Review: Revive’s Solar Panel – Panel 360 as recommended by Cnet contributor, Rick Broida

Rating: Looking for another product and recommendations.

Summary: After reading an article from Cnet titled,”Get a solar-powered mobile device charger for $19.99,” I had wanted to buy this product for various travel excursions. Over the years, I had learned to trust Cnet as an online news source for technology. After all, the contributor, Rick Broida had placed into the subheading,” This slim, lightweight panel can hang off your bag or backpack, capturing the sun’s plentiful rays for endless on-the-go power.”  Later in the article, he had looked for feedback from some of his audience. So for $20 and a carabiner clip, I had figured, “Why not?”

After waiting a few days, I had received a small box with the Revive’s Solar ReStore – Panel 360 inside. On the first test, I had tried charging my older Iphone 3GS. I had quickly received a prompt, “Charging is not supported with this accessory.” At first, I had chalked the message up to the age of the device, Apple’s proprietary nature and a frayed connector cable. Out at Honeymoon Island beaches in Florida, I had tested the Panel 360 on a friend’s HTC mobile phone. Soaking in the sun rays, his Droid device and a digital camera had increased in power. A few weeks later, I had received my newer iPhone 5s. Upon hooking up the charger outside, everything had looked good. After returning from a swim, I had noticed no increase in power level. This was a bit of disappointment. On Tuesday of this week, I had figured give it another try with the new iPhone 5s. Plugging in the Revive Panel, I had again received, “This accessory may not be supported.” Returning to the original blog posting, I had read comments from various readers including the contributor. Three points of substance had illuminated my power debacle. One dealt with power ratings of mA vs. maH. In relation to electrical charge, mA (milli-Amps) had meant power output at any one time. MaH (milla-Amps/hr) had defined the constant delivery of power from a device (i.e. like from a battery). The second fact had come from another post from a reseller’s YouTube video. Comments there had explicitly mentioned lack of support for Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy Note. In the original post from the contributor or marketing material, there had stated no technical limitations, over than supporting “mp3 players, cameras, and smart phones.” Posting some trailing comments on a blog, had seemed somewhat deficient, if not outright “shady.” To gain further enlightenment, I had searched for the electrical output for standard USB ports. Standard USB 2.0 ports had provided output of 500 mA and 900 mA for USB 3.0. This rating had provided adequate for any of my “mp3 players and smart phones,” regardless of vendor! Closing out my searches, the last fact was the ability of solar panel solution storing power in rechargeable battery and maH level. This fact had started my search for a newer solar panel product.

As a consumer, this purchasing decision had reinforced facts losing out to the flash of quick content delivery. In the end, this appraisal had encapsulated my criticism of Rick Broida’s piece, the marketing copy by ReVive and maybe even the reseller, AccessoryPower. Spending $20 on a tech gadget, small fry stuff, time I had lost, insulting.

Read More:

Ampere-Hour (Wikipedia)
Get a solar-powered mobile device charger for $19.99 (Cnet.com)
“This accessory may not be supported” (Apple Forums)
How to charge your smartphone and other USB devices as quickly as possible (ExtremeTech.com)
ReVIVE Solar ReStore Panel 360mA w/ Active USB 5V Charging (YouTube)

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