Gadgetell Review: The iTech SolarCharge 906

Sections: Features, Gadgets / Other, Green, Reviews

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i.Tech When I heard about this gadget I was really excited about it and when I got one to review I couldn’t wait to try it. The Solarcharger 906 is touted as a solar powered charger that will work with almost any device-the package includes 10 different adapter tips. It claims to provide infinite talk time while the sun is up and up to 20 hours after dark. The device takes 3 hours to charge via USB and 23 via the solar panel on its front. It’s good that the device is relatively easy to figure out because the included user manual is poorly written with a lot of broken English.

I charged it via USB first as it instructed and then tried to set it up to soak up the sun. Unfortunately the suction cups provided were cheap and useless. They wouldn’t stick to anything. For a device retailing for $60 I expected better. I propped it up the best I could and hoped for the best. After the recommended 23 hours of sun I tried charging my Blackberry and it did work-but didn’t charge it all the way for some reason. It ran out of juice just after it had charged my Berry half way. I do have an extended capacity battery so that may be why.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this device. I love that it’s solar powered but it’s still reliant on traditional electricity because if the battery isn’t charged enough the solar panel won’t work. The fact that it didn’t fully charge my Blackberry concerns me as well. I did try charging again while it was in the sun and it did work as promised. The useless suction cups and poorly written user manual were disappointing. All in all it’s usefulness does outweigh its frustrations.

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