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GadgeTell Review: Digital Zone Juicebar DO10-JB Pocket Solar Charger: Simple, Dependable and Universal

Sections: Gadgets / Other, Green, Lifestyle, Mobile, Portable, Reviews

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The full package. (Cassette tape cover product-stand not included)

A few weekends ago, I took a Megabus trip up to Buffalo to visit a friend. It’s a trip that I’ve taken before, roughly ten hours from Philadelphia. But I can’t begin to explain how nice it was to travel, this time while not worrying about my phone battery dying on me. And it was all thanks to the Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.

Peace of Mind
When last time I was playing the ‘off and on’ game with my phone during the long ride up, this time I felt at ease and remained calm when the “Plug in your phone” message popped up on my screen. (Nice try smartphone. But I ‘outsmarted’ you!)

It took a little under three hours to charge my Samsung RAZR M battery, which was before that, approaching zero-percent quickly. I had kept the Juicebar on my top floor window sill for something like 18 hours the day prior, working up a full solar charge (the company says that it’ll take about ten hours of direct sunlight to ‘capture’ a full charge and it can apparently hold that unused charge for at least thirty days.)

A close-up of the solar panel.

I should add that keeping an eye on the solar charger while it pumped up my phone battery was an unexpected, yet exciting feature — again, an empowering feeling over the regular panic involved with an inevitably-approaching dead phone battery.

The Juicebar solar battery pack weighs about four-ounces and is about four-inches by 2.5-inches and maybe a half-inch thick — so it’s very portable, even for light travelers like myself. The 2,000mAh Li-ion battery pack is rated at 3.7-volts and is made to charge up any thing that could be inserted into it’s USB port.

Also, don’t feel chagrined if you don’t live in the sunniest part of the world or if the weather near you is gloomy. The Juicebar Pocket charger can be juiced up via it’s mini-USB port, through a computer or wall outlet — leaving it to function as a regular, non-solar powered, portable battery as well.

A convenient built-in flash light.

Universal Solar Charging
“Tap into the sun for free and clean energy anytime, anywhere on earth,” says the company’s video advertisement for their product line, which features a range of universal portable solar chargers of many sizes, for all needs. Probably the greatest factor of all is the Juicebar’s universal compatibility. It is packaged with four double-sided adapters, covering the most commonly used power inputs on the market.

We’re talking devices from Samsung, Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry and even Bluetooth headsets or small tablets. For models by other manufacturers like Apple, simply grab the charging cable included with the unit (assuming it’s equipped with a USB male input) and stick that into the Juicebar’s USB port. Boom, you got power.

The device also (for some reason) features a built-in flash light. Seemingly foolish to include this, it sure came in handy on my bus trip when the sun went down. While charging up my phone, I was able to continue reading a book — how convenient. The company claims that the light (which was sufficient for my purposes, probably not much more) can stay on for forty hours with a full charge.

Effective, Dependable and Worth it to Grab One
This is an accessory made for everybody and to be honest, I would suggest everyone get themselves one. Since mine arrived, it hasn’t left my book bag, which goes everywhere with me.

Included items.

One unfortunate thing: there is no accurate power gauge; instead the charger features a LED indicator bar that will give you an approximate idea of how much charging time is left for when you are charging the Juicebar or it will tell you how much juice is left in your Juicebar as it feeds power to your mobile device. Not a big thing, by any means but it would be nice to pinpoint exactly how much time you’re dealing with, rather than estimating. When I’m on the phone with the old lady, every minute counts — you know what I’m saying?

Also, the battery is non-replaceable, but do any portable batteries on the market include replaceable parts at all? Again, not a real detractor to the Juicebar.

In conclusion, it’s hard for me to dig up any dirt about the Juicebar Solar Battery Charger. It is a solid product that does exactly what it says it does — charging your mobile devices when you’re on the go, using absorbed solar energy. With a $49.99 MSRP from CableOrganizer.com, this portable battery charger is worth beyond that to me, tenfold — no, a hundred fold.

Above all, this eco-friendly gadget provides it’s users with peace of mind and extra time to spend on things that matter in life. To me, that’s the epitome of what our gadgets should do for us; when it’s precisely executed, I must give the ample credit where it’s due. And for my purposes, I doubt I’ll be looking anywhere else for an on-the-go power solution for my collection of smart devices.

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2 Comments

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      Matthew Marchesano