Even if you have a high-end smartphone with a large battery inside, there are still many instances where you may run out of battery while on the go. Likewise, there are many other smart and mobile devices that may require charging when you are not at home.
For the same, you can find a wide range of portable power options for charging your smartphone and other portable devices. Among all these options available, you can basically find solar chargers and power banks as the most viable options. To help you understand more about solar chargers and power banks as well as choose the right charger between them, we are here with a complete comparison of solar chargers and power banks.
You can find all the important factors and details of these shipping solutions below. And by going through these options, you can easily choose the right one between solar chargers and power banks.
What are solar chargers?
Since power banks are more common and readily available, you may want to learn about solar chargers first. Similar to any other solar panel that is installed on the roof of your home or office, these solar chargers also use sunlight or solar energy to produce electricity.
This electricity can then be used to power your mobile devices with the help of USB ports provided by these solar chargers. To understand more about solar chargers and whether they are the right option for you, you can consider checking out their following pros and cons:
Advantages of solar chargers
- Solar chargers are completely free to use since they use solar energy from the sun to power your devices.
- Most solar chargers can easily last a lifetime with no limit to the number of charges they can provide.
- Unlike batteries or other energy sources, solar chargers are more environmentally friendly because they use a renewable energy source.
Disadvantages of solar chargers
- Unlike a power bank, most solar chargers are larger in size making them a less portable option.
- Solar chargers will not work at night, on a rainy day, or in areas that are not exposed to much sunlight.
What is a power bank?
Coming to power banks which are a more popular option for powering your mobile devices on the go, you may already be familiar with them. If not, power banks are basically battery packs that can be pre-charged to charge your mobile devices on the go later. You can simply charge the battery of your power bank and then use the electricity stored in it to power your mobile devices easily. Similar to solar chargers, power banks also have their own pros and cons which have been introduced as follows:
Pros of power bank
- The power bank can be used anytime or anywhere regardless of sunlight as long as your power bank has some charge remaining inside it.
- Compared to most solar chargers, power banks are much cheaper and more affordable.
- Depending on the capacity of the power bank you choose, most power banks will be very small and portable in size.
Disadvantages of power banks
- Even with a high quality power bank, the internal batteries will provide a limited number of charges as they will run out of capacity and the same power bank will have to be charged again.
- Your power bank’s actual capacity will also decrease over time since all batteries have a finite number of charge cycles.
Power bank details and specifications
Although we have already provided the pros and cons of power banks above, power banks also have many specifications and details that you need to take into consideration. Thus, before moving on to the comparison of solar chargers and power banks, you should familiarize yourself with these specifications about power banks as shown here:
- size and weight: You need to check the exact weight and dimensions of your power bank before purchasing one. Whether you want to carry it in your pocket or in your backpack, a 150g power bank will be much more practical and ideal than a 250g power bank. Likewise, a 9″ x 4″ x 6″ power bank will be more portable than a 12″ x 5″ x 9″ power bank.
- charging capacity: Unlike a solar charger, all power banks have a specific charging capacity that tells you the maximum amount of charge or electrical energy that can be stored inside. For the same, you can find charging capacity ratings like 10000mAh, 20000mAh, 30000mAh and even higher where the higher charging capacity allows you to easily charge your mobile device multiple times.
- Shipping time: While using a high charging capacity is very useful for charging multiple devices, it also means that the power bank itself will take longer to fully charge. For this reason, it is also recommended to check the charging time rating of your power bank. Any power bank that can be fully charged in 3-4 hours will be practically more than one that takes 5-6 hours to be fully charged with the same charging capacity.
Size differences between solar chargers and power banks
After learning all about both solar chargers and power banks, you may also want to learn about the differences between them. For the same thing, let’s first check out the size differences between solar chargers vs power banks.
Starting with solar chargers, despite the fact that most of them have a foldable design, all solar chargers must be opened if you want to use them to charge anything. And when opened, most solar chargers will be even bigger than a laptop. As for power banks, even if you have a good charging capacity of 10,000mAh, most of these power banks will easily fit in your hand or pocket making them a much better portable option.
Weight differences between solar chargers and power banks
While the smaller size helps keep your power bank in your pocket, things change completely when you go with larger power banks that you can carry in your backpack. This is where solar chargers can be a lighter weight option especially if you carry several high capacity power banks in your power bank.
Most importantly, if you’re going to be away from home for several days, your power banks will be useless weights once they run out of charging capacity making solar chargers a lightweight option if you want to carry them in your backpack.
Price differences between solar chargers and power banks
Before deciding to buy between solar chargers vs power banks based on the above details, you also need to consider the price differences between them. Without checking the price differences between solar chargers vs power banks, you may not be able to choose the right value for money. Unfortunately, the price difference between them is one thing where things get a bit complicated.
While the pricing of power banks depends on their charging capacity, solar chargers have different prices based on their power output. For this reason, you can find most power banks from major brands ranging from $15 to $150. For solar chargers, most major brands will offer solar chargers ranging from $20 to $300. While solar chargers may seem like a more expensive option, they offer an unlimited number of charges. So, you can choose between any of them depending on your budget and type of use.
Now that you have checked all these important details and factors related to solar chargers vs power banks, you should have a good idea of the differences between them. While both are great options for charging mobile devices on the go, both are ideal for different types of applications.
While a power bank is a more reliable option, solar chargers are ideal for multiple devices while you are away from home for several days. In fact, you can also consider getting both depending on your ideal use and application. If you have gone through all the information regarding the comparison of solar chargers vs power banks mentioned above, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions there if you have any!