Pod Point Solo 3 Review

The best Solo yet
Pod Point Solo 3 review

Pod Point is one of the most searched brands on Top Charger, and there’s no doubt about why; the company is killing it with great products.

The Solo 3 is Pod Point’s newest home charger, released last November. It replaced the Solo, bringing a sleeker design and an upgraded polycarbonate case. Other upgrades include a new circuit board and wiring configuration.

Ultimately, it is an iterative update over the Solo, but iteration here is no bad thing because the Solo was a decent charger anyway. Should you buy the Solo 3? Our review reveals all (hint: it’s one to add to your list!).

Let’s jump in!

Price when reviewed: From £949 (tethered) with installation (no OZEV).

Pod Point Solo 3 review

James Lewis

Smart home charger
Design
Build quality
App/software
Ease of installation
Charging experience

Summary

The Solo 3 is stylish and easy to use, with a simple but intuitive app that lets you set charging schedules and add tariff details (kWh prices) to track costs. It leaves room for improvement with a small LED status light and no boost mode to override schedules instantly, but these aren’t deal-breakers. Overall, it’s a good charger to add to your list.

4.2

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Tethered or untethered
  • Cable wraps around charger (no messy wall hook)
  • App has cost tracking
  • Well-made
  • In-built earthing (no earth rod)
  • App is basic but easy to use

Cons

  • LED status light isn’t the best
  • No power/boost mode to override schedules instantly
  • Doesn’t support kWh price caps (for dynamic tariffs)
  • No solar integration

Quick review

The Pod Point Solo 3 is a stylish charger that works well with schedules and offers a reliable charging experience.

It’s available untethered or tethered. Tethered models get a 4.8m Type 1 or 7.5m Type 2 cable (most people will use the Type 2 variety).

Pod Point Solo 3 tethered
Barclay Electrics

I like the design, with the new polycarbonate case and oval shape being a whole lot sleeker than the original Solo’s round, ABS body. Also, the large body serves as a natural reel for the cable to loop around, creating a tidy installation.

I also like the app, which is logical and easy to use, although some people have connectivity problems (I had no such problems). The app lets you schedule charging to make use of cheap rates and you can also input your tariff details for cost tracking.

A notable missing feature is a boost/power mode to override schedules, which is annoying if you want a quick boost (the solution is to deactivate the schedule that covers the period of inactivity you want to charge in).

A screen on the charger would have been handy to check the charge level. Pod Point has instead stuck with a single status light for at-a-glance status information.

The tiny LED status light is beaten by the likes of the Wallbox Pulsar Plus, and even the cheaper Sync EV. Pod Point should definitely work on this.

Overall, the Solo 3 is a decent smart charger in terms of design, build quality and scheduled charging. Add a power/boost button and it’s a winner.

Is the Pod Point Solo 3 easy to install?

The Solo 3 has in-built earthing so there is no requirement for an earth rod. It has a Protective Multiple Earth (PME) system, so if a fault is detected, the charge cycle is denied and it becomes a double-insulated device that isolates the vehicle from supply and earth.

Pod Point Solo 3 circuit board
Barclay Electrics

Additionally, the Solo 3 has 6mA DC vehicle fault protection and only Type A RCD/RCBOs are required at the source.

The unit is designed to accept cable entry on either the left, right, bottom or via rear, with a rear installation providing a seamless installation.

The Solo 3 also has DIP switches for setting the maximum supply limit. These make it easy to set the maximum supply.

Solo 3 wiring
Barclay Electrics

The Solo 3’s large body translates to plenty of room in the case to wire things up. It has a new circuit board and wiring configuration over the Solo, which provides more space in the case than the previous model.

Installation follows the same process as other chargers:

  • Install the back plate
  • Run the cable
  • Create a circuit
  • Wire it up
  • Install the front casing
  • Connect
  • Test the unit

Of course, this is a simplified workflow. Electricians do a lot more work in-between, especially when it comes to assuring safety.

Overall, the Solo 3 is easier to install than most other chargers because it has lots of space in the case. The build quality is excellent from an installation perspective, inspiring confidence at every stage of the installation.

Solo 3 design

The Solo 3 has a polycarbonate case, an upgrade over the previous model’s ABS case. PC is more durable than ABS with greater impact resistance. The unit is rock solid with no creaking or movement in the case.

Untethered Solo 3 review
Barclay Electrics

The oval shape is new, and overall it is sleeker than the Solo’s rounded shape. It doesn’t look as big and this is backed up by the measurements:

  • Solo untethered: 360 x 360 x 150 mm
  • Solo 3 untethered: 290 x 330 x 167 mm

The total volume reduction is 17.6%, so it takes up less space on the wall, although it does stick out a bit more.

Solo 3 review
Barclay Electrics

If you want the tethered model, the tethered Solo 3 is only 112mm thick, so it is significantly thinner than the untethered version. This is because it doesn’t have a built-in charge port, which requires a fatter case.

Thanks to its oval body, the cable loops around the unit, so there is no need for a messy wall hook. A charger holster comes as standard with the tethered model.

The Solo 3 retains the same silver and black colour scheme as the Solo, which gives the charger a bit of kerb appeal.

Solo 3 installation
Barclay Electrics

It’s a more modern-looking unit, and it looks quite nice. The Easee One is still my favourite EV charger to look at, but the Pod Point is nice enough.

The front of the charger hosts a single LED bulb which is used to display the charger’s status (more on this below). It’s basic, not very big and nowhere near as nice as the light strip on the Hypervolt Home 2.0.

Overall, the Pod Solo 3 is well-made and looks good, with the tethered version my preference because it’s a lot slimmer than the untethered unit.

Solo 3 status lights

The Solo 3 has a small LED status light that pales in comparison to the LED status ring on the Hypervolt Home 2.0 and Sync EV.

It’s a shame Pod Point didn’t upgrade it to an LED strip or something fancier because the front of the device has plenty of space for it.

The status lights are as follows:

  • Solid green – charging
  • Flashing green – battery is full or charger is waiting to start
  • Solid blue – standby mode
  • Flashing blue/pink – syncing with Pod Point
  • Solid white – lost Wi-Fi connection
  • Solid yellow – charging is paused and the charger is balancing current
  • Flashing yellow – schedule available and waiting to charge
  • Solid/flashing red – technical fault

Solo 3 charging speeds

The Solo 3 charges at 7kW on a 32A single-phase supply, 3.6kW on a 16A supply, and 22kW on a 3-phase supply.

Here’s what those charge speeds mean:

  • 3.6kW – 14 miles of range per hour
  • 7kW – 24 miles of range per hour
  • 22kW – 60 miles of range per hour

Most homeowners will charge at 7kW. 7kW is fast enough for overnight charging and the Solo 3 monitors energy use via a CT clamp.

Solo 3 connectivity

The Solo 3 connects to your home Wi-Fi and requires a stable connection for the smart features to work. Otherwise, the charger is a plug and play device, which you activate via your vehicle or vehicle companion app.

The installer connects the Solo 3 to Wi-Fi during installation, leaving the user to download the app and create a Pod Point account.

You need a Pod Point account to link the Solo 3 to your smartphone so you can access smart features like charge scheduling.

You don’t need an account to simply charge your EV, because the charger works as a plug and play device without schedules.

To link the charger to your Pod Point account, you enter your Solo’s PSL number located on the sticker at the bottom of the charger.

The connection process is simple, but if you don’t purchase the charger via Pod-Point.com, you need to contact Pod Point support so they can create an account on their end. This is because the email address you use to buy the Solo 3 on Pod-Point.com is linked to the charger.

It has IEEE 802.11bgn Wi-Fi, which offers a good range signal and isn’t easily obstructed. In practice, it means you shouldn’t have connectivity problems, but there are several reviews on the App Store that complain about issues.

We didn’t have any connectivity problems with the Solo 3, but some users report them. If you have issues, the tips below might help.

You need to enable 2.4Ghz on your Wi-Fi router. Sometimes, Wi-Fi routers block the connection of devices. If you have any problems, restart the charger, and if this doesn’t help, restart your router.

You might also benefit from a Wi-Fi enhancer to expand the signal of your home Wi-Fi. A Wi-Fi enhancer simply plugs into a 3-pin socket.

Solo 3 charging experience

The Solo 3 is a smart charger, so it lets you create schedules that make charging available between different dates and times. The idea is that you schedule charging sessions to fit your lifestyle and to access cheap rates on an EV tariff.

Scheduled charging

Without a schedule, the charger reverts to default charging. In other words, it is in standby mode until you plug the cable into your car.

Solo 3 charging experience
Barclay Electrics

The Solo 3 will charge when it is immediately plugged in unless there is an active
schedule set in advance that limits charging between times. The schedule defines whether the charger is ready to go all the time or not.

With schedules, the charger works well. We didn’t experience missed schedules and the charger didn’t have any problems with connectivity. You can set as many schedules as you like, covering every day of the week across all hours of the day.

No boost button

A notable missing feature is a boost/power mode, so you can override schedules when you want to charge immediately. This is an oversight.

Solo 3 charging experience garage
Barclay Electrics

Also, an important note on schedules that we found out the hard way – any vehicle-set scheduled charging will interrupt scheduling within the Pod Point app, so you need to turn off schedules set in your vehicle or your vehicle’s companion app.

Cable and physical experience

The tethered Solo 3 has a 4.8m Type 1 or 7.5m Type 2 cable. The cable loops around the charger, a much more elegant solution than a wall hook. It works well and we like the fact the Type 2 cable is 7.5m as standard.

The charger is rock-solid, with no play at all when using the cable.

The small LED status light is as basic as you’d expect. The Solo 3 would benefit from a small LCD display that shows the power output and charge time.

Overall, the Solo 3 works well with schedules, but there isn’t a boost/power mode to override schedules. The Indra Smart PRO and Zappi v2 both have these features.

Pod Point app

The Pod Point app gets a bad rep on the App Store and Google Play Store. In fairness, it pulls reviews from both Solo users and Pod Point’s public charging customers, who only seem to leave bad reviews.

My experience with the Pod Point app is that it works well enough with the Solo 3 and doesn’t make it difficult to set schedules.

By no means is it the worst app out there, but it isn’t the best either.

Ultimately, interaction with the app is minimal after setting schedules, unless you want to track costs and consumption in the app.

Graphs and information

The Pod Point app has a Stats menu that provides information about charging sessions, tracking both home (Solo 3) and public charging sessions with Pod Point chargers to track all costs.

Pod Point app screenshot

The app lets you add your tariff’s kWh price for different times to track charging costs on schedules, and it works perfectly fine.

The app doesn’t let you set a kWh price cap (a la Ohme Home Pro) so the Solo 3 only charges when the cheapest price becomes available. There is also no integration for dynamic tariffs like Octopus Agile, which will probably become more common.

Pod Point app tariff integration

The ability to add tariff prices is useful because it estimates charging costs based on power consumed. You can set kWh prices for different times (see screenshot above), so you can track costs on a dual-rate energy tariff.

The app also displays Pod Point public charging stations:

Pod Point charger locations

Clicking on any of the circles zooms in and you can then select a charger and get directions.

Potential app improvements

The app performs well enough, but there are a few ways Pod Point could improve it:

  • While the app lets you integrate your tariff’s kWh prices for cost tracking, you can’t set kWh price caps for tariffs with dynamic pricing. This means you rely on scheduling for cheaper rates.
  • There’s no power/boost mode to override schedules. It means if you want to charge immediately outside a schedule, you have to mess around with schedules to do it.
  • There’s no lock mode in the app to lock the charger down. A lock/holiday mode would be useful to make sure the charger can’t be used.

Overall, the Pod Point app does the job but leaves room for improvement. If Pod Point were to address the points above, it would be a whole lot better.

Verdict

The Solo 3 is a decent smart home charger, with reliable performance, rock-solid build quality and a refined design that lets you wrap the cable around the charger.

Pod Point Solo 3 full review

Downsides? The app is basic and it has a few missing features that the best apps have, like a lock mode, a power/boost mode to override schedules instantly, and the ability to input kWh price caps so you always get the cheapest rates.

Overall, the Pod Point Solo 3 isn’t the smartest charger out there, but it looks good and performs well. If you don’t want to make use of dynamic tariff pricing (e.g. Octopus Agile), and scheduling is enough for you, it’s a decent option.

It achieves a score of 4.2/5.

Pod Point Solo 3 alternatives

The Zappi v2 is a good alternative. We awarded it 4.3/5, with the Zappi having an in-built display and a better charging experience.

Another option is the Hypervolt Home 2.0. The status lights are easier to see, it has Wi-Fi and 4G, and the app offers more information.

Documentation

This review was produced in collaboration with Barclay Electrics, OZEV Approved Installers of home and workplace chargers. We extend our thanks to Barclay Electrics for the photos and insights used in this review. Be sure to visit them if you like what you see!

Do you have the Pod Point Solo 3? Help out the Top Charger community by sharing your own review below!

James Lewis
James Lewis is our resident electrical head. He drives an MG ZS EV (2018, which he loves) and plans to get the new one soon. James is much more excited by the lower end of the EV market and is looking forward to the Ora Cat.