So you’re in the middle of no where and want to play WhaleTrail. You pull out your iPhone but curses! Another dead battery… What are you going to do?!
Well you could level up and charge that iPhone like now with technology from a small company named GoalZero.
They make solar and stored energy solutions ranging from iPod to refrigerator. Starting at the smallest option, try the Guide 10 Plus Mobile Kit which includes a small solar panel and battery charger. Unlike most external boost chargers like those made by Mophie, you can remove spent rechargeable and add in fresh ones. This gives you almost unlimited capacity.
The unit can charge NiMH AA or AAA batteries with the supplied USB cable or from the solar panel. You can buy the charger separately from the panel for $39 or with even with a larger 7 watt panel the could charge faster for $139.00.
And of course the panel has USB power output to charge your iPhone directly via your charge/sync cable. The only con is that you’ll need uninterrupted direct sunlight for several hours for a charge. This has to do with the way that the iPhone accepts chargers. If you let any shade on the panel, the power dips and the iPhone thinks your using an unsupported charger. It will then not even accept full power from the panel until you reconnect the cable. The end result is returning to a phone that you left charging an hour earlier to find that it filled 2% before losing power.
All in all, it is still worth purchasing. The kit has provided hours of music in the sun, hours away from any power source.