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KIWI Choice, Inc. > 
Item#: N82E16875982601

Kiwi Choice U-Powered Black 2000 mAh Solar & USB Portable Charger KWS1

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  • Lithium Polymer
  • 5 Volt
  • 600 mA

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

With KIWI U-Powered there is NO way to run out of power. Unlike other chargers, you can basically charge this device from Any Power Source: USB port, wall charger, solar energy and car charger. Once charged it holds to its power and with the 11 free tips, it can be used to charge any of your mobile devices on the go.

KIWI U-Powered charges Blackberry, iPhone, iPod, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Palm, MP3 Player, Digital Camera, PSP, GPS, Headset, eBook, Nintendo DS, and more.

Learn more about the KIWI Choice, Inc. KWS1

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the KIWI Choice, Inc. KWS1

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  • MARK H.
  • 11/3/2013 8:33:33 AM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsSolar? Solar Watts?

Pros: This charger has a very neat design feature. It is fairly compact, but unfolds into a trefoil configuration to expose three solar cells (this is not shown in the photos).

As a backup battery, it works as expected and can deliver one to two cellphone charges, depending on the phone. With the solar cells, self-discharge can be slowed, and the device can be used as a useful backup battery in a car or somewhere where a power outlet is not readily available. However (see cons), the device still needsa to visit a real power outlet from time to time, and especially after it was used for energy transfusion into a cell phone.

Comes with many adapters, but...

Cons: One cable was missing that would connect the USB outlet to the coaxial adapter ends. Without this, the adapters are pretty much worthless. I used something from my cable stash and got it to work, though.

Compared with a non-solar model from a competitor, it showed a fairly high self-discharge, dropping one (of total 4) LEDs evey few days. Exposed to sunlight, the self-discharge is pretty much halted.

The most important Con is the solar charge current. Similar to reviewers of other solar devices, I found that solar operation did not seem to charge the battery, so I took it apart to measure the current. The three solar cells deliver slightly more than 50mA into the batteries under *ideal* conditions (full sunlight, cells perpendicular to incident light, no shadows or diffuse light on any part of the cells). Under these ideal conditions, and assuming a linear charging process, the theoretical minimum for a 100% charge is 40 hours of sunlight.

Of course, the charging process is not linear, and current drops as the battery nears full charge. Moreover, even the slightest angular misalignment, or a minor partial shadow on the cells, or even a bit more diffuse light, immediately drops the cell output to 20mA, 10mA or even less. The full 50mA are very difficult to attain. It is easy to see how the minimim time to full charge easily rises to 100, 200 hours (two to four weeks with 6 hours of sun daily). No surprise, then, that the batteries don't seem to accumulate any charge under solar light.

In short, the time-to-full-charge given in the specs (17+ hours) is exceedingly optimistic, even if we assume perfect solar illumination.

The device has a tiny green solar charge indicator LED. It was probably made intentionally dim so as to not use up the scarce current from the solar cells. But the LED is facing the front (the solar cell side). Obviously, whenever the light is strong enough to deliver a significant charge, the LED is all but invisible.

As much as I like the trefoil design, the three cells, stacked up, make the device much thicker than needed for the 2000mAh it carries.

Other Thoughts: Given the poor efficiency of solar cells in general, the often-found complaint that the batteries don't appear to accumulate any charge in sunlight is more a general problem than one specific to this device. A larger cell surface area is needed. The designers of this device tried to deal with the dilemma between a large surface area and an overall compact device by allowing the foils to unfold, but the total power collected is still insufficient to make solar charging practical.

This said, the same size and same price could give you a non-solar backup battery with much higher power density that you just carry around and recharge every few days -- the conventional way.

I absolutely *love* the idea of solar, but limited solar energy density combined with poor efficiency of the cells makes its application -- for now -- impractical.

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  • Darryl S.
  • 10/24/2013 2:08:29 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDon't purchase

Pros: None

Cons: Bought 2 and neither worked out of box. Tried to call the company phone on box and number was disconnected.

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Home > 
Electronics > 
Batteries, Power Banks & Chargers > 
Batteries > 
KIWI Choice, Inc. > 
Item#: N82E16875982601
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