Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

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liquidretro
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Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

Wowtac has released a new small form factor EDC style light with the W1. It features a 16340 battery, onboard micro USB charging, deep carry pocket clip and tail magnet all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review.

YouTube version of this Review:


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Packaging & Accessories
Packaging for the W1 is much like other Wowtac models, with a brown cardboard box with minimal information. The box does suggest there may be a neutral tint version of this light eventually but it also might just be production flexibility. The included accessories is a Wowtac branded 650mAh 16340 battery, deep carry pocket clip, extra o’ring and recharging port cover, and microUSB cable as well as the manual.





Construction
Construction of the W1 is pretty standard. The tail is magnetic and flat so the light tail stands well. It’s threaded for a lanyard (not included), and the 2 way deep carry pocket clip that snaps in place but can rotate. The body of the light is heavily diamond knurled. It feels nice in the hand for a small light.

Inside the threads are square cut and anodized, the spring is relatively long in the tail cap. Inside the head there is a solid post instead of a spring. The diameter of the head is a 3.2mm larger in diameter then the body and 6 sided. It features an electronic button that requires a solid click with LED’s underneath to indicate charge status. On the back is the micro USB port and silicone cover that stays out of the way when in use.



The front bezel is a bit thick and silver colored, it’s nearly flat with the glass lens with AR coatings. The optic underneath is wide and shallow with a light orange peel. The LED is nicely centered but seems small for the reflector.

Sizes, Weight, & Competition
I measured the Wowtac W1 at 68mm in length, 20mm in diameter at the body, and 24mm on the head. Weight with the battery and clip was 56.3g. The light is rated for IPX8 for 1.5 meters, so it will easily survive the bucket test here.

Comparing to Wowtac W1 to other similar lights, the two that are most similar are the Olight S1 mini Baton and Thrunite T1. The W1 look a lot like the T1 in design, with the body being knurled instead of milled and being overall smaller due to the different battery sizes in use. The Olight S1 Mini Baton uses the same sized battery as the W1 and is smaller overall. I will compare the beams between the two in my night shots. I do like that the W1 is head down for carry vs Olight’s head up design.

Retention
The pocket clip is a push on style dual direction clip. It mounts only at the tail. It’s designed primarily for head down carry and does a nice job of being deep carry. However since the size of the head is larger I found myself needing to pull the pocket clip out a little to attach it to my jeans pocket easily. Overall good but it takes an extra step to clip on to the pocket.

LED & Beams Shots
The W1 features a Cree XP-G2 in cool white, while neutral white is mentioned on the package they are not available for purchase at the time of this review. The beam here is a little different. It has a small hot center, that throws decently well for a light this small. Then it has a wide, fairly weak spill. On lights this size I do generally enjoy a TIR style optic for EDC use because it does a good job of a blend of beam characteristics. There is Cree rainbow with this light in the beam with the center being warmer with some green tint and the outer spill being cooler.

There is some PWM in this light, its fairly minor and not noticeable to me by eye or by camera but I can see it via the scope.




Wowtac lists the output specs of the W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low 12 Lumens
  • Medium 60 Lumens
  • High 197 Lumens
  • Turbo 562 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

Heat and Runtime
Heat is well controlled on this light, after 1 minute I measured temperatures at 87F, at 5 minutes 95F, and at 10 minutes 98F.

*Runtime *
No big surprises were found in the runtime of this light. Turbo stepdown is large and occurs after 1 minute. From there the output fell as the battery depleted, We got another major step down at the 70 minute mark where the light faded into it’s lowest output of around 0.5 lumens till low voltage protection kicked in (2.88V) at 170 total minutes. Of this total runtime I would say about 70 minutes of that is useable light, not too bad for a 650mah 16340 sized battery.

UI
The UI here is the same as many other Wowtac and Thrunite lights which is a good thing. When the light is off firefly mode can be accessed by long pressing on the power button. From off a single quick tap will turn the light on in the last mode it was in (not turbo or firefly). To change modes when the light is on long pressing will cycle through the modes in an increasing order, Low, Medium, High. To get to turbo, double click on the button from any mode. Triple click from any mode to get strobe.

Recharging
Recharging the light is accomplished via the built in microUSB port on the head of the light. When charging the main button turns red, and then blue when charged. Charging from LVP at 2.88V to full at 4.142V took 1 hour and 50 minutes and the maximum charging speed I saw was 0.48A which is safe for this size of battery.

Conclusion
The Wowtac W1 is another good budget light from Wowtac, especially if you’re interested in a new small EDC light. At the price point of around $25 for a complete kit, the W1 is a good value and pretty easy to recommend to people. I do wish they had a neutral white option, that and USB-C would set this light apart from the competition.

The beam pattern here isn’t my favorite with it being almost more of a thrower then a small area flood that is typically useful in EDC, at lower outputs the spill isn’t that useful. The light carries in the pocket pretty well, and also clips onto a hat easily for a quick access headlamp if needed. I wish the clip was slightly longer so it rested on the body and made getting it into the pocket just a little easier. All this said this is a high value light for the price and a nice inexpensive place to start if you want to start EDCing a flashlight in your pants pockets on a daily basis.

Pickup the Wowtac W1 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2UUwlMq (Affiliate Link)
View the full Image gallery at https://imgur.com/a/JsOmc88

wle
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so short click turns on and off
and long click changes modes
has memory
LMH is the sequence
double click goes to turbo
triple click goes to blinky..?

is that all correct?

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MNLegoBoy
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Looks like a nice light especially for 26. There is NW on the box so there might be hope for a NW option. Wish it was a bit closer and used something like an xpl hi instead of the one it has.
Good review

Wowtac A1S BSS, Sofirn C8T, Wurkkos WK30, D4s, BLF LT1, Wowtac W1, Some other no names
"You can't be scared of the dark, if there's no dark to be scared of"
-Me (Probably)

BurningPlayd0h
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MNLegoBoy wrote:
Looks like a nice light especially for 26. There is NW on the box so there might be hope for a NW option. Wish it was a bit closer and used something like an xpl hi instead of the one it has. Good review

My guess is that Wowtac/Thrunite has a bunch of XP-G2 stock to burn through or gets them super cheap as their A1/A2 non-“S” versions use it as well and are around $20 much of the time.

Jack Kellar
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If only it was in 18350…

MNLegoBoy
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Jack Kellar wrote:
If only it was in 18350…

If it really is a thrunite t1 with less machining, it might work

Wowtac A1S BSS, Sofirn C8T, Wurkkos WK30, D4s, BLF LT1, Wowtac W1, Some other no names
"You can't be scared of the dark, if there's no dark to be scared of"
-Me (Probably)

bikenber73
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I like mine!

liquidretro
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Yep sounds like you have it. Standard UI.

Firelight2
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Just got my Wowtac A1.

Initial Observations:

  • This is NOT a Wowtac A6 or Thrunite T1 with less machining in the head. The design looks similar, but the entire light is smaller and narrower than those lights. The bezel, head, body, reflector and lens are all narrower than those lights and the parts are not interchangeable. The W1 only fits 16340. An 18350 is too wide.
  • The star is 16mm copper and is screwed down with 2 screws. There is thermal compound under the star.
  • The cool white XPG2 is decent. Not overly green, but it is cool white.
  • The head has hexagonal shape giving it excellent anti-roll even without the clip installed.
  • The entire light is extremely small and lightweight. Good for keychain use.
  • Like the Thrunite T1, the magnet in the tailcap of the W1 is removable. The spring is the only thing holding it in place. Remove the spring and the magnet falls right out.
  • The clip is lousy. It is a low-profile bi-directional design. It doesn’t have much lip so is hard to slip over the top of pants. Also, when I tried putting it on bezel-down, the act of bending the clip over the edge of my pants actually caused the clip to slip off the light. I had the same problem with the T1’s clip and didn’t like it there either.

Emitter Swap:

  • Bad news… the bezel on the W1 is threadlocked with red threadlocker!!! Sick Shocked This surprised me as the very similar looking Wowtac A6 was not glued and was extremely easy to emitter swap. I was finally able to get the bezel of the W1 off with a lot 3M safety walk tape, a table vise, a pliers and a lot of elbow grease. Unfortunately, in doing so the pliers scraped up the bezel and the top of the head. Crying On the upside, my W1 now sports a 90 CRI 219C originally from a Lumintop EDC18.

Anthony Nguyenn
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Firelight2 wrote:
my W1 sports a 90 CRI 219C originally from a Lumintop EDC18.

Can we got a Beam shot please ?

Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Nichia + CW| Lumintop Tool AAA | Lumintop EDC 18 6500k| Lumintop EDC 01| Convoy S2+ 7135*8 5000k | Convoy S2 UV Nichia |Massdrop Vega AA NW |BLF A6 NW | Nitecore Tube 2.0 | Sofirn SD 05 | Sofirn 01S 4000k| Klaurus G15 | Klarus HR1 Pro | Thrunite T10T v2 NW| Thrunite T1 Black + OD Green | Thrunite Ti3 CW+ NW| |Rovyvon A3x Nichia | Rovyvon A5x Cree | Rovyvon A23 Nichia | Wuben E19 Nichia | MecArmy SGN 6 | Wowtac BSS V4 | Wowtac W1 | Wowtac H01 | Ultratac A3N Nichia | Wurkkos FC11 |  Wurkkos WK30

Thrunite T2 |