“ Type: Torch „
When I originally bought this torch, it was bought because I wanted something that could be used for camping. This seemed to be a really good idea at the time because of the way it was a wind up torch so therefore there was no batteries involved. This is always a good thing for camping because it means that you don't have to worry about batteries going dead in the middle of the night when you need to go to the toilet and can't see where you're putting your feet, as is often the case in camp sites that have no electricity or lights up anywhere. It can be pretty annoying. That's the main reason I decided to get this torch, so that there would be no worry of this happening again.
When I saw the torch in a charity shop, I thought that it was a pretty good deal, coming in at £2 for the torch, and the fact that it had a radio on it was just a bonus for me.
Having bought the torch, I had a look at it back at the camp site and it seemed to be a pretty good little thing. It had a radio in it as well which is always useful when you're in the tent and want to know the weather forecast or something like that. In order to power the torch or radio, all you need to do is wind up the torch using a handle on the back of the torch. It is held up to the side of the torch by a magnet so that it doesn't get in the way when it's not in use but this is pretty easy to unclip, you just have to pull it towards yourself (away from the body of the torch) and it is more than easy enough to do this. The magnet isn't overly strong but it's strong enough to hold it on unless you choose to remove it.
Once you've wound the torch up, it says in the instructions that it will last for as much as an hour after you spend 1 minute winding it but I would say that while this may be true, it is somewhat a weak light if it's the torch you're mostly using it for. If you want the light to remain bright you have to keep turning the winder all the time or the light isn't particularly bright and it's difficult to see where you're going. The radio certainly lasts about an hour without needing any more winding though which I feel is a good thing.
I thought that the look of the torch was quite good as well, given that it is a fairly bulky item that is difficult to lose. This is a bonus for someone like me who always loses everything but it's not exactly the most fashionable looking item and it isn't the sort of thing that would easily fit into a bag or a pocket or anything which can make it easier to transport. For me, this isn't a problem at all but I could imagine it would be a completely unnecessarily big and bulky item for some people who therefore wouldn't like it much.
Overall, I think that this is a very good item. I probably would buy another one if I found it again but to be honest, I think the process of winding it could be improved so that it actually does last a little longer with the torch side of things.
When I first purchased this torch I was very pleased with it. However after a few years the winding mechanism becomes stiff and difficult to rotate. This is made worse by not being able to wrap your fingers fully around the body of the torch. This torch was kept indoors and never exposed to damp conditions. Another one of these torches kept in a car, which would have got cold and I suppose damp, can only be wound up with great difficulty. Keeping it in a car for use in an emergency would have been ideal compared to a normal torch with batteries. As for keeping one on a boat, forget it. A good idea but not thought through properly in it's design.
I can honestly say that I feel that this is one of the most useful items to have arrived in our house recently. Since its arrival about six or seven months ago it has been used almost every day.
The TCL Magic Torch Plus certainly does have plus features the main one being the fact that it needs no batteries because it is a wind-up torch. The charge handle is folded against the body of the torch and clips to the end and each minute of winding will provide approximately thirty minutes of light. There is a green LED pilot lamp which lights while charging is in progress the recommended rate is to rotate the handle (in either direction) at a rate of 130 rev/min or greater. This is not as difficult as it sounds because if rotation is not fast enough the green LED doesnt show. The actual light is a very bright white produced by five LEDs. Any power not used will be stored in the torch and can be retained for approximately two months.
The second plus point is that included in the body of the torch is an FM Radio also powered by the rotary handle. I have to say that, although this is hardly ever used, there is very good reception. When switched on the radio will play the station to which it was previously tuned. To re-tune you have to press the RESET button followed by SCAN. Scanning will stop when it finds a good signal. Earphones can be connected although these are not included.
The third plus is that it can be used as an emergency phone charger. A charge lead is included for this purpose along with four additional adapters and most mobile phones are catered for. TCL also offer adapters free of charge if you have a different make or model to the ones they have covered. One minute of winding gives about two minutes talk time however, although this is only really intended as emergency cover, the time can be extended by constant rewinding - depending on the state of the phones battery.
Plus number four is a siren this can come as a nasty shock if you switch it on accidentally! There is a red LED that will flash when this is activated.
The size of this torch cum radio etc is 160 mm long, 57.5 mm high and 56 mm wide. It has a weight of 380 g. What does this mean? Well, it fits very comfortably into the hand it also has a useful wrist strap. It certainly isnt heavy and is a very useful item for both men and women. Unlike a traditional torch, if the light starts to fade while you are using it, you dont have to search for batteries before you can finish what you are doing. Difficult if outside in the dark! If the light does fade all you have to do is give a quick wind and its back again as bright as ever unless, like I did on one occasion, you accidentally switch on the radio. As it was turned to the lowest volume I was unaware of this until I examined the torch to find out why the light was fading so quickly!
As I mentioned, it is very comfortable to hold it is in a silver/grey plastic with a matt finish and has finger holds along the body so that it is not easily dropped. The torch is not weatherproof and the advice is to not leave it in a damp area.
According to TCL Products (www.tclproducts.co.uk) the recommended retail price is £29.32 but, having checked, I find that it is currently being sold by QVC (the shopping channel) for £19.56, plus postage of course, but even so still quite a saving. Having been so pleased with the purchase we also bought another as a Christmas present for a male relative who was just as thrilled and still says it was the best present he has had for years.
I would definitely recommend this product for home or car use or for a gift. I hope that you have found this interesting and I thank you for reading.
The TCL Magic Torch Plus is the next generation model of Magic Torch. Includes all of the same features as the original Magic Torch, but also now integrates an amazing FM radio with Digital PLL tuning for great reception.