[REVIEW] Zanflare F1 (XP-L V6, 1x18650) (Pictures, Beamshots, etc.)

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SoCalTiger
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[REVIEW] Zanflare F1 (XP-L V6, 1x18650) (Pictures, Beamshots, etc.)
The Zanflare F1 is Gearbest's first flashlight under the Zanflare brand. The F1 is a single 18650 EDC tube light which utilizes a domed Cree XP-L V6 in a polished reflector with a balanced general purpose beam. Output is speced at a max of 1240 lumens on "Flare" mode. There is also a 1 lumen "Moonlight" mode. The F1 comes from the factory with both Neutral White (4500-5000K) and Cool White (6000-6500K) options. I chose the Neutral White (4500-5000K) option.

I was provided a copy for review by Zanflare.
 
 




Official Product Specifications
WATERPROOF, IMPACT RESISTANT, ANTI-CORROSION, ABRASION RESISTANT
Machined from a solid aluminum bar give F1 its superior shock and impact resistance; All metal outer appearance and metal nut provide IPX-8 highest grade waterproof and weather two meters submersible adventure.
 
HIGH TECHNOLOGY -MADE SURFACE
"Crystal Coating Technology" combines "precision digital optics" to provide extremely high reflector performance; Toughened ultra transparent mineral glass and anti - reflective coating; Light weight, high strength aviation grade aluminum alloy, HA11l military grade hard anodized.
 
REVERSE POLARITY PROTECTON
Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation; Low-voltage warming functions remind you to replace battery. When the voltage was under 2.6v, the LED would blink 3 times and then turn off.
 
TAIL SAFETY HAMMER
safety hammer is designed to break auto glass windows, so you can easily make a way to escape when there is no other option.
 
USB RECHARGABLE
Micro USB charging port and indicator; charging time is 4 hours; compatible with 1 x 18650 Lithium-ion or 2 x RCR123 (batteries are not included)
  
Packaging and Contents
The F1 arrived in a very nice retail-quality cardboard box and packaging. The light was cushioned in a form-fitting piece of white foam. Below that were the clip, 2 spare O-rings, lanyard, USB cable, case/holster and manual. The packaging both looked very nice and protected the light perfectly. In addition, the box was inside a plastic bag to prevent the box from coming open accidentally as well as to keep the box in good condition.
 
1 x Zanflare F1 LED Flashlight
1 x USB Cable
1 x Clip
1 x Case / Holster 
1 x Lanyard
1 x Manual
2 x Spare O-ring
 
 


 

Fit and Finish
The F1 has solid and smooth black anodizing (Type III HA). The anodizing was applied well and seems thicker than many budget lights, even in the same price category. My copy did not have any notable defects in the finish. The anodizing was a smooth and non-glossy. I felt that this finish looks very nice and professional in quality.

The body of the light is a 18650-size EDC tube design that some people also may describe as an "S design". The width is wider than a dry erase marker and about the same length. Due to the design, there is minimal roll-resistance unless the clip is attached.
 
This light is slightly wider than some other 18650 tubes that I have used which will be preferred by people with larger hands. The light also feels solid and well-constructed.

The body has a unique diagonal pattern which adds grip and a clean look, and some scratch resistance. The pattern is very smooth while still adding grip. It feels very very nice in hand.
 
The threads were cut perfectly square and there is anodizing on the tail threads.
 
Comment: I originally wasn't sure whether or not I would like the diagonal pattern on the grip based on pictures. However, in person, the pattern is very nice and in fact I think that it works a lot better in hand than the traditional knurling on most lights. It's able to add grip while feeling smooth.



 

Built-in Charging and USB Port
The F1 features built-in charging. Mine appears to terminate charging <4.2V.
 
Comment: Built-in charging is very good (my preference) because terminating <4.2V is safer and will result in longer lifespans for batteries, especially for everyday consumers who frequently "top off" the battery via USB. I would have no qualms gifting this light to someone.



 

Lanyard, Case and Clip
The lanyard which was included in mine was on the short side and hard to put on even my relatively slim wrists. Fortunately, it was easy to replace the existing cord with some paracord which I already own.
 
The holster/case is also a very nice touch. It is a soft neoprene-type material and looks very nice.
 
The clip is nice material. However, I would have liked a deep carry clip.

 
Tail Stand
The F1 can tail-stand on a level surface and is stable. Also, there is a divot in the tail to allow the lanyard to sit without destabilizing the light when tail standing.



 
 
Tail Hammer
The F1 has the unique feature of having a built in glass breaker/safety hammer.
 
Comment: I did not test the hammer. However, I feel that if the hammer point protruded a little more, it would be more effective (although, it would also be more likely the scratch the user.)
 



User Interface and Modes
The light has a rear reverse-clicky (On/Off) and uses a side-switch to control modes.
There is mode memory. The light will activate on the last used brightness.
Strobe & SOS are hidden.

Operation:
  • To turn the light ON, press tail switch.
  • To advance modes, press side switch (Moon -> L -> M -> H)
  • To turn the light OFF, press tail switch.

 Flare (Hidden):

  • To activate Flare mode, double-click side switch (when on).
  • To exit Flare, press side switch.
  • The light will automatically ramp-down from Flare to High after 30 seconds.

Strobe / SOS (Hidden):

  • To turn STROBE ON, long-press side switch (when on).
  • To change between STROBE and SOS, press side switch.
  • To turn STROBE/SOS OFF, long-press side switch.
Comments: I like the mode order and mode memory. I will normally set the light to Moon or Low before turning it off so it will always start low. Because the mode and power switches are different, it's very easy for me to always change the mode back to Moon/Low before turning it off. The side switch is very intuitive and I also like that the strobe modes are well hidden as I never use them.


Output, Runtime and Power


Measurements were done using a freshly charged EVVA protected Panasonic NCR18650B.
 
I estimate that the Zanflare official specs are all correct. For Flare, I measured 1303 lumen initially and 1254 lumens at 30 seconds, right before it steps-down.
 
The Flare mode gives a nice boost for maximum output and then ramps down to High at 30 seconds. The ramp-down is smooth. On High, the light gets comfortably warm and is usable for extended periods.

"Moon" mode is right around 1 lumen and perfect for people who want to preserve night vision in a dark area.
 

PWM
I did not detect PWM via video method. If it has PWM, it is very high frequency.


Regulation


This light has a timed ramp-down from Flare back to High at 30 seconds. The ramp-down is smooth. When I used the light outdoors, walking around, the ramp-down was not that noticeable (although it would be in a static environment such as a closed room).
 
Comments:
* The user can manually step back up to Flare if desired.
* The light does not get that hot on High.
* This test was done with a constant cooling fan. Ambient temperature in my house was 80F (27C).
* Moon and Low have very long runtimes.


Beam Profile
Balanced General Purpose. The F1 uses a domed Cree XP-L V6 in a polished reflector. The beam is very balanced for general purpose use with a relatively large hotspot. The hotspot is large and transitions smoothly and gradually throughout the beam. The beam has smooth defined edges. This light works very well for people seeking a more balanced beam. This light works great for general purpose use both indoors and outdoors.




Beamshots, Color Temperature and Tint
The F1 "Neutral White" is a very nice warm neutral white at 4750K. When white-balanced in Adobe Lightroom against "Daylight 5500K", the beamshots appear slightly warm to neutral. The light appears slightly warm white in practice. This is a very good choice of color temperature and I'm really happy to see a manufacturer using this color temperature for a light.
 
Lightroom detected a green-shift of approximately 14 points as compared to Daylight (using exposure 1/100 - F/2.8 - ISO 100). This is within range of other lights I've seen at this price-point. It did not stand out to me in real life or in pictures.

 
 
 
 
 

Low Voltage Protection (LVP)
This light has LVP. The light will shut-off around 2.6V.


Battery Support and Fitment
The F1 is powered by 1x18650 lithium-ion (INR, IMR, ICR, etc.)
 
Protected Batteries Fit. The EVVA Protected Panasonic NCR18650B fits fine length-wise at 69.5mm and width-wise at 18.67mm.
 
Button vs Flat-Top: The Panasonic battery is button-top. Flat-top batteries might work if the flat-top is raised. The positive connection on this light is flat so if the positive end of the battery is recessed, it may not contact without a solder blob.

The positive contact is flat.
 
The negative contact is a spring.








Lock-Out
You can physically lock-out the light by loosening the tail (or head) one-half turn to break the circuit.

If there is a possibility of accidental activation, you should lock-out the light.


Manual
 
 
Size Reference
Flashlight pictured next to a AA, 18650 and C8 for size reference.



 
Other Reviews
 
 
Summary and Conclusion
This is a very good, well-built 1x18650 EDC tube light which performs at spec at ~1250 lumens on Flare and ~600 lumens on High. The light is easily capable of sustained run-times on High. The built-in charging works well and safely charges batteries to under 4.2V, which is good for improved battery life and safety for average consumers. For people who mainly use Low or Moon, this light will provide great run times. The modes are well-spaced and Moon is perfect at 1 lumen. I also like that Moon is part of the normal mode rotation (not hidden). Hiding the Flare mode is good for most consumers since otherwise the ramp-down at 30 seconds would be confusing and also helps protect the light from being abused or run too hot.

This size light is a good 18650-sized EDC. Although the F1 is slightly wider than some other 18650 tubes, it will fit comfortably in dress pants, cargo shorts, jacket, etc. The finish looks excellent, is clean and my copy had no defects.

The beam profile is very balanced and is well-suited for general usage. My copy was a very pleasant 4750K color temperature (warm neutral). I like the trend of manufacturers offering "neutral white" lights in this color temperature range.
 
Edited by: SoCalTiger on 07/07/2017 - 17:22
huntking
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nice review. Mine is cool white. I like the excellent workmanship.

Lightbringer
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SoCalTiger wrote:
This light has a timed ramp-down from Flare back to High at 30 seconds. The ramp-down is smooth. When I used the light outdoors, walking around, the ramp-down was not that noticeable (although it would be in a static environment such as a closed room).

Ha! See? Everyone was complaining about it “unflaring” down to moonlight, and I was insisting it didn’t, at least not for me. Big Smile

SoCalTiger wrote:
Comment: I originally wasn’t sure whether or not I would like the diagonal pattern on the grip based on pictures. However, in person, the pattern is very nice and in fact I think that it works a lot better in hand than the traditional knurling on most lights. It’s able to add grip while feeling smooth.

The “spline” look? Yep, sharp!

SoCalTiger wrote:
Lightroom detected a green-shift of approximately 14 points as compared to Daylight (using exposure 1/100 – F/2.8 – ISO 100). This is within range of other lights I’ve seen at this price-point. It did not stand out to me in real life or in pictures.

Not sure what you mean by “points”, but yeah, there’s definitely a green-shift with the AR glass. Maybe I’m sensitive to it because none of my other lights have AR glass, but it was quite objectionable at first, but now doesn’t seem as objectionable as before. Or maybe the AR coating is burning off. Big Smile

SoCalTiger wrote:
This size light is a good 18650-sized EDC. Although the F1 is slightly wider than some other 18650 tubes, it will fit comfortably in dress pants, cargo shorts, jacket, etc. The finish looks excellent, is clean and my copy had no defects.

Yeah, I heard people complaining about the size, being “too big” for an EDC, but not so. Slips into my pockets easily, isn’t objectionable at all.

As I mentioned a few times before, aside from the green, it’s pretty much the perfect light. Well-designed, just seems to do everything right

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huntking
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yeah, call it a tactical flashlight/military flashlight better than an EDC. solid body, good anti-shake, good waterproof, well done!

SoCalTiger
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Lightbringer wrote:
SoCalTiger wrote:
This light has a timed ramp-down from Flare back to High at 30 seconds. The ramp-down is smooth. When I used the light outdoors, walking around, the ramp-down was not that noticeable (although it would be in a static environment such as a closed room).

Ha! See? Everyone was complaining about it “unflaring” down to moonlight, and I was insisting it didn’t, at least not for me. Big Smile

Yeah the “ramp down” is perfectly smooth and fine by me. It’s a nice ramp down which isn’t even obvious in real world usage to me unless I’m watching it.

Lightbringer wrote:
SoCalTiger wrote:
Lightroom detected a green-shift of approximately 14 points as compared to Daylight (using exposure 1/100 – F/2.8 – ISO 100). This is within range of other lights I’ve seen at this price-point. It did not stand out to me in real life or in pictures.

Not sure what you mean by “points”, but yeah, there’s definitely a green-shift with the AR glass. Maybe I’m sensitive to it because none of my other lights have AR glass, but it was quite objectionable at first, but now doesn’t seem as objectionable as before. Or maybe the AR coating is burning off. Big Smile

Yeah, I’ll have to find a better way to qualify this statement. In Lightroom, when you white balance a picture, you can balance the Green/Magenta tint using a certain amount of points. I’m not at my editing computer right now but I think the full range is -100 (Add more green to compensate for magenta) to +100 (Add more magenta to compensate for green). Daylight is +10, so if a light is also +10, then it matches the tint of daylight. If a light is +20, then it is +10 more points of green than Daylight.

I can tell you that of the lights that I’ve measured so far, an adjustment range of 0-20 compared to daylight seems to be normal with the higher end corresponding to AR glass from what I can tell. Personally, in real life, even the highest values aren’t an issue to me unless maybe I compared lights side-by-side.

I’ve noticed (and you can see it in some people’s pictures) that AR glass tends to have a purplish reflection to it. The opposite of magenta is green so I suspect that however AR glass works, it’s either shifting the colors green somehow or allowing more green to pass through proportionately to magenta.

Lightbringer wrote:
SoCalTiger wrote:
This size light is a good 18650-sized EDC. Although the F1 is slightly wider than some other 18650 tubes, it will fit comfortably in dress pants, cargo shorts, jacket, etc. The finish looks excellent, is clean and my copy had no defects.

Yeah, I heard people complaining about the size, being “too big” for an EDC, but not so. Slips into my pockets easily, isn’t objectionable at all.

As I mentioned a few times before, aside from the green, it’s pretty much the perfect light. Well-designed, just seems to do everything right

Yeah, although it is thicker than other 18650 tubes, I don’t object to referring to it as an EDC. I actually think that this light will be perfect for my father in law as he needs a light on his person for work. He’s a tall guy with big hands and he’d prefer the thicker design.

SoCalTiger
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huntking wrote:
yeah, call it a tactical flashlight/military flashlight better than an EDC. solid body, good anti-shake, good waterproof, well done!

Maybe “Tactical military-grade solid extra-heavy-duty EDC”? haha

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SoCalTiger wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
SoCalTiger wrote:
This light has a timed ramp-down from Flare back to High at 30 seconds. The ramp-down is smooth.

Ha! See? Everyone was complaining about it “unflaring” down to moonlight, and I was insisting it didn’t, at least not for me. Big Smile

Yeah the “ramp down” is perfectly smooth and fine by me. It’s a nice ramp down which isn’t even obvious in real world usage to me unless I’m watching it.

People were P&Ming about it flaring down all the way to moonlight instead of high. So it must’ve been fixed and I just got a newer version with the fix.

SoCalTiger wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
SoCalTiger wrote:
Lightroom detected a green-shift of approximately 14 points as compared to Daylight (using exposure 1/100 – F/2.8 – ISO 100). This is within range of other lights I’ve seen at this price-point. It did not stand out to me in real life or in pictures.

Not sure what you mean by “points”, but yeah, there’s definitely a green-shift with the AR glass. Maybe I’m sensitive to it because none of my other lights have AR glass, but it was quite objectionable at first, but now doesn’t seem as objectionable as before. Or maybe the AR coating is burning off. Big Smile

Yeah, I’ll have to find a better way to qualify this statement. In Lightroom, when you white balance a picture, you can balance the Green/Magenta tint using a certain amount of points. I’m not at my editing computer right now but I think the full range is -100 (Add more green to compensate for magenta) to +100 (Add more magenta to compensate for green). Daylight is +10, so if a light is also +10, then it matches the tint of daylight. If a light is +20, then it is +10 more points of green than Daylight.

If it’s anything like IrfanView, even 14pts out of 100 makes a huge difference to me. Definite tinting…

SoCalTiger wrote:
I can tell you that of the lights that I’ve measured so far, an adjustment range of 0-20 compared to daylight seems to be normal with the higher end corresponding to AR glass from what I can tell. Personally, in real life, even the highest values aren’t an issue to me unless maybe I compared lights side-by-side.

If I were out in the woods looking at greenery, I probably wouldn’t even be able to tell. But anywhere indoors, yep.

SoCalTiger wrote:
I’ve noticed (and you can see it in some people’s pictures) that AR glass tends to have a purplish reflection to it. The opposite of magenta is green so I suspect that however AR glass works, it’s either shifting the colors green somehow or allowing more green to pass through proportionately to magenta.

I’ve seen blue, in modest amounts to full-on, so I’m guessing that depends on the degree of “AR-ness”.

SoCalTiger wrote:
Yeah, although it is thicker than other 18650 tubes, I don’t object to referring to it as an EDC. I actually think that this light will be perfect for my father in law as he needs a light on his person for work. He’s a tall guy with big hands and he’d prefer the thicker design.

To some people, anything but a 1×AAA light is too big to EDC. To others, an F13 in a back-pocket is fine. Tubelights of all kinds tend to just slip right away into a pocket. To me, weight is more of an issue than size. An F1 or S2+ is about the limit as to what I’d want to pocket-carry. But I default to a holster anyway for my ’502. Big Smile

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pieman7
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Excellent review!

WojtekimbieR
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Nice review, I liked the photos.

You accidentally posted it to a wrong subforum

Just for a moment... Okay I may stay a little longer