Manker U11 Mini review: updated with runtime plot on Turbo 2

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Leif
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Manker U11 Mini review: updated with runtime plot on Turbo 2

Mine arrived two days ago. Here’s a few thoughts with some photos and crude flux measurements.

Positives:
It is beautifully machined and looks very well made. I would say that it is on a par with other lights I have from Zebralight, Fenix and Sunwayman, apart from some chips which I mention later. I cannot comment on the quality of the anodising.

I ran the torch on turbo with a Keeppower 18650 3100 mah. After a few minutes my subjective impression was that it was as bright as my Sunwayman D80a on high which output 900-1000 lumens. After 5 minutes the head was warm. After 15 minutes the tailcap was also getting warm. After 1 hour the entire torch was very warm, but not uncomfortable to hold. Clearly the heat transfer from the LED is effective, although I have no way of knowing if the LED is overheating.

The light levels are well spaced. A short press turns the light on in moonlight mode. A long press turns the light on at the last used mode. A long press while on turns the light off. A short press while on moves to the next mode, from low to max and then back to low. A double click moves to a disco mode. It is possible to cycle through the disco modes, but as far as I am concerned they are best ignored. A double click exits disco modes. A 10 second press while off switches to pro-mode, which allows programming of the sub-levels.

The clip is well made and very effective, being neither too tight nor too loose. The light came with the clip attached. The tailcap unscrews to reveal the battery chamber. Threads are square cut, and well machined. Internally the tailcap spring and contacts at each end look well made.

Neither positive nor negative:
The battery can be charged while in the light using the USB charging port. I’m not sure this is a good thing, since you are charging something that could vent in an enclosed space. I’m sure others can make more informed comments on this feature, and indicate whether or not it uses a good charging algorithm.

The light is only water resistant to IP6, probably because of the charging port. This is surely good enough for most users, who only need rain resistance, or the ability to wash it under a tap.

The light is programmable, allowing the user to set the various levels. In principle it is a very good idea, but as with Zebra lights, it is not an easy process. Changing from normal to pro mode is easy but the manual does not clearly describe how to select a given sub-level for each level. This German language review does an excellent job of explaining the modes:

https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.tasche...

In essence you have to switch to pro mode, then switch to disco modes, and click through until you reach the sub-level setting mode. This starts in low, and cycles through the sub-levels. Once you reach the low mode sub-level you want, a short press selects the sub-level, and then moves to the next main level, and cycles through the sub-levels. Thus you may select the desired sub-level for each main level.

Negatives:
Mine came with three chips in the annodising. These were next to the part of the clip that grips the body, suggesting they were created when the clip was attached. I removed the clip, and in doing so created another chip, this time near the Manker logo. I know this does not impact the lights ability to function, but I look after most of my lights, and would prefer it to arrive in perfect condition. It is conceivable that the anodising is rather brittle. I own a Nitecore MT10A, which chips far more readily than other lights. Time will tell if the anodising on the Manker is durable.

The tailcap is hard to remove when the clip is attached, as you cannot wrap your hand around the tailcap and have to grip it with your fingertips. I can see why they designed it as they did, as it allows the light to sit low in a pocket, and not have the end sticking out. I removed the clip. Clearly this won’t be a problem if you charge the battery using the built in USB charge port.

Photos:

With SWM M40A XML U2 and Olight S15:

On its own:


And here are some beam shots with the manufacturers quoted lumens taken in the spare room. Take them with a grain of salt, as the central beam is often burnt out, so these will provide an idea of the spill but not the throw.

Manker Medium 3 = 300 lumens:

Manker High 3 = 600 lumens:

Manker Turbo 2 = 890 lumens:

Sunwayman M40A XML U2 (with DC-FIX frosted film on the glass) Maximum = 650 lumens:

Sunwayman D80A High = 960 lumens:

Sunwayman D80A Medium = 390 lumens:

Sunwayman D80A Low = 33 lumens (probably more like 100 lumens):

Output
I ran the light on Turbo 2 specced at 890 lumens with the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah battery:

Please note that the units are NOT lumens, they are arbitrary units. Measurements were taken using a HS1010 light meter, timed with an analogue watch, so the times are not precise. There is a modest drop in the first few minutes and then almost constant brightness for about 80 minutes, after which the output drops dramatically. I cannot measure the lumens output, but it seems noticeably brighter than my SWM M40A XML which produces roughly 600 lumens. This in my view is extremely good regulation. Clearly lower levels can be expected to be as well regulated.

Conclusion:
This is a well made torch, very bright on max, excellent regulation on the second brightest mode, and with moonlight too. I like the well spaced modes and the programming feature is nice. I would rather Manker did not attach the clip, or if they do, make sure they don’t damage the anodising.

Footnote: I ran the light on turbo with two Panasonic CR123. It got too hot to hold. I also noticed this morning that the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah has a crushed button. I don’t know if this is an issue, but it certainly occurred in this light.

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Edited by: Leif on 01/23/2016 - 14:38
unknown00101
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What do you think of the charging port cover? Flimsy/Loose/Solid? Feel like it will hold up for a while?

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unknown00101 wrote:

What do you think of the charging port cover? Flimsy/Loose/Solid? Feel like it will hold up for a while?

It feels okay, it’s made from a soft rubber, but only time can tell. The end is easily caught by a finger or thumb, which might be an issue. Evidently they decided to make it extend out a bit to make it easier to access. If it bothers you, you can shorten it with a knife. And it comes with a spare, which is good. I think it will last unless you are rough with the torch.

There is an odd feature. Double click from off, it goes into strobe. Long click, and it turns off, but the switch pulses a blue glow. A short click cancels the blue glow.

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Thanks for the review, that sounds like a very nice and useful flashlight, Manker makes some great designs!

Leif wrote:
I don't have the tools to measure runtime.

It's time to get yourself a clock Wink

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djozz wrote:

Thanks for the review, that sounds like a very nice and useful flashlight, Manker makes some great designs!

Leif wrote:
I don’t have the tools to measure runtime.

It’s time to get yourself a clock Wink

Thanks. By runtime I meant lumens/candela versus time. Judging output by eye is too subjective. However a BLF member reviewed the smaller brother of the U11 and found good regulation and runtimes not far off those quoted in the specs.

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Thanks for the review, I think for the price is a great alternative to the some zebralight. Here for size comparison:

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Looks slimmer than the Nitecore MH20. Looks like it might pocket carry better also.

Anyone have input on how it pocket carries, with the MH20 I noticed the anti-role flats.

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Where are the pictures?

Old-Lumens wrote:
I love modding, but I don't have much use at all for flashlights in general.
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Thanks Trevi_lux, I’m looking forward to your review, I’m curious on the regulation although it seems good judging by eye.

It should pocket carry well, obviously it’s not suited to suit trousers as it’s not small, but it’ll be fine in work trousers. As I said, it will sit low down due to the clip design, so it should be secure. I only tried it briefly, not for a day or two. This light is for cross country running. Smile

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DanielM wrote:
Where are the pictures?

Do you really need some? I suppose I can show it alongside a few other lights.

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Thanks for sharing, Leif! I have been waiting for this.

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Thank you for the review. Beer Can’t wait to get mine in the mail, hopefully soon! Anyone has the Manker T01 and would like to post a pic to compare the size of the reflectors?

Thanks!

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I added a foot note to the review:

I ran the light on turbo with two Panasonic CR123. It got too hot to hold. I also noticed this morning that the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah has a crushed button. I don’t know if this is an issue, but it certainly occurred in this light.

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Leif wrote:
also noticed this morning that the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah has a crushed button. I don’t know if this is an issue, but it certainly occurred in this light.

Did this seem to be from overtightening the tailcap till it bottomed out? If not then perhaps heat had something to do with it. Regardless it isn’t a good thing and glad you’ve made us aware of it!

Phil

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Photos added to the mini review.

SawMaster wrote:
Leif wrote:
also noticed this morning that the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah has a crushed button. I don’t know if this is an issue, but it certainly occurred in this light.

Did this seem to be from overtightening the tailcap till it bottomed out? If not then perhaps heat had something to do with it. Regardless it isn’t a good thing and glad you’ve made us aware of it!

Phil

You have to fully tighten the tailcap as current flows from the end of the body to the tailcap. There is a spring inside at both ends. The button was crushed, apparently this is fairly common with 18650 cells in a single cell light and is not an issue as long as there is no damage to the protection circuit. Someone asked why the button is not stronger, but if it was, the damage would be at the other end, or within the cell, both of which are not good. This does suggest that longer 18650 cells are to be avoided. As I say, I used a Keeppower 18650 3100mah.

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Thanks for the review. For a USB rechargeable I’ll stick to the Eagle Eye X6R, but I do have some interest in the U11. Smaller, deep carry clip, but it is twice the price.

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Some beam shots added.

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Trevi_lux wrote:
Thanks for the review, I think for the price is a great alternative to the some zebralight. Here for size comparison:

!{width:50%}https://i.imgur.com/VaobAWu.jpg!

i wish someone can make a comparison of u11 and an mh20. it seems theyre pretty much the same, well in papers that is.

FL Newbie

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Added some crude flux measurements on Turbo 2.

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Thanks, looks to be an excellent value.

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there is a specific room for REVIEWS…. why do post here? Smile

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Interesting—only 2mm wider head, and 20mm more length than the
AA/14500 Manker T01.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the

right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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A word of caution, do not remove the rubber USB cover, I was unable to get it back on.

realista wrote:
there is a specific room for REVIEWS…. why do post here? Smile

Whoops. Smile

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Very informative review Leif, do you have a DMM to take an Amp reading? I’m between this one and the new SC600 MK3, but the ZL draws over 4.2A to produce only 1100lm from an XHP35, not very efficient compared to a regular XM-L2.

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+1, any ideas on the mh20 vs U11? Quality, beam interface? The price is close of you get the deals.

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No I don’t, but I’m hoping a more complete review will appear on this forum from Trevi_lux who can measure the output properly. I’m surprised by the output from the U11 and wonder if it really is close to 890 lumens on turbo 2. I am tempted to buy a proper light meter, I wonder if someone can recommend one.

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OP updated with output plot on Turbo 2:

Output
I ran the light on Turbo 2 specced at 890 lumens with the Keeppower 18650 3100 mah battery:

Measurements were taken using a HS1010 light meter, timed with an analogue watch, so the times are not precise. There is a modest drop in the first few minutes and then almost constant brightness for about 80 minutes, after which the output drops dramatically. I cannot measure the lumens output, but it seems noticeably brighter than my SWM M40A XML which produces roughly 600 lumens. This in my view is extremely good regulation. Clearly lower levels can be expected to be as well regulated.

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Very well done. It does seem like a good regulation to me, the drop is because of the high temperature I suppose, Manker says the U11 has constant current regulation.

Also, excellent runtime… 800+ lumens for 90 minutes is very efficient.

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will34 wrote:
Very well done. It does seem like a good regulation to me, the drop is because of the high temperature I suppose, Manker says the U11 has constant current regulation.

Also, excellent runtime… 800+ lumens for 90 minutes is very efficient.

No not 800 lumens, 800 arbitrary units, I cannot measure lumens. But I do think it is well over 600 lumens, perhaps even 800, who knows.

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Leif wrote:
I ran the light on turbo with two Panasonic CR123. It got too hot to hold.

Yeah. CR123A batteries are rated for a maximum continuous discharge current of 1.5 amps. When you start going above that, the voltage sags terribly.

2xCR123A flashlights usually work well at outputs up to about 650 or 700 lumens. When you start to ask for more, the current draws become excessive.