You know the moment of panic when you’re in the middle of talking, texting or browsing the Internet and you realize our phone battery is flagging, and you don’t have your charger. What if you could simply walk out into the sunlight and give your phone’s battery a boost?
You can now do this – as long as you have an iPhone 4, anyway. The Eton Mobius rechargeable battery case with solar panel, a solar charger we spotted on Red Ferret, is a phone case with a battery and a solar panel affixed to the back. When the phone is slipped inside the case, the 30-pin connector can draw power from the charged battery. Fully charged, the 1800mAh lithium ion battery gives you five hours of talk time, or up to 32 hours of audio playback, Eton says. Depending on conditions, each hour of direct sunlight could provide 25 minutes of talk time, according to Eton.
The phone does not need to be in the case for the battery to charge. The case can be left in the sun while the phone is used elsewhere. Just slip the phone in when you need a little more juice. It will retain its charge if the power switch is left in the off position. An array of LEDs lets you know that power is or is not being transferred to the phone.
If extra power is needed but the sun isn’t out, the battery can also be charged with a micro USB cable, but this is not included. The device is available from Amazon for $78.