REVIEW: UKing ZQ – X900 600Lm Zooming Flashlight (#3 type Zoomie) picture heavy!

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Kusie
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REVIEW: UKing ZQ – X900 600Lm Zooming Flashlight (#3 type Zoomie) picture heavy!

Hi all,

GEARBEST gave me the opportuntiy to test their UKing ZQ – X900 cheap zoomie flashlight against the CREE XPE Q5 600 Lumens 7W Zoomable LED Flashlight that I already own. So they sent me one of each color to make a little review.

I must add that this is my first review here at BLF so this might not live up to the expectations that modders and flashlight professionals might have – I´m just someone who loves and uses flashlights. I´ve already seen different reviews of the same light class, so you might not learn anything new today Wink

First the specs:

  • Manufacturer: UKing
  • Material: Aluminium (body), plastic (Lens)
  • LED: Cree XPE Q5 (see below for comments)
  • Power source: AA/14500 batteries (1.2 to 4.2V input voltage range accepted)
  • Switch: Reverse clicky, made of plastic
  • Available Colours: Black, Silver, Gold
  • Dimensions: 90 × 20 × 20 mm
  • Price: $2.85 (as of june 2016)
  • From: Gearbest.com
  • Links (NON affiliate):
    BLACK
    SILVER
    GOLDEN

The 3 lights arrived well packaged each in a little box with bubble wrap, an english and chinese language guarantee card and a short manual sheet.

I don´t know if anyone would ever care to go through the hassle of returning a $ 2.80 light if it´s broken or DOA but it´s nice to know there is an email address and Skype name to get in contact. The manual itself is not very useful though, since it´s a “unversal” manual for all kinds of flashlights, for example it states that a 18650 battery is included… since the X900 is a single mode light there´s really no need for a manual anyway. I can report that all the 4 lights I own are working flawlessly.

So here they are, the tree musketeers Wink

Two of the lights extended to full zoom to show the difference in length:

A size comparison to a 18650 battery and other compact lights you might know:

As you can see, they are quite small, but not really pocketable. They are very light though, because the body is made of aluminium.

The flashlight can be disassembled in 3 resp. 4 main parts: the body with LED, tailcap with clip, and the lens

I don´t think there is a real “pill” inside, it seems like the basic kind of SK68 clone that has a fixed LED department.
The LED is stated to be a CREE XPE Q5 LED … well, after doing some research is seems the CREE XPE Q5 has 3 bond wires, while the LED used here has only two. I can not definitely say which LED is used in these lights, but it does NOT seem to be a genuine Cree XP-E LED.

An even closer look at the LED:

The lens used is made from glas plastic and has quite some scratches and dust as you can see here:

That being said, it still does a decent job! Zooming is easily possible with one hand (in fact quite smooth) and the zoom mechanism is tight enough to avoid the light to extend itself.

Compared to “CREE XPE Q5 600”

One of my goals was to compare the UKing with the light I already bought some months ago from gearbest, it´s called: CREE XPE Q5 600 Lumens 7W Zoomable LED Flashlight.

Well, after taking a closer look I can say the lights are technically absolutely identical, despite the design variation of the zoom head and the different labeling:


So that´s settled then – mission accomplished, thank you very much for your attention Wink

Nah, I will at least give you some beam shots I made.

Beamshots

I equipped each of the 3 lights I got with different batteries: the first one with a fully loaded 14500 li-io battery (efest IMR 700 mAh), the second one with a freshly charged AA Eneloop (the “old” white ones) and the last one with a new AA Alkaline battery. The X900 is advertized as a max 600 lumens light, so I chose another zoomie in the same lumens range for comparison; it´s the LED Lenser P7.2 with a high mode of 250 lumens and a low mode of 40 lumens ( I did not use the “boost” mode with 320 lumens).

So here we go, first shot is 3 meters from a flower wall, all pictures have been taken with the same settings (Canon DSLR, 2 seconds, Iso 400, f/ 5.6, 24 mm focal length, 5000 Kelvin)

Zoom at widest angle:

X900 with Alkaline:

X900 with AA Eneloop:

X900 with 14500:

Lenser P7.2 High:

Lenser P7.2 low:

All together as an animated GIF:

When direcly compared, I would estimate the real lumens of the 14500 version around 400 lumens, which is pretty solid for such a small light. You can also see that the tint of the LED is not too cold, it´s a neutral white a bit on the cold side.

Maximum Zoom:

X900 with Alkaline:

X900 with AA Eneloop:

X900 with 14500:

Lenser P7.2 High:

All together as an animated GIF:

The next location is just our backjard, light pointed at the bottom:

X900 with Alkaline:

X900 with AA Eneloop:

X900 with 14500:

All together as an animated GIF:

Last but not least two shots that show that on full zoom, the light is really suprisingly bright if it´s totally dark, it´s nice senastion especially for kids since it looks a bit like a laser sword Wink

The first tree I iluminated (with the 14500 equipped light) was around 20 meters away in my backyard:

Then I took it a bit further to a tree nearly 85 meters away, still visible:

Of course like on all cheap zoomies, at full zoom you´l have a nice image of the LED surface with lot´s of chromatic aberrations (blue and green) around the spot, but that´s unavoidable with this cheap plastic lens.

Summary

I really like these lights. They are incredibly cheap, durable and versatile, and deliver a great performance, especially with a 14500 battery. BUT I will preferably equip them with AA Eneloops, which are significantly brighter than the AA Alkalines.

The biggest downside of these lights for me is that it only has one mode … maximum. It would be really great to have a 3 mode light, low (1 lumens), medium (40 lumens) and maximum. But they make great emergency lights that can be stored in your car, Kids love them, and you really can´t go wrong for the price.

Buy them here:
(NON affiliate links):
BLACK
SILVER
GOLDEN

K.

Edited by: Kusie on 06/24/2016 - 10:57
brted
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Nice job and great pictures! They are sending me one as well. There is no way in the world that an XP-E is going to produce 600 lumens. It looks like an XP-E to me (2 bonding wires is normal) but it seems unlikely that XP-E’s would be available right now. Maybe some of the people from the fake Cree thread could weigh in.

Kusie
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Hmm, every image I found for “XP-E Q5” showed an LED with nearly similar die size but with a third bond wire on the side, see here for example:
XP-E Q5

K.

brted
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Kusie wrote:
Hmm, every image I found for “XP-E Q5” showed an LED with nearly similar die size but with a third bond wire on the side, see here for example:
XP-E Q5

K.

Never noticed that one off to the side before!

Henk4U2
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And they make great stocking fillers, without having to fear that the person you gave it to will harm him/her-self or others.

Firelight2
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Nice light!

Glad they added square knurling to the head.

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Nice review!

Good timing because this is the same flashlight offered in the recent GB (I love you) giveaway / comp

I am waiting for mine to arrive and now have a better idea of what I can expect to get

Thanks

Better? Better get a bucket

argolite
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I just received one of these from the flash sale and it’s the pretty much the same as reviewed by Kusie. Although my lens is plastic, not glass. I’ll also add that the clip is a bit flimsy and the battery compartment is fairly wide and could use a spacer to reduce rattle.

Perhaps the seller can tell us who manufactured this Cree LED Big Smile I’m subscribing to this thread in hope someone will add more info about this curious 2-wire “XP-E”. The tint is actually pretty good in my opinion for this sort of gift light. I have genuine XP-Es that are bluer.

EDIT: Antiparanoico took a shot of a Latticebright XP-E in this thread http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41084 but it’s not a match to what we have here (square dot in corner). The resolution isn’t good enough for me to see a 3rd wire or not.

EDIT2: the Latticebright XE does show 3 wires here http://www.latticebright.com/En/cpzs1/2016-01/21/NewsView-278.html

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Nice review. I have one coming from their giveaway.

Bob

Vegetarian: vejiˈte(ə)rēən/noun: old Indian word for lousy hunter.

brted
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I got mine yesterday in silver. It’s actually a nice light. Fully focused the beam is about half the size of the one on my Sipik clone and therefore much more intense. The sliding action is good and I appreciate it having only one mode. I don’t really like zoomies and I won’t use it much, but it might make a decent gift.

Henk4U2
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brted wrote:
I got mine yesterday in silver. It’s actually a nice light. Fully focused the beam is about half the size of the one on my Sipik clone and therefore much more intense. The sliding action is good and I appreciate it having only one mode. I don’t really like zoomies and I won’t use it much, but it might make a decent gift.

+1 Apart from the fact that it arrived day before yesterday Wink

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Mine from the giveaway arrived yesterday. Nice little light for the $$.

I am not big on flashlighs with sliders but the slider here is very smooth.

Running on a14500 it puts out a surprising amount of light. It also would generates a fair bit of heat. Runtime appears tin be about 45 min with the 14500. After 30 min of runtime the battery was down to 25% when I put it n the charger.

Thanks to GearBest for the giveaway

Bob

Vegetarian: vejiˈte(ə)rēən/noun: old Indian word for lousy hunter.

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Good review and excellent photography!

Kusie
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Thank you all, appreciate the nice comments for my first review.
K.

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Very cool you made such serous review on such a small cheapie light!
Thanks
I love these, ideal gifts

Kusie
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Well it was the perfect opportunity to practise. Now I need someone to send me a K60 to make a REAL review Big SmileLOL

K.

firedome
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Great review!

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

-Plato

MG
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Thanks for the review!

Kusie
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argolite wrote:
I just received one of these from the flash sale and it’s the pretty much the same as reviewed by Kusie. Although my lens is plastic, not glass.

You may be right, it seems the lens is in fact made of plastic, I was fooled by the weight first. I have corrected this in the review.
K.

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Thanks! Nice to have a review again on a real cheapie!! The led looks XP-E to me, if it was not for the 3rd bondwire absence I would have no doubts, especially since the tint is pretty good.

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I’ll add some of my own measurements for this light (which I received for winning a contest). Tested with an Eneloop cell:

Output (approx): 55 lumens (zoomed out), 30 lumens (zoomed in)
Color temperature: 6700K
Run time: about 2 hours (tailcap current is 950mA, and gradually drops as the cell depletes)
Weight: 30g (1.05 oz)

Overall, I think it’s a very good buy for $2.85, if you can put up with the bluish cool-white tint. I was impressed with the feel of the clicky and the zooming mechanism. On the downside, the pocket-clip is really bad, so it’s best to just remove it.

hank
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Cross-reference, this is basically the generic light called the “#3 zoomie” in the compilation
thread title:
Under $10, 1x AA/ AAA/ 10440/ 14500 flashlight reference

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/31780

They’ve swapped the slider piece with the grid texture and the one with the parallel groove texture.

Several more versions discussed at: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/29459

Couple of notes:
— There’s probably a pill in it, if you take a tiny drill and put holes in the aluminum ring around the white plastic press-in thing that covers the LED wire solder points.
Then turn that and it will probably unscrew (or if they made it press fit, they’ve found a way to make these even cheaper)
Either way, you’ve got to be able to get the LED and driver out to improve this thing, the same way they got them into the body of the light. Find that and reverse it.

— When you lift up the white plastic press-in thing, then lift up the LED board and you’ll see what’s under it, if anything. If by any chance they’ve got a solid plane there with some thermal goop, that would be, well, astonishingly good. Odds are you’ll find a big hole and be able to see the driver, behind there.

— As with all versions of the #3 zoomie, you take the slidey part off (you do this by first removing the “pill”) then carefully file off the not-the-lens end a bit, that will let it slide a bit closer into the body and move the lens that much closer to the emitter — giving you a much wider floodlight without losing anything on the spot zoom side.

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Yeah… very easy light to make much better and nothing to lose . cut down the bottom part of the slider with a file and do a gas de-dome. those two simple things make the light much more better . or a nicer tint xpg -2nw or a nichia doesn’t hurt them either. mine are all the older solid pill 3 modes. Since I don;t like the sk68 and don’t have a superlight it’s my 2$ AA light of choice .

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

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Great review, those lights are better than nothing, especially when fully zoomed out. You can probably keep one in the car and other places because of the moderate price.

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I have just received one and I can say that the tint definitely is NW.
Best cheap light for general use as home, basement, garage, car, etc.

hank
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By the way, you can make the light into a 3xAA using parts from the “3W POLICE” cheap 2AA light you can find somewhere for $2 or so.
Not all the threads will match, it’s just luck what you get.
http://budgetlightforum.com/search?q_as=%233%20zoom%203W%20police%20lego

Same gamble — one of the #3 zoomies I got had a solid pill; all the others have a ragged pill with a big hole and very poor contact between that and the LED board.
Pressing a copper disk into the hole can improve heat transfer. I did that on quite a few when replacing the emitter with amber LEDs.

Also, as mentioned earlier, you can file or saw off a millimeter or two of the slidey part on the tail side so the lens moves closer to the LED, making the beam wider.

And you can replace the switch, or swap in a SK68 tailcap.

‘All in all, this light and the SK68 could be the mascots for BLF modding —> you can replace almost every part of them and the result will be a better flashlight.

“This was my grandfather’s axe. My dad put on a better head, and I replaced a cracked handle. But it’s still my grandfather’s axe.”

Tangra
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Thanks for idea hank.
I found at home Police 3 AA and made my 4 x AA lego zoom flashlight.
Unfortunately tube did not fit to UKing ZQ, but fitted to other zoom light.
Here it is:

It is lightning as hell and thanks god it is still alive. Battery are Ni-Mh.
This days I will go to our china stores to find 2 x AA tube.

hank
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Quote:
my 4 x AA lego zoom flashlight.

Nice!