Degen DE13 Crank Solar Radio Review

Summary:
One of the best emergency radios on the market.

Buy it online:
£21.99 on Amazon.co.uk

The Degen DE13 is a portable AM/FM/SW radio that can be charged in a number of ways including winding its hand crank or leaving it in the sun to charge via its built-in solar panel. It could be a very useful radio to have in emergency situations or while camping/hiking, as it doesn’t rely on mains power.

This radio is made in China by Shenzhen Degen Technology Co. Ltd. Find out what it can do and how it performs in this review…

Features

  • AM/FM/SW radio
  • USB port for charging a phone
  • Flashlight
  • Alarm siren
  • Can be powered by: hand crank, solar, 3 x AAA batteries, mini USB cable
  • Headphone jack
  • Can charge phones

Dimensions: 13.3 cm wide x 6.2 cm high x 4.7 cm deep
Weight: 256 g

Performance and use

The Degen DE13 is a small radio with a plasticky appearance, but it’s quite powerful and robust. When you buy the radio, you will need to connect the rechargeable battery which can be a bit fiddly, but once that’s done the radio is easy to use.

This radio has lots of features that would be useful in emergency situations.

This radio has lots of features that would be useful in emergency situations including an LED torch, a siren and a flashing alert light. Of course, the fact that it doesn’t need mains power also makes it ideal as an emergency radio. It would be a good item to have on hand in case of a power cut, or to put in a “go bag”.

The radio is quite powerful for something so small, and the siren in particular is very loud. Unlike most AM/FM radios, the Degen DE13 also picks up shortwave radio which means you can pick up long-distance broadcasts from foreign stations.

One of the best things about this radio is the number of different ways you can charge it. You can use AAA batteries which should last at least 8 hours on a full charge. The built-in battery should last even longer, and can be charged by winding the hand crank, using the solar panel or connecting the radio to a power source using the USB cable provided.

You can also use this radio to charge a phone, though it would take a lot of work to fully charge a phone as you need to turn the hand crank as it charges. Nevertheless, this could be a lifesaver in emergency situations where you just need to charge your phone a little bit.

Pros

  • Lots of charging options
  • Versatile with plenty of features
  • Ideal as an emergency radio
  • Speaker goes quite loud
  • Easy to remove AAA batteries
  • No mains power required
  • Can charge a phone

Cons

  • Battery cover isn’t very sturdy
  • Instructions could be clearer

Verdict

The Degen DE13 is one of the best emergency radios available in the UK. It has a very impressive list of features and charging options, making it an extremely versatile and useful gadget to have during power cuts, while camping or in emergency situations. It would also be good for listening to while fishing, gardening or doing other outdoor activities.

Similar radios

There are a number of quite similar solar/hand crank radios available on the market. One popular alternative to the Degen DE13 is the Duronic Hybrid, which is a very affordable AM/FM radio with three charging methods available (solar, hand crank and USB). It doesn’t have quite as many features as the Degen DE13 and is a better option if you want a simple solar/wind-up radio rather than an emergency radio.

Another similar radio is the iGadgitz Xtra Wind Up Solar Radio, which like the Duronic Hybrid is cheap but quite simple compared to the more feature-packed Degen DE13.

For some more options, read our reviews of the best hand-crank radios and the best solar radios.

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