Pros / It’s dust, water and shock-resistant.
Cons / Although the design is similar to other batteries, the Nekteck didn’t perform as well and has a smaller capacity.
Verdict / The Nekteck is a fine solar power bank, but compared to similar products, it doesn’t measure up.
In our comparison of the best solar phone chargers, we found several products that share similar designs. The Nekteck solar power bank, for example, is almost identical to the RAVPower solar power bank. Both products have a single 1W solar panel, rugged exteriors, long-lasting flashlights and large handles. Where the RAVPower has a 15,000 mAh capacity, however, the Nekteck only has a 10,000 mAh capacity. The RAVPower also outperformed the Nekteck in our solar charging tests, so though the Nekteck solar charger is a good power bank, there are better options.
In our sunny and cloudy day tests, the Nekteck managed to charge our test device 17 and 11 percent, respectively, after four hours of exposure. This isn’t a very impressive performance compared with most of the other solar power banks we tested, especially the multi-paneled chargers like the X-Dragon. It’s perfectly serviceable for emergency power, but it isn’t practical to use the Nekteck primarily via solar charge, as it could take a few days to gather enough energy to fully charge your smartphone. Charging the power bank using the microUSB input port and a DC wall adapter instead of solar takes just hours instead of days.
The Nekteck power bank has an extremely practical design. While most of the products we reviewed are meant to be used in sunlight, the Nekteck’s intuitive features make it easy to use and adaptable for any environment. Its rugged exterior and rounded edges protect it against bumps and drops. It’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof, and its ports are protected against the elements with silicone plugs.
Two of the Nekteck’s features stand out as particularly useful. Compared to the flimsy loops on other products, this power bank’s large handle across the top of the battery makes it easy to attach to a belt loop or backpack strap for solar charging on the go. It also comes with a carabiner. Its flashlight is impressive because it takes up very little power and stays on even when the battery is nearly dead, long past the point when it can no longer charge devices.
While the Nekteck solar power bank is a good accessory for outdoor charging, it shares all its positive features with the RAVPower solar charger, which also has a larger battery capacity and charged faster in our tests. Since their prices are similar, we recommend the RAVPower product instead.