We live in a world where phone charging vending machines are common place around shopping centres, universities and libraries. Having a charged smartphone is now beyond a necessity and is beginning to borderline a human right. Every sane person I know will charge their phones as they lay down to rest for the night, while some sociopaths will charge during the day while at work or home. But how do you manage when your phone is running low on power while you’re… commuting? At a sporting event? Camping? Well boy, do Uniden have an answer for you.

The UPP80S (say that five times…) is a solar power bank. As is extraordinarily evident from the photos you see here, the face of this device is covered in solar panels that charge the 8,000mAh battery in direct sunlight. It comes with two LED flashlights and a compass for those who did scouts.

Now according to Uniden, the UPP80S takes roughly 40 hours to completely charge in sunlight and it’s recommended that regardless of use, it should be regularly charged every 3 months.

I’ll apologise in advance for using some basic math, but the average phone battery has a capacity of 3,500mAh. If it takes the UPP80S 40 hours to charge it’s 8,000mAh battery, it would take about 17.5 hours to get enough power to fully charge a phone. That isn’t feasible as a primary power source, which is why Uniden recommend charging the UPP80S via microUSB and allowing the solar panels to keep it topped up.

It has two USB ports that allow for simultaneous charging. Uniden recommend using this for tasks such as keeping your dashcam powered while away from the car.

The UPP80S is pretty powerful and I found that over the course of 45 minutes, it charged my phone 25% while playing music and very casual browsing. Not many USB charging ports (desktop PC, laptop, etc) will output even half that amount of power…

In today’s society a portable power bank is a must have for the glove box and retailing for $49.95, I highly recommend the Uniden UPP80S.

Check it out on their website!