Why no cell phones with solar panels?

Lieve Peten

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Oct 29, 2014
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I have a small LED flashlight on my keyring that works quite well, it gets its power from the sun or just light. Its solar panel is about 2cm by 3.5
I assume heavy usage of a phone would be too much for just charging a phone with a small solar panel but it would be enough to keep a phone alive if necessary.
Is this a silly idea since no cell phone maker seems to incorporate a solar panel???
 

sting7k

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Jun 10, 2010
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The surface area of solar energy collection space needed to generate the amount of power to charge a phone battery is much larger than any pocketable device could accommodate.

An LED doesn't need much power.
 

L0n3N1nja

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Jan 11, 2014
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I've got a power bank with a solar panel larger than my phone and it still takes all day to charge. The only way to possibly put a solar panel on the phone would be to cover the entire back with one negating the ability to use a case.
 

MoreDef

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Dec 19, 2013
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I'd imagine it conflicts with the battery itself, as in one of the tenants of good battery keeping is to keep it out of extreme temperatures, while solar panels require you to expose the unit for extended periods of time to heat and direct sunlight.
 

adonispeniel

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I think I've seen one on those Chinese model phones .. the back cover is the solar panel. I might check and see if I'd see it again
 

J Dubbs

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I still think the attachable battery mod like on my Moto Z3 Play is a pretty good compromise of form and function. It makes the phone about the same thickness as a normal phone (since the Z3 is a very thin phone), gives the phone over 5200 mah of battery life, which lasts me several days, and acts like a protective case for the phone. Plus gives it a nice textured grip. I think there'd be too many compromises with a solar panel setup.

You can even get phone cases with built in supplemental batteries from companies like Zero Lemon, but those tend to be bulky, expensive, and hinder access to the usb-c port on your phone.

It's a shame the Moto mod approach to extra battery life didn't go more mainstream.
 

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