About 6 years ago I bought my dad one of these as a Christmas present, and it's still heavily used today and gets carted around the house, normally with Radio 4 on. It's been wound more times that I can remember and yet it's still working just as well as the day it was bought. The proof of reliability has been severely tested and it's passed with flying colours.
It's a basic radio, nothing too fancy and can receive both AM and FM radio stations. It has no memory presents and nothing too technologically advanced in it.
It is however very environmentally friendly and very innovative. It can hold two AA batteries to power it as a contingency, but it can be charges using the winding mechanism on the front. It can vary on how much power you provide depending on how aggresively you wind it, but as a rule, a minute of winding firmly will give you about 45 minutes of uninterrupted radio listening. It also powers the green light which you can press on the front to highlight the radio dial. This brings two major benefits. Firstly, your saving on your pocket. A pack of four batteries can cost up to a fiver these days so if your a frequent user of a radio then you could find this paying for itself before the year is out. Secondly, is saves on the environment as it's using your energy to power it.
It's also easy to use, and there's not a lot to this. However, but there are a few drawbacks.
The sound quality isn't all that great and considering it only really holds a winding mechanism and a receiver, for the price it retails for too (about £30) you could get a DAB radio with a lot better sound. Also the aerial is pretty bug and you need to really have the aeriel extended its full 4' in order to get a good signal.
That said it does it's job well and it's handy for something that uses no batteries or artificial power. It's handy in the garden or particularly if your someone who goes camping and or spends a lot of time outdoors.
This is so handy! Wind the handle for a couple of mins to get between 30 and 60 mins of excellent radio reception. (When it was new it lasted for nearly 3 days on one 2 minute wind - maybe they are'supercharged' at the factory first). Since then it's been the standard 1 min wind/30 mins reception ratio. It's easy to carry around the house (with the 'camera-style' hand strap attached) and ideal for travel. Also, no worries about leaking batteries if you don't use it for a while. There is a battery compartment if you get sick of winding or need constant reception. No mains socket. The winding makes you feel quite virtuous - replenishable energy etc, though I usually listen to it while I'm cleaning and have tthe dishwasher and w/machine running full blast so I'm sure I'm still in huge energy deficit! The retractable aerial is very sturdy and gets an excellent reception on the channels I listen to. I have another portable radio which can't get Radio 4 upstairs for some reason - this radio has no problem at all. It can recieve on FM or AM. Tuning and volume are via the usual 'wheels' on the sides. The dial is clear and easy to read and there is a dial light which can be used if the radio has any charge. This is situated about an inch below the dial and at a differnt angle so though it has a satisfying lime green light, it doesn't do anything at all to illuminate the dial in the dark. Two additional lights on the top are for tuning and to show you when you're winding fast enough - thankfully not a lot of effort needed, as once the novelty wears off the 30 mins seem to fly by! The body has a stylish upright silver casing with black rubberised panels at either side. The black winding handle seems sturdy and is easy to use . It stays folded into a notch in the side of the case unless you're actually winding! One disadvantage is that it's quite a chunky radio depth-wise, s
o if you're female or have small hands anyway, gripping right round it and holding firmly enough to wind with the other hand is pretty uncomfortable. The rubberised sides have a couple of hard edges which dig into my hand. I wouldn't be suprised if Phillips or another manufacturer eventually realises this and designs 'hand grips' into the sides like a walkie-talkie. Have a go at winding in the shop before you buy if possible. Children are fascinated by it and it's a good starting point for looking at the concepts of renewable energy. It's also safer to leave around than a mains powered radio. If you use batteries and have small children, be aware that the compartment isn't screwed shut, it can be slid off so they could get at the batteries quite easily while your back is turned. This cost us about £20 from Safeway and we've had it for about 3 months, it feels as if we will have it around for years - a good sign!