Solar Focus SolarMio

Finally my last item for my backapacking list has arrived. This is a replacement from my previous solar gadget Solio which I have lost it in Cingjing Farm. I prefered to use the product from Solar Focus is because of its durability however it is twice the size compared to Solio which is more pocketable. You can read on my review of these 2 products here.
There is another product by Solar Focus is the SolarDuo Purse. I was debating between the Mio and Duo and finally I set on the SolarMio.

 Looking at the specification for both product below.



                                              Mio                                            Duo
Solar Power                       2.52W                                         1.68W
Solar Output                    6V, 420 mA                                 4V, 129mA
Output Voltage                    5V / 6V                                      5V / 6V
Power Bank                  3.7V 900mA (3.3W)       1.2V, 2300mA AA Ni-MH battery x 2 (5.52W)
Weight w/ power bank          250g                                             190g

It is clear that the SolarMio is a better Solar product as it will charged faster however its power bank is rather low in rating, if you know you math (P=VI). I had ordered an additional power bank 3.7V, 1800mA which has a rating of 6.6W for just additional NTD250.

So now let us get started on the SolarMio....

package comes with 10 tips, car and 110/220V wall charger, power bank and 2 charging cable
each Solar cell should have an output 2V 140mA
power bank and storage compartment
the power bank is able to charge my Sanyo eneloop batteries which will be handy for my other gadgets
Gadgets is in full charging speed
the SolarMio does not have any external wires, the power bank is connected to the solar cell by means of connecting buttons which I think is a brilliant idea.
power bank has both USB and DC output
the DC-in can be charged either by car or wall charger.
As for the on /off switch I find it unnecessary. Makers says when you are charging your gadget, set the switch to "ON" otherwise set it to "OFF" to prevent unnecessary power bank drainage...DOH
Moreover the switch is so tiny and you need to use your nails to move it.
you are able to charge 2 devices at the same time
overall weight with power bank and connecting cables

I found the original elastic cord position is not to my liking so I made some modification by just running the cord at the lower end and tied with a knot on each end so that the panel can be open up nicely. On the top I added to nylon ring for hanging purposes.

Ready to GO!!
Conclusion comparing SolarMio, SolarDuo and Solio Classic
SolarMio would be my first choice, if the maker did not provide an option for power bank upgrade, I would reconsider my choice again. Overall the Mio has a greater Solar power output which is crucial to charging our devices. They used Li-Polymer battery which is far better than the other two. The only things I did not like about it is the fabric they used which is PVC or some rubber material. It doesn't seems durable but I might be wrong. I would prefer they had nylon material just like what is on the SolarDuo. The other thing is the power bank compartment. The zipper seems like a "cheapo" material, zipping and unzipping is not always smooth. I would rather the had the compartment at least water resistance. The other thing I would prefer they added a feature on the power bank to indicate the battery level.


Solio Classic would be my second choice. Among the three, Solio has the lowest Solar power output at 0.93W. Given the option to recharge the power bank and charging other devices at the same time give Solio an upper hand over the SolarDuo. Overall Solio classic is the lightest and smallest but you would have to sacrifice it's durabilty and longer recharging hours on Li-Ion Battery.


SolarDuo uses Ni-MH rechargeable AA battery. The plus piont for this system is that you can charge as many rechargeable battery as you want but then again, to charge 2nos batteries on a good day would take around 4.5hrs.  and is probably good enough to use for your torch for one night. I like the nylon fabric they used on the Solar Duo which is more durable comparing to SolarMio. According to some customers review from REI, I did not like about the SolarDuo is that it is not able to solar recharge and charge other devices at the same time. Solar devices should not design in such manner that you would have to wait for your battery to be fully charge before you can use it. 


So overall I would have to sacrifice the weight and size of the SolarMio over performance. I need a device that can provide juice faster and SolarMio is currently the one that can do the job.

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