Solmate Fusion Solar Charger review - Time to find yours

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Those afflicted by ‘Murphy's law' will be only too familiar with a situation where your phone drains out the last dregs of power right when you need it the most. And chances are, you'll be somewhere where you can't find an available power source to revive the Brutus.

When stuck in a situation like this, consider a charger that doesn't require electricity to power it and works on some good ol' sunshine instead.

Calling Solmate Fusion just another solar charger doesn't do justice to its capabilities. Solmate can also charge itself through your laptop or PC's USB port.

The charger not only powers your handset, but juices up your music player and digicam too. On a short trip we took recently, we even managed to charge a Canon Hi8 video camera with the Solmate.

Solmate Fusion comes with an inbuilt memory (4GB/8 GB) thus enabling you to use it like an external storage drive if need be. The device houses with a 600 mAh internal Li-ion battery.

The company claims that a fully charged Solmate Fusion can supply “about two hours of talktime to a regular mobile phone, or about 13 hours of audio playback time to an Mp3 player”.

So you have to keep in mind the fact that that Solmate Fusion cannot be a replacement for your charger. Even a fully-charged Solmate Fusion will not provide your mobile or camera with full charge. However, it rises to the occasion when you are in an emergency.

Solmate Fusion's modern design fits easily into your pocket or wallet. On one side is the USB jack, which when connected to a port starts charging itself and also doubles up as an external hard drive. The other side has a port to which you can connect your handset or other devices.

One drawback that we discovered was that we had to ensure that the solar panels stayed clean. The thinnest layer of dust on the panel can reduce the efficiency of Solmate Fusion. You have to protect the solar panel from slight scratches or breaks. Putting it into a case won't help as the panel must be exposed directly to sunlight to draw power.

Solmate Fusion also finds it difficult to get charged up if the sunlight is not bright enough, like in hill stations. We had to power it from the hotel manager's computer on a recent trip when the sun was being moody.

Solmate Fusion has a provision for a lanyard, which makes it easier for you to carry it around. It comes with a few standard adapter tips that are compatible with mobile devices of major brands in India. The Solmate Fusion device and other adapter tips are available from Solmate's website.

In a tropical country like ours with its unending summer, Solmate seems like a decent one-time investment that'll pay off when you need it most.

Love: Can charge a variety of devices, always handy

Hate: Not capable of charging a device fully

Rs 995 (4GB), Rs 1,495 (8GB)

Published on May 11, 2011

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