Power Monkey Extreme – Review

Like a young boy I couldn’t wait to open the box. The box containing the Powermonkey extreme, my latest toy. It’s a solar powered backup battery to charge your cant leave at home devices when out doors.

powermonkey extremea

The kit contains a 9000mAh battery, solar panel, connection cables and a bag full of connectors to plug into most of the latest phones, except my iPhone. If the connector for your device is not included you can plug the USB cable you received with your device into the USB socket. Included is a sturdy case to keep the goodies together. I actually only carry the minimum bits for my personal devices (I do not have to charge everyone else’s devices as well) in the case.

 But what does it do?

It charges your electronic devices, like cell phone (including smart phones), tablets, cameras, flashlights from the battery that can be re-charged via the solar panel, wall socket, car charger or even your laptop USB socket.

What did I do with it you ask?

The first thing I charged with the battery was my iPhone. The charge takes a bit longer than charging from a wall socket but it did the job well. I actually charged my iPhone a couple of times to check if it can really do what they say and yes it did charge my IPhone 4 times.

The next challenge was to recharge the battery. As I was driving a round a lot in that week I left the solar panel on the dash of the car but was very disappointed with it’s performance until I called the Agents and discussed it with them. I found out that the solar panel does not receive enough energy through the car’s windshield to charge the battery. So I set it up all over to test. As long as you get full sun at the correct angle you will be able to charge the battery but not in 1 day. The panel in the kit is much smaller than the battery requires to charge it within a day. I guess it is to keep it compact.

Other things I Charged include my LEDLenser H7R recharable headlamp, compact camera, tablet and even ran some LED striplights as a test. IT did not once let me down charging any of my devices (if you have enough power left in it). it has a digital display and coloured lights indicating the power levels and charging state.

IMG_0964

Charging the Headlamp

 

It is rugged. My 2 3 year old boys got a hold of it and it withstood some drop tests, I strapped it to the back of my 950 Adventure for a dirtroad trip away for the weekend and I used it extensively on my trip to China and every time i go out to site as a back up battery for my power hungry iPhone.

Testing the powermonkey

Testing the powermonkey

My Opinion?

At first I was disappointed with the solar panel, but I realised that the solar panel was not intended to be the main charging method, but the backup. Ensuring the unit is charged via a wall socket before you leave home and then using the solar panel to keep it topped up as you go on works great.

I have used this specific model for a couple of months now. I throw it in my bag whenever I leave the home or office. I use it when on site to keep me connected. It came in very handy when we traveled to China. We were traveling for 2 days with very little place to charge our phones and tables, but when my phone started screaming for power I just plugged it into the battery and kept on downloading emails or messaging our office at home. I also charged my Galaxy tablet to finish watching the movie while traveling from HongKong to Mainland china on the ferry.

I am very impressed with the Solarmonkey extreme and enjoy using it.

I would however recommend you choose the correct product from the range to suit your requirements. The Adventurer is a very neat unit with the solar panel and battery all in one. It does have a smaller battery but is more comfortable to use especially for lightweight camping and hiking. There are smaller units capable of charging normal phones up to big units capable of charging your laptop. 

Here are some technical specs:

Milliamps Hour (mAh): 9000
Battery Type: Lithium Polymer
Voltage: USB 5V and 12V DC

Safety Features:
Short-circuit protection
Overload protection
Reverse discharge current protection
Low voltage protection

Parameters:
Input: 5V 0.5A-3A
Output: USB port: 5V 1A and 12V DC port 800mAh, solar panel output 3 watts (with addition of gorilla-pad from DC output will be 5V 2A)
Battery Chemical: Lithium Polymer
Energy: 33.3 WH
Static power waste <50 µA
Total weight: 456g

Works With

SLR Cameras
Hand-held Cameras/Action Cameras
iPads/Tablets
iPhones/Smart Phones
iPods/MP3/MP4
PSP/Hand-held/Games Consoles
Sat-Navs/GPS

Will Also Work With

PDAs
Mobile Phone
Head Torches

Number of Charges

Via USB

iPad/tablet                                    50% – 2 times
iPhone/smartphone                             3-6 times
Via 12V
DVD Player                                           4 hours
Powertraveller cameranut/                  2-3 times
Camera batteries cradle