On this very wet British morning my postman handed me a soggy jiffy bag from China. Inside was a black box containing my new iPhone Solar powered sheath (as they call it).
It was well packaged and only took a week to get here. If i remember rightly i payed around $50 including postage and packaging from a company in Hong Kong called Brando.
Here is a first look..
So far so good, the instructions are pretty easy to follow and at the moment the iPhone is sat on my office window quietly charging.
I will tell you more after a proper test.
After a day of testing my solar powered case appears to have died. Do not buy one of these until I find out what exactly has happened. It appears that during heavy use whilst with the battery switched to charge, the unit over heats and the battery breaks. It got really hot during use and now the lights won’t work and it doesn’t charge the iPhone. More info when i have it.
can you use the phone while it’s in the the charger case?
Ian Shepherd says
This is a great idea, I hope it works ! And I hope I can find one for iPod Touch…
Hi Ian, I will try it out with an ipod touch on Friday.. and Jo, i have been using it but i will test fully tomorrow. Cheers.. 🙂
Tom Sparks says
Christian, thats a great idea, especially since the iPhone needs recharging so often. Please report back after a couple weeks use.
Michael Tefft says
I don’t have an iPhone but the idea of a solar powered case/charger is very cool and very green. Just hope you have enough sunny days in UK for it to work. 😉
Excellent, thanks ! And yes, the appeal is double since (a) it’s greener but (b) as Tom says they run down so fast. Not sure about the flappy bit hanging down, though… I’d like one with the solar bit on the back and an open front so it can still be used.
Hi Ian, there are other case styles available.. I think that with an open screen facing down all the time it would be sure to get damaged.. I like the fact i can lift the flap to a window and not let the iPhone get too hot.
Leaving tech in the sun is not always a good idea but here in the UK the sun is hardly ever that hot anyway.
John Piercy says
Incredible … so now if you forget your charger you can always count on the case to get you through the day ..
Very clever device … being that IPhones dont have a exceptional battery .
Why is it only available in China ?
You might be right about screen damage but it could have a plastic cover ? And wouldn’t the thickness of the case keep it clear of surfaces ? Good point about lifting the flap and keeping the sun off it, though.
Is the case missing a hole for the camera?
It appears that way. Aside from that omission it appears that one could use both in tandem when the situation dictates. Which is useful indeed.
I bought it and it had charged only once and I returned for a replace.
New one came did the same and never charges again.
Please do not buy until people report good feed back, otherwise you will trap in this cheap chinese gadget.
Thank you Shuji. I have emailed the company and will tell them to read your comment. I would like to think that they are the kind of company that will resolve this issue. This blog post is getting a lot of readers and I think it in the interest of Brando.com to sort this out so the potential customers stopping by here can see what the issues are. If anyone wants to contact the company directly please email.. firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me know how you go.
Hi. Any luck getting the issues resolved?
Hi Bruce. i have sent the case back to the manufacturers and am willing to give it another shot. I will test the replacement in the same way and see if it also fails.
I got one of those too, from solararcadia.com.
Same problem, after one charge is totally dead even when the blue lights show 100% charge.
Do not buy it!!
Any update? I want one if it works…
I have another one that i am testing but to be honest.. i think there are better devices out there and this is just a bit shoddy to be called reliable.. I would not be able to comfortably recommend it i am afraid.
SOLARARCADIA.com Solar CHARGERS will WORK JUST FOR A DAY AND WILL BRAKE I GOT MY REPLACE ONES AND STOP WORKING TWO HOURS LATER THEY SAID I WAS GOING TO GET IT REPLACE BUT I NEVER GOT A NEW ONE NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM NONE OF THEIR SOLARCHARGERS WORK. DON’T BUY ANY
i have the solar charger and it dose not buzz or show that it is charging my iphone at all
I noticed Brando no longer has this product listed. So maybe they’re abandoning it or reworking it?
I’m going to Mexico in April and leaving my laptop and all tech except for my digital camera and iPhone. I had hopes this would be an option for keeping the iPhone charged while down there. The pueblo has intermittent electricity. Oh well. Off to look for other options.
I’ll subscribe to these comments just in case you find the replacement you got is any better. 🙂
this stuff is so nice
solar is the new way
i have bought this one and i cant leave it
its very nice as well
i can load half battery in 30 min
i will be the boss on the beach this summer ! 🙂
My experience is all too common apparently. It charged one time before dying and becoming inoperable.
I would avoid this one until their quality is under control. Expensive little piece of trash – not very green if you throw it away after the first use.
i bought a red model from solararcadia.com to use when i go hiking and camping. it’s still working great after a week (i’m on spring break, so i’ve been using it almost daily 😉
i’ll report back after some more time using it, but so far so good.
HAHA its Seth Rogan with an english accent!!
POTENTIAL FIX!!!!! I bought a similar case, however it’s silicone and doesn’t have a flap with the solar cell, the cell is located on the back of the unit. It did the same thing, worked for 1/2 of a day and died, no lights, nothing. It turns out that the USB cable that they supplied was junk. Try another USB cable and charge the case overnight (without the iphone in it). After that it works great! Another cool thing that I found out, was that it lights up when the solar cell is active and charging the battery!
Long story short, after experiencing the same issues as everyone else last year I took SolarArcadia at their word that they would replace the model with the new Surge when it came out in Dec, Jan, it will ship in Feb We promise. Now I am being told that I must purchase it and nothing back from them about the previous emails promising replacement or refund. I don’t believe this company is a good one to purchase anything from! They do not know what customer service is and just promise/delay everything.