I’ve never been a fan of solar-powered accessories, even though they provide a good environmental benefit. I found them to either be too clunky or that they are unable to hold a charge for very long.
Recently I decided to give solar-powered charging another try and while I am not completely satisfied, this particular charger seems to work better than my previous products.
To begin, I have never heard of the brand KiwiChoice, but the design of the charger is what lured me in. The majority of solar powered accessories I’ve used have been flat board-like panels that were not very portable. The Kiwi charger however folds into a very small package, making it very portable.
To use the charger, it first must be charged and there are four ways to do that. Users can charge the Kiwi device by USB, wall charger, car charger, or solar. Aside from the solar, each of the former three accessories are included in the box. To charge the device via solar, lay the charger in some light outside, for example, and then open the charger into its star form to allow the maximum charge.
What I really like about all of those included charge types is if the solar charging does not hold up well, users can still use the charger in other ways. The battery is fairly large, at 2000 mAh, so I was able to charge my iPhone 4 fully in about two hours and still have plenty charge left over.
Also included in the package are many connectors to charge a variety of devices. In the box I have, the following charging connectors are included:
- Sony Ericsson
- Palm Treo
- Nokia (two types)
- Sony PSP
- Nintendo DS
Due the wide assortment of available charging tips, the Kiwi charger supports a variety of devices that are not listed above, such as Motorola devices, Blackberry devices, and many more.
While this flexibility is nice, for me it is a negative point as the Kiwi device seems too much like an all-in-one low quality product that you see on late night infomercials. Because of that, while I do use the device, I use is sparingly with fears that because it is not specifically designed for iPhone/iPod, it could damage my device.
The charger also, oddly enough, includes a built-in LED flashlight. Personally I have no use for that but others may. Either way, Kiwi considers the light a bonus.
Overall the Kiwi charger is small, light, and very portable. The variety of charging methods ensures that either way your devices will receive a charge. The Kiwi device is also very flexible by including a variety of charging tips so that many different devices can be powered up, but be weary that the accessory is not specifically designed for Apple devices.