If you’ve ever been backpacking you know what energy it takes to keep all of your electronic devices up and running while on the road. Luckily, the moments of endlessly sitting next to a power socket on the airport or keeping your smartphone on airplane mode all day long are over. Brand new on the market is the WakaWaka Power+, a smart combination of a solar charger, battery pack, and a flashlight. Whenever there is the sun it provides free electricity at your disposal to your smartphone or any other small electronic devices. Read our review about the WakaWaka and find out if this the product you’ve been looking for!
The WakaWaka is a combination of a solar charger, battery pack, and flashlight, it is a powerful, and compact device which can be used in urban settings as well as off the grid. When charged you can use it as a flashlight or as a charger to charge your smartphone, tablet or any other small electronic device. A sympathetic aspect about the lamp is that when you buy a WakaWaka you actually fund a second device, which is distributed to development countries. Under the motto "buy one, give one ' for every sold WakaWaka the company donates one WakaWaka to charity.
The WakaWaka should have a full battery in 12 – 24 hour in the direct sun or within six hours placed in a power socket.The flashlight consists out of 2 LED’s and the brightness setting varies from 5 lumens until 70 lumens. The battery pack has around 120% of power (2200 mAh), so it can easily fill up your smartphone or other small electronic device. Some special features are the SOS emergency beacon, auto energy saving mode and simultaneous use of the light and charger. The housing is produced out of recycled plastics and the available colors are Yellow and Black. The retail price is around € 69,99 excluded shipping costs. The packaging used for shipping is made from biodegradable materials.
During our trip to Israel, we brought the WakaWaka with us. Enough Sun to be Solar charged and enough adventure to put it to a tough test. The WakaWaka is both used during camping in the outdoors as in a more urban environment.
>The WakaWaka is provided with a Micro USB connection which can be used to charge any type of smartphone or small electronic device. We charged our smartphone (Motorola G, the battery was at 14%) in less than 2 hours, which was surprisingly faster than other battery packs we’ve used. After charging our smartphone, the WakaWaka was completely empty and had to be re-charged.
We used the flashlight under several circumstances, like hiking in the outdoor but also as a reading light.
The flashlight has four settings named: ‘’Energy Save’’, ‘’Medium’’, ‘’Bright’’ and ‘’Super Bright’’.
We did some hiking in the evening to test out the ‘’Super Bright’’ setting. During our hike, we didn’t need any other light, since the WakaWaka had such an intense light beam we could see enough to maneuver around in the pitch dark. After the hike which took about 6 hours we returned with our WakaWaka half full. We were surprised that the battery was still half full since the description said it would hold up to 10 hours on the Super Bright setting.
‘’Energy Save’’ & ‘’Medium’’ are in our opinion better for use indoors, like reading a book or searching items in your backpack. Setting ''Bright'' & ''Super Bright'' can be easily used as a searchlight when being outdoors. A very nice extra option is the SOS Emergency Beacon which sends out a light beacon in morse-code, which can be used when you’re lost in the jungle or almost out of battery ;).
We mainly charged the WakaWaka on the dashboard of our rental car and strapped on our backpack during hikes. The WakaWaka charges fairly fast and the battery is definitely full within 24 hours when in direct sunlight. However, it can be a challenge to always have a charged smartphone when depending on the Solar Charge. When the sun isn’t shining bright enough, the charging can take longer than expected which leaves you in the risk of ending up with an empty smartphone.
When it comes to sustainability the WakaWaka definitely a precursor. The device is produced out of 100% recycled plastics (PC-ABS), is highly impact resistant and the packaging is completely made from biodegradable materials. A very nice feature of the WakaWaka is that when you buy a WakaWaka, you help funding the ‘’Share a Sun Project’’ which provides WakaWaka’s to people living without access to electricity. These people can be survivors of natural disasters, families displaced by war and strife or people who live in extreme poverty. In the past three years, WakaWaka has helped improve the lives of more than 1,000,000 people lacking access to electricity.
- Has a very good and long lasting illumination which can be used longer than described.
- The solar charger is working pretty fast and the battery pack will definitely be full if you put it a whole day in the direct sun.
- Lightweight and it doesn’t take a lot of space in your backpack.
- The design is very well over thought, as it can be put in the sun in several different positions and ways.
- If you buy one, another WakaWaka gets donated to a person in need.
- The retail price of 69,99 is expensive in comparing with other charges which might be more efficient.
- Although it looks like it is, the WakaWaka is not water resistant.
- Charging is going very slow when there is not enough sun. It is very optimistic to depend on the WakaWaka as your only battery pack.
- Only one charging port.
During our trip to Israel, we noticed that the WakaWaka can be a very useful product when hiking and being far away from the habited world. The flashlight came in very useful and lasted for a very long time when used as a charger, our smartphone was fully charged within less than 2 hours. In our opinion, the WakaWaka might be the best device on the current market if you are looking for an efficient and durable outdoor charger which provides you with electricity wherever you are. It is perfectly designed for the outdoor environment, durable and even better, not only you will end up with a very useful charger but also somebody who might need it even more.
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