Sofirn SP32: Another review for evaluation (Tabletop Edition)

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JasonJ
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Sofirn SP32: Another review for evaluation (Tabletop Edition)

I received an invitation from Sofirn to test and evaluate their SP32 18650 flash light. It was provided to me at no cost by Sofirn; thank you Sofirn for this.

There have been two excellent reviews already on this light, as well as on its brother, the SP31. See SoCalTiger and Dirty_Pierre’s reviews here:

SP32 Review 1

SP32 Review 2

Here is what their Amazon page has to say on the specs; notice that the lumen output of the moonlight mode differs than what was claimed in the previous two reviews. I believe it to be closer to the 3lm listed now…

Specification:
1, CREE XP-L2 V6 high lumen LED with Lifespan of 100,000 hours
2, Use one 18650 battery (Included)or 2pcs CR123A batteries (Excluded)
3, Max output 960 lumen with high intensity 9600cd
4, Working voltage: 2.8-8.4 volt
5, Dimension: 122.7mm(length)× 22.6mm(diameter) × 23.6mm(head)
6, Net Weight: 70.8 gram (no batteries included)
7, Side Switch on the head with momentary-off function
8, Instant on Low mode and tail-stand as a candle
9, Durable rugged Aluminum with Premium type ? hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish; Toughened glass lens with anti-reflective AR coating
10, Battery Reverse protection function and batteries low indication—-Light flashes 2 time per second when voltage down to 3 volt
11, Current Moonlight (PWM=1%); Low(PWM= 5%); Mid(PWM= 20%); High(PWM 50%); Turbo (PWM= 100%); Strobe(PWM= 100%)
12, Output / Running time:
Low: 15 lumen / 186 hr
Medium: 119 lumen / 17:10 hr
High: 392 lumen / 6:56 hr
Turbo: 956 lumen / 1:17 hr
Strobe: 956 lumen / 2.5 hr
Moonlight: 3lumen / 918 hr

Package:
A Handheld Flashlight Torch with clip
A 2800mAh 18650 battery and USB charger
Two Spare O Rings
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————

First Impression, it’s a nice light. A little taller than a typical 18650 light, but seems well built and I like the emitter choice. I’m very pleased that it is not cool white, but instead neutral/warm white. I’d guess it to be about a 5300k color temp. I don’t have beamshots for this review, but will edit and post them soon. The other two reviewers have posted beamshots that are identical to what I’d be putting up anyhow.

The light came in a nice little black box packaging with a slide out clear plastic tray. It was shipped direct from Sofirn’s Amazon store and arrived in a nicely packaged shipping box, undamaged and unopened.

Using the light, I got accustomed to its operation fairly quickly. The last mode memory is nice, and the rapid double-click from off for strobe is convenient (mostly in that it is hidden and not a part of the normal operating modes). I do miss the ability for a momentary on… which you can do with the SP31, but it’s not a deal breaker for me, it may be for you, in which case, I’d recommend you look at the SP31 instead.

I had no malfunctions with the light at all, and the electronic side switch functioned fine. In my pockets, I find all 18650 lights to be a bit large in diameter for comfortable carry; but I’m a bigger guy and my pockets get snug no matter what, especially when seated. Nonetheless, it carries nicely in a pocket or bag, and doesn’t weight too much to carry around. It’s a lot of light in a good, popular sized package.

Build quality is excellent; I was rather impressed here and did not expect to be. Knurling is precise and comfortable, not too aggressive at all. Tailcap and head springs are solid and thick, with nice brass retaining rings. The smooth reflector is deeper than typical, but the hotspot and spill are really an ideal balance between throw and flood. The emitter is centered, as one would hope it to be.

Tailcap threads were dry:

But head threads were lubed:

Springs:

The light does tail stand, which is appreciated. However, the pocket clip attaches about one-third down from the tail. I really do wish it had a spot machined higher up that allows for a deeper pocket carry. This would not be difficult to do at all on future versions.

How about the included 18650? It is a protected cell, so that’s nice. It claims to have a 2800mAh capacity. Doing the charge/test in my Opus BT-C3400 indicates a capacity of 2780mAh. Wow.. it’s actually not exaggerating its capacity! That’s interesting. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the cell is too large in diameter to fit my other 18650 lights. While the SP32 has a generous cell compartment, the included 18650 fits, but gets stuck in my Convoy S2+ (both of them). To remove the cell, I must remove tail and head from the S2+ and push the cell out from one end and pull from the other. What? Why?

Output modes are good… although I would prefer if moonlight was lower than the advertised (and I concur) 3lm. 1lm like what it used to be claimed (actual?) would be better. I’m not sure when or why this changed from earlier reviews. I’ve never had a light with a firefly/moonlight mode, so I don’t know how low I’d like it, just that the 3lm of this one is too much when it’s completely dark and you’ve just opened your eyes, or are already adjusted to the complete blackness.

Low through high mode are great, well spaced. Medium is more than enough light for almost everything, and turbo mode is crazy bright, and absolutely overkill. By my eyes, I’d say turbo mode is higher than the claimed 956lm, it’s easily over 1000lm with a freshly charged cell. I have doubts that the lens is AR coated, as it does not exhibit the usual tinted hues on an angle that you normally see, nonetheless it is very clear, no debris or contaminants inside the reflector zone either.

Overall, I like this light. The fact that they include a charger, a cell, and the charging cable is USB compatible adds huge value, especially for someone who is just starting out in lithium-ion powered lights. The charger included is a low current output, so little risk of over-charging the cell (it reset the protection circuit nicely when my Opus drained the cell too low and the prot. circ. kicked in). It’s interesting to note that this light will support 8.4v input, so two CR123 cells are good to go. This is good if you stockpile CR123’s for emergencies or SHTF or anything like that. Flexibility in accepting a power source is always a good thing.

The pieces:

Compared to a Convoy S2+:

A little longer/taller overall:

So do I recommend this light, currently selling for $23.92 on Amazon? Absolutely. The pocket clip issue, wide 18650, and too-high moonlight mode are all negligible in the grand scheme of things, and if this is your one and only 18650, totally non-issues that are really only minor annoyances.

Thank you to Tracy and Sofirn for this evaluation piece; I appreciated the opportunity to review this light. I look forward to what Sofirn has in the pipeline, as they seem to be a very good, legit, non-exaggerated manufacturer who wants to put out quality product. I think they’ve done that nicely in the SP31/32 series of 18650 powered lights.

Edited by: JasonJ on 08/22/2017 - 10:24