Review: MSC Pocket Mobile Solar Charger

Let’s get the good bit out of the way:

It looks nice. See?


Sorry, that’s it. This thing drove me crazy trying to work out how I’m supposed to use it. The instructions did not help.


Can you understand that, ‘coz I bloody well couldn’t. I understood ‘please recharge the power pack fully via its cable when use it for the first time’ and that was about it. I plugged it into my pc with the supplied cable and all the blue buttons flashed and then went off and there seemed to be no way to tell when it was charged so we (I’d roped in Shaun to try and decipher the instructions) decided that it had come fully charged and so I had a go charging up my iPhone with it and yay, it worked. It worked flipping quickly, too. Impressively quickly, in fact (you can stick that in as no. 2 good thing above).

Then I tried to recharge it by sticking it in the sun. I tried following the instructions. Yes, I should have known better.


Well, it’s been in the sun for about two days now, either outside or in the conservatory and it’s still saying it’s on low (as you can see in the photo, there are three buttons to say how much power it has in it). I looked at the specification sheet that came with it and it says it takes 8 hours by laptop or 28 hours via solar panel, under full sunlight conditions. WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND 28 HOURS FULL SUNLIGHT CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND IN AUGUST, HUH?

Well, it worked fine straight from the box, I’m just not sure how much use it would be if you actually needed it as an emergency charger, if you can’t actually get the damn thing charged to take out with you in case of emergency. I suppose you can charge it via pc or mains, but doesn’t that kind of take the point of solar charging away?

Maybe I’m doing it wrong, I don’t know. Anyone had any experience with these things?

The MSC Pocket Mobile Solar Charger is available for £19.99 from Mobile Solar Chargers


  • I bought the Power Monkey Solar charger for a recent trip to Mongolia. I had a similar experience. It was great when charging on the first charge but when I tried to recharge it using the sun I ran into problems. Now bear in mind that Mongolia has, on average, 2500 hours of sunlight every year compared to Europe’s 1500 you’d think I was in the right place. Alas no. I spent hours in extremely sunny conditions trying to charge the bloody thing. It gave the appearance that it had charged and when I connected it to my Samsung Galaxy S2 it looked like it was working great. I went from 15% battery to about 80%. Job done I thought. Switched phone off and on again and I’d lost 45% of the charge! Not a great investment.

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