Living in the developed world, it is very easy to take something as simple as electricity and light for granted. Though for 1.2 billion people living without electricity and a viable light source is a way of life. Starting off as a Kickstarter campaign, the Waka Waka Power looks to change this by providing a socially responsible external charging unit with a built-in light source that is compact, lightweight and easy to use.
As this is a socially responsible product, every Waka Waka Power comes with an individual code that, when entered on their website, provides one unit for someone in the developing world and provides funding for different energy projects around the world.
The design of the Waka Waka Power is very minimalist, but in a good way. Weighing about 200 grams and coming in around the size of your typical travel hard-drive, it’s no burden at all to add to any travel kit, car emergency kit or hiking pack. The smooth rounded-rectangle design gives it a sleek look while the rubberized port covers and power button give it a durable feel. The three colour choices are also a nice touch. Coming in black, white and yellow, it provides a good variety to match your lifestyle.
The construction is very solid. Made from a 100% recycled PC-ABS thermoplastic, it can stand up to most of the rigors of everyday day life. While it would have been nice to see weather-sealing on the actual unit, it isn’t a huge drawback as it is small and light enough to fit in most waterproof bags or ziplock bags.
The actual handling of the Waka Waka Power is very simple, using only one button with multiple functions to operate. One press will show the power indicator, the second press will turn on the light at 75 lumens, with the following 3 presses reducing the brightness by about 50%, then turning it off. The light gets anywhere between 10-150 hours of use time per charge depending on brightness. Any USB-chargeable device such as a smartphone can also be charged from the Waka Waka Power, with the 2200 mAH battery providing one full charge for your average smartphone.
The solar charging feature worked very well for a device of its size, with the 1050 mW 22% Sunpower cell fully charging the Waka Waka Power in about 16 hours of sunlight, and even continue bringing in a low charge on overcast days. The battery can also be charged through a power outlet or by a computer through its microUSB port.
The Waka Waka Power is going to really strike a chord with you if you are looking for an external battery pack and light source that does not need to be charged from a main power grid. The relatively quick solar-charging ability, rugged design and added social responsibility make this a very ideal choice for any camper or hiker. Street price: $99. For more information on the Waka Waka Power visit thecamerastore.com or waka-waka.com.