ReVIVE Series Solar ReStore 1500 mAh External Battery Pack USB
(1 Epinions review)
ReVIVE Solar ReStore 1500mAh External Battery Pack: A compact solar charger for backpacking and emergencies.
Nov 29, 2011 (Updated Nov 29, 2011)
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Compact. Solar charger. Light.
Cons:Flimsy, solar charger only charges battery half way. LED light is dim.
The Bottom Line: This is an inexpensive solar charger that can be charged by the solar panel or (preferably)with a USB port.
This is a perfect solar USB charger for camping and backpacking. And the price is right. It is compact and works as advertised.
Recommend this product?
When I first got this in the mail I was concerned. It felt too light and the body felt a little too flexible. At the time my other pack was the Tekkeon 4AA USB charger which was considerably heavier and not quite as powerful. This was before I bought my 1800mAh Duracell USB chargers that are also very light. I was also disappointed to find that the solar panel only charges the 1500mAh battery to 50% capacity. Apparently I neglected to read the product description thoroughly enough. Also the USB port felt a little loose, but so far in the past two months it has not failed on me.
This unit has two USB ports, one input and one output. It also has a solar panel which only charges the battery to 50%. Internally it has a 1500mAh battery. The output port is the normal USB output port. The input is a mini-USB port (the trapezoid shaped one).
For my first test, I first charged the ReVIVE Solar ReStore through a USB port and let it charge my depleted Droid X. It took the ReVIVE Solar ReStore about 90 minutes to charge the Droid X to 80% (which is normal for this battery capacity.) It did feel about 20% faster than the Tekkeon, but I didn’t formally time it so I may be wrong.
After seeing it charge my Droid X, and seeing the ReVIVE outperform my Tekkeon, I was relatively happy with it. It is also a fairly small object compared to the Tekkeon I own (well before it died on me that is).
As mentioned, I am very disappointed that the unit’s solar panel only charges the battery to 50%. But for the price I shouldn’t have been surprised. If it did charge to 100% it would have been bigger, more expensive, or taken 12(+) hours to fully charge from the sun.
To check the battery level, there is a button on the back with 4 lights. Press the button and the lights tells you if the battery is at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%.
The light brightness and color are not very good. It is a cheaper bulb. It has a strong bluish tint to it. The bulb is not very bright. It is not bright enough to walk with. It is barely bright enough to read with but it will strain your eyes pretty quickly. I also fully charged the battery and tested the life of the LED bulb. I found that it was usable for about 20 hours. So it can act as an emergency flashlight in a worst case scenario. It did last longer than that but I feel the light was unusable in my opinion.
Durability is definitely a concern. It is not a very strong case and I don’t take care of my stuff. So I am afraid that it will crack or juggle loose in the next year (I've only had this for 2 months as of this initial posting). But this is merely speculation based on my experience with other electronic devices. I will certainly update this if I have any durability issues later on. If this review isn’t updated, then it hasn’t died on me yet.
It charges well in direct sunlight. It has to be angled slightly and face south (in the northern hemisphere). It will not charge from indirect light and will not charge in a room of florescent lights. I’ve tried. I also charged it on my truck dashboard. But like I’ve mentioned, it only charges to 50% when using solar power only.
I bought this as another USB recharge option. Ya I’m going a little crazy in my quest for USB power. I find this to be ideal for my cell phones and handheld gaming systems, while camping or backpacking. I really liked the option of recharging it with sunlight for camping trips. Between this and my 2 Goal 0 solar chargers, I am set to play games off the grid during world war 3. I’ll be mutated from the radiation, but as long as I got my DS and Droid X I’ll be fine.
I am a little hesitant to recommend this to anyone other than an outdoor enthusiast. There are better options out there for someone that just needs to recharge their low power electronics such as an iPhone. If all you want is a portable USB charging staiont then these non-solar panel USB chargers are a better option for the price. I recently bought some Duracell USB chargers that work beautifully. And many of these chargers feel more durable. If you are a backpacker and you want something light weight that will charge a phone you don’t use much, then this is a good option. If you need a lot of power then I suggest getting a Goal Zero compact solar panel system. If you can charge your USB charger every night when you go home, then don’t bother with this solar charger. It is designed for backpackers, campers, or during emergencies.
Portable Battery and Charger - Charge Via Solar Power (up to 50%) or USB Port (USB cable included)
1500mAh Battery and USB output will charge USB powered devices including cell
phones, Mp3s, & more. Output? DC5V±5% 600mAH Max. Solar charge: 120mA
Charging and capacity indicator on back show charge status and remaining power level
Includes Mini USB Charge Cable. Ships in environmentally friendly, easy to open packaging
Features built-in twistable LED flashlight - Flexible & adjustable positioning design great for camping, reading, driving, & more
Weight and dimensions
Weight: 5/8 ounce
Length: 4.75 inches
Width: 2 5/8 inches
Height: 1/2 inch
Capacity: 1500 mAh
© Alan Lake's Kitchen 2011
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