PROS / The XTG-SOL1500 comes with a built-in LED flashlight.
CONS / The two suction cups included for window attachment don’t really hold the device’s weight.
VERDICT / The SOL1500’s small battery and limited solar charging capabilities really limit its usefulness to smaller, feature phones.
XTG Technologies is an after-market manufacturer of mobile electronics accessories for your home and car, including device chargers, sync cables and solar chargers such as the XTG-SOL1500. This solar charger for your phone is a great, low-cost complement to smaller feature phones. Its lightweight frame is roughly the size of an iPhone and features a few unusual options that might be considered useful.
The features on this device are easy to use. The SOL1500 comes with the standard USB port where you plug your cell phone in for power and a micro-USB port for charging the battery pack. The SOL1500 charges automatically, but a three-position switch on the side has to be moved from the Off to the On position for the power output to work. The third position is for the attached flexible LED light, which is a useful flashlight for emergencies or just reading. A light near the USB port indicates when the device has been left on or is just charging from USB. A Battery Check button on the back also tells you of the batteries charge availability.
The biggest issue that we found in our testing was that this solar cell phone charger is primarily designed to be charged from a USB connected outlet. The Mono-SI solar panel does charge the 1,500 mAh battery, but only up to 50 percent.
The device comes with two suction cup for attaching it to the windows in your car or home; however, this feature proved near fatal to the charger in our testing when the cups failed to hold the weight of the device. It fell from the cups and the case broke at three of the four corners. The electronics inside still worked, but the damage to the device’s body made use impractical.
The SOL1500 does come with a 30-day manufacturer warranty against defects in workmanship, which does not include falling from the provided suction cups. Additionally, consumer support options are limited to the Contact Us portal on the XTG website. Purchasers of the device may do better to contact the vendor through whom they’ve made their purchase for refunds and exchanges.
The XTG-SOL1500 has a relatively small battery, which makes it most useful for smaller feature phones. It comes with a built-in LED flashlight and has a power switch to limit unnecessary discharge of the battery. Indicator lights inform you of charging status and power levels. Used carefully, this portable solar phone charger can live a long life. The suction cups and their recommended usage, however, presented a problem in our testing.