Portable solar chargers are a good idea in principle. Too bad they are all ugly, clunky and inconvenient — right? Wrong. Well, right in many ways, but wrong at least in this one instance. For years it seems like I’ve been hunting for a solar powered portable charger that didn’t suck. That all changed when I found the Solpro Helios.
The Solpro Helios is a very compact, distinctly stylish, fast and capable portable solar charger that can store tons of juice and charge multiple devices simultaneously. By a radical margin,
I travel a lot. That means that I need a good portable charger with me for all the Netflix watching Spotify listening while waiting at airport terminals and while in the air, for an extra boost of energy when I’ve been using my phone to snap pictures and to navigate around foreign territory and for making sure my phone doesn’t die during an important meeting.
A good portable charger comes in handy when I’m not on the road as well. Like when I’m hiking or just pushing my phone to the limit during a normal day (as any jogger knows — jogging with location tracking on can kill your phone’s battery pretty quickly).
As a tech blogger I’ve tested my fair share of portable chargers. And there are actually plenty of good performers and a few decent lookers to choose from. But most have a big problem; they need to be connected to a power source themselves in order to recharge. So they are only portable up to a point. They aren’t ultra-portable. But the Solpro Helios is.
Importantly, the Helios is small. In it’s compact (folded) form, it’s about the same width as my iPhone 6 Plus, almost an inch shorter and perhaps just a bit heavier. It’s about as thick as a deck of playing cards. When unfolded, the Helio stretches from about the elbow to the wrist of an adult man. That makes it easily small enough to fit into a pocket on a pair of guys shorts, if needed, or more likely into a backpack or briefcase pocket.
The Helios comes in several great colors including orange, black and white. My test unit is orange and I have to say it looks really good. I like the splash of color. Many — or even most — portable chargers I’ve tried have been a bland ...