Know what you're buying. These small watt solar panels for backpacking are made recharging low power devices ala a Steripen Freedom or an USB rechargeable headlamp. Cell phones are at the upper end up their capabilities and tablets are hopeless. The SolarMonkey is better than most though because of its built in battery. Although the battery is supposedly bigger than my S3's, a full charge of the SM only brought my S3 to 93% so that was disappointing. Furthermore I found the device unable to charge my phone in normal useage mode even in direct sunlight (kept it steady at a stable percentage forever though), but it was able to when I put mine in airplane mode -- The mode I backpack with it in anyway so that works for me. Remember to precharge the battery via USB and then if you can get it a few hours a day in direct sunlight you'll be able to lightly replenish your phone. This is a quality piece in a larger technological realm that isn't quite ready for prime time yet.
It’s only rated to 3 watts of power, but has a 0.7 max amp. Some larger 7 watt panels generate less (Goal Zero Nomad 7 at 0.5 max amp). Some dudes have big units, but they don’t know how to use the energy. The small SolarMonkey Adventurer works more efficiently, especially in cloudy conditions. My primary use is keeping my 7 inch tablet alive so I can look at maps while in remote areas. I also like to run some beats on the iPod Classic. I’ll have the panel while bicycle touring/hiking. The key to small scale solar energy is having reasonable expectations and monitoring the use of power. Don’t expect to charge DSLR camera batteries or keep on social media all day! And don’t expect to have same charge time as a Jamaican if you live in Alaska. Overall, I’m impressed with the technology. The materials feel nice and the construction is sound. A benefit of the clamshell design is that you can sit it on a flat surface and orient half of the panel perfectly to the sun for maximum charging.
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