Choetech 19-Watt/dual-port solar smartphone charger

There may be times when we're nowhere near a power outlet, so that might be a good time to turn to the huge ball of nuclear fusion that regularly makes an appearance in the sky. Who doesn't love free power?

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As I type this I'm waiting for my electricity to go out so the power company can change the cables. It's only a small job and the power will be back by the end of the day. But it's during situations like this that I like to have the ability to work even if I'm off the grid.

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While I have a pretty extensive battery and generator system, keeping everything charged up and working for an extended period can be quite a challenge. Devices like the iPhone and MacBook Pro draw a lot of power, and that can raise the stakes significantly.

Right now it's about 7:30AM here in the UK, and the sun won't be up for another hour, but once it's up over the horizon I'll be taking advantage of its free energy by pulling out and putting into service the Choetech 19-Watt solar charger.

Also: Should you leave your smartphone charger plugged in all the time?

The Choetech 19 Watt solar charger is a folding three-panel system that's capable of charging speed up to 2.4 Amps per port or 3 Amps total when both USB ports are used and the panel is in direct sunlight. Even in poorer conditions - such as winter in the UK - the panel still puts out enough power to trickle-charge an iPhone or a power bank (I find that using the solar panel to charge power banks to be the best setup, just keep the power banks out of direct sunlight to prevent them overheating).

Yes, even today, the panel will give me free power.

The package measures 10.2 x 6.3 x 0.7-inches when packed, and weighs in at 17oz/500g (about the same as a decently-sized power bank).


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The whole package is weather-resistant and pretty heavy duty, capable of putting up with impacts and scuffs. I've had mine both in the lab and out and about for several weeks now in all sorts of weather conditions, and it still looks and works like new.

If you want a bigger solar charger, Choetech make a bigger 24-Watt 4-panel solar charging pack more suited to heavy-duty off-grid activities.

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