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Anker 625 Portable Solar Panel (100W) Review: Solar Power on the Go

Rating: 7/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $330
Anker 625 solar panel charging Anker powerhouse.
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Portable power stations are great to have for emergencies, plus they’ll help you keep all your gadgets powered up when you’re outdoors or going off-grid. The same goes for small portable chargers and battery packs. But what do you do when your battery or power station runs out of juice? You get the Anker 625 Portable Solar Panel charger.

Whether camping, on vacation, living off-grid, or preparing for an emergency, you’ll want a way to recharge your phone, laptop, lights, drone, and more without power from a wall outlet. That’s when the Sun becomes your best friend.

While Anker already offers several portable solar panels, like the smaller 24-watt kit we reviewed earlier this year, those looking for more power will want to consider the Anker 625. These panels can deliver upwards of 100W of power, are relatively portable, take less than 30 seconds to set up, and are ideal to have in an emergency. Here’s my full review.

Here's What We Like

  • Fairly lightweight
  • Portable folding design (and handle)
  • High 100W output
  • Scratch and weather-resistant

And What We Don't

  • A bit expensive
  • Can only charge 2 devices at once
  • No built-in battery

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Design, Specs, and Build Quality

Anker solar panel pockets.
Cory Gunther/ Review Geek

  • Dimensions (Closed): 20.7 x 18.5 x 3.4 inches
  • Dimensions (Opened): 56.9 x 20.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Storage: Two zippered-pockets

Like everything Anker makes, the 625 portable solar panels are built tough. It has a durable fabric and plastic design, rugged plastic handles, and magnetic connectors in the grip that keep it shut to protect the panels. Overall, it feels very well-made.

Two storage compartments or zippered pockets are perfect for all your charging cables, portable battery packs, and other gadgets. One closed storage pocket protects your goods, with rugged zippers and all. However, the second storage pocket is a breathable mesh, which houses the solar converter and circuit box. This is likely to ensure it doesn’t overheat and stop charging, thanks to plenty of airflows.

Once you take it out of the box, you’ll see it’s about the size of two large laptops when folded shut. It’s not very small, but it’s thin and reasonably portable. All the kickstands are firmly in place with velcro straps, so it won’t be flopping around until you’re ready to set it up, plug in your stuff, and harness power from the sun.

There’s not much else to it, and that’s a good thing. You have a system that protects the solar panels, two large storage pockets holding the long 3-meter solar charging cable and an adapter for Anker’s powerhouse portable power stations. It’s easy to carry to your car, toss in the back, and head out on an adventure.

Setup and First Use

Anker 625 portable solar panels
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

  • In the box: Anker 625, solar charging cable, XT-60 To DC7909 connector
  • Legs: Three adjustable kickstands (the cable storage pouch doubles as a leg)
  • Positioning: Easy sun alignment tool

Snap it open, and the Anker 625 unfolds into a four-panel layout with three kickstands. It’ll only take about 30 seconds, and you’ll probably spend more time plugging in cables than on setup. Pop open the kickstands, find a sunny spot, and you’re ready to go. Or, if it’s mid-day and the sun is above you, simply lay it flat.

There’s no built-in battery, though, and it can’t store power. I hooked up my Anker Powerhouse 800 II portable power station and used the sun and panels to charge it. And on another day, I used the Anker 625 to recharge a 20,000 mAh portable power bank.

Each panel is made from a CIGS material, a type of thin-film solar material that’s flexible yet durable. Anker says it’s scratch and weather-resistant, an upgrade over earlier models that couldn’t handle the outdoor elements well. I got dust and dirt all over them while camping, which wasn’t a problem.

Anker 625 solar panel sun alignment tool
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

In the middle of the four panels, there’s a small plastic window with a few circles on it. This is a “sun alignment tool,” and the little dot will put a shadow on the indicator behind it. If you’re able to get a “bullseye,” it’ll guarantee the fastest charging and the best results, but even when it was off a bit, the panels still offered plenty of power output.

The kickstands aren’t adjustable, so finding the perfect angle can sometimes be challenging. They’re attached on one end, held in place with velcro, and have a strap to fold out to what Anker feels is the ideal angle. I wish those straps were adjustable, like a backpack, to help adjust the angle.

Power stations like the Anker 757 are great, but they’re also big, heavy, and expensive. A solar charger could be all you need if you’re going on a short summer trip. If so, fold it open in seconds, plug in a portable battery or your phone, and you’re all set.

I’ve had other solar panels overheat while sitting in the hot 109-degree Las Vegas sun while serving me up battery power, but I didn’t experience any problems with the Anker 625. It never once stopped outputting power, even on cloudy days. I’ll try it again when the temps warm up.

Power Generation and Charging

Anker 625 solar panel charging at 97W.
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

  • Solar power input: 100W
  • Charging Output: 15W/USB, 12W/USB-A and USB-C, total output: 15W Max
  • Efficiency: 23%, even on cloudy days
  • Operating Temperature: -4°F through 140°F

The Anker 625 portable solar panels are fairly lightweight and easy to set up, but how well did it charge my gadgets? Well, that depends on how much sunlight is available and not covered by clouds.

I was very surprised that it instantly worked as advertised in terms of power generation. The first time I opened it up and hooked up a power station, it was pulling 97W of power from the sun and recharging a big Anker power station. You can see that number in the top left corner of the image above.

Unfortunately, there are too many variables to say how fast it’ll charge any device between the angle, sunlight, and clouds. However, from what I saw, the Anker 625 solar panels can fully charge my Anker Powerhouse 545 (500W) power station in around 6 hours. It’s not delivering 100W constantly, so your mileage may vary.

The second time I used the Anker 625 solar panel was on a cold, cloudy, windy, 54-degree day here in Las Vegas. Even with a ton of clouds, it delivered around 55-73W of power to my power bank. That’s better than I expected.

Anker solar panel pockets.
Cory Gunther/ Review Geek

Next, I tried charging my Anker 20,000mAh portable battery bank via the USB-C output on the solar panels. After about an hour, it went from completely dead to nearly 50% or two out of four bars. And while that’s not crazy fast, that’s enough to charge two smartphones fully.

Use solar panels like the Anker 625 to charge your portable battery, then top off all your gadgets each night after the sun goes down. When you’re off the grid and don’t have a power source, this will certainly give you enough juice to charge a phone, lanterns, or other gadgets. And if you’re camping, charge something like the Anker 757 electric generator all day, then use it at night to run everything in your van, from a TV, fans, mini-fridge, coffee machines, and more.

Should You Buy One?

Anker 625 and Powerhouse station.
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Nearly a decade ago, I took some cheap portable solar panels on a kayaking adventure through Leigh Lake in the Grand Tetons national park, and they let me down. An entire day in the sun couldn’t charge my phone more than 10%. With newer technology like the Anker 625, I could have charged everything I wanted in half a day.

So, should you buy one? Well, it depends on your usage scenario. This might be a bit too big and heavy if you need something ultra-portable. But if you’re a doomsday prepper and want products to help you prepare for an emergency, I’d highly recommend the Anker 625. Get one of these if you want to charge anything from a phone or power bank to a massive power station.

Solar panels like the Anker 625 are best suited for someone living the Van life or drive-up and park tent camping. Or to have in storage if you lose power at home. It’s easy to set up on a roof, tabletop, behind your tent, or backyard. Then, it can sit and soak up the sun’s rays all afternoon and give you plenty of power for all sorts of things.

While $329 certainly isn’t cheap, if you need an easy way to get plenty of power, the Anker 625 will give you a relatively stable power supply, whether the sun is shining or hiding behind some clouds. As long as you don’t expect it to be as fast as the wall outlet at home, it’ll get the job done.

Thanks to a great design and solid functionality, I’ll absolutely take the Anker 625 solar panel on my next camping trip or outdoor adventure.

Rating: 7/10
Price: $330

Here’s What We Like

  • Fairly lightweight
  • Portable folding design (and handle)
  • High 100W output
  • Scratch and weather-resistant

And What We Don't

  • A bit expensive
  • Can only charge 2 devices at once
  • No built-in battery

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »