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Goal Zero USB Smart Adapter

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
photo: Goal Zero USB Smart Adapter electronic

A frustrating and unsatisfactory ending to the entire Goal Zero saga. When the original product fails to work, Goals Zero's solution is to spend more money with them. This is the final review of three components that failed together and separately to perform.


  • None


  • Does not perform to its published claims
  • Does not perform to its published claims
  • Does not perform to its published claims

Normally, I strive to write or film a “Killer Review” for everything I cover, but in this case, I want to simply discuss my entire frustration with the Goal Zero series and point out this adapter was not the fix it promised to be.

For a more of a background, see my reviews on the Goal Zero Nomad 7 and the Guide 10 Plus

In summary, the Goal Zero Nomad 7 worked great with my first smartphone, the HTC Inspire. However, when I upgraded phones to my Motorola Razr, the Nomad not only failed to charge my phone, it would actually drain the battery. Goal Zero’s solution to this problem is to spend more money and buy their $50 battery pack, the Guide 10 Plus. As previously reviewed, the Guide 10 Plus advertised its ability to charge a smartphone twice on a full pack. This claim proved to be false, again draining my phone’s charge after bringing it up to only 68-69%.

After contacting the company, they told me that different smartphones require different amperage. The solution, they claimed, was this adaptor. They shipped it to me free of charge. As noted in my review on the Guide 10 Plus, the adapter made absolutely no difference. I returned the battery pack, but I kept the adapter to test an idea.

Today, on a sunny, cloudless day, I placed the Nomad 7 in full sunlight and plugged in my phone at 18% charge. I checked the phone 10 minutes later and found the battery down to 15%. No clouds, no passing trees on the trail. Just full sunlight and battery drainage.

So now, I grabbed the adapter and plugged it into the Nomad 7. My hope was the amperage issue could be resolved with the addition of the adapter. No such luck. After 10 minutes, I was down to only 12%. At 5%, I pulled the phone off the charger and adapter and plugged it into the wall for charging.

In short, Goal Zero has failed to provide a product that can keep up with advancing technology. I’m frustrated with each piece in this entire set up. On their website they have posted, “Solar Power-Portable & Reliable.” In my experience, half that statement is false, and Goal Zero fails to clearly explain their system will not work with all smartphones.

I would warn anyone looking at solar charges for the trail to seek elsewhere.


Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Goal Zero—after I contacted them about my frustrations)

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Price MSRP: $4.79
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