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Gadgets

Solio Classic: Need your phone charging, petal?

Looking for a portable phone or iPod charger that doesn't need mains electricity? You'll want a lovely flower-shaped Solio Classic solar-powered charger

If you're as addicted to your gadgets as the Crave team, you'll know how infuriating it is when you run out of battery -- especially when you're in the middle of nowhere. You could carry a spare battery around, but that's not very environmentally friendly, which is where the Solio Classic comes into play.

The Solio Classic is a solar-powered charger that fans out into a flower-shaped form, each 'petal' containing a solar panel that turns the sun's rays into electricity. Aside from looking cool, the folding design means that the charger is more compact when closed up. It's a sturdy product -- but not too heavy -- and you get a suction cup in the box so that you can stick it to windows.

The Solio comes with a variety of adaptors that allow you to plug in phones, iPods and a range of other gadgets. You can also buy more adaptor tips from Halfords if the one you need doesn't come in the box.

Our biggest concern was whether or not this thing worked on a typically cloudy day in London, and it does -- but it'll charge your phone quicker on a sunny day, of course. You can pick one up for about £50 to £80, which is about standard for this kind of product. For more information on solar-powered chargers, visit our eco-happy sister site SmartPlanet.com. -Andrew Lim