SolarRadio's retro look taps the sun to tune you in

Freeplay's latest radio offering packs clean power generation in a slick, older look. Ok, so the older appliance it riffs on may be a toaster, but it's still pretty cool.

Freeplay — makers of slick hand-crank radios since 1996 and pioneers of self-powered tech for the developing world — have also solved the "toy solar" issue with a lot of sun-powered gadgets that have appeared lately. While everyone likes stealing some sunshine to keep rolling, what some of those gadgets don't tell you is how precise conditions need to be to keep you powered without the help of a wall socket.

Freeplay's 3.6v solar cell isn't just durably built — it also keeps you fully charged in shadier conditions. The multiband solarRadio will be out in spring here in the U.S., retailing for around $130.