Freeloader Pro review

Ditch that bag of cables – one solar-powered charger can do it all

Freeloader Pro
The two-piece construction means it's a bit more fragile than some, but this is one seriously versatile recharger

TechRadar Verdict

A great tool for those needing an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to power up their gadgets while on the move


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    Twin solar panels

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    Slow charging

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    Not as robust as some

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The Freeloader Pro solar charger comes with two solar panels, making it larger than some of the competition, but at 174g it's still a comfortable fit in most pockets.

To charge the unit, just unclip one panel, flip it over and reconnect it to the other, then place in direct sunlight.

On a bright UK summer day, charging takes around nine hours, but clouds or being behind glass mean waiting two to five times as long. You can also charge the Pro in about four hours from a USB port.

Once full, you can use the bundled adaptors to recharge an iPod, iPhone, mobile phone, and just about anything that uses a 4mm charging tip or a mini USB connector.

Unusually, the Pro can output 9.5V to power heavy-duty gadgets, and the bundled CamCaddy recharges just about every camera battery out there (3.2-7.9V).

Battery capacity is less than some other units, but its versatility means the Pro is the best choice around.

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