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It is a known fact that regular wall chargers can consume large amounts of energy even while it may not be charging a device. There are dozens of “green” alternatives for charging your BlackBerry. The Monaco mobile solar charger has just recently released and we have tested it to see how it compares to the competition.

The Monaco mobile solar charger comes in a small, plain white box without instructions of any kind. You don’t necessarily need a users manual, but one would have been nice. Clearly, presentation was not of importance.

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The Monaco Solar includes an AC charger adapter, USB cable (for charging the backup battery) and another USB cable with interchangeable mini USB and micro USB tips for charging devices equipped with a micro USB, mini USB or ExtUSB charging port. 


Featured specs:

  • 1,800mAh battery capacity
  • Recharge backup battery via:
    • AC power (~6 hours charging time)
    • Computer USB port (~6 hours charging time)
    • Solar power (~8 hours charging time)
  • LED indicator (red indicates backup battery is being charged, green indicates backup battery is fully charged)
  • Weighs 93.5 grams / 3.3 oz.
  • Measures 55.5 x 105.8 x 14.5mm

Monaco Solar and USB powered backup battery and charger is a backup battery that can power and charge your BlackBerry when a power outlet isn’t available. The Monaco Solar packs 1800mAh battery capacity – enough to fully charge BlackBerry’s battery. The backup battery itself can be recharged via an AC power outlet, via a computer USB port or by direct sunlight.

Normal indoor lighting also worked to charge our BlackBerry using the solar panels. However, this did take longer than direct sunlight. Using indoor light was not quite as effective due to its spotty charge.

Our only real gripes with the Monaco solar charger is that, while there is an LED indicator for when the device itself is charging or fully charged, it does not show if it is charging your BlackBerry. Of course you can see if it is by looking at your BlackBerry’s battery meter. You also had to wait until the Monaco solar charger is fully charged until you can efficiently charge your BlackBerry.

The Monaco solar charger worked very well, as intended. It is a little bigger in size than most BlackBerry devices, but it was still easily able to be transported on the go. The Monaco solar charger takes only about 8 hours to be fully charged, which is about 4 hours less than its competition. If you want to stay green and have an easy back-up battery charge, then the Monaco solar charger is definitely a good option for $39.99.

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The Monaco solar charger also works with almost any other electronic device that has a micro or mini USB input. This is nice, as it is not restricted to just your BlackBerry. Here is the list of compatible BlackBerry devices:

BlackBerry Mini-USB: BlackBerry 6210, 6220, 6230, 6280, 6510, 7100g, 7100i, 7100r, 7100t, 7100v, 7100x, 7105t, 7130c, 7130e, 7210, 7230, 7250, 7270, 7280, 7290, 7510, 7520, 8100 Pearl, 8110 Pearl, 8120 Pearl, 8130 Pearl, 8300 Curve, 8310 Curve, 8320 Curve, 8330 Curve, 8350i Curve, 8700c, 8700f, 8700g, 8703e, 8800, 8820, 8830 and Bold 9000 phone models.
BlackBerry Micro-USB: Kickstart 8220, Pearl Flip 8220, Pearl Flip 8230, Curve 8520, Curve 8530, Curve 8900, Pearl 3G (9100), Thunder 9500, Storm 9530, Storm 2 9550, Tour 9630, Bold 9650, Bold 9700 and Torch 9800 phone models.
For more information and to purchase the Monaco solar charger, click here.