Environment-Friendly Devices

Cell Phone Solar Chargers and other Environment-Friendly Devices

The iPhone has so many exclusive accessories designed for every possible niche use, that sometimes, all the attention seems a little like pandering. Often, it seems like the makers can just put anything out and it will sell, just because it is the iPhone it is designed for. But here finally, is an iPhone gadget that should swell most iPhone users’ hearts with self-righteous joy – a cell phone solar charger for the iPhone. It is the product of a company called NovoTek, and the charger is called the Solar Surge. This nifty little device is shaped like an iPhone/iPod Touch holster. On one side is the part that you slip the iPhone into, and the reverse is all taken up by an impressive-looking photovoltaic surface.

So what are they expecting you to do, you might ask – go bake your shiny new iPhone hours at a time in the sun to get a bit of charge? Not exactly. That cell phone solar charger has an internal battery; you are supposed to just place the Solar Surge out in the sun by itself, with no iPhone attached. It can charge itself as much of it wants – a two-hour session will charge the battery enough for 20 minutes of talk time. And when you need it, you just push your iPhone into the holder, and the Solar Surge’s battery, charges the iPhone’s battery. There is just one little restriction on it – it won’t work with the first-generation iPhone.

Certainly there have been other cell phone solar charger devices – even ones for the iPhone. So what makes the Solar Surge special? What makes this $80 gadget special is that, it’s the only one available that Apple actually endorses. Will people mind the cost or the fact that the Solar Surge is a bit bulky? In general, environmentally conscious people don’t really mind a little bit of heft; the conscientiousness of what they’re doing, compensates for any minor problem like this.

But what if you’re going to be in a place where the sun can’t really be depended on? Are there any alternatives to cell phone solar chargers? Meet the Easy Energy YoGen – a magnificent $40 mechanical cell phone charger. This credit card-sized device (although much fatter than one), has a little dynamo inside. And you actuate the dynamo by pulling on a little attached rip-cord over and over again. Your muscle power generates electricity, and charges the connected phone. Actually, it’s being a little generous to say that it “charges” the phone. Whatever charge it puts into your phone, it is imperceptible. After five minutes of yanking, you’re certainly not going to see the battery meter climb up. It’s just the equivalent of five minutes of charging on a power outlet. Unlike the Solar Surge, the YoGen is strictly not for regular use. With the kind of dedication it demands – five minutes of cord-pulling for ten minutes of talk time, this one is strictly for emergencies.

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