I was asked by the good folks over at MobileFun.co.uk to review their Wind Up Mobile Phone Charger w/ Torch. This was in response to a recent blog posting where I mentioned I want to do some Wild Camping, you can read Things I want to do …
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Continue reading for my review
First impressions: Firstly, looking at the product in the box and out of the box I’m most impressed with the size of the device, however, at the same time it also made me wonder how well suited for the job it would be. I was surprised at how well it fit my hand and I was able to operate it. As simple as it may seem to just pick it up and turn a handle, that’s not always the case. With some crank devices I’ve tried I found I was bashing my knuckles or scraping fingers because of how the mechanism worked. This device does work quite well for me, someone with massive hands might find it harder to use due to the small size. Weight wise, it’s lighter then my Nokia N97 by a fair bit, the phone is 150g, this device is around 70g?
Practical usage: I had no problems winding it; holding it did get a bit tiresome due to the small size, fingers were cramping up a bit after 2-3 min of cranking it. I had my 6 year old crank it for 1 minute. She did alright but kept wrapping her fingers around the small case and kept bashing her fingers on the crank, not surprising really; ever try to tell a 6 year old anything these days? :) The one page manual that comes with the device doesn’t give any indication about how long you should crank to get what approximate amount of usage from the light. One minute of erratic cranking by my 6 year old kept the light on for about 5 min. One minute of the suggested speed of about 120rpm gave just over 30 min of usable light.
Using it to charge a phone would be a very tiring prospect that’s for sure, there are much better Nokia N97 Chargers available that’s for sure. I had a lot of problems actually charging my Nokia N97 There seems to be a connection issue somewhere in all of the connections between the crank charger and the plug to the phone. In all there is a plug in the crank body to the 20-25cm extension cable, plus the connector needed for my phone to the cable and then finally into the phone. Whilst cranking the handle at the suggested rate of 120RPM my phone was constantly flapping between charging, not charging and eventually would just give up and stop taking a charge or perhaps it wasn’t getting any voltage out of the cable and connectors. The type of plug/socket used on the crank body is not the best choice for an object that’s going to be moving around as much as it is when you’re cranking. There are more stable and secure connectors that could have been selected, but perhaps the ones used were due to cost rather then reliability.
Conclusion: Would I carry this device with me out camping or around in my gadget backpack? Yes for sure. As a windup torch it’s aces, as a phone charger it might well work when the chips are down and you need a few more minutes of talk time or just to keep it topped up, but it’s not without the need of some fiddling.
The manual is quite simple, just a single sheet doubled sided, let’s face it, there’s not much to know to use this. Crank the handle, turn it on or plug in phone and crank the handle