Even if you have a high end smartphone with a large battery inside, there are still many cases where you may run out of battery while out on the go. Similarly, there are many other smart and mobile devices which may require to be charged when you are not at your home.
For the same, you can find a wide range of portable power options for charging your smartphone and other mobile devices. And out of all such options out there, you can primarily 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 one between them, we are here with a complete comparison between solar chargers vs power banks.
You can find all the important factors and details of these charging solutions down below. And by going through these options, you can easily pick the right option between solar chargers and power banks.
What are Solar Chargers?
As power banks are more common and easily available, you might want to know about solar chargers first. Similar to any other solar panel which gets installed on the rooftop 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 offered 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:
Pros of Solar Chargers
- Solar chargers are completely free to use since they harness solar energy from the sun for powering your devices.
- Most solar chargers can easily last for a lifetime without having a limit on the number of charges that they can offer.
- Unlike batteries or other power sources, solar chargers are much more environmentally friendly since they are using a renewable energy source.
Cons of Solar Chargers
- Unlike a power bank, most solar chargers are much larger in size making them a less portable option.
- Solar chargers will not work at night, on a rainy day, or in areas which do not get a lot of sunlight.
What are Power Banks?
Coming to power banks which is a much more common option for powering your mobile devices while on the go, you might be already familiar with these. If not, power banks are essentially battery packs which can be charged in advance to charge your mobile devices on the go later on. You can simply charge the battery of your power bank and then use the electricity stored in it to power your mobile devices with ease. Similar to solar chargers, power banks also have their own pros and cons which have been given as follows:
Pros of Power Banks
- Power banks can be used at any time or at any location irrespective of the sunlight as long as your power bank has some charge left inside it.
- In comparison to most solar chargers, power banks are much cheaper and affordable.
- Depending on the power bank capacity that you go for, most power banks are going to be quite small and portable in size.
Cons of Power Banks
- Even with a high end power bank, the internal batteries will offer a limited number of charges as its capacity will run out and the power bank itself will have to be charged again.
- The actual capacity of your power bank will also reduce with time since all batteries have a limited number of charge cycles.
Details and Specifications of Power Banks
While we have already given the pros and cons of power banks up above, power banks also have many more specifications and details which you need to consider. Thus, before going through the comparison between solar chargers and power banks, you should learn about these specifications about power banks as listed here:
- Size and Weight: You need to check the exact weight and dimensions of your power bank before buying one. Whether you wish to carry it in your pocket or in your backpack, going with a 150 gram power bank will be much more practical and ideal than going with a 250 gram power bank. Similarly, a 9 inch x 4 inch x 6 inch power bank will be more portable than a 12 inch x 5 inch x 9 inch one.
- Charge Capacity: Unlike a solar charger, all power banks will have a specific charge capacity which tells you about the maximum amount of charge or electrical energy they can store inside. For the same, you can find charge capacity ratings like up to 10000 mAh, 20000 mAh, 30000 mAh, and even higher where a higher charge capacity will allow you to easily charge your mobile device multiple times.
- Charging Time: While going with a high charge capacity is quite handy for charging multiple devices, it also means that your power bank itself will take much longer to get fully charged. Because of this, checking the charging time rating of your power bank is also recommended. Any power bank which can get fully charged within 3-4 hours will be more practical than one which takes 5-6 hours to fully charge while having the same charge capacity.
Size Differences between Solar Chargers vs Power Banks
After learning everything about both solar chargers and power banks, you might also want to learn about their differences. For the same, let’s first check 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 need to be opened up if you want to use them for charging anything. And when opened up, most solar chargers will be even larger than a laptop. As for power banks, even if you have a decent charge capacity of 10000 mAh, most such power banks will easily fit inside your hand or pocket making them a much better portable option.
Weight Differences between Solar Chargers vs Power Banks
While having a smaller size helps with keeping your power bank in your pocket, things change completely when you are going with larger power banks which you would carry in your backpack. This is where solar chargers can be a lighter option especially if they are carrying multiple high capacity power banks in your power bank.
More importantly, if you are going to be away from home for multiple days, your power banks will be useless weights once they run out of charging capacity which makes solar chargers a lightweight option if you want to carry them in your backpack.
Price Differences between Solar Chargers vs Power Banks
Before making a purchase decision between solar chargers vs power banks based on the details given above, you also need to consider their price differences. Without checking the price differences between solar chargers vs power banks, you might not be able to make the right value for money choice. Unfortunately, their price difference is something where things get a bit complicated.
While the pricing of power banks depends on their charge capacity, solar chargers have different pricing based on their power output. Because of this, you can find most power banks from major brands ranging from $15 to $150. As for solar chargers, most major brands will offer solar chargers ranging from $20 to 300$. While solar chargers may seem a more expensive option, they do offer an unlimited number of charges. So, you can pick between either of these as per your budget and usage type.
Now that you have checked all of these important details and factors regarding solar chargers vs power banks, you must have a pretty good idea about their differences. Even though both of them are great options for charging mobile devices on the go, both of these are ideal for different kinds of applications.
While a power bank is a more reliable option, solar chargers are ideal for multiple devices while being away from home for multiple days. In fact, you can also consider getting both of these depending on your ideal usage and application. If you have gone through all the information regarding the comparison between solar chargers vs power banks given above, make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!