[Review] Convoy T2 : AA flashlight (200-400 lumens)

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ChibiM
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[Review] Convoy T2 : AA flashlight (200-400 lumens)

INTRODUCTION:

 For about $12 you get quite a bit of bang for the buck.  The T2 is Convoy's first AA flashlight. We have been waiting for their first AA, and here it is.

WHAT YOU'LL GET:

  • White box
  • Lanyard
  • Clip

As we are used to, the packaging for Convoy is always minimal. You'll get a simple white cardboard package, and it is very very thin. I received mine in a much bigger box, filled with stuffing. But its hard to complain at this price point. Convoy has been making nice budget lights for quite some time now, so I'm quite excited to see how this T2 performs.

 

convoy-t2-specs
 

How many AA flashlights do you own? I have had a few dozen, and the Convoy T2 is not one of the smallest. It's a little bulky for an AA flashlight. The grip is good, and the included pocketclip helps with grip as well.

It's been in my pocket yesterday and most of today, so I can get a good feeling for it.

Pocket clip

The pocket clip itself is reversible, so you can either use it with the clip upwards, or downwards. This can definitely be a Pro for some. I personally don't care so much with AA flashlights. But it is definitely handy, so you can attach it to a baseball cap for instance.

Tailstanding?

  • Yes, easily.

BUILD QUALITY, KNURLING AND ANODIZING 

Anodization is the coating of a flashlight. The quality of anodisation with all Convoy flashlights is very good. I would say, it is even better that a big flashlight brand, Klarus.

The build quality is top notch in this price range! All parts are easily taken apart, and no glue is used anywhere. The knurling on the body is done really well for this price. Nothing to complain.

THREADS 

The tailcap can be unscrewed and has some gorgeous threads.. LOL. Nicely done and no problems to be found. The parts screw in very nicely without any squeaky sound. They came lubed, as you can see in the following pictures.

The threads near the head are bare, so they can make good contact, and the threads on the tail side are anodized, so a quick twist of the tailcap does a permanent lockout. Is that necessary? Not really with this kind of flashlight. It is more useful for flashlights with an electronic side switch. Because they tend to discharge the battery.

LED, LENS BEZEL AND REFLECTOR

The reflector is made of aluminum and has an orange peel effect. This means that the reflector is not smooth, but has a "rougher" finish. This results in a smoother beam with less harsh hotspot and lines around the hotspot.

There isn't really a pill, it's just part of the head.

THE LED

Take a look at the pictures to see the LED, the reflector etc. Mine is a 4000-4500K neutral white LED.

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT:

  • Length:   93 mm
  • Diameter head: 21 mm
  • Diameter reflector 15.5 mm
  • Diameter body: 21 mm
  • Weight empty: 51 grams

Below you can see a comparison with the BLF A6 and the Enogear AA stainless steel. And on the outsides, you can see an Eneloop AA battery and on the right a Panasonic NCR18650B 3400 battery.

convoy-t2-20
USER INTERFACE:

SWITCH:

It's a reverse clicky switch. This means that you have to press the switch and release to turn it on. A forward clicky means that when you depress the switch partially the light will turn on. I don't think it is very useful to have a forward clicky on this style of flashlight. A forward clicky is only useful if you can do morse coding. Or at least not changing modes!!

MODES: 

Low-Medium-High

Just like it should be. From Low to High. But there is 1 thing I don't like about it, and that is the strobe. Strobe can be accessed a little too easy by a double click. This is in my opinion not very useful. I would prefer a double click to go to Turbo mode instead :--)
I scratched my head because I couldn't figure out when the strobe was accessed. Sometimes it would go from medium to strobe, and sometimes from High to strobe.. But then I realised I accessed Strobe because of the double click.

The problem is that I sometimes want to go from Low to High but accidentally enter Strobe. Now I know that I should be a bit slower change modes, and then this is no problem anymore. So once you know the "drawback" you're good to go.

MOMENTARY ON:

  • No, and it would be impossible to have with this type of driver.

MODE MEMORY:

  • Yes. The last used mode setting is memorized, and even doing a physical unlock doesn't change the thing, as it will memorize the setting.

LOCK OUT:

  • Yes, it can but is not necessary with this type of light.
PWM:
  • Yes, on Low and Medium I could easily notice it by waving the flashlight in front of me. This is a little sad, but could be expected at this price range.

The following numbers are measured with a 1st gen eneloop cell. They are measured at the tailcap, not the emitter.

  • Low: 0.03A
  • Medium: 0.30A
  • High: 2.7A
 
LUMENS:

The 2nd 3rd and 4th column are my measurements in my integrated sphere, and can't be reproduced by anybody.. It's "calibrated"with a Convoy S2+ with a solid 137 lumens.

These numbers are taken within 5 seconds after turning on!!!!

Convoy T2 Low 91 1 91 2.47 Lumens
eneloop Med 1046 1 1046 28.38 Lumens
  High 809 10 8090 219.47 Lumens
A-Force Alkaline High 815 10 8150 221.10 Lumens
Panasonic red+white High 516 10 5160 139.98 Lumens
 
 
RUNTIME:

Keep in mind that 100% just means the output when the light starts!!! Not lumens.

I've done several runtime tests. The first with a 1st generation Eneloop AA. The strange thing happens around 27 minutes, it will burst into a 400 lumen flashlight and then drops slowly to below 1 lumen after 35 lumens.

The next is done with a cheap A-Force alkaline battery, and you can see the jump in output much earlier. Around 7 minutes the burst starts and slowly reduces output till about 37 minutes, when it turns off.

Lastly I used a cheap Panasonic AA battery, red+white. The packaging says for Low drain device, but this ones can't handly any kind of boost. 

Just to make a little more complete, I'm planning on doing a runtime test with a Duracell battery as well, as that is one of the most common batteries found on the planet, so keep an eye on review of the Convoy T2 on my website. 

THROW:

Measured at 5 meters:

  • 113 lux on the old meter in High. That corresponds to 2825 cd or 2kcd. So, not very exciting, but we weren't expecting anything.

 

Conclusion:

PROS

  1. Simple UI with 3 main modes
  2. Good pocket clip
  3. Price is reasonable low
  4. Safe to use because of the battery type
  5. High output even on Alkaline (althouth I don't recommend using Alkalines)

CONS

  1. Strobe is too easily accessible with a double click (but once you know it, you can probably live with it)
  2. PWM in low and medium
  3. Little unpredictable that it will boost all the sudden in High mode. 

Sample provided by Gearbest for Review. 

 

Buy at Gearbest (Aff link)

Buy at Gearbest (Non Aff link)

Edited by: ChibiM on 10/16/2018 - 06:30
neBstress
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Great review ChibiM.

Does the mode memory on your T2 definitely work as you describe?

Its just that I have a T2 and the mode memory seems a bit weird, it doesn’t actually turn on on the mode you last used, it turns on one mode ahead of the last mode used. eg; turn off while on Medium and it will turn back on on High, turn off on High and it will turn back on on Low, etc.

As I haven’t seen anyone else mention this I am wondering if it’s just an issue with my particular T2.

Kame Sennin
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From what i see on my 2 T2 it remembers the last level when switching on but if you don't wait at least about 5s before switching on after switching off then it will be next level

 

Edit : Good review btw Smile

ChibiM
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Yes, you have to wait a few seconds... I usually try to keep it on for like 5 seconds.  Turn it off.. Wait another 5 seconds and turn on again... Then it works! I havent measured the timeout.

neBstress
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Just had a play with my T2 following your suggestions, and its working OK.

I wasn’t waiting the 5 seconds after turning it off before turning it on again Facepalm

Minimum 5 seconds seems to be correct.

Thank you guys!

ChibiM
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laughing 

djozz
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Thanks for the review Chibi!

That is weird stuff happening with the spontaneous boost after lots of time. I would not mind that boost right from the beginning. It seems like the driver has current regulation that suddenly fails and then the output goes to whatever the electronics are able to deliver (which is a pretty good output for boosting from a single Eneloop)

ChibiM
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I agree, it would be better to have the boost happening from the start rather than towards the end (on eneloops). I haven't seen the boost by eyes, but I assume it's quite obvious to notice.. 

Kame Sennin
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I believe the weird boost is related to what i have seen when trying to measure the current with a "too high R value shunt" (basic mmultimeter)  : When the voltage reach some point the driver enters a on-off loop (no current > the converter starts, draw a bunch of current from the battery so the voltage falls > the converter stops drawing current > no current, battery voltage is higher > loop !) and i bet the converter can't react fast enough and overshoot the output so what you get is some kind of PWMed current with high amp

2100
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Too bad about the visible PMW. I am wondering what is stopping them to use say 1-2kHz frequency (no need for ultra high freqs, just keep it high enough for it to be not visible flicker), it’s already nearly 2019.

kikstyo
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The T2 could been a great AA flashlight but there’s simply too many downsides. Low PWM and no LVP+RBP. The mode changes if you turn on quick also feels just like those $3 fake cree sk68 clones where if you turn it on repeatedly, it starts from brightest>low>strobe.

For those still thinking of getting the T2, get from their Taobao store instead. https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1-c.w4004-16307498356.2.7c0b2...

Taobao Description:
(2) Low voltage protection: When the battery voltage is between 2.9 and 3.1V, the flashlight will alarm, showing a weak brightness with 2 flashes per second.
(3) Reverse battery protection: the battery will not light up, but there will be no abnormalities, no need to worry about burning the battery or circuit

It has low voltage protection and reverse battery protection while the one on Aliexpress store doesn’t have them. Pretty disappointing as the Aliexpress store is direct from Convoy. Anyone contacted Simon about this?

bansuri
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2100 wrote:
Too bad about the visible PMW. I am wondering what is stopping them to use say 1-2kHz frequency (no need for ultra high freqs, just keep it high enough for it to be not visible flicker), it’s already nearly 2019.

Absolutely!
I’ve heard cost as a factor regarding low PWM frequency, but how much could it be?
There’s plenty of budget lights with high PWM freq, I’d love to buy this one but visible PWM is just unacceptable.
Kame Sennin
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kikstyo wrote:
Taobao Description: 

.../...

it has low voltage protection and reverse battery protection while the one on Aliexpress store doesn’t have them. Pretty disappointing as the Aliexpress store is direct from Convoy. Anyone contacted Simon about this?

 

Taobao says it has low voltage protection and reverse battery protection ... who knows if that's true. Might as well be copy/past from an other flashlight or anything like that.

Does anyone have one from Taobao and can verify ? (good pictures from the driver would be enough to see if it's the same)

 

ChibiM
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I don't trust the Taobao description at all. For 1 single reason: it's an AA flashlight, how would it be possible to have a Low voltage warning at 2.9V Smile 

But I do believe it's made of the best orange noodles!

djozz
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ChibiM
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Hahaha.. Wink 

teacher
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“Orange noodles”….. nice!! Thumbs Up

It must be a survival flashlight….. when the batteries die, you can eat it if your hungry. Wink

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eas
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Hmm. If you peel an orange, or other fruit, the peelings kind of resemble noodles, or worms.

.

2100
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Orange peel translated into orange noodles……. heh.

ChibiM
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And with a Duracell battery:

Yesterday I did one with a Duracell battery. After I stopped the runtime test because it was so dim compared to before. my phone measured no Lux anymore, but in reality it was still doing about 2 lumens according to my integrating sphere.. I let the light on, and when I checked the light today, it isstill running on 2 lumens. This didnt happen with the Eneloop, A Force and Panasonic for that long... just with the Duracell. And it's still running on 2 lumens, even more than 16 hours later. 

So, do I recommend using Duracell?

... oh boy oh boy.. No. I don't Silly 
For 2-3 duracell battteries you can buy 1 eneloop (at least in the Netherlands) so it makes no sense buying duracells.. and no alkaline in general... especially not for the long run.

2100
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Oh yes, i remember purposely saving up and running depleted alkalines in my Xeno E03 lights just for the super low firefly modes. Big Smile

ChibiM
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2100 wrote:
Oh yes, i remember purposely saving up and running depleted alkalines in my Xeno E03 lights just for the super low firefly modes. :D

Yep, the good old Xeno E03...