The Best Solar Phone Chargers of 2018 you need to know

Mobile phones have become an essential part of our day to day activities because they connect us to the rest of the world. However, a mobile phone with a chargeless battery becomes useless and everybody strives to charge it so that he/she can be reconnected to the world. Charging involves connecting a mobile phone with a charger to a power source so that it can charge the battery.

There are different types of chargers but the main types are either electrical or solar mobile phone chargers. Today let’s focus on the best phone chargers that are solar operated. One advantage of these chargers is that they are convenient that charging can be done anywhere provided there is the presence of sunlight.

Importance of solar phone chargers

For those who are adventurous and they like camping and hiking, having a charge on the cell phones is essential. Sometimes the charge may go down. But with a solar phone charger, somebody need not worry because he/she will be able to charge them whenever and wherever.

Also, solar panels existence has been dated back in time and the best thing about them is that they are designed in different shapes and sizes. So, for the best phone chargers, a portable and efficient one is essential. That is, somebody can carry it and it will help in recharging the phone in the shortest time possible.

The best phone solar charger is the RAVPower RP-PC008 16W Dual-Port Outdoors Charger. It has won the Top Ten Reviews Gold award. Also, in the second place was the Nekteck 20W Solar Charger that received the Silver Award. Lastly, the charger that took the third position was the Anker’s PowerPort Solar Lite that received the Bronze award.

During the determination of the winners of these awards, we focused on two different types of solar phone chargers and came up with the reviews of the best solar phone chargers. The first test was on the solar panels chargers with USB charging ports. They lack built-in batteries but are so effective in conversion of solar energy into power.

Secondly, the review included those chargers that have batteries built in. These devices have a portable battery pack and are so effective that they are left in the sun for just some hours.

One advantage of the chargers with batteries is that they can store the energy during the day and somebody can use them at night in charging the cell phones. Contrary to that, their charging in the sun is not that efficient and they store less charge.

After testing several chargers, it was evident that they yielded much power in the sun. The reports we got from most people is that they use solar panels with high efficiency to charge their external batteries and then they use them to charge their phones at night.

Sometimes both devices are essential and it is advisable to determine which solar phone charger configuration that suits you before purchasing.

It is important to note that the best phone chargers are different from charging cables. Some people have charging cables in different places that they operate in and they are sometimes forced to stay in these places for long hours waiting for their phones to charge.

The best thing about these best phone chargers is that somebody can carry them to everywhere they want to go. They operate on eco-friendly energy.

There is need to comprehend how the best phone chargers operate. This is because this knowledge will assist in choosing the best solar phone charger. The basic working of a solar panel is that it converts light energy into electricity that either charge a battery built in or charges a device connected to it via a USB cable.

Discussion, explanation and the result of testing solar phone chargers

Solar panels are efficient when they are placed in direct sunlight with clear skies. First, the testing included those chargers with inbuilt batteries; the test was on how they performed with diffused light. The testing was performed on a clear day inside a windowed office. The second activity involved those that lacked batteries. They could not charge through the office windows and they were tested on direct sunlight on a clear day.

The solar panels tested were the first-generation solar technology panels that are made of crystalline silicon. The crystalline silicon is a crystal made in the lab and the best thing about it is its high conductivity properties. It is also used in the production of silicon chips.

For a photovoltaic cell, its high conductivity makes it have a high efficiency. If someone tests these panels the results will be that they have different efficiencies that range from 24 percent to 6 percent. The best phone chargers should have high efficiencies.

Factors to consider when selecting the best solar phone charger

1. Charging performance

Knowing which solar phone charger that suits somebody is so paramount. Somebody should consider using a solar panel with a built battery if he/she needs to charge the phone for 3-4 days and also want to ensure it’s always topped.

Consider the size, type, and its overall output. Different devices have different working. Some can be charged directly from the battery while others cannot. However, how they relate to the panels is different. An integrated circuitry it’s what that dictates on how you can charge.

Moreover, if somebody likes hiking for longer hours, he/she may want to keep his/her devices charged. In this case, there is need to have a solar panel that can handle that. The solar panels lack batteries and he/she should place them in the sun so that they can charge. The best phone chargers will help out.

2. Solar panel details

To make sure somebody has a good quality solar phone charger, efficiency is the factor to consider. Currently, most of the solar panels on the market today are the first-generation ones that are made of crystalline silicon. Their main advantage is their high conductivity even when there is low light intensity.

During the testing, the panels with built-in batteries produced at least a volt in unsuitable conditions. Some even exceeded the manufacturer’s output ratings when they were put under average conditions.

3. Physical characteristics

Someone who needs a solar-powered battery pack will want the one with a reasonable size and appearance. Most solar panels that were tested have two USB ports. However, the solar-powered battery pack has only one USB port.

Some have metal frames and other thick frames and others are even water resistant. In addition, the best phone chargers should be durable. 4. Help and support

Lastly, it is important for someone to know the manufacturer of these solar chargers and know the warranty given. Someone should know where to inquire if he/she needs to know about something. You can either do a direct or online inquiry.

Recommendations and our verdict

Our aim for the testing was to come up with the best phone chargers operated by solar. However, each charger is unique in its own way. Someone just needs to choose what suits him/her.

According to our results, here is our recommendation according to their performance:

1. RAVPower RP-PC008 16W Dual-Port Outdoors Charger- charges the fastest, high efficiency, long warrant.

2. The Nekteck 20W solar charger- the heaviest, a higher solar efficiency at 24 percent, second in charging speed, water resistant. It’s the best for camping and hiking.

3. Anker’s PowerPort Solar Lite- the lightest, has nylon straps making it easier to attach to a backpack.

The Best Smartphone of all the Time

Every year numerous smartphones are launched in the market. The experts review them and select the “Best Smartphones of the year”.

The year 2017 saw some of the best players in the industry launch amazing phones and it was a race which had quite a few contenders.

Samsung Galaxy S8 launched in April 2017 had 4GB RAM, 64 GB internal storage and provided support up to 256 GB micro SD card. Samsung had really hit the nail on its head with an excellent premium quality phone. It had a futuristic design coupled with excellent performance. S8 was thin, weighed around 155 grams, yet felt tough. S8 was precision personified, beautiful looking beast of a phone.

Then came Apple and launched 3 phones in quick intervals, starting with iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus in September 2017, followed by iPhone X in November. Let’s just say that Samsung’s dream of being the best smartphone for the year had been shattered. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus were pretty impressive in their own rights, but iPhone X was in a league of its own.

iPhone X in the market had some radical changes – like no home button, use of facial recognition for authentication and a funky, fun and engaging animagi feature. Also, all the iPhones had A11 bionic processor which made it perform excellently.

People had their doubts about iPhone X being more expensive than iPhone 8 and 8 plus, but it was totally worth every penny. It simply was a class apart and will remain as the best smartphone of the year 2017.

Also other smartphone which was one of the frontrunners was OnePlus 5T. 5T felt every bit of a premium smartphone but at a considerably lower price. The Snapdragon 835 processor of One plus 5t managed to beat Samsung in quite a few performance benchmarking tests as well. It had an excellent fingerprint scanner and a USB C type like features which has helped OnePlus build its loyal following in the crowded smartphone space.

So who took the top spot? Undoubtedly it was iPhoneX that was the best smartphone of the year. Samsung can however take pride in being the “Best Android Phone” of the year.

The smartphones were considered to numerous tests before being declared the best. Their processors, cameras, battery life and many other parameters were tested using tests like Geekbench 4.2, 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme, AnTuTu and various others. They were also tested in real life practical scenarios.

Each smartphone had to go through a sequence of tests and the process remained the same in each case. This enabled them to give highly accurate and reliable results. But that’s how the nerd, geeks or let’s say the experts analyse the phones and come out with their verdict of the best smartphone.

For normal users the process varies. They might choose to analyse these smartphones in a slightly different way.

First thing that most users will consider is their budget. Do they want to buy premium flagship models, economy phones or prefer a midrange phone?

Flagship phones are premium phones, expensive and the show stoppers for that particular brand. Economy phones would fall at the opposite spectrum in terms of price and are normally available at pre-paid cell phone providers. Most of the economy smartphones have Android OS but are not big on performance. They normally struggle to handle apps which are heavy to load. Between these two extremes are the midrange phones. They are not heavy on your pocket and provide reasonably good performance.

Another important criterion for the users would be the OS, whether they want iOS, Android or Windows. iOS which is part of the Apple ecosystem is most user friendly but has limitations in terms of customization. Also, iPhones are powered by iOS and are the most expensive phones available in the market. Android is quite simply an OS which powers most of the mobiles in the world be it an economy one or in the premium segment. Windows OS is yet to capture the imagination of the users but the revamping of Windows 10 could lead to it becoming a contender.

For a regular user a best smartphone would be the one that matches one’s tastes and preferences. Period…

Snapchat finally releases iPhone X exclusive AR lenses

Snapchat has finally released the iPhone X exclusive AR lenses. For those who may have forgotten, these lenses were the ones that were demoed during the iPhone X keynote back in September 2017.

There are three AR lenses in total, which are the ones you see above. These are only available on the iPhone X and work with the TrueDepth camera. Compared to the standard lenses within Snapchat, the iPhone X ones use the significantly more advanced front camera and use multiple data points to map the filter precisely to your face that moves even more realistically with your expressions. The filters also react to the light around you and you see accurate light and shadow effects based on your ambient lighting conditions, something the standard lenses don’t. They also automatically blur the background.

The new AR lenses are a definite improvement over the standard affair and help distinguish the TrueDepth tech from simple front facing cameras. It’s curious though what took Snapchat seven months to release these since they were first announced and why we still have just three. Snapchat will also have to do more if it wants to stop users from jumping over to Instagram, especially after the recent backlash to the redesign.


Honor 10’s back surfaces in leaked poster, specs outed too

Now that the date has been set for its official unveiling, the Honor 10 just can’t seem to stop leaking. The promotional poster you can see below has been outed today in China, and it reveals a very distinct multi-color pattern on the phone’s back – reminiscent of the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro‘s Twilight paint job, but not quite identical.

We can also see a dual rear camera setup in the pictures, which isn’t at all surprising. Its positioning lines up with what we saw in a leaked picture that portrayed the Honor 10 inside a bulky case.

The fingerprint scanner is missing from the glass back, so we assume it will be on the front. Also there you’re likely to find a notch at the top of the screen, so be prepared for that. From another source comes a partial list of specs for the Honor 10, one spotted in a store in China.

The phone is said to have a 5.8-inch FullView display, up to 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and the Kirin 970 chipset at the helm. Thus, as we expected, it looks like it will serve as the smaller sibling to Honor’s already available View 10 (although that maxes out at only 128GB of internal space).

Huawei’s sub-brand may actually announce the Honor 10 in China by the end of this month, with the London event on May 15 serving as an international launch. It’s gone this route many times before.

Source 1 (in Chinese) | Source 2 (in Chinese) | Via

LG G7 ThinQ now leaks from inside a bulky case, shows off its notch

After a bit of a controversy regarding whether it would be launched at all, and if so under what name, LG seems to have decided to call its next flagship G7 ThinQ. This was initially revealed through a leak a few days ago, and is now confirmed through the first shot you can see below.

It shows a prototype G7 ThinQ’s boot screen, with the name in full display. The phone is inside a non-removable bulky case that’s meant to obscure as much of its design as possible.

Even so, the screen notch is clearly visible, as is the fact that it has the power button on the right side and an additional button on the left side underneath the volume keys. That’s apparently going to be some kind of AI-triggering button because Samsung’s Bixby key exists and LG simply couldn’t help itself.

The G7 ThinQ is said to come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, the Snapdragon 845 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The prototype has allegedly been able to score 252,473 in the AnTuTu benchmark, outclassing the Samsung Galaxy S9 but not the Sony Xperia XZ2. Then again, it’s running pre-release software so things may change once that’s finalized.

The device is expected to launch in May, so we should see a lot more leaks about it in the coming weeks.


Apple confirms new Mac Pro will be arriving in 2019

Last year Apple held a small meeting for select media to basically confirm that it is working on a new Mac Pro. This was brought on by growing complaints with the Mac lineup, especially the Pro line, which constituted the MacBook Pro that had a disappointing launch and the Mac Pro, which, now five years old, is thoroughly outdated.

A year after that meeting, Apple once again held a small meeting for media where once again it reaffirmed its commitment to the Pro segment. It was during this meeting that the company confirmed that the new Mac Pro will be coming in 2019.

2012 Mac Pro, now a distant dream

Apple also took time to elaborate on the how it is going about the development of, not just the Mac Pro but the Pro lineup of Mac products in general. The company clarified that it now has a Pro Workflow Team that essentially has hired experts from various professions such as visual effects, video editing, 3D animation, and music production. Apple then creates real projects with these professionals and works with them through the process. During this, the company learns what pain points these people have during their workflows and the two then work together to solve those. And it’s not just doing this for its own set of software but also working with third party developers to make the overall experience for pro customers as smooth as possible.

As for the Mac Pro itself, Apple didn’t say much about it. A degree of modularity is expected from it but to what extent is unknown. The 2013 Mac Pro was a marvel of engineering, until both consumers and Apple realized that the machine was essentially stuck as it is and the design wouldn’t allow any kind of improvements down the line. Which is why five years later, the only change that product has receive is a modest price drop. Mac Pros used to be modular, almost PC-like back in the day and a lot of people want Apple to go back to the good old days. Whether it will, especially in the age of Thunderbolt and eGPU, remains to be seen.

For the full rundown of everything that happened in the briefing, check out the source link below.


Samsung Gear S3 receives another update that’s meant to improve battery life

One of the main problems smartwatches face is their usually lacklustre battery life. So as an owner of such a device you’re probably quite happy when it gets a software update that should improve its stamina.

That’s exactly what’s happening today for the Samsung Gear S3. The new release will bring your wearable onto software version R760XXU2CRC3, and its changelog contains only two items as you can see from the screenshot to the left: “Battery Life Improvement” and “Bluetooth Connection Stability Improvement”. Both of those are incredibly important for any smartwatch, so we recommend you install this update as soon as you can.

If you haven’t received a notification yet, check for it in the Samsung Gear app on your phone by going to About Gear > Update Gear software. The update has already been spotted rolling out in the US, Canada, and South Korea. It should expand to other markets soon.

The Gear S3 received an update to Tizen 3.0 last year, to bring it in line with the company’s latest wearables. Unfortunately after that the watch’s battery life took a big hit, which prompted Samsung to issue another update soon after, one that supposedly fixed the issues. We’re hoping that after you apply today’s update the Gear S3’s longevity will grow even more.


Nokia 6 (2018) is now available in India

Nokia announced a bunch of smartphones for the Indian market at a special event that took place a couple of days ago. And today the first of those devices has already become available to purchase in the subcontinent.

We’re talking about the Nokia 6 (2018), a refinement of the original Nokia 6 from last year, which was the first smartphone carrying that brand following its revival by HMD Global.

You can buy the new Nokia 6 (2018) from the company’s official online store for India. It is priced at INR 16,999, which currently translates into $261 or €213.

For that amount of cash you’re getting a 5.5-inch 1080p panel (still sporting the not-trendy-anymore 16:9 aspect ratio), the Snapdragon 630 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery. The primary camera is a 16 MP sensor with f/2 aperture and dual-tone flash, while selfies are dealt with by an 8 MP f/2 snapper with 84-degree field-of-view. Check out our hands-on review right here.

Motorola releases revamped camera app ahead of G6 launch

Motorola has released a completely redesigned version of its camera app. The update comes out just in time for the impending release of the Moto G6 series but existing Moto users need not worry as the update is also rolling out to them.

The first change is in the icon, which matches the look of the new icon theme that will be coming on the upcoming devices and not the current, odd, pizza-shaped creased icons. Hopefully, Motorola will also be updating the launched on the older devices to get the new icon theme that seems to be way less aggressive and more mellow.

Inside the app, there are now three sections at the bottom, with the default being photo, video on the right and a mode screen on the left. These can be switched by swiping sideways on the screen. The mode screen is also where the Settings option now lives. The Settings screen has been changed to have 100% opacity and isn’t a transparent layer over the viewfinder anymore.

At the top of the viewfinder are options to change HDR mode, flash, timer, and Manual mode. Switching to Manual mode presents additional options on the right, similar to the previous version. For phones with a dual rear camera, the app will have a prominent button near the top to switch between the two.

The app will be rolling out slowly over the course of the next few days to existing devices (probably not all of them, so don’t hold your breath if you have an older device).

Source 1 • Source 2

Facebook to allow you to delete sent messages after Zuckerberg was caught deleting his own

Last night, there were reports that Facebook Messages from Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives sent to users were mysteriously gone. Users don’t have to ability to delete sent messages, but those at the top of the platform did so anyway, leaving the received messages intact. The timing coincides with all the criticism that Facebook has gotten along with the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

This kind of erratic action was seen as a breach of trust between Facebook executives and its users. In fact, Facebook confirmed to Tech Crunch that it did indeed delete some messages after Tech Crunch reported that it had email receipts as proof that messages were indeed deleted.

In response, Facebook revealed to Tech Crunch its plans to launch feature to delete sent messages for Facebook users.

We will now be making a broader delete message feature available. This may take some time and until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages. We should have done this sooner – and we’re sorry that we did not – Facebook

According to Facebook, after the 2014 hacking of Sony’s emails, the company set up “a number of changes to protect our executive’s communications. These included limited the retention period for Mark’s messages in Messenger. We did so in full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages”. Facebook didn’t elaborate on how the feature would work and said the feature is still being planned.

Facebook explains that it already offers a timer function that users can use to set messages to delete themselves after a specified amount of time. This feature, however, is only available to a conversation if it is started in “Secret conversation”. The thing is, Zuckerberg and Facebook executives deleted messages from regular, private conversations with users, so some are uneasy that they were deleted without notice or discretion.

Perhaps the announcing the unsend feature is a way to soften the severity of deleting messages from users conversations without consent or notice by making it look like they were testing the feature. It was only until Tech Crunch told Facebook it had proof that it deleted messages that it actually came forward with its plans to launch such a feature.

Are you looking forward to a feature for unsending Facebook messages? Do you think Facebook Messenger will be the same if unsending messages becomes a common feature?