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Battle of the Sub $50 Solar Chargers: Energizer vs Freeloader

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By Jeffrey

Got $50 and want a nifty solar charger to power your cell phone, iPod, or even your computer?

Well good news for you, there are several options for under $50.

But which one is the best?


Tons of people are looking for solar chargers for their many gadgets and devices… and for the first time ever they’re actually halfway affordable.


2 Awesome Solar Charging Options


#1 – Energizer Solar Charger

The image you see above on the right is Energizer’s new solar charger that dropped at CES yesterday.

The folks over at Gizmodo described it best saying,

“Energizer’s Solar Recharger looks, at first glance, like a confused device. Is it an iPod battery extender? AA charger? Solar adapter? Well, it’s all of these things, which is why it’s awesome.”

Unfortunately, as YahooTech reported earlier today, this solar charger will take a full 20 hours to charge 2 AA batteries via the solar panel.


I wonder what the speedy Energizer bunny thinks about that!

No doubt that this device is an A/C powered rechargeable battery charger 1st and solar powered charger 2nd.

This solar charging device will be available for $49 sometime in early summer.


#2 – Freeloader Solar Charger

Unlike the Energizer model, the Freeloader Solar Charger by Solar Technology International is a true solar powered charger, first and foremost.

DVICE hinted yesterday that the Freeloader charger has been newly updated for compatibility with the iPhone and other iPod models.

From the Solar Technology site:

“Freeloader takes power from its solar panels or via a supplied charge cable that plugs into a computers’ USB. Once charged, Freeloaders internal battery can power an iPod for 18hours, a mobile phone for 44 hours, PSP for 2.5 hours a PDA for 22 hours and much much more.”

Freeloader runs on an internal Li-ion battery, verses the Energizer’s AA or AAA rechargeable batteries.

It’s internal battery can be charged in as little as 8 hours by the sun, and 3 hours by a supplied USB cable.

The supplied USB cable comes with adapters to fit:

  • Nokia phones old 3.5mm jack and the new 2mm jack
  • LG Chocolate, LG shine and Prada phones
  • Samsung A288 and D800 current series phones
  • Sony Ericsson K750 and K800i current series phones
  • Nintendo DS Lite
  • iPod
  • 4mm jack for Sony PSP, Tom Tom, most digital cameras, PDAs, 2-way radios
  • Mini USB for Motorola, Blackberry, Qtec, Smartphone, iMate, most digital cameras and Bluetooth headsets
  • USB female for PDAs, mp3 players, most digital cameras and most devices which can be charged through USB

You can also get the Freeloader as a part of the Globetrotterer Kit.

The Globetrotterer solar charging kit is all of the above plus a SuperCharger, which is a means of charging the Freeloader in as little as 4 hours of sunshine!

It’s the perfect solution for the bike commuter, hiker, or out-and-abouter.

The downside is that as far as my web scouring can tell, you can only order the Freeloader and GlobeTrecker kit from the UK.

So even though it is only about $40 USD, you’ll have international shipping on top of that.

Is it worth it?