Pros / It has a built-in kickstand to help it face the sun.
Cons / The build quality isn’t the greatest. Some of the stitches came loose after minimal testing.
Verdict / ECEEN’s 13W charger performed better than expected in our solar charge test, but the device’s poor build quality and awkwardly placed charging ports make this our least favorite solar panel phone charger.
Of the four solar panels we tested in our review of solar phone chargers, the ECEEN 13W looked the worst on paper by specs alone. However, after testing this solar panel we found that it performed well in our smartphone charging test and is a viable option for someone looking for a portable solar phone charger.
This solar panel doesn’t have a built-in battery or a way to store energy via USB. Instead, it features two solar panels that harness energy from the sun and charge devices through USB on the back of the panel.
In our smartphone charging test, we took a halfway depleted Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and timed how long it took to charge the battery from 50 to 75 percent. The ECEEN charger finished third out of all the solar panels, taking only 31 minutes to charge the phone’s battery 25 percent.
This solar panel advertises a solar efficiency of 22 percent and a total possible output of 13 watts. In our tests, we found the maximum output voltage to be around 5.37 volts, and the maximum amperage in direct sunlight was 1.75 amps. This charger has enough power for solar phone charging, even with large smartphones like the Galaxy Note 4, but it might struggle if you’re trying to charge a larger device like a tablet.
The ECEEN charger didn’t score as well in our portability test because of its heavy weight to size ratio. Some of that weight is likely the magnets that help keep the device closed when not in use – a feature we liked a little better than the Velcro that many of the other chargers use. It also features a kickstand that can prop the charger on an angle to face the device toward the sun.
However, the build quality of this charger wasn’t the best we tested. After minimal testing and handling, the stitching around one of the straps started to come loose. With prolonged wear and tear we worry this device wouldn’t hold up as well as others we tested.
This device is water resistant and comes with a 12-month warranty. Though ECEEN claims that this device is water resistant, you’ll need to make sure the rubber seal is secured over the USB charging ports to maximize this feature.
If you’re looking for a solar phone charger, ECEEN’s 13W charger can charge devices quickly for its low advertised wattage. However, this device’s poor build quality and heavy weight make it less ideal for hiking and backpacking. If you’re looking for a device with a kickstand and aren’t concerned about the weight, this is an excellent choice. Otherwise, we recommend one of our Top Ten Reviews Award winning solar chargers.