Duronic Hybrid Wind Up Solar Radio Review

Summary:

Fulfils its purpose very well and will save you money in the long run.

Buy it online:
£14.99 on Amazon.co.uk

The Duronic Hybrid Radio is a wind-up AM/FM radio that is ideal for camping, hiking or as a backup in case of a power cut. Its built-in battery can be charged by winding the handle, plugging it into a computer’s USB port, or simply leaving it out in the sun. It’s exceptionally small, making it easy to take with you when travelling.

Let’s look at the radio in more detail…

Features and specs

  • AM/FM radio
  • LED torch for power cuts or camping
  • 5 mm headphone/earphone jack
  • Built-in 300mAh, 2.4V battery
  • Dimensions: 13 cm wide x 7.3 cm high x 4.1 cm deep
  • Weight: 203g
  • Built-in solar panel
  • USB charging cable so you can charge the radio from your computer
  • Alarm
  • Displays the time

What’s in the box?

In addition to the radio itself, you also get a USB power cable for charging the radio, as well as an instruction manual.

Performance

If you want to charge the radio by solar power, position it with the solar panel facing the sun. The solar panel is positioned on the top of the radio, and a light comes on to show that it is charging.

When fully charged, the radio lasts about 6-8 hours. It can be charged fully by charging by USB for about 3 hours, or winding it up for about 10-15 minutes. The time it takes to charge by solar power is very variable, as it depends on how sunny it is.

Tuning the radio is fairly easy using the dial. You can also adjust the radio’s aerial to get a better signal.

One useful thing with this radio is that you can use its battery to charge a smartphone using a double female USB cable, but it isn’t designed to do this.

Pros

  • The real advantage of this radio is that it uses renewable energy, either through solar power or by winding it up. This means you don’t need to rely on mains power or batteries.
  • Ideal for travel or using in areas with unreliable electricity.
  • Multiple charging methods: wind-up, solar, USB.
  • Can be used to charge a smartphone (though you need an additional cable which isn’t included).
  • Generally good reception.
  • Easier to tune than many similar radios.
  • Small – about the size of a hand.
  • Very cheap. It’s inexpensive to replace if anything happens to it.

Cons

  • The charge doesn’t last very long, so you need to keep winding it up or recharging it frequently. Furthermore, it can’t take regular batteries, so once its built-in battery is drained you have to recharge it rather than simply use new batteries.
  • The solar panel only really works if it’s in direct sunlight, which isn’t so convenient given the British weather.
  • Only has the bare minimum of features. For example, you can’t save preset stations.
  • Sound quality is adequate but not great, though you wouldn’t buy this kind of radio for the sound quality. If you’re listening to speech radio it should be fine, but you might want something better for listening to music.
  • The materials used aren’t too durable, and the aerial can bend easily.

Who is the Duronic Hybrid Radio for?

The Duronic Hybrid Radio is popular with outdoorsy people including hikers, gardeners, campers, and fishermen. You could use it on a building site where you might not be able to plug in a regular radio.

It’s also popular with backpackers and people who work or volunteer in remote areas with limited electricity. It will work anywhere in the world with AM or FM reception, and is ideal for using in developing countries.

Who is the Duronic Hybrid Radio not for?

It doesn’t have DAB radio, so if you want a large choice of stations this isn’t the radio for you. If you want a pocket DAB radio you should have a look at these. The radio isn’t waterproof, so isn’t a good choice for using in the shower. Consider one of these shower radios instead.

Verdict

The Duronic Hybrid Wind Up Solar Radio is an impressive and versatile little radio. It could become your new best friend if you enjoy camping or hiking, or are visiting a remote part of the world. It’s not just for adventurers though; it also works great in the shed, greenhouse or garden. It also makes a fun, useful and inexpensive present.

This radio fulfils its purpose very well, and when you consider what you’ll save on batteries and electricity bills, it’s a bargain. Be prepared to keep winding it up though unless you’re blessed with constant sunshine.

Similar radios

The most similar radio to the Duronic Hybrid is probably the Duronic Apex, which has a similar design and can also be powered by hand or via a solar panel.

You can take a look at this roundup of the best solar radios to compare the Duronic radio with some other AM/FM solar radios. If you’d like a solar-powered radio with DAB rather than just AM/FM radio, check out the Roberts SolarDAB 2.

See our roundup of the best wind-up radios for more options.

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