(WHNT) - Keeping a smart phone charged can be a challenge. We have them on around the clock. And on some phones, like the iPhone, the more apps you have open, the faster the phone runs down.
But what if you have an inexhaustible power supply to charge your phone -- for example, the sun?
The Bell and Howell Solar Charger is for smart phones and comes with a smart, sharp key chain. A WHNT News 19 viewer asked us to test it to see if it's worth his money.
"I've seen the Bell and Howell Solar Charger and was wondering if it worked," Jon wrote. "It costs $19.99. Was wondering if you have tested it. That would work great for me as much as I am outside."
The way this works, allegedly, is the item has a high-capacity lithium polymer rechargeable battery and solar panel. In English, that means if you live in the sunlight, it will charge and then charge your phone.
The charger's tiny solar receptors are on the top. It has a key ring attachment so you can keep it handy.
It also comes with multiple adaptors to fit any device, including smart phones, eReaders, GPS devices and electronic games.
Here's how it works. The solar charger is one piece. Then, you attach the adaptor on the side and plug it into the device you want charged.
It comes with a complete charge. I let the battery run down in my iPhone and then let the solar charger run down charging my phone. The solar charger did not completely charge my iPhone, but charged it about half way. That left it plenty charged to make calls, or surf Facebook and Twitter.
We put the dead solar charger on the dashboard of my perfectly tuned automobile for 24 hours. In case you are wondering about 'The Icebreaker', it now has 242,000 miles on it.
But the solar charger charged nicely, and after another run through with my dead iPhone, it charged it about halfway.
The Bell and Howell Solar Charger, while not delivering a full charge, is a good tool to stick in the car, a kitchen window, and on your key chain to always have with you. We like it and rate it a Deal.
Here are a few things to keep in mind. This is a device to charge your phone really in an emergency or an unusual circumstance.
For example, if you were at the ball park all day with the kids' baseball or softball teams.
Or, if you were on a trip, you could put it on the dash or back window to charge your phone.
I never got a full charge, but it charged my phone enough to make a call, or more importantly, surf Facebook.