Review: Solarforce Z2 (more like mini-review/rant)

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shimey
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Review: Solarforce Z2 (more like mini-review/rant)

Have been obsessing over AA/AAA lights for a couple of months. Picked up a Fenix E12 (LOVE it,) an Olight S15 (LOVE it,) and a Thrunite T10S (LOVELOVELOVE it) among others. The Solarforce Z2 seemed interesting so I ordered one and was VERY surprised at how quickly it arrived.

Unfortunately I was also VERY surprised at the quality/performance of the light.

It arrived in the typical bubble pack, and the retail packaging (much nicer than the normal white box) was in pretty good shape.

The light though….the light was….terrible. I feel like I got an abused return. Chips, dings and scrapes all over. Nothing was tight. No lube. Dirty everywhere. Dirty emitter, dirty threads, dirty lens. I can’t believe this light was shipped.

Extremely disappointed in my first Solarforce experience. Seems as though everyone lauds Solarforce quality, and while there are threads about miscellaneous problems (mismatched anodizing etc…) the company seems to have a very loyal following.

I’d have loved to have done a full review, but I can’t really judge output or beamshots because….well look at the emitter photos below. GRRRRR.

So have I gotten the wrong idea about Solarforce? I knew they weren’t in the same realm as some of the high $$$ companies, but I got the impression they were definitely at the top of the budget foodchain.

Some pics below.

Anyone know who I can contact in Customer Support? Just send an email to the generic CS address?

PROS:
Incredibly quick shipping.
AR coated lens

CONS:
Everything else.


BIG ding / flaw in anodizing
Chip in Anodizing photo IMG_4564_zpseea2c7f4.jpg
Chip in Anodizing 5 photo IMG_4557_zps62b494fa.jpg
Below: Lots of little chips and scrapes all over the light. No way this is HA III (as etched on the body.)
Chip in Anodizing 3 photo IMG_4559_zps630b6a0d.jpg
Chip in Anodizing 2 photo IMG_4560_zps858dbb2e.jpg
Below: ZERO lube on threads, and unsuprisingly, loads of aluminum shavings in brass threads. And this is after wiping it down twice. Seriously? Can’t believe this light went out. Better QC in some sub $3 DealExtreme lights I have…
Aluminum in Threads photo IMG_4545_zps857129ab.jpg
Aluminum in Threads 4 photo IMG_4562_zps70dd7116.jpg
Below: Weirdly off-center/lopsided clicky boot. The whole button assembly looks to be pressed in from the end? If so, my example is didn’t get evenly pressed. Or something.
Off Center Clicky Cap 2 photo IMG_4547_zps22ea4d0c.jpg
Off Center Clicky Cap 3 photo IMG_4543_zps6e275912.jpg
Below: Looks to be AR coated? Hooray!
AR Coating photo IMG_4550_zps73ac0691.jpg
Below: But then I see the emitter. Unbelievable. Unacceptable.
Dirty Emitter 1 photo IMG_4566_zpsb1d94e0a.jpg
Dirty Emitter 2 photo IMG_4556_zps418b6e40.jpg

So there you have it. My first BLF review. Bleah.

I promise to do more on the lights that I love. Smile

THANKS

djozz
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That is terrible experience! They should not be there, but I would get over the dents and scratches (they would appear in use anyway), but that emitter is directly degrading the performance and not easy cleaned.

I hope that you can find customer service for a replacement.

zelee
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the pictures won’t show up :quest:

Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.
I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.

leaftye
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Imgur is better for posting pictures to discussion forums as it can handle tons of bandwidth, and you can do it without an account.  The only problem of doing it without an account is that pictures are automatically deleted if they're not viewed at least once every six months.

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

Ejected Filament
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Yeah, IMGUR or TINYPIC …forget photobucket. I cant see your pics except in thumbnail form. The pics themselves show as bandwidth exceeded.

Sorry about your SF experience, the real test of SolarForce will be how they handle for it you. i would just email them directly from the site contact page. Im not sure if they have a direct presence here.

Damn ninjas

shimey
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Thanks all – Pics should be back up. Problem with Photobucket billing.

SchwarzeWolke
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Where did you buy it? Is it a Z2 directly bought from solarforce-Sale?

pipifax
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what's wrong with the LED?

except for some dust on the dome.

ezarc
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I ordered a black Z2 about a week ago, I hope it doesn’t arrive in the same condition.

I’m sure Solar Force will sort it out for you without any drama though.

ryansoh3
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pipifax wrote:

what’s wrong with the LED?

except for some dust on the dome.

I wouldn’t be too happy with the foggy/scratched emitter either, haha.

But I’m sure SF-sales will deal with it without a hassle.

BLF ≠ B-grade Flashlight Forum

 

mkett39
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I like the Z2 as a beater carry light. Granted yours seems to be a reject that got sent out. At the same time I had no expectations of it being the same quality as my Sunwaymans or olights but rather a cheap decent light for working purposes. Not saying I would not have same feelings as you about the product you got just not holding it to same standards as pricier lights.

dperreno
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I have several Solarforce lights and they are all very high quality. The one you were sent is in sorry shape. I’m sure that they will send you a new one. Don’t be surprised if they also offer to sell you that light at a big discount – cheaper for them than having it shipped back. They sent me the wrong light on my first order, and when I contacted them, they offered to send the correct light and I could either return the first light, or I could buy it at a big discount. Because I was already impressed with the quality, I ended up just buying it and I really like it. Of course, it wasn’t all beat up and dirty like yours.

shimey
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SchwarzeWolke wrote:
Where did you buy it? Is it a Z2 directly bought from solarforce-Sale?

Yes direct from http://www.solarforceflashlight-sales.com/index.php

pipifax wrote:

what’s wrong with the LED?

except for some dust on the dome.


Some dust on the dome?? I know my pics aren’t great, but maybe75%? of the dome is crud obscured. I tried to blow, then wipe the dome, and that stuff doesn’t come off. I’m not going to scrape at it or use alcohol/whatever cleaning agent and risk damage to the dome or the emitter or the traces until I hear from CS.
Hikelite
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That LED is worse than second hand.

Ejected Filament
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if you get to keep it, might as well learn to dedome (unless you already can).

JohnnyMac
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Wow!  One more example of why I'm not a Solarforce fanboy.  That's a damned shame.  I hope they make it right for you.

unit311
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That seems very odd. I have ordered 3 lights from solarforce in recent months including a Z1 and all arrived pristine. Yours looks like a demo light or a return maybe. I hope they make it right for you.

Boaz
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Never dealt with Solarforce C.S. 

I've heard  in the past they are a bit clueless .

but you never know ..

the upside is these places go from good to bad as well as bad to good pretty quickly 

hope they fix it for you 

 that looks like a return /used /abused light 

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

8steve88
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Contact Jo on the Solarforce Sales Team, I’ve never had a problem with a Solarforce product and I have enough to put together around 10 various L2’s. When I have contacted Jo about out of stock and no longer produced items I was offered items from his/her own collection.
email is – sales@solarforce-sales.com
I have no doubt that they will sort you out to your satisfaction, and as you say shipping times from them are very quick.

wolf359
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please let us know how you get on with solarforce customer service.

i wouldn’t mind picking up a Solarforce Z2 but not till i see how they resolve this problem.

CheapThrills
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Solarforce sent me an used L2P when I made my FIRST order there.
You had the same treatment Wink

They seem to count on it, that a NEW customer does not necessarily know how their products should look like when they get their first one.
Simple method of getting less “waste” from QA.

shimey
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Customer Service update:

March 23 – Submitted inquiry on http://solarforceflashlight-sales.com/
March 25 – Heard back. Jo asked for my paypal address. I responded.
March 28 – Today. Three days later haven’t heard anything.

devman
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Yikes. Makes me glad I buy solarforce retail. They’re not gentle with the box, but at least you get to inspect the light and put a battery in it before you plunk down your cash.

For what it’s worth, I’ve bought 2 Z2’s so far (both in blue) and neither had any of the problems your poor sample had.

Qoo
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Ouch. That sucks to hear. I’m looking at an M6 but maybe I’ll hold off on that. Keep us updated and hope it gets sorted out for you.

shimey
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Customer Service update:

March 23 – Submitted inquiry on http://solarforceflashlight-sales.com/
March 25 – Heard back. Jo asked for my paypal address. I responded.
March 28 – Today. Three days later haven’t heard anything.
April 1 – Today. 6 days later. Nothing. Emailed “Jo” again. (Sigh)

shimey
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UPDATE: Took awhile (seems they’re super busy) but it looks like they’re going to take care of me, (with the allowance of 1 or 2 dents…)

THANKS Solarforce!

sales@solarforce-sales.com
To Me
Today at 3:39 AM
Dear friend,

Thanks for your reading and nice to have a chance to serve you

Following last email

I will send Z2 black replacement asap

Trakcing number is
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

www.hongkongpost.com

Shipping address is

CHRIS KENDRICK
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx

Will ship upon you confirm

I will check myself the Z2 black , as its ware the led is defective,
for 1 or 2 dent, may not be avoidable, but led must be 100% good upon
arrival

Thanks for your email and wish you all the best

Regards

JO

Sales Team