[Review] Sofirn SP35 3x18650 flashlight supplied by Banggood

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Lexel
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[Review] Sofirn SP35 3x18650 flashlight supplied by Banggood

The light was supplied by Banggood, no compensation other than the light itself was received for this review

The price can be lowered to with Mad Max coupon MSP35 to 31.46$

The first time I have to warn people not to buy this light as it has a severe production fault
Its likely the XHP50 will overheat, which would not be good for the buyers and Banggood
Unless you want to add heat paste to the shelf and tube better stay away from this light.

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This light was supplied by Banggood for a review, I am honest and will judge the light as it is with its pros and cons

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Manufactory specification:
Product name: Sofirn SP35 XHP50 2500Lumens Powerful Outdoor LED Flashlight
Brand: Sofirn
Model: SP35
Emitter Type: XHP50
Light temperature: 5500K-6000K
Light color: NW(Neutral White)
Material: Aircraft 6061 grade-aluminum alloy
Mode: Low, Mid, High, Turbo, Ultralow, Strobe
Lumens: 116LM,400LM,1270LM,2500LM,20LM,2500LM
Runtime: 17h35min,5h12min,1h50min,49min,100h,/
Battery Configurations: 3 × 18650 lithium-ion Battery(not included)
Working voltage: 8.4-12.6 Volts
Switch Type: Clicky
Switch Location: Body side of the flashlight
Peak Beam Intensity: 11600cd
Impact Resistant 1meter
Max Output: 2500lumens
Range: 300meters
Lens: Toughened glass lens with AR coating, anti-crash and wearable
Reflector: Smooth Reflector
Waterproof: IPX-8 waterproof
Color: Black
Weight: 307.6 gram (no batteries included)
Size: 131mm(length)× 48mm(diameter) × 48mm(head)

Package included:
1 x Sofirn SP35 XHP50 2500Lumens Powerful Outdoor LED Flashlight
1 x O-rings
1 x Lanyard
1 x English Manual

There is an error in the description that says smooth reflector
Also the LED is clearly cool white not NW

The parcel arrived after 17 days shipping with to Germany which is fast from China.

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Package and content:

The lights box came packed well with a wrap around and in a plastic bag, typical for Banggood
the box took some light damage during transport, but the light itself was well protected

The light comes in a Box, the light itself is in bubble wrap

It comes with 2 spare o-rings, lanyard and manual (german+english),
the german translation is bad from an online translator

Photos of the light



Comparism and teardown:

Size compared to other 18650 lights the SP35 the battery tube is quite thick for a 3×18650, 2.5mm thicker than the Klarus G35 and 2mm less than the BLF Q8



Beam color is cold around 6250K with a Cree XHP50, the beam is balanced between throw and spill
The manual says light color 5500-6000K which it is definitely not

The beam color has a pretty pronounced shift towards green, compared to it the BLF Q8 looks very rosy tinted

The LED is very good reflowed and the non DTP MCPCB is perfectly flat, but not polished or gold plated
The heat paste is applied in a good amount and squeezed in an uniform thin layer

The LED wires are really thick looks like AWG20

The reflector has a medium orange peel and there are some quite big white dust particles on it
They probably came from the gasket and could be removed with compressed air

The gasket base is 0.7mm thick

from left to right the lights get cooler, picture taken @5000K camera setting
Nitecore P12 XML2 U3-3D 5000K, Klarus XT12GTS XHP35 E2-3C 5000K, BLF Q8 XPL V6-3D 5000K, Astrolux MF-01 Nichia 5000K, , Klarus G35 XPL HI V3-3C, Sofirn SP35, Vollision MR25-d XPL 6500K

The light can be taken apart nothing is glued

The light has a tail cap with 3 big holes for a lanyard and stands rock-solid

The light stands on the tail

The lens is 43.5mm wide and 2mm thick, and AR coated, the coating is less good than most other lights I had so far, compared to Klarus G35 and uncoated BLF Q8

The head has a diameter of 48mm and 36.2mm visible reflector

The light can be run by 3 batteries 18650 batteries in series and can be locked out by twisting the tail cap

The driver sits below the LED shelf, the lights tube and head is one piece

The driver has a single coil on the driver and is fed by 3×18650 in series as a buck driver

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The Head

The big reflector with a single LED gives a decent throw with a medium hotspot and enough spill due to the relative shallow reflector with 25.8mm

The lens rests on the reflector, while the O-ring sits in a cut on the reflector rim, this way the pressure on it is always the same

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Now to biggest fail in this light, the floating shelf
I could not believe it, but the shelf just fell out of the head after I unsoldered the LED wires

It rests just on the driver board, to the body it has about 0.2mm space and just falls out

The Klarus G35 shelf I had to pull out with force and there were a lot marks where both surfaced had contact


The slave board for the switch has a green and red LED
The light indicates the battery capacity, green for >50%, orange for 50-20% and below 20% red

The shelf is 1.5mm thick and a really big 1.5mm thick copper MCPCB does a good job spreading the heat to the shelf

The MCPCB is s not DTP, the back of it is bare copper
The MCPCBs back is perfectly flat

The light is waterproof, the tail cap tread is lubed, but the amount is a pretty low

Tube and Tail

The tail cap is fully anodized it has 3 battery contacts and can freely rotate and is lined up with 2 bolts, they put a little grease so it rotates smoothly

the retaining ring of the board is fully anodized and it is recessed, so that the tube does not touch it, so it can’t get loose by unscrewing the tube

The switch cover is press fit

the tube is build for 3 batteries
with unprotected flat tops the spring force is low they easily rattle inside when you shake the light

The tube threads are square cut and fit nicely, but they are a bit too small, when you don’t be careful you may damage them, best is to twist the threads with care to make sure they snap in at the right position

The tail cap has 3 big cut outs for the lanyard

Driver and Battery

The light has no visible PWM, even water drops fall with a straight line

The light has a some mass to absorb and surface to spread heat, but the floating shelf is a huge problem in the heat transfer, worst case it just rests on the driver and heat it with 16W

The light is build for protected and unprotected batteries, unprotected are very loose and rattle

the light uses thick springs from steel

The mode spacing is OK, the moonlight has about 15 lumens
The light uses a boost driver and has some 0.4 Ohm sense resistors in parallel

When I was reassembling the light the next bad thing happened, the LED wire came loose on the driver, a cold solder joint with very bad electrical and mechanical properties

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LED current and lux for the modes

The flashlight has a peak beam intensity of 945 lux @5M
so the calculated throw is 23625 this is more than double what is listed in the manual with 11600
theoretical throw distance 307m

the moonlight about 15 lumens 200lux 0,85%

Low 90mA 825lux 3,5%

Medium 0,31A 3200lux 13,5%

High 0.97A 11400lux 48%

Turbo 2.54A 23625lux

Modding:

First thing was to bypass the springs on the tail cap and driver

added thermal paste to the body so the shelf gets proper heat transfer and the LED stays cool
first apply paste to shelf and Body

Pushed the shelf in half way, realizing the one LED wire stuck, pulling it out again

used flat head screws

As the MCPCB is not DTP I don’t do a resistor mod yet, have a Sinkpad-II 6/12V coming

Beam shots

about 2m from Light to ceiling

Sofirn SP35

BLF Q8

Klarus XT12GT

Nitecore P12 XML U3-3D NW

User Interface

The switch itself has an odd feeling, you can push it about 1mm and nothing happens, then you get a hard click, as the switch button is not raised you have to push a lot harder with your thumb against the switch ring than on the switch itself

From the product description

Smart Power Indicator (on the side switch):
Green Light: the battery capacity > 50%;
Orange Light: the battery capacity between 50% and 20%
Red Light: the battery capacity <20% (please recharge or replace the battery)

Operation Instruction:
On/Off: Click the side switch to activate, or press the switch for 1 second to turn off
Mode Change: when the light is on, click the switch to cycle through Low / Medium/ High / Turbo.
Strobe: in the statues off On or Off , double clicks to activate “hidden Strobe”; one click to return back.
Turbo level: the light turns to High level when the Turbo works for 3 minutes. Please choose Turbo manually if you need it. It is not suggested to use Turbo continuously in order to avoid overheat.
High Level: the light turns to Medium level when the High works for 30 minutes. Please choose High level manually if you need it.
The UI is simple
Short press to turn the light on
The light has mode memory
A single click gets to next brighter mode
long click to turn off
Strobe is double click from ON or OFF
The light has the Moonlight as other lights with long press from OFF

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The interesting is that you cannot change to another mode after you turned on Moonlight or strobe from OFF, you have to turn the light off with a short press, so you cannot ruin your night vision by accidently clicking the button, but if you want a brighter mode you have to turn the light off first

no direct access to turbo mode

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Conclusion

A very bad move was to build in a not fitting shelf, the shelf and body are very nice machined, but they do not fit, maybe a error on the lathe or CNC, the shelf rattles with the bezel loosened and when tightened it again the shelf gets pressed against the driver

From the outside the build quality and user interface is nice, the locked mode from OFF for Moon and Strobe is interesting, once in ML or Strobe from OFF you have to turn the light off with a short press and then on to get to normal modes

The switch has an odd feeling you have to push harder against the ring around it than on the switch itself

The driver is well build, but the current is too low to reach the claimed lumens 2.54A on 6.28V gets to 1900-2000 LED lumens from J4 or J4 flux bin

Positive:

- the body has a nice finish and the anodisation is perfect, it is a smooth finish
- good mix between throw and spill due to the relatively short reflector
- proper LVP and low battery warnings
- no PWM in any mode
- buck driver for a 6V LED with 3S will not fall out of regulation unless the cells are almost fully depleted

Neutral:

- 18650 unprotected batteries are rattling almost no pressure from the springs
- the UI is good but some people won’t like hidden moonlight
- thick AR coated glass lens, worst AR coating seen so far
- The beam has typical XHP50 artifacts and has a pretty green tint

Negative:

– Shelf is machined to small and has so almost no connection to the head, just to the driver
Really Sofirn better fire the guy responsible that a not fitting part was used instead of getting a fitting produced, this is as bad as the other light with cheap aluminum star that cooks the XPG3 to death within a minute, at least I disassembled the light before I did longer runs on max mode
- I got a Monday light employee was to tired from weekend he forgot how to solder, so finally the LED wire had a cold solder joint that fell off after I disassembled the light
- LED current too low to be near the claimed brightness
- no DTP star, 15.5W on a XML footprint is acceptable, but they probably lowered the current to solve the heat issues, for the claimed 2500 OTF lumens they would need a DTP star

Edited by: Lexel on 10/12/2017 - 19:09
alejandrov
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Good review, thanks.

hIKARInoob
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Old: you can’t see the forest for the trees.
New: you can’t see the flashlight for the thermal paste.

Although it’s a junk light, Sofirn does demonstrate what is possible in terms of performance for a good low price. Thumbs Up

Ronin42
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I think its got potential.

Im thinking an MT-G2 and some resistor mods

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

zelee
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quite a let down for the floating shelf but can i ask you what is the cube within a cube on some of your pictures is?
looks cool

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I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.

Lexel
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zelee wrote:
quite a let down for the floating shelf but can i ask you what is the cube within a cube on some of your pictures is? looks cool

bought it for 40$ prices seems to get higher

zelee
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Lexel wrote:
zelee wrote:
quite a let down for the floating shelf but can i ask you what is the cube within a cube on some of your pictures is? looks cool

bought it for 40$ prices seems to get higher

yeah, it was $63 right now.
i never though that it was made from entirely solid duralumin Shocked

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.