PROS / The Solio Classic2 is one of the most efficient solar phone chargers we tested.
CONS / The panel output is only 450 mAh.
VERDICT / The Solio Classic2 offers adequate charging and highly efficient panels, all in a compact package.
The Classic2’s highly efficient panels are only made better by there being three of them. They rotate out on a central axis that allows for even distribution and maximum coverage. Solio even provides a pencil that allows you to prop them up and offers guidance on aiming them directly at the sun by using the pencil as a guide, similar to how one would use a sundial. This efficient solar phone charger earned our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
At 3,200-mAh, this Solio battery is adequately sized to charge most any modern smartphone, including the iPhone 6 Plus with its 2,800-mAh battery. Solio includes an iPhone charging feature that appears to increase amperage to the USB charging port so it matches the preferred amps for charging Apple devices. You can activate this special charging feature by simply holding down the Classic2’s charge indicator button for five seconds until it turns blue. Charging your Apple device under the normal setting will not damage it. The lower amperage setting simply means it will charge slower.
We calculated the Solio Classic2’s panel’s efficiency at 7 percent, which was the second best of any panel we tested. However, the combined area of the three panels is just over 9 inches squared, which is the second smallest surface area of the solar phone chargers we review. This gives the Classic2’s panels a combined 450-mAh output, which is on the low side, and a charging time of just under 9 hours.
The Classic2 is not quite as portable as other solar chargers for cell phones. It is a little heavier and larger than some models; however, the Classic2 is well sized to pack along with any active lifestyle that might include outdoor recreation, work or academia. It can be charged completely from the sun when you're outside, or you can plug it in to any USB outlet for secondary charging.
Solio has several support options online, including user manuals and troubleshooting information. Solio provides a great warranty for this device, as well as on all of its equipment. The Classic2 comes with a 12-month warranty. It is important to note that the warranty is void if you purchase the device from anyone but an authorized dealer.
The Classic2 can work well for travel, as the three panels slide into one small, compact package. When folded, it easily fits in the palm of your hand. We also love the LED push button, which tells you whether it is charging up, what the battery level is or when it’s charging another device.