These days we rely heavily on tech in our daily lives to do everything; from finding the nearest ATM cash point to getting you home via your bus pass. So what happens when your tech runs out of juice? Disaster, that’s what. Hardly surprising then, that the search for alternative and additional power sources is intensifying each year.
That’s where the Waka Waka Power comes into play. The name may sound like a superhero catchphrase, but luckily the device also acts as a superhero. This solar-powered, low cost, LED lamp stores that all important ’emergency’ charge for your phones and tablets. It’s also a great size at just 121 x 17 x 78mm and light-weight at 200grams. I really believe this is something that everyone should carry in their pocket or backpack when embarking on their next outdoor adventure.
It takes eight hours to charge completely via the sun’s rays and five hours to charge via a standard power outlet (which you have to purchase separately). Once full, the unit powered up my smartphone from 0 – 100% charge in under 2 hours, and there was still some spare juice left for more charging if I needed it. The flashlight feature delivers illumination in different modes; Torch (30 seconds of the brightest light), 100% (20+hrs of light), 50% (40+hrs of light) and 25% (80+hrs of light).
The design is great and feels robust and yet compact enough to be very portable. It comes with a click out stand to rest on your desk, however if you don’t have a handy surface available to use, the designers have also cleverly crafted a cut-out circle – the same dimensions as a standard two litre bottle top – to use as a holder when camping or at a festival. You can also get a black and yellow model if standard black isn’t your thing. See my video review below for more details on the product.
The Waka Waka power is now my everyday charger companion, purely based on its reliability and size. When traveling to places with no power (festivals, walking holidays, etc) this is something I would recommend as a ‘must-have’ on your packing list. However it should be noted that in my tests I was unable to get this device to 100% capacity on solar alone – due to the lack of sunshine that our British Summer Time provides. This means that the AC microUSB adapter is a pretty valuable alternative solution. At €69 the charger is cheaper than some of the existing external battery packs around, and it can be used with a wide variety of smartphones and tablets.
Price: €69 or $79