A short while ago, the Gizzu Hero Core 512Wh would be the 512Wh battery to buy. EcoFlow's recent price drop cuts it down to a far closer race and it's not one we're entirely sure Gizzu deserves to win.
Ease of use
December 2023 was a rather nice time. It’s not just being off work that did it, either. Eskom managed, probably at massive expense, to keep the lights on for the festive season. That’s over for now and load shedding has returned. If you don’t already have a battery in your home, it’s time to snag something like the Gizzu Hero Core 512Wh power station.
You don’t absolutely have to get this one but at R8,000, you’re getting a fairly good deal. The Hero Core 512Wh is compact, features enough capacity for most basic uses, and also has all the ports you’ll need to keep the lights on — including an actual light. As ever, you can do better but that calls for more money. And since this isn’t the very best battery on the market, there are a couple of quibbles. Let’s explore the ups and downs.
Brick of finest green?
A 512Wh battery isn’t the heaviest thing in the world. Gizzu has given this 6kg(ish) battery backup a mostly solid frame in the company’s green and much darker green livery. The front section is dominated by the ports — there’s a 12V input and output, three USB-C (one of which outputs at 100W so you can power your laptops), and two QC 3.0 USB-A ports. There’s also a single LED light which is mostly there to tick a box and the LED readout. More on that in a second.
The sides aren’t unadorned. The left (if you’re facing the front of the unit) is where a flap concealing the XT60 (the oddly-shaped yellow port) and the kettle chord input lives. The right is where the Type D (three-prong) input is situated. The sides are bracketed by large intake ports with cooling fans. Finally, the top is where the carrying handle is. This is a plastic protrusion that, while solid, gives a hollow impression when you’re lugging this thing around. It won’t break but it feels as though it might one day decide to go on holiday.
Go, go power ranger
So, plenty of ports then. What about the battery itself? It compares favourably with the EcoFlow River 2 Max in terms of capacity. It should, given that they’re both running 512Wh LiFEPO (lithium iron phosphate) batteries, but EcoFlow has a slight edge in terms of experience. Those large fan ports? Yeah, they’ll start making some noise into an extended discharge session (we call it load shedding). EcoFlow’s unit does it too, but Gizzu’s Hero Core 512Wh is a much noisier unit. Less attention has been paid to dampening the decibels here. It’s not the worst we’ve ever heard but it’s certainly noisy enough to take note of.
You’ll find that the 800W maximum draw is accurate, but you can expect minimal uptime if you run the Hero Core 512Wh fully loaded. It’s even possible to run a fridge or something else with a motor. There’s a max peak load of 1,600W, allowing for startup costs and compensation when a compressor kicks in. It’ll siphon away battery minutes but you’ll run your appliance. Power tools or a kettle? Not so much.
Full of itself
So it’s a little noisy. So what? Your TV has a volume button. You’ll be fine. There are only a couple more considerations, one of which is a slight novelty for us. Gizzu has fitted this UPS power station (yes, it’ll automatically kick in if you leave it linked between your gear and the mains) with an alarm. This series of very annoying beeps will go on when you drop to around 10% capacity, ensuring that you never run it completely flat. We’d rather sit in the dark than listen to it go off. That’s good for the battery’s lifespan, too.
And charging back up to full only takes a couple of hours. Charging from the mains peaks at 400W, while using the 12V/XT60 solution will top you up as fast as your car battery or solar panels are capable of. Provided they’re not speedier than 200W, because that’s where the XT60 port caps out. A fully-charged battery can be yours in as little as two or as much as four hours if you’re hitting the maximum input wattage. It should be enough to get you ready for Eskom’s next outage, barring any unforeseen complications.
Gizzu Hero Core 512Wh verdict
The Gizzu Hero Core 512Wh UPS power station (to give it its full name) is a decent addition to your load shedding survival kit. It’ll power something large for long enough to get to you to the end of most of Eskom’s shenanigans and it’ll also serve as a camping assistant if you happen to have some portable solar panels tucked away in your garage. The R8,000 price is excellent but, unfortunately, the superior EcoFlow River 2 Max has seen a price cut that matches Gizzu’s cost here. You’ll see similar performance between the two but the River 2 Max is better built, better muffled, and has proper app support. It’s the little things, you know, but if you opt for the green over the grey, you’ll still be well served.