Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic review

It’s summertime and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than with the portable Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic! You can carry it around in your pocket and use to lengthen the time you have to listen to your tunes, enjoy your videos, and engage in social chit-chat while outdoors!

The Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic has three solar cells that power a lithium-ion battery with a rated output of 1.5 to 5.5 Watts. This basically means it will charge your iPhone, but not your iPad. That's not great, but it's part of the price we pay for Apple cramming such a giant, power hungry battery into the iPad.

The Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic is compatible with a multitude of phones and other assorted gadgets. In the case of the iPhone and iPod touch, it uses a USB adapter that you plug your Apple provided Dock cable into.

If you want to charge your non-Apple gear, the Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic has a number of handy, if confusing, adapters to fit myriad types of connections, and more can be bought online if the one that fits your device isn’t provided.

The name has the word “Hybrid” in Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic means that you can charge up the Lithium ION battery not only with solar power, but with good old electricity before heading out if you so wish. Just use the USB cable from your laptop or AC adapter. However, if you have a steady beam of light, the charger, even when completely drained, will use the Solar panels to charge your phone. It was even able to use indoor lighting to charge my iPhone. Pretty awesome.

It'll also hold a charge for up to a year. Equally awesome.

The Solio Hybrid Solar Charger Classic comes with a funny looking suction cup that is reversible so that you can leave the charger on a window or on a table and not worry of it falling.

The good

  • Can also be charged electrically
  • Can charge using indoor light (?!)
  • Includes a wide variety of adapters

The bad

  • Can't charge iPad
  • Not the latest/greatest technology

The bottom line

I like the charger for it’s convenience and portability but I certainly wish it had greater output capacity in solar mode to charge my iPad. It's also a rather old piece of technology now, and while it works, I certainly look forward to reviewing more modern and -- dare I say it? -- futuristic solar charging solutions.

  • So, how long does it take to charge the iPhone with a solar charger?
  • This is Andy from Solio. The version that was reviewed has a 1680 mAh battery. This provides 1.25 recharges for an iPhone. It will take a full day (8 hours) of direct sunlight to capture a full 1680 mAh. Watch out for shading and pivot the Solio to always face the sun. We use iPhones with the Ringcentral app as office phones and we self-power our phones using the ledges of our south-facing windows each day.
  • Manufacturer claims 1 hour of sunlight equals 20 minutes of talk time or 50 minutes of MP3 music.
  • Hi Anthony,
    My name is Aitan from Inferno Solar in Australia.
    I was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing our iPhone Solar Charger. It can be viewed at listed under Portable Solar Chargers.
    Please let me know if there is any interest & many thanks.
  • This is Andy from Better Energy Systems/ Solio. Thank you for doing this review however you have reviewed a several-year-old product. Our new product have a full sized USB output and mode switching for Apple and CTIA specific charging requirements. All of our new products deliver a 1AMP output and therefore do power iPad. Solio also powers KIndle and other e-readers. Solio powers smartphones like the iPhone at the same rate as a wall charger. Please see our new products at solio dot com
  • While some will crow about how "green" this is and all that silliness, one real use for this device will be for disaster preparedness.