Suaoki 14W Portable Solar Charger Review
Who is Suaoki?
Suaoki was found in 2015, it is one the fastest developing online retailer offering various kinds of popular products ranging from automotive, solar powered devices to laser measurement fields. As a matter of fact, they have quite few best selling items available in Amazon including this SUAOKI Portable Power Station 150Wh and their Portable Car Jump Starter.
About Suaoki 14W Portable Solar Charger
This product features an efficient solar panel, producing 14 watts of power at a maximum charging speed of 5V/2.8A or 5V/1.4A per device when put under direct sunlight. This will surely recharge your smartphones and tablets just like you were charging them from an electrical outlet at home. In fact, it has an impressive conversion rate of up to 20% and dual USB ports so that you can charge two devices simultaneously. Its foldable design includes six eyeholes that you can use for attaching it to your backpack.
SUAOKI 14W Portable Solar Charger is made of a lightweight and strong durable material to add to its portability. Besides, the solar charger itself is waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor use. Portable, efficient and instant, this product is surely one of the best portable solar chargers for outdoor enthusiasts.
Dual USB Ports
This feature is convenient for users because it allows you to charge two devices at a go. The two ports (I & A) have adequate power to charge your two devices efficiently and effectively. The built-in dual USB (5V/2.8A) ports come with a waterproof rubber cap each, implying that it will charge your devices even under wet conditions.
The ports are placed at the back of the portable solar charger, thus ensuring they are easy to access and use. For best performance, select ‘A’ port for Android devices and ‘I’ port for iOS devices.
Intelligent Charging Technology
Thanks to its intelligent charging technology, the solar charger automatically adjusts the level of power input required to provide the extra juice to your devices. This innovation allows the charger to give out optimum charging current input, which means that it will charge the device as per its demand for power. It will also reduce the charging time of the device significantly. As such, you won’t have to stay put for long just waiting for your device to fully charge so you can use it.
High Conversion Rate
This solar charger model is designed with an ETFE-coated panel that will quickly absorb the sunlight and convert it up to 20 percent solar power energy. The collected energy is enough to charge up two devices sufficiently and efficiently at the same time. Furthermore, the adjustable stand has a built-in sundial that helps you to find the perfect angle to get the most sunshine, delivering more power for charging your devices. As mentioned in the user manual, placing your solar panel properly can increase the solar panel output power by 30 percent.
Highly Portable and Lightweight
This solar charger is ultra-thin, which makes it compact for portability. This is made better by the foldable nature of the solar charger. After folding it, you can carry it on your backpack easily and embark on your outdoor adventure. All you need to do is attach the solar charger on the backpack with carabiners and in the eyeholes. The charge will stay in place as you go hiking, camping, or just walking. Besides, it would not add any significant weight to your luggage as it only weighs 13.6 ounces.
Splash and Dirt Proof
This 14W solar charger comes with an IPX5 waterproof rate. This makes it resistant to water or dust in the event that these elements are sprayed directly to it. You, therefore, can comfortably use this charger outdoors while it is hanging on its carabiners. You can also stay outdoors with this charger for however long you want. Even when the rains fall, the solar charger will still maintain its outstanding performance.
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[Product info last updated on 2020-04-09 at 18:05 | Affiliate Link | Data obtained from Amazon Product Advertising API]
What are inside the box
The portable solar charger arrived well-packaged and safe. Suaoki uses eco-friendly packing materials including the inserts made of recycled cardboard. The owner’s manual uses non-toxic materials too. First impression is great to me.
*** It would be a complete package if Suaoki can provide an extra micro usb charging cable.
On the solar panel surface, it has glossy rough ETFE coating. As stated by the manufacturer this ETFE allows it to absorb sunlight more efficiently and supports higher degree of heat (-4°F to +140°F). There are four eyeholes around the corners and two in the middle that allow you to hang it from a backpack or tent with the supplied carabiners and rope. Even the four corners are made of some durable fabric, we found that it may not be strong enough to handle some tough outdoor conditions.
The dual USB ports are encapsulated in a small plastic box located at the back of the solar panel. Each USB port comes with a rubber cap to protect it from dust and moisture. There is a visual LED in the center of the small box to indicate the charging status. Next to the box, we can see some compliance labels including CE, RoHS, FCC, WEEE, and recycling directives.
The adjustable stand has a built-in sundial which allow you to face the solar panel directly to the sunlight. As stated by the manufacturer, placing the solar panel properly can increase the solar panel output power by 30%! We found this is one of the best feature of this solar charger. No need to lookup the solar angle calculator.
The User Manual
The user manual covers six languages including English, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. The English section is only three pages long; it is precise and well-written. Instructions are simple to follow and customer support information is also included. In fact, this portable solar charger is pretty much plug-n-play and not much set-up is required.
Hands-On Field Test
Our field test was performed in a nearby community park in late November. The sky was a bit hazy due to a wild fire occurred in Northern California recently. Let's if this solar charger can pass this tough weather 🙁
How Do We Test?
The goal of our field test is to verify the solar charger can deliver what it was said in the user manual at a high level. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to perform longevity test or any of the industrial compliance & safety standard such as FCC and CE as labeled at the back of the solar panel.
Apart from the Suaoki 14W portable solar charger, an iPhone6 and the following test tools were used to perform this hands-on field test:
With the help of the test tools mentioned above, we successfully measured the maximum output power and determined the rate at which our iPhone was charged under this hazy sky.
Charging Status LED
For some reasons, we could not find anything that talk about the visual indicator LED in the user manual. From the text written on top of the USB ports, it looks like there are three different charging modes:
Mode 1.) No Charging - Solar panel is exposed to sunlight but no devices are plugged in.
Mode 2.) Charging < 0.5A - Solar panel is charging your devices with a current less than 0.5A.
Mode 3.) Charging > 0.5A - Solar panel is charging your devices with a current larger than 0.5A.
Obviously, you want to keep the solar charger in Mode 3 to achieve the shortest charging time. Since the status LED is mounted at the back of the solar panel, we do find it hard to monitor the status LED when the adjustment stand are placed on the ground.
What much power can we really get?
Surprisingly, even we do not have sunny bright blue sky, we were able to squeeze 8W out of this compact Suaoki 14W solar charger. In general, your phone consumes about 3-4W when charging from an outlet at home; hence this is not bad considering when power grid is out of reach in the wild.
When we plugged in our iPhone with the Drok load tester, we were still able to get about 8W from this solar panel. Note that a small amount of power was delivered to the two USB digital multi-meters; however, it should be negligible (~ 0.2V drops across a USB digital multi-meter) comparing to the power consumed by the iPhone and the load tester. Perhaps we shall repeat this filed test next summer when lovely California sunshine is back. For the time being, this is the best result we can achieve with this solar charger.
How fast can it charge your phone?
We only ran this charging speed test with an iPhone6; with a hazy day in early November around noon time, the solar charger gave us a 5% boost in 10 minutes. Comparing to your Apple 5V/1A charger, it typically gives 10-15% increase in 10 minutes.
We have tested many solar chargers and what sets this charger apart from other models is that it’s lightweight, water-resistant, and dirt-resistant. Its two ports make it highly versatile because they allow you to charge two devices at the same time. The intelligent charging technology and high rate of power conversion make the charger a worthy buy.
This SUAOKI 14W Portable Solar Charger might not as powerful as other high end portable solar panel, but there is no doubt that it is highly efficient considering its compact size. Although it failed to produce the max output power of 14 watts in our field test, it should have enough power (8 Watts) to charge up two smartphones when a power outlet is out of reach. If you like to spend time outdoors or go camping, this solar charger is definitely something you may consider purchasing.
That’s it for now! If you’ve found this review useful, please share this article with your buddies and let us know in the comments below or leave a comment on our social pages. For full disclosure, we did receive this solar charge from SUAOKI for a honest review.
1. If my device needs an input current of 1A, will the 2A output charger damage it?No. Enabled by intelligent charging technology, charger can change the delivered current of the solar depending on the need of your electronic devices. If your iPhone require 1A as input, the charger will deliver 1A.
2. The solar charger is not charging my devices. What should I do?
3. If the weather is partially cloudy or shady, will the solar charger still work?Yes, the solar charger works in cloudy days, but it will become less effective and the charging time will be prolonged as a result.
4. What is the difference between the 2 USB ports (A port and I port)?You can charge your devices with either USB port, but for the best performance, you need to charge iOS devices with I port and Android devices with A port.
5. What is ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)This product has adopted ETFE coating. Compared with PET-coated panel, ETFE-coated panel can absorb sunlight more efficiently. Compared with Nylon, ETFE-coated panel is also more durable because it could protect the panel from pollutants.