Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Attractive, effective little combination pack
on January 12, 2014
I bought this radio along with the Eton FRX2. I am cross-posting this review to both items' pages. In sum: the Eton FRX2 is a better device than the HY-88E; it runs longer on a solar charge (had them side by side in the window). The crank is a little quieter than the HY-88E, but it has a higher-pitched whine. Both radios played music nicely, and both were unable to tune in any radio stations from NOAA, as my home is located in an area where NOAA no longer supports transmitters. However, if NOAA were important to you, I would choose the Eton FRX2, as each NOAA weather channel is click-selected on the dial.
The HY-88E is smaller, which can be an advantage; I found when cranking it, however, that the small size made it impossible for me NOT to press on the solar cell on it. I do not know if this will cause long-term damage.
The HY-88E has a better flashlight. The beam is round, and has a sharp focused edge. If you chiefly worry about a flashlight, buy the HY-88E.
It was in the area of charging Cell Phones that I found the biggest difference. The Eton comes outfitted with a "normal" size USB plug. Turning its dial to "cell," plugging in a USB cable to the Eton, and then plugging that cable into my cell phone, and then later an iPod, allowed me to charge both by using the crank (it is SLOOOOW.) The HY-88E comes with a whole host of plugs and adapters, but none that made it usable: its USB output is a mini outlet, as opposed to the full-size USB on the Eton (and on my computer as I type this). I simply do not have any mini-to-mini USB cables, and was unable to use the HY-88E to do anything to charge any phones. If you have the correct adapter (and, frankly, the number of adapters is stunning on the HY-88E and worth quite a few bucks), it should be a beaut.
Bottom line: the FRX2 is $13 more expensive than the HY-88E. For that, you get indexed selection of NOAA stations, a slightly larger solar cell area, an immediately useable cell/USB charger, and a flashlight not nearly as good. If NOAA is more important, go with the FRX2. If the flashlight is a key feature, the HY-88E. If neither of these is important, save the money and go with the HY-88E.