Review Sofirn SP32A V2.0

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Lux-Perpetua
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Review Sofirn SP32A V2.0

Today I’d like to share with you my impressions with the Sofirn SP32A V2.0. This light was provided to me free of charge in return for a written review. I want to point out that this has no effect on my opinion, which is honest and unadorned.

The SP32A V2.0 comes in its typical black cardboard box along with a simple one-slot charger, an 18650 Li-Ion battery, a Micro-USB charging cable, a lanyard, two o-rings, a manual, a bag of silica gel and a flyer regarding customer satisfaction.

The pocket clip is already installed. All markings on the host are symmetrically in line with the side switch – very good. I could find any imperfections in the anodization of the flashlight host.

The SP32A V2.0 comes without a holster/pouch. However, I managed to put it into the Astrolux S41 holster, available at Banggood. It fits almost perfectly.

The side switch can be found easily in darkness as it is illuminated and elevated. So, you don’t get confused by rotating the light hoping to find the place where the switch is located. Unfortunately, the working point of the switch is somehow a bit hazy, imprecise. When pressing it halfway through nothing happens but when you go all the way down it works like a charm. Maybe Sofirn could improve the responsivity of the switch a bit.

The XP-L2 is well-centered in its SMO-reflector which is free of dust and imperfections.

Surprisingly, Sofirn uses a coated lens for better translucence. The lens is also free of impurities (finger prints, dust, …).

The SP32A V2.0 can be dismantled into 3 parts (head, battery tube, tailcap). The threads are smooth and well-machined but not yet lubricated. This should be done before using.

A close-up onto the properly made tailcap spring.

A close-up onto the driver and the head unit’s spring.

The operating instructions are short and concise in German and English. I found my way right away.

The battery’s shrink is quite thick-walled. Thus, the battery might probably be too thick for other lights. The design of the shrink has changed (black instead of blue) and the nominal capacity is now 3.000 instead of 2.600mAh compared the battery supplied with the SP32. My example had an off-load voltage of 3.80V when unpacked.

I advise against using the included charger and recommend using a proper one. The battery was maltreated for well over an hour in the final CV phase and indicated a too high value of 4.21V immediately after removal. Permanent usage of this charger would be harmful and make the battery age faster than necessary.

Whitewall shot from a distance of about 60cm. You can see a clearly visible tintshift in the spill. The colours fade from yellow in the corona around the spot to blue the more it gets to the outer rim of the spill.

Outdoor beamshot in turbo mode (1,300 lumens). Here you can also see the yellowish/blueish tintshift on the path in front of you. However, the light beam is nice and reaches far enough for a good EDC light.

I tried to visualize the user interface for I am not a fan of reading manuals all over again. Wink

Final thoughts:

What I do like about the light:

With the new SP32A Sofirn has managed to leave behind past quality deficits such as sharp-cut tailcapsprings, dust and fingerprints on lenses/reflectors and unclean threads such as in the SP32. The light is very well manufactured, the LED is correctly centered, the host has no anodizing defects and can be – interesting for modders – completely dismantled without much effort since no glue is used. The SP32A V2.0 thus represents a successful evolutionary stage of its predecessors SP32/SP32A V1. The output of the lamp with a maximum of 1300 lumen is appropriate, even if theoretically higher outputs would be feasible for a short time.

The manual is written in German and English, very catchy and almost free of translation errors.

The new user interface is very easy to memorize and ergonomic in daily use, e.g. double click for Turbo, then a single click to return to the previous mode level. Ramping in particular is pleasing and stands out positively from comparable lamps of other manufacturers.

Generally spoken: Sofirn is a very young company on the market and takes up ideas and suggestions for improvement from customers and passionate flashlight experts (see development of the SP70 in this forum). My experience with customer service was always very good and they are friendly and helpful. Suggestions for improvement are apparently forwarded directly to the development department on short decision paths. Another striking feature is the short development cycles for new lamps, as can be seen from the growing portfolio in the AliExpress shop.

What I dislike about the light:

The light beam of the XP-L2 unfortunately suffers a visible tintshift, which can also be seen in outdoor usage. I would therefore recommend to choose a different lamp when you need a light for uniform colour rendering requirements. It would be nice if Sofirn offered other emitters, such as Samsung LH351D 5,000K CRI70 or CRI90, which have less tintshift.

Sofirn should better sell the light without the enclosed charger (and maybe the battery, too). Instead I recommend to include a suitable holster for it or consider to recalculate its sales price without it. The charger terminates the battery to harmful 4.21V during a very long CV phase. This can significantly shorten the battery lifetime. I do like Sofirn’s flashlights but I do not like to have more and more of these charges I will never use at home. So, in terms of environmental aspects it would be a good option if their lights were for sale without chargers and batteries.

The button of the side switch has a somewhat hazy responsivity despite its pleasant elevated position. You have to press it halfway through before a working point can be felt and the actual contact is triggered.

In my opinion, the double click must be done too fast. Sometimes the lamp went off and on again because I didn’t click fast enough.

It would be great if the threads were already lubricated.

The undiscounted sales price of € 39.99 on Amazon.de is…well…a bit ambitious in terms of the price-performance ratio and compared to similar flashlights of different brands. The 30% discount however is a fair offer and make this flashlight a good bang for the buck.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

If you want to read my review in German language you can also find it on TLF here.
Finally, I want to thank Sofirn for the opportunity to review this flashlight!

Edited by: Lux-Perpetua on 07/30/2018 - 05:01
Funtastic
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Buying from the AliExpress store has the option to buy the flashlight without battery and charger. I’ve never used amazon.

4.21v is still safe. 4.20 +/- 1% is acceptable.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

Lux-Perpetua
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Funtastic wrote:
Buying from the AliExpress store has the option to buy the flashlight without battery and charger. I’ve never used amazon.

4.21v is still safe. 4.20 +/- 1% is acceptable.

Thank you for the hint with AliExpress.

Concerning the voltage:
I’m not saying the charger is dangerous nor safety would be at risk for the battery. Instead, the battery will be worn down quickly for pushing it to/beyond its specifications. It’s not only the 4.21V but also the extreme long CV phase that is applied to the battery. Usually, voltage drops from 4.20V to 4.14-4.16V when charging is finished as the termination phase is rather short.

Funtastic
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Oh okay,

I’ve been using my Xtar VC2 and even a day after my batteries are still sitting at 4.19v.

Those chargers seem to vary at what voltage they terminate at. I’ve seen a few reviews on the Sofirn range and the chargers included stopped at 4.08v-4.18v. Okay for a cheap charger but I’d always recommend a decent brand.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

hank
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Are you sure about “no glue is used”?
Another review (http://budgetlightforum.com/node/61530) says the driver is glued, no retaining ring, and bezel glued on.

If there’s a definite ‘not glued’ model, I’m very interested in lights that can accept 2x CR123a lithium primaries, safe and reliable to keep longterm in car or earthquake/emergency kit.

Funtastic
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The SP32A V2.0 is indeed glued. I sell most of the Sofirn lights and all of my stock are glued.

The less bright SP31 & 32 aren’t.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

hank
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Thank you.
Drat.

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I have not read anywhere as to the waterproof rating of this light. Anybody else seen this?

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
Del Gue

Jerommel
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Funtastic wrote:
The SP32A V2.0 is indeed glued. I sell most of the Sofirn lights and all of my stock are glued.

The less bright SP31 & 32 aren’t.


My SP32 is glued…
Funtastic
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When did you purchase it? Maybe it’s only recently they started gluing everything.

Sofirn have already said that it stops complaints and returns due to retaining rings loosening off. Makes sense but is annoying if something fails or we want to mod them.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

Funtastic
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bushmaster wrote:
I have not read anywhere as to the waterproof rating of this light. Anybody else seen this?

Manual states IPX8 but not sure anyone has tested this.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

polarweis
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If got the gold one. Nice light. I like the UI.

"It wouldn’t be so bright if there wasn’t a shadow every once in a while." - Jason Mraz

hank
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Xref pointer to a comment on the UI chart:
http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1425020#comment-1425020

dealgrabber2002
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Was the provided battery a good cell with accurate capacity? Or it’s one of those companies that overstate the capacity?

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Does anyone know how much it draws on turbo?

"It wouldn’t be so bright if there wasn’t a shadow every once in a while." - Jason Mraz

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The bezel was glued on mine but I was able to get it open easily with a couple of strap wrenches. No heating needed.

Serlite
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Was the provided battery a good cell with accurate capacity? Or it’s one of those companies that overstate the capacity?

I had similar questions about Sofirn’s batteries, and some helpful members tested them against the performance of other cells.
They aren’t the worst; their capacities are accurate! Though they’re not as great for high currents, and their long-term performance isn’t charted…but still, not bad!

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Sofirn, would you consider doing a batch without glue? And instead cut threads for a retaining ring?
I am sure that would be popular among BLF folks.

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Did you happen to get any amperage ratings for different light output levels?

I just received mine a few days ago and trying to figure out max amperage to determine which batteries to purchase.

Thanks

rrc2020
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Hi guys, I am new to the forum. Glad I found it. I signed up specifically to thank the OP for his detailed observation on the apparent "play" on the lamp's side switch:

"Unfortunately, the working point of the switch is somehow a bit hazy, imprecise. When pressing it halfway through nothing happens but when you go all the way down it works like a charm. Maybe Sofirn could improve the responsivity of the switch a bit..."

I didn't know much about LED flashlights, other than my Bosch 12V LED work lights. The above comments by lux-perpetua was spot on! I considered returning my SP32A V2.0 because of this. I searched online and was amazed that no one else mentioned this switch behavior, hence I was convinced its just my lamp. Before I got the SP32A, I already have the SP31 V2.0 with a side switch action that works as expected so when I got the SP32A I really thought I got a defective one.

So, thank you for clearing this up. I'll keep my lamp. It's working alright, other than that play on its switch.