Review: Zanflare F2

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jimahi
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Review: Zanflare F2

I received this Zanflare F2 flashlight from Gearbest for review. Zanflare has this light priced very competitively, so read on to see if you think it is a good deal…

I won’t go into the usual stuff you can find by looking at the Zanflare product page.

Introduction
The flashlight comes in an above average quality box and includes a clip, lanyard, and 2 spare o-rings.

The fit and finish of the light is excellent. The anodizing on my sample was perfect. There are flat areas around the head that prevent it from rolling.

The clip is very strong and snaps securely on the light. You will likely scratch the anodizing trying to get it back off.

The light uses an Cree emitter and comes in two tints: a 6500-7000K and a more neutral 4500-5000K. The one that they sent me is the 4500-5000K version and I must say I really like it – it is a nice neutral tint. The Zanflare F2 uses a fairly deep OP reflector.

Here is a closer shot of the LED.

The tail switch has a nice feel and a sturdy solid click. The light cannot tail stand because the rubber tail switch boot sticks slightly out beyond the edges of the tailcap.

The tube is glued to the head and I didn’t try and take it apart. Here is a picture looking down the tube.

The tailcap came clean and with some lube, but I added some Nyogel.

Operation
Clicking the tail switch will cycle through the modes: Low -> Medium -> High -> Strobe -> Low -> etc
Some folks won’t like that strobe is in the cycle. The light does have memory. And strobe is also memorized! I’m not sure why they designed it this way and didn’t hide the strobe (after two cycles as many other lights do). I personally don’t have much need for strobe, and it surely gets in the way of operating this light.

There is a little battery indicator on the head.
According to the manual, it works like this:
If the battery is above 30%, the indicator illuminates blue for about 5 seconds.
If the battery is below 30%, the indicator illuminates red for about 5 seconds.
If the battery is below 10%, the indicator flashes red.
I did note when the red light turns on during the runtime test. As the batteries get low, the indicator flashes red once every 5 seconds. When the batteries are almost depleted, the light drops into a very dim mode and the indicator flashes red about once a second. The dim mode is good – this light won’t just shut off without warning and leave you completely in the dark. The battery indicator seems to be fairly accurate and is a nice feature.

After turning the light on, the battery indicator shows blue for about 5 seconds if the batteries are OK.

Once the batteries get low, the battery indicator flashes red.

One thing to note. The battery indicator is positioned at an unmarked location on the head. You wont see it if it happens to be on the side opposite side when you are holding the light. You have to look for it and remember where it is. On my sample, the battery indicator position happens to be slightly offset from the centerline of the “Hot” and “Zanflare” printing. I’m not sure if all samples will line up this way as they are manufactured and screwed (and glued) together.

Here is a shot of the operation manual for reference.

Runtime Test
I was a little concerned when I looked at the manual and saw the runtime on high was only 0.63 hour! That must be for alkalines (but I didn’t test those yet).
Using standard NiMH Eneloops, I tested the current draw and measured the following at the tailcap:
Low: 65 mA
Med: 188 mA
High: 1040 mA

The light is well regulated and runs for about 100 minutes on high before dropping into the very low output mode. I didn’t test how long it runs after dropping. As an afterthought, I put the depleted batteries back in and turned it on – it dropped back into very low mode and it continued to run for at least 15 more minutes until I turned it off. Again, Zanflare did a good job designing the driver so it doesn’t leave you in the dark without any warning. Since the emitter is not being driven like crazy, the light only gets slightly warm. During the entire test in a 25°C ambient temp room, it reached a maximum of 38°C.

Output
I don’t have an accurate way to measure output, so I’ll give my relative observations here. There is no moonlight mode. The low mode appears brighter than the specified 15 lumens. The medium mode is about twice as bright as the low mode. On high, it looks like it is putting out more than 200 lumens. I could not detect any PWM on any mode.

Here is a beamshot comparing it to the Astrolux S2.
Left: Astrolux S2 (3B tint) set on level 3 of 5-Level Group (supposed to be around 293 lumens)
Right: Zanflare F2 on high
The output of the Zanflare is higher with a larger hotspot and brighter spill. It looks to me that the Zanflare F2 on high is a bit brighter than the specified 200 lumens.

The deep reflector gives the F2 a decent throw with a usable amount of spill.
Top: Zanflare F2 on high
Bottom: Astrolux S2 (3B tint) set on level 3 of 5-Level Group
The hotspot of the Zanflare F2 is larger and brighter – pretty good throw for the small diameter head. The door in the photo is about 25 feet away. The tint on the Zanflare F2 4500-5000K is very nice!

Conclusion
Pros:
+ Excellent quality, fit and finish
+ Nice beam with good throw with usable spill
+ Neutral tint (on 4500-5000K version)
+ Battery indicator
+ No PWM
+ Flat regulated output
+ Does not get hot on high

Cons:
- The only con I find is that Zanflare has made strobe part of the mode sequence. If you don’t like running into strobe mode, then you probably won’t like this light. If that doesn’t bother you, then this is an excellent 2xAA light at a very good price point.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 11:48
firedome
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Nice review, thanks! Thumbs Up

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Trevi_lux
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Thanks for review, seems a better runtime than specs, are great news !!

mrheosuper
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I bet that led is not xp-g3, but xp-g2

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jimahi
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Here is a closer shot of the LED. I don’t have any other XP-G3 lights to compare it to. I do see that the phosphor does not cover the whole LED surface (both inside and outside of the dome) as I thought it was supposed to on the XP-G3 images that I have seen.

mrheosuper
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It definitely xp-g2

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Tangra
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Finally someone solve problem with runtime on high.
Thanks for the review.
This light definуtely deserve to be bought on this price.
I will gen some for emergency light in my car, garage, basement, etc.

Muto
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Can you try the light with a dummy cell and one 14500?
Should handle the small variation in voltage considering 2 AA primary lithium’s are 1.8 v so 3.6v with 2.
4.2 volts is only 17% more, should be in safety range.

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jimahi
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I don’t have one of those AA dummy batteries (been on my list to buy one or make one).

However, there would be several disadvantages to running a single 14500 in this light:
- Significantly less capacity in 1×14500 vs 2xNiMH
- Extra wasted length
- Battery indicator probably wouldn’t work properly

I would guess the only advantage might be a bit more brightness (if it doesn’t burn out the driver). If it did work, you would likely have extra heat. One nice thing about this light is that it does not get hot at all… it only gets slightly warm to the touch when running on high for close to 100 minutes with 2xNiMH.

That’s probably why I don’t yet have one of those dummy AAs. Every time I think about it, I realize they have very few uses other than potentially destructive tests of multi-cell AA lights Smile

DavidEF
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I have a Zanflare F2S, which I am testing out for a review. I tried it with 14500 plus a spacer and it works. I didn’t leave it long, though, so I don’t know about possible long term problems/damage. I asked Zanflare about it and was told that the driver is officially rated up to 3.5V, so using a Li-Ion is at your own risk. I don’t know about the older F2 model.

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Lowtech
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Whats the diffrence on F2S and F2? Cant find any F2S on GB.

finges
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Lowtech wrote:
Whats the diffrence on F2S and F2? Cant find any F2S on GB.

See here for the difference http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1143124#comment-1143124

Lowtech
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So F2 is the newer version i guess.
I guess people thougt 50 lumen was to much as lowest.

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I think the f2s has a 50 lumen low instead of the 15 lumen low on the f2. Not much different really and would make more sense if there was no mode memory as that would be the first mode then.

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Lowtech wrote:
So F2 is the newer version i guess.
I guess people thougt 50 lumen was to much as lowest.

No, the F2S is the newer one. Silly

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Lowtech
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The one that cant be bought and worse modes is the new one?

Sense it makes not.

jimahi
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I have a query into the R&D department regarding the emitter (XP-G2 vs XP-G3). I'll update the review when I receive an answer. It's my guess that the XP-G3 would not be noticeably brighter at the drive current levels this light is using. And in fact, the XP-G2 may be the better emitter for this reflector if you read some of the analysis in this thread: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54987

mrheosuper
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I dont really care what is better, if they claim using xp-g3, they must use xp-g3

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Dear Gearbest customer Blushing ,

I am sorry for the case, Zanflare F2 was listed months ago, still remember? Facepalm

We plan to apply G3 actually, but when we saw some comments about the fact G3 emittered some yellow or green light, and seems unstable.

We tried G2 as replacement and found G2 is much more stable. So at the same time we produced 2000pcs F2 with G2 SMD as a start of F2 Program.

The editor got the former filer and took the wrong model of F2, we feel sorry for it, and some relative staff was to blame.

I am the marketing person, before promote it to you all, I should check all pages and details of it, It is my individual fault to you all, I am sorry.

To be frank, we promise you F2 with G2 emitter does not have any quality issue, and we here invite you to test parameters of your F2 and information of the page:

http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_613216.html

We later will release 2000pcs F2 with G3, and then according to the analysis of sales Data, we will decide to produce F2 with G2 or G3, or both.

If you have any other good advice, please do not hesistate to let us know.

Thank you Smile , for your support to F1, F2, F6, S2, C4, and later 1 more headlamp program is on the way.

We listed F6, without cell before, so you give us advice, we include cell, then.

We listed F1, just NW Version, you make suggestion to us all, so we try to the program of CW Version as well.

And now, we list F2, with G2 version as a start, and G3 will be coming soon.

Your advice, your opinion, your experience, actually, is very very important for us.

If you find any products are in bad condition from Gearbest site, please turn to me for instant feedback.

I am here, sorry again, for the thing Gearbest did not let you know the F2 G2 program before.

I am sorry, for the mistake on Zanflare official page info about F2 G3, Gearbest info about F2 G3, Amazon info about F2 G3, and etc.

We now have corrected the info about G2, and later if we have the G3 version, we will pay more attention to all details, check and check again before list to Gaerbest shelf, and will never make you confused again.

Thank you again for your kind support to Zanflare.

If you have any comments about G2 and G3 Emitter, and some other SMD can be as replacement, please share with us, Thank you, and thank you so much.

If you sense there is something wrong with your F2, please have discussion with us.

Best Regards,

Gearbest

finges
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gearbest wrote:
If you have any comments about G2 and G3 Emitter, and some other SMD can be as replacement, please share with us, Thank you, and thank you so much.

Good to hear from you directly!

I would like to see nichia 219C 4000K 90 CRI emitter in this light.

Please remove the strobe mode completely.

This was the main reason I did not buy the light in the recent flash sale.

Tangra
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I am for Nichia 219C too.

264
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Gearbest
Any thought given as to creating a single AA version of the F2?
No strobe or hidden strobe is my suggestion for AA driven flashlights.
Thanks for having a neutral tint emitter as a choice for the F2.

gearbest
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Dear all, the page has been fixed, It is our great luck to have your check form the site:

http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_613216.html

And thank you for your feedback to the emitter and other advice on its function.

@finges, Tangra, 264, thank you for your advice Wink

I will give instant feedback to the R & D team.

If you have any other good advice, please do not hesitate to me, when adopted, we will give you compensation, trust me.

Trevi_lux
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Today received a F2 that I bought a great price, is a Nice package, a Nice flashlight (interesting design and good material finish), a little short on lumens power, but for the price is good. If in the future launch one version without strobe , I will buy sure more than one unit!!

264
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IMG_20170708_154155940IMG_20170708_153307073-Fix

Thanks jimahi for your review. I purchased my F2 in large part because of it. Well I just received my F2 today and it screams quality. Nice tint, nice machining, anodizing top rate. For the price nothing better.  It is a very well designed tool. 

luca955i
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I have just received mine from Amazon.it in neutral white, but with a smooth reflector…