or you know you will have really heavy use on your rechargable item the next day and no time to wait for the solar charge.  It's wall charger's prongs can be removed -  mine came with  a set of international prong types so it could be used all over the world.  ...of course, the solar panels can be used anywhere that has daylight as well  :-)

 

Troubleshooting/Known Issues:

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How To:

Advice on installation, customization, and anything else.

 

 

Related Products and Accessories:

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Green Options › Eco Friendly Green Products › Renewable Energy Systems › Solar Power › Solar Accessories › Solio Classic Universal Hybrid Charger