[Review] Armytek Elf C1 (XP-L Warm, Headlamp, 980lm, 18350 900mAh included, usb recharging)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Armytek Elf C1 (XP-L Warm, Headlamp, 980lm, 18350 900mAh included, usb recharging)

Hello to all. Thanking them for the trust given to me, today we will review the Armitek Elf C1 that was kindly provided by Armytek itself.
Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 578)


CLICK HERE to go to the official product page on the Armytek website.

I want to clarify that my reviews are made at an amateur level and without the aid of scientific instruments or tests in cutting-edge secret laboratories and therefore, among the lines that follow, there will also be my humble impressions.


Official features:

- rechargeable flashlight with popular Micro-USB socket
- solid body without long wires, weak rubber connectors and unnecessary boxes
- multi-flashlight “10 in 1" has magnet in the tailcap, removable clip, headmount and possibility of tail-stand for many activities: outdoor, fishing, work etc.
- multicolor State Indication and ultra low current drain in OFF-state for 25 years
- active real-time temperature control and warning indication of low battery level
- total protection from water, dirt and dust penetration – flashlight continues to work even at the depth of 10 meters



Where to buy it

The flashlight can be purchased directly from the official Armytek store and is available both LED tint: WHITE and WARM (like the reviewed sample). Between the two models change, in addition to the tint, the maximum output and the maximum meters reached.
The products (if purchased) are shipped, as also reported on the official store, from China with a FedEx or DHL courier.


The package and the accessories

The Armytek Elf C1 arrives in a cardboard pack, mainly white. On the right, a plastic window allows you to glimpse the flashlight in all its glory.
On the left, however, we find information like the maximum lumens, ANSI meters, the type of the LED and it color, the presence of the 18350 battery, the integrated charging with the microUSB, the 10-year warranty and a representative photo.



On the back there are the features of the flashlight, the list of items included in the package, the capacity of the battery included (available in three different capacities, in our case 900 mAh), the QR-code that leads to the page of Elf C1 on the Armytekl website and, finally, information about the company.



On one side there is the name of the flashlight, the brand name and the writing "Multi-flashlight", along with many little drawings, make it very clear that this product is ideal for all situations



while, on the other side, there are all the flashlight's specifications and the CE and RoHS certifications.



Once we have extracted all the contents from the package, we will have:

- the Elf C1
- 900 mAh battery (inserted inside the flashlight)
- the magnet (inserted inside the flashlight and extractable at will)
- the metal pocket clip
- the new rigid plastic support
- 2 spare O-rings
- the wrist strap
- the elastic band
- the manual in the English language only



And here there is the scan of the manual that came out of the package. Alternatively, it can be downloaded for free directly from the Armytek website by clicking HERE .
It reports the information of both the Elf C1 and it big sister Elf C2.



Together with the flashlight, the Armytek was kind enough to attach a catalog showing its products plus the news that will come during the year.




The flashlight

The Elf C1 is the new headlamp from the Armytek, powered by a 18350 and with the integrated charging circuit.
The body is almost entirely made of aluminum and, as in the Armytek tradition, it is almost full of writings that do not have smudges. To the touch the finishes are the usual that the brand has accustomed us.
As with the recent similar models of Armytek production, just under the head, a passive rings dissipator stands out, helping to eliminate excess heat.



On the head, a generous metal ring has the task of protecting and blocking the TIR lens which hides the Cree XP-L Warm LED, without invasive dominant (at low modes, and only on a white surface, tocks VERY LITTLE to the green but, in normal daily use, is not seen).
The lens has an anti-reflective treatment but, unfortunately, I could not photograph it.



At the top of the head we find the information concerning the color, the type of LED used and the warning that the surface can become very hot.



As you can well imagine, by observing the particular square shape of the back of the head, the flashlight has difficulty to rolling on an inclined plane.



On the right side there is the yellow electronic switch, which has the task of managing the entire UI. It protrudes slightly from the body, is rubberized, has a short stroke and an average noisy click.



Around the key there is another metal ring that recalls the one around the lens. The key allows the light of the LED underneath to pass through and it may be green, orange or red.



As soon as we interact with the key, the red one immediately comes on.



On the back of the head is placed the microUSB port need to recharge the battery. Obviously it is covered by a silicone cap that, according to what is reported on the site, gives at the flashlight a resistance to powders and liquids according to the IP68 standard and, as if this were not enough, according to the brand it is possible to use the flashlight at a depth of 10 meters for up to 5 hours.
The cap is easily removed and, in order to operate the flashlight in the conditions described above, it must be reinserted in its seat with the utmost care.
Zoom in (real dimensions: 578 x 1024)


Here is the connector. In order to take advantage of the integrated charging, we will have to use a USB-> microUSB cable not included in the package but, thanks to its diffusion, we will not have difficulty finding it at home or take one of it from some other device.



The flashlight has a flat bottom, without holes, circular in shape but, thanks to those chamfers, it seems square. Its flat shape is excellent to allow the Elf C1 to stand on a horizontal plane or, thanks to the magnet, stand in any position on any metal surface.



The magnet is inserted in a specific compartment in the lower part of the flashlight and, thanks to this feature, it is possible to remove it or insert it as desired according to our needs.



The Elf C1 can be divided into 3 parts: the flashlight body, the bottom and the lid that closes the magnet compartment. The main thread is generous, comes well greased (the grease used has a bluish shade) and 2 O-rings, also well greased, make sure that the water does not enter the battery compartment.
The secondary thread, the one that gives access to the magnet, is instead dry. In spite of this, everything flows well, even if with some slight screeching, and it never jib.



At the negative pole we will find a large silver spring



while, at the positive pole, there is a contact (also silver) which is raised respect to the surrounding circuitry.




The accessories

Almost all the accessories in the box will be useful to use or attach the Elf C1 in different ways or positions.

First of all, there is the aforementioned magnet. Allows the flashlight to be attached vertically, such as to a screw that holds a sign in a park,



or horizontally (and upside down) as for example attached to a knife planted in a branch (the branch in question has been naturally removed from the tree due to a storm, do not damaged live trees).



Then there is the metal clip that can be inserted in both directions and offers a good grip on the clothes.





The wrist lanyard also differs from the ones I've seen so far. Being the flashlight devoid of appropriate holes, the Armytek has thought of an ingenious solution: has connected the cord to a small metal hook that allows it to attach itself to a ring (always metallic) that is placed at the bottom of the flashlight itself. Just unscrew the cap that gives access to the magnet, lay the ring and, closing everything and there will be no danger of running away.



Here is the metal lanyard. The rope is generous in size for any wrist but too small to allow us to pass our head. A snap button retainer allows you to better adjust everything.
If desired, you can also choose to leave the ring attached to the flashlight and detach the lanyard simply by acting on that metal hook.



You can also think of using the lanyard to attach the flashlight to a branch or other similar positions, just use your imagination.



The last piece that can come in handy is the new system, always from Armytek and already seen on the new Wizard, to anchor the flashlight to the elastic head band. It is a rigid plastic hook with two supports at the end





that fit perfectly to the grooves of the Elf C1. The hooking and unhooking take place very quickly, you no longer have to deal with the silicone support that, compared to this, is far slower to use.
Between the support and the Elf C1, once connected to each other, there is a bit of play that allows the flashlight to rotate but which, at the same time, makes it stay locked in the position in which we will leave it. Provided not to solicit the hook with violent tugs, the flashlight remains locked to the support.
Note the curvature that has the same support to adapt more to our forehead.



Obviously the support does not work alone but will require the use of the elastic head band which is always part of the accessories.
The band have to be mounted on the support (nothing very complicated)



and we can finally wear the flashlight. I recommend putting the flashlight in this way (with the button facing upwards) to avoid the continuous flashing of the lights in the eye.




The battery and the charging circuit

The Armytek Elf C1 arrives, as we saw at the beginning of the review, with a 18350 of nominal 900 mAh and with the sheath of the house.

On a discharge test with Opus (at a speed of 300 mA), the battery have 942 mAh real.



The battery is protected and has a large, non-protruding positive pole,



obviously the negative pole is also flat.



And here is all the information on the sheath.











As anticipated, in the package there is not the cable that allows you to use the recharge but we could use any one, even the one of a powerbank that always comes in handy to charge the flashlight out of the comfortable home.
The speed, from the beginning, starts (from 3.10 V) at 0.51 A. The indicator light under the key will be red



and it will turn green when it ends. In total, the whole process will last just under 2 hours and 30 minutes. At the end of the charge the battery voltage is 4.22 V.
The flashlight can also be turned on when the battery is charging.




How does it work

The Armytek Elf C1 has six modes selectable in total, of which 3 are to be recalled. There are no special modes.

According to the official data of the brand, the modes have the following characteristics:

- Turbo -> 900 lumens for 40 minutes
- Main3 -> 340 lumens for 1 hour

- Main2 -> 150 lumens for 2.5 hours
- Main1 -> 30 lumens for 15 hours
- Firefly2 -> 2.3 lumens for 7 days
- Firefly1 -> 0.4 lumens for 54 days


On / Off

A single and complete pressure of the button makes the flashlight light up to the last mode selected (since it has the memory), another single pressure makes it switch off.

Change modes

The main modes are those that are part of the Main group.
When the flashlight is on, a prolonged pressure on the key will cause the 3 modes to cycle in ascending order.
Releasing the button will interrupt the loop and allow us to select one of the 3 modes according to need.

Firefly Group

In order to take advantage of the modes of this group, it is necessary to recall them.
With the flashlight off, press and hold the side key. The first 2 modes that will turn on will be the Firefly1 and then, to follow, 2. To select them, as for the Main modes, you must leave the button. Press and hold the key to switch to the Main group and, in order to recall them, turn off the flashlight again and run it all over again.
The memory of the flashlight also allows us to remember the modes of this group if we turn off the C1 on one of them.

Turbo

The Turbo is another mode to be recalled ONLY having the flashlight turned on by making a quick double pressing of the key.
It too, turning off the flashlight, remains memorized.

Lock-out

There is no electronic lock-out on the flashlight. However, in the manual it is suggested to use the mechanical one, unscrewing the tailcap by 1/4 turn.

Luminous alerts

Thanks to the light indicators under the button, in particular the red one and the orange one, it will be possible to know if the battery level is low or if the temperature reached by the head is high or even critical.

As for the charge status, the green indicator will flash every 5 seconds when the battery has a capacity >25%, it will flash once every 2 seconds of orange when the charge is <25% or once every second of red when the charge is <10%.

As for the temperature, the orange indicator will flash 3 times every 2 seconds when the temperature of the head begins to be hot, will flash 3 times every second of red when the temperature becomes critical.

Flashlight operation without battery

The peculiarity of this flashlight is to work even without a battery. We could then connect the charging cable, which will be connected to a powerbank, and we will have the Firefly group modes available and the two lower modes of the Main group.
The flashlight will turn on and cycle through the modes as previously indicated, but the modes will no longer respect the groups they belong to. When the modes are cycled, F1, F2, M1 and M2 will follow each other and then start again in loop.

We can therefore use the flashlight even when the battery is low. Connecting an external power source to the flashlight, with the battery discharged inside, will turn on the LED and, at the same time, recharge the battery.
In this case the charging times will no longer respect the classic timing because part of the current that comes in feeds the LED. If we use a low one among the available modes, the battery will recharge faster than the same situation but with a higher mode.
NW The flashlight can not be recharged if we wear it on the head due the position of the connector of the refill that does not favor this operation.

Weights and dimensions

The Armytek Elf C1 is 8.17 cm long and has a minimum diameter of 2 cm and a maximum of 2.65 cm. The head, including the protrusion of the key, measures 2.9 x 2.3 cm.
It weighs 60 gr without anything, 87 gr with the battery inserted and the clip, reaches 105 gr with the plastic hook and the elastic band. The battery alone weighs 20 grams

Next, there is a the dimensional comparison with a big BIC lighter and a 18650,



an Armytek Tiara C1 (not PRO and therefore with none tail magnet, which justifies the smaller size) and a Wizard (Pro V3, version without charging connector in the tailcap)



and the Rofis R1 and R2 in a linear position



and angular.



Also note that the battery is the same size as a 18350 750 mAh Keeppower.




Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NW The tests below were made with the 18350 included in the package. Everything was done in a home environment at 19 ° with and without forced ventilation.

The following values were taken with the 18350 charge and are considered peak .



The following values were taken with the 18350 charge and are considered peak .

NW The discharge curves are obviously indicative, the result could vary in positive or negative depending on the batteries used by the end user or the conditions of use that may vary from mine during my tests.

Any slight discrepancies related to the tests carried out on the same mode can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment.


The Turbo mode starts from just over 900 lumens and, at least initially, changes only a bit its behavior in the ventilated and non-ventilated test.
The Main 3 and Main 2 modes start at about 380 lumens and about 160 lumens respectively and, for the first 10 minutes, they have a very regular trend.



The Turbo mode during the ventilated test has a trend almost in "direct drive" and during the non-ventilated test has obvious un and down due to the regulation of the output due to the temperature. In both cases it goes out within about 55 minutes.
The Main mode 3 has a constant trend for about an hour, then it will drop and turn off within 15-20 minutes.



The Main 2 mode has a very steady trend for about 2 hours and 50 minutes before it declines and goes off in about ten minutes later.

The following values were taken with the 18350 charge and have to be considered of peak.



The following picture was taken at a distance of 40 cm from the wall.



Beam width



Being in possession of the Tiara and the Wizard V3 in the same Warm color, I thought well to take a picture of comparative shades. In the following photo, the white balance has been set to 4000k.
From left to right we have the Tiara, the Elf C1 and the Wizard.



Beamshot at the Turbo, Main3 and Main2 modes. The tree line is at 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts from about 10/20 cm from the feets.







Thanks to the magnet in the tail, you can also assume the use of the flashlight in emergency situations... such as a wheel drilling



or some boredom to the engine. In these last 2 photo, the flashlight was set at the Main2 mode, a mode that proved more than adequate for the occasion.




Personal considerations

This Elf C1 is among the most recent flashlightes produced by Armytek. As we could see, it is a small angular headlamp (perhaps among the smallest of the brand) that has a convenient charging circuit to be able to recharge, through the microUSB connector, the 18350 included in the package.

Thanks to all the accessories included in the package, you can think of being able to attach this Elf C1 from anywhere and use it in many contexts. The color turned out to be very pleasant, relaxing for the sight and, in nature, is able to return colors very faithfully.

I found the modes very balanced and, considering the power supply, I found the consumption in line with expectations. The general autonomy is therefore good but, if we need more runtimes, we can resort to external power.
Being able to use the Elf C1 attached to a nice capacious power bank, would form a nice couple of almost infinite duration. In this configuration we could use the flashlight at a maximum of 150 lumens but beware, this would expose the Elf C1 to probable water infiltration since the plug will not be inserted. Despite everything, IMHO, it remains a very nice feature.

The only "defect" (IMHO) on this flashlight is the inability to turn off the green flashing of the indicator under the button, leaving then turn on the orange and the red one only when really needed. I, being right-handed,I have to placed the flashlight on the head with the button on the right, upwards, and did not bother me (since I did not see the button). Unlike, a left-handed user could put the flashlight with the switch on the left to command it with the dominant hand and, in this case, would receive an annoying green flashing in the eye every 5 seconds.
In short, it is a very convenient but at the same time uncomfortable feature. Put the button on the right is the most ideal solution but does not allow us to see the red flashes anyway. Maybe give the final user to select the mode most congenial to him between a small sound indicator (also inside the flashlight) of the flashes of an indicator in particular or all 3. And of course all in my humble opinion.

What do you think about it? Would you buy?

Edited by: Neil_Tennen on 04/12/2018 - 15:50