Sunday, November 16, 2014

Eton FRX4 Multi-Powered Emergency Radio & Charger Review

Technology continues to get more and more integrated into our lives. Even outdoor activities such as camping, we bring our devices with us. Up for review today is a great one from Eton. It is the Eton FRX4. The Eton FRX4 is an all-in-one type of device that includes a digital radio, light, and multiple charging options.

Features and specs:
• AM/FM/NOAA Weatherband
• NOAA Weather Alerts
• Digital display
• 1000mAh rechargable lithium battery
• 5V 1A USB output
• Hand crank power
• Rugged1 and IPX4plashproof2
• High efficiency solar panel
• Bright, long-lasting LED flashlight
• Red emergency beacon
• DC power input via included micro-USB cable
• Glow-in-the-dark locator
• Headphone jack
• 3-AAA battery option (batteries not included)

The Eton FRX4 comes in a nice looking color printed box, with photos and specs of the device. Opening the box revealed a well protected device sitting in a molded plastic piece to protect it. Also included were the owners manual, and charging cable. The Eton FRX4 was built mostly of plastic. But the quality was very good, as well as the fit and finish. It appeared well built and solid.

The Eton FRX4 is quite full featured. It included a digital tuner for AM/FM as well as Weatherband, and a telescoping antenna. Also included is an LED light, and multiple charging options. The light was sufficiently bright. The tuner also did a good job of pulling in channels. I really liked the included weatherband. Now if you go camping, especially for extended periods, you can get useful weather updates, such as for storms or flash floods. It even included a headphone jack, so you can listen without using the built-in speaker, and not disturb others around you.

The Eton FRX4 also includes multiple charging options. There is no situation where you would not be able to power the device. The included cable allows for USB charging, for the internal batteries. If you forgot to charge it, no problem; there is a built-in solar panel on the back. And if it's in the evening, you are still covered; there is a hand crank that you can charge the device by hand crank. The Eton FRX4 also doubles as a charger for your electronic devices, such as cell phone or tablet, with the included USB cable.

I was excited to put the Eton FRX4 through it's paces, and see just how well it works. After all, I am also a scoutmaster for a local Boy Scout troop, and do a lot of camping. And I know many others that can use a device like this. It performed very well in all tasks. And while I would not say it's built like a tank, it is well built, feels fairly solid, and should give years of use if taken care of. It is one I would not hesitate to include as part of my gear.

One of the best complements a reviewer can give, is that it worked as agreed. And that is exactly the case of the Eton FRX4. The LED's for the lights worked great. The radio tuner pulled in stations fairly well, and it even has a clock and alarm. There's also no need to continually monitor the weather band. You can just set it for alerts, and it will come on with alerts in your area. And all of the power options worked as they were supposed to: internal Lithium battery, using AAA batteries, solar panels, and hand cranking. And using it to charge any cellphone worked good as well.

The Eton FRX4 is a perfect device that every camper or prepper. With the solar panel and hand crank, you can power it anywhere! It is the perfect gift idea. Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the Eton FRX4 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. Kudos to Eton for such an excellent product. If only it had a short band radio as well. Oh wait.... they have that in a difference product. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at