The updated RAVPower Prime 16W performed almost identically to its predecessor in our latest hands-on testing. This 16W panel charged our battery pack and Pixel 3 slowly in comparison to others of similar size and/or capacity. Unfortunately, when the panel struggled to deliver a constant charge to our devices during intermittent shading. On the plus side, it's lightweight and easy to use, plus its price tag is relatively reasonable, making it a good option for those who don't want to overthink their purchase. This panel is a good choice for those who are on a budget or for folks who aren't going to be relying entirely on solar power for the majority of the time.
RAVPower 16W Prime Review
Cons: Failed to charge multiple devices at once, lacks efficiency
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The RAVPower received average scores in our performance comparisons. There were no categories where the panel truly failed, yet none where the model visibly excelled. This lands the RAVPower right in the middle of the road when it comes to performance and efficiency.
Charge Interruption Recovery
The 16W from RAVPower struggled to provide a steady charge to our battery packs after multiple interruptions. It did not perform well in cloudy conditions and continued to disconnect when shaded. When plugged into our Pixel 3 via a USB/USB-C cable, it had a hard time reestablishing a connection after an interruption. We found we had to manually reconnect the phone to the panel, which is an issue.
To test the charging speed side by side, we plugged in dead batteries to the panels and fully charged them while timing the process. The RAVPower performed moderately well in this metric, charging our battery pack from 0% to 38% in three hours. It also charged our Pixel 3 9% in 30 minutes, which is average for this size panel.
Multiple Device Charging Speed
Since so much power is lost due to inefficiencies in the panels, the amount of wattage that makes it to each USB port is relatively minimal, reducing the charging speed significantly. The RAVPower struggled to sustain a charge to two of our batteries at once.
The RAVPower 16W got a bit of a lower score when it came to durability, as the solar cells themselves seem a bit less durable than the majority of other panels of similar design. Though we did not see any damage during our testing period, the cells were not well-integrated into the panel. This is a small detail, and the design is similar to the other fold-out panels in this review. The eyelets are reinforced, making the panel easy to hang up to gain full solar rays or to suspend from a pack when hiking.
The LED screens on the USB ports were finicky. At first, they worked, but after a few uses, the display screens would struggle to light up when the panel was in full sun. These features tend to have issues, and we prefer panels that do not have this capability.
Weight and Portability
Weighing only 15 ounces, the RAVPower 16W is lightweight for having a three-panel design. There is a wide range of weights and sizes among mid-range portable panels, and it's up to you to figure out which design best suits your needs.
The RAVPower is a reasonably priced panel. It is half the price of most of the 20W panels in this review, though it is less powerful and less efficient than our Editors' Choice winner.
The RAVPower is a decent panel for the price. For an inexpensive and decently reliable panel, this one does the job. However, it failed to perform at the level of our top-ranking panels in our performance comparisons.
— Jane Jackson