The Levin charger does come with a lot surprises which other solar chargers in the price range do not offer. The charger with all the product specifications does justice to the pricing. Read on the review to find out where it lacks when compared to costly competitors.
In the box
The Levin Solstar product boxing would contain a Solstar External Battery, hook, micro USB cable, instruction manual.
Levin solstar charger is capable of charging-
iPhone 5S 5C 5 4S 4, iPods(Apple Adapters not Included),
Samsung Galaxy S5 S4, S3, S2, Note 3, Note 2,
Most Kinds of Android Smart Phones ,Windows phone and many other devices
Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 3 x 0.5 inches ; 5.3 ounces
Color: Blue, Green, Yellow
The Solstar charger is claimed to be the first solar charger which is rain-resistant & shock-proof. Well, there do exists solar chargers which are water-resistant, shock-resistant and also bullet resistant!! . But those chargers will cost you more than $150. In that regard Levin charger is the first charger which is rain-resistance, shock-proof and also costs less than $30.
Please do note that Solstar charger is rain-resistant and not water-resistant. As confusing as it sounds, it means that it can tolerate rain drops but not a complete drench in the water.
The charger is one wholesome package containing a monocrystalline solar panel, a micro-USB input port, 2 USB output ports and a flashlight.
On the front face the charger has the 1.2w monocrystalline solar panel, a power button to toggle the solar charging and on double tap of the button the flashlight switches on. The front side also has 4 LED charge indicator buttons. Each LED indicates that the charger’s battery is 25% full.
1st LED(from left) is lit-25% full,
1st, 2nd LEDs are lit- 50% full
1st, 2nd, 3rd LEDs are lit-75% full
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th LEDs are lit 100% full
On the right hand top corner you can find the flashlight, a 1A output USB port with a padded silicone cover to protect the port from water spill. On the left hand top corner there are 2 ports- a 1A output USB port and a 1A input micro-USB port, both protected with a common padded silicon casing.
On the sides, it has carved texture for easy gripping.
On the back face, the charger has anti-skid protection honey-comb pattern to protect it from sliding down the slope. If you are a hiker you would know how important that magical piece of carving is for preventing Trichotillomania(disorder of hair-pulling). Overall it has a rubberized rugged look.
The charger has a monocrystalline solar panel with a power rating of 1.2W. The charger can be charged with these solar panels as well as charged through USB charging using your laptop. The capability to charge two devices at a time is rare feature for chargers in this price range.
With a built-in 5000mAh Lithium polymer battery, the charger can get you to places for 2-3 days if it’s used continuously to charge your smartphone. The battery is made up of Grade A cells and premium microchips.
The battery can withstand a total of more than 1000 cycles of charging and recharging. Let me repeat that, Levin will take a total of 1000 recharging cycles before it quits working. Most of the battery packs and solar chargers do have maximum of 500 cycles before they collapse, so this one is kind of a deal.
On the downside, a fully charged 5000mAh charger battery can only provide an effective 3000mAh energy. Which equates to around 60% battery charge holding capacity.
The flashlight is one crazy addition to this charger. The flashlight can last for an extreme duration of around 2 weeks on one complete charge.
Battery charging time
The battery can be solar charged completely within 4-5 days.
Levin gives this product a 12 months worry-free product guarantee. Product guarantee is a rare thing which no other manufacturer in this industry provides. If the manufacturer could keep their word then this charger is trustworthy.
- Rugged, rubberized solid charger.
- It’s dust, shock and rain-resistant.
- It contains 2 output port and hence can charge 2 devices at a time.
- Longer charger lifespan of 1000+ charging cycles.
- Great and long lasting flashlight
- Around 1/4 probability of receiving a defective product which can charge only few times.
- Low battery charge holding efficiency of around 60%.
- As stated in the product description, the solar charging option is for emergency situation which makes it not a dependable solar charger. It can be used as a battery pack.
Solar chargers are awesome only when they cost more than $50 in todays solar advancement. For those solar chargers which cost less than 50$, either the wattage and solar efficiency is on the lower end to charge a device completely or the product has a large order defect rate.
Levin solstar does a have lot of unexpected surprises, but is not a viable option as a full fledged hiking/camping solar charger. For extreme campers/hikers, you may wanna buy something with higher wattage(a solar charger with more than 10w).
You don’t want to be late to realize that the charger you bought yesterday will not help you to charge your phone once it is dead when you’re being chased down by a bear. It would be great for your solar charger purchase decision if you could read through the article on best portable solar chargers for iPhone. All the chargers listed in that article are rated by the combination of portability, effectiveness and consumer satisfaction.