When I first heard of the name Waka Waka my first thought was does it have anything to do with one of my favorite TV shows growing up “The Muppets Show”? No it doesn’t, the Waka Waka Power is a useful camping tool and something that could be extremely useful in the developing world. It is a USB smartphone/tablet charger with LED lights on the back. It can charge it up with a micro USB cable, but, of course, the best way to charge the Waka Waka is to leave it in the sun.
The idea behind Waka Waka Power is simple. You put it in the sunlight, and it automatically starts charging up its 2,200 mAH LiPo battery. A tiny flashing indicator light on top shows you how fast it’s charging – a series of single flashes indicate a slow charge, two flashes indicate a normal charge, and three mean that it’s charging fast. The rate at which it charges is determined by the strength of the sunlight. Its Sunpower solar cell has an efficiency rating of 22 percent.
After eight hours in full direct sun, it should achieve a full charge. You can check how much juice it’s got by holding down its power button, which will cause a group of one to four other top-located lights to illuminate – depending on how many light up, a battery status of 25, 50, 75 or 100 percent is indicated.
At the top of the small unit there are some bulb lights which indicate the speed it is charging at and how much charge there is left. When it’s full charged (around eight hours of sunlight), the Waka Waka light can give your phone its full juice back and also provide light for a couple of hours.
This will make it an invaluable object for campers and festival goers, who otherwise would have to find other ways of recharging their phones. Alternatively, from one full charge it offers 40 hours of lighting. It’s a small, rugged and versatile unit which can be propped up in various ways, it is also light and portable and features no detachable parts. The light is bright, although you can soften it, by pressing the central (and only) button on the device. It’s a good cause too – part of the company’s ‘mission’ is to stop people in third world countries from using dangerous kerosene lighting.
At Waka Waka their mission is simple. 1.2 billion people around the world have no access to electricity, and hundreds of millions more face regular blackouts. The effects of this energy poverty are enormous. Lacking power and light severely reduces the quality of life. Kerosene lamps are widely used for lighting, yet they are very inefficient, dangerous and expensive, and have extensive health and environmental drawbacks. For every Waka Waka purchased, the company will provide someone in these countries a Waka Waka of thier own. The Waka-Waka Power retails for $79 on their site.
I think the product is great and their mission even greater. Though the idea of charging via solar power is not the most idea for me as I work in an office 5 days a week, the product the times I did use it provided very handy. Me, personally, I would not use this for a primary charging source but could easily see this as a back up power source. For more on my primary power source, check out my review on the uNu Ultrapak Series.
Disclosure: I received the WakaWaka Power in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in my review are my own. No other compensation was given.