Review: XENO G10v2 (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650) & Accessories

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turboBB
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Review: XENO G10v2 (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650) & Accessories


Xeno is derived from the Greek word xenos and can be roughly translated as alien or foreign. I find this to be an apropos name of the manufacturer producing a line of exotic looking lights, which brings us to their "newest", the G10v2; the reason for the quotes is because this light isn't actually new but rather an update to v1 (hence now the v2 designation).

Let's see what updates this light has undergone (pic above shows optional ST03 SS bezel installed).


MFG SPECS
• XM-L 1B U2, Color Temperature 5000~8300K, CoolWhite
- High (480lms / 1500mA / 1.5hrs)
- Low (158lms / 400mA / 6hrs)
- Ultra low (10lms / 20mA / 100hrs)
• Mil-spec Type III Hard-Anodized Gun Gray
• Powered by 1×18650, 1×17670 or 2x CR123 (no RCR123/16340)
• Ultra clear lens with anti-reflection coatings on both sides
• Linear LED driver, No PWM
• 3-Stage driver: High, Low, Ultra Low
• Double Gold plated springs (Shock proof)
• Tactical Forward clicky switch with silver plated contacts
• Brass LED heatsink / driver housing
• Built in pocket / bag clip
• Multiple Lanyard attachment options

Other note-worthy features:
• Waterproof test: Survived 10M pressure test
• Anti-roll design
• Can tail stand
• Glow ring around the reflector and lens

Measured specs by me:
Weight w/o battery: 5.88oz (166.8g)
Length: 5.35in (136mm),
Bezel: 1.25in (32mm)


PACKAGING
The packaging is Green... environmentally conscious that is. It's minimalistic in that there is simply a cardboard box just big enough to accommodate the light and some accessories which come in their respectively sized plastic zip lock bags:


Packaged w/the light were:
- Lanyard System: Xeno LS10 V1
- 1 x Nylon Cord Wrist Lanyard: XENO L01 V2
- Instruction manual and warranty card
- 2 x spare o-rings
- 1 x spare forward clicky switch w/XENO Silver-Contact

(who can guess what I tried to do w/the lanyard? )

The dealer who provided the G10v2 for this review, also sent additional accessories that are not included with the light which I've covered in the next post.


WHAT'S CHANGED?
Visually, the G10v2 has gone on a diet resulting in a leaner body; the G10v1's had aggressive knurling and 2 finger grips machined into it whereas the G10v2's body is more simple with a smooth tube. The G10v2 is also a tad lighter as a result. The XENO DURA Power logo has also been moved to the body from the head. Given I don't have any v1's, I've tried to replicate XENOLED's pics (reused with permission) so you can see the differences:

v1


v2


v1


v2


Performance wise, the two main things that changed to increase the output from the v1's (to recap, that was 420lms for XM-L T6 & 300lms for XP-G R5) to 480lms is the use of a U2 binned XM-L:

As can be seen above, the LED is perfectly centered (yes, I actually measured the distances between LED and reflector on 4 sides )

There is now double-sided AR coated lens (which the v1's didn't have):

(you can see what looks like an oil sheen on the G10v2 (right) vs. a non-coated lens of M20 (left))

The clip positioning has changed slightly to accomodate the freespinning SS lanyard ring so that the attachment points no longer hit the clip:


The XP-G v1's were driven @ 1A on high whereas the XM-L v1's are @ 1.5A. The reflector is likely the same between v1 & v2 XM-L versions and slightly different for the v1 XP-G version.


DESIGN / FEATURES
The Xeno G10 and its big brother the G42 are arguably two of the most aesthetically pleasing mass produced lights currently on the market. The distinct designs are immediately recognizable, with these grooved arrows in the head that serve to act as anti-roll "edges" (albeit not very good ones and better served by the clip):


and these cocentric rings aft of the middle of the tube, in which case the flared ring acts as a tatical ring allowing one to employ a cigar grip:


This G10v2 observes good design symmetries with the exception of the tailcap bezel, the tailcap lanyard/wrist strap hole and the placement of the G10v2 logo (in which case is due to the odd number of surfaces between the grooved arrows):


The G10v2 comes standard with the RG03 flat SS bezel thus giving no indication if light is on when stood on its head:


But you can pick up an assortment of replacement bezels in different finishes like this crenellated one that will solve that problem:


There is a GITD o-ring just aft of the lens and it actually put out very useful glow after the light was shut off (albeit it diminishes quickly). The head was designed to be an integrated unit in spite of the gap between it and the battery tube (I was not able to twist it loose):
 

Although the manual states that the clip is removable, I wasn't able to do so (EDIT: per dealer, it's actually not recommended because it requires that the retaining ring, lens, reflector & light engine all be removed so not easily done):

It feels very solid and secured the light to my belt without any looseness or slippage.

The G10v2 is supplied with a very nice lanyard:


In which case there is no shortage of attachment points (4 in all)



The tailcap features nice knurling which contributes to a better grip when changing batteries. The SS tail strike bezel extends beyond the rubber button allowing the light to tailstand without any wobbling (this will come in handy when used with the TW02 wand covered in Accessories section):


The SS tail strike bezel can be removed to provide access to replace the rubber tailcap boot and the clicky-switch, however, care needs to excercised when reinstalling to ensure that it's reasonably tight so as not to compromise water resistance:


The light features square-cut threads which are anodized so you can achieve complete lock out by loosening the tailcap just over a 1/4 of a turn. The tube is rather short but had no problems accomodating both my shortest and longest batteries:

Left: AW IMR @ 18.2mm x 65.2mm | Right: RediLast 3100 @ 18.4mm x 68.8mm

There are springs at both ends of the light:


However, the inner diameter of the tube seems to be a little larger than most of my lights (I measured 18.7mm):

thus I was able to induce rattles with shaking motions that are perpendicular to the light with my skinniest batteries (18.2mm). There is no reverse polarity protection so care must be taken to always insert positive end of battery first. EDIT: dealer clarified that there is in fact reverse polarity protection built in to the circuit.


SIZE
The G10v2 is on the smaller end of other 1x18650 / 2 x 123 lights in my collection:

From L to R: RediLast 3100 18650 | XENO G10v2 | Sunwayman T20C | Olight M20 | Fenix TK21 U2


FIT & FINISH
The immediate thing you will notice about this light the first time you handle it is that it's got some heft to it! The use of stainless steel in the bezels of both ends of the light and the lanyard ring, coupled with the "built-in" tactical ring in the body all contribute to additonal weight, making it the heaviest light in the group pic above. For comparison purposes, here are the weights of those lights w/out battery:


The G10v2 features MilSpec type III anodizing which is excellent and perfectly matched between all parts. As can be seen in this pic in which I compared it to two other lights; the top has a mismatched tailcap and the middle also features flawless anodizing:


Also through macro shots, you can see that it features an interesting texture encompassing nearly the whole light (that you can also feel with your fingers):

The light feels extremely solid and well crafted and I have every bit of confidence based on the two weeks I've used it that it's built to last.


UI
The UI is fairly straightforward and is controlled via the forward clicky which also allows for momentary use. There is no memory (provided you leave the light off for at least 3 seconds) so the light will always come on in High and then cycle to Low (medium really) and then Ultra Low in that order. There are no hidden strobe or SOS modes to deal with so should win over fans who favor simple straight-forward no muss/no fuss UI's.

As a side note: during my brief conversation with an officer in the Englewood PD re: clearing my nightime beamshot activities for this awesome place I found (underpass of I95), he gave me a brief demo of how they are taught to used lights and why the cigar/tactical ring and momentary on is so important to them. He also showed me his well used SF incan 6P and was really intrigued by this light. When I'm done with the beamshots, I aim on lending it to him for testing and will incorproate his feedback thereafter.



RUNTIME
I used various rechargeable battery combo's to provide an idea of what you can expect with similar batteries that you might own. The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
- Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
- Current draw as taken right before the test
- Actual runtime until the battery first starts to cut out (first in HR and then in M so in the case of the RediLast 3100, read this as 2 Hrs OR 121 Min)
- For testing on High and Low (in which case a fan was used), temperature: Ambient | Head at start | Head max reached



Axis: X = Time in Min and Y = Relative Output

NEW 9/24: RediLast 3100 batteries were sent to me for testing. Given my revised testing procedure, I stopped the testing when output fell just below 50% of output at start at which point the resting voltage of the cell was still 3.16v (these particular cells can be discharged down to 2.5v). The point here is that I was able to achieve a full 2hrs on full output and another 20 minutes before it dropped under 50%. That's pretty impressive performance and definitely ranks as my top performing cell now.


 
Axis: X = Time in Min and Y = Relative Output

OK, so here are two things that REALLY impressed me. First, is the near tabletop flat regulation and the second which is even more impressive is that I was able to beat the claimed 1.5 hours based on ANSI FL-1 standards (which is total time before output drops to 10% of original value measured 30 seconds after turning the light on), HOWEVER, this was for the total time the G10v2 stayed at nearly 100% output before it dropped (using an old AW2600 that has now undergone a bit of runtime testing).

Same with the Low mode, I was again able to beat the claims (6.4 hrs full Low vs. 6hrs ANSI to 10%).

Good on ya XENOLED for not inflating your run time numbers!

NEW 9/24: Just wrapped up the Low runtime w/RediLast 3100 and was able to achieve 7.7hrs at max Low. I stopped the test once the output dropped to < 50% of original output. Again I'm really impressed with these batteries. Speaking of which, check this out, the labels are affixed such that it runs parallel with the protection strip and does not overlap it (I held a ruler over the battery so that you can see the protection strip via the distortion in the reflection):


These are already pretty large batteries (18.4mm diam. including the label and 68.8mm in length) so had the label overlapped the strip, it would've likely been @ 18.5mm. Big deal you say? Try asking those who have removed labels from their batteries just to make it fit in their lights. I don't know if this was intentional or not but on the two I've received, both labels were affixed in the exact same manner. I've an inquiry on this but if it was intentional, that really shows attention to details on top of the quality. As an aside, looking at the labels of my other batteries, no such consideration was given.

EDIT 9/26: Per reply from mfg re: the labels:

I apply the stickers personally to all of my cells, as well as carefully inspect each and every cell. If something doesn't look right, I'll usually fix it by applying new heatshrink. I want my cells to not only perform good, but look good too. And yes, I put the sticker right below the nickle strip for a few reasons:

1) It looks better
2) It does reduce the size
3) The sticker is less likely to become "unstuck" to the cell. In the past I've noticed that if the sticker overlaps the strip it can begin to lift off.

Talk about quality inspection folks!


TINT & BEAM PROFILE
The weather hasn't been cooperating and the sun hasn't come out in days. I'll take some outdoor daylight shots when it improves.


INDOOR BEAMSHOTS
All shots on Canon S3 IS @ f2.7 using WB that yields the closest to what my eyes see (left = 1/13" | right = 1/80"). Shots were taken 5 meters from the door. Click on pics to load full size.



Please see my consolidated indoor beamshots thread for comparisons vs. 17 other lights.


OUTDOOR BEAMSHOTS
All shots on Canon S3 IS @ f2.7 using Daylight WB (left = 1/4" | center = 1/20" | right = 1/80"). Shots were taken 21.3 feet (6.5m) from the wall. Click on pics to load full size.


Please see my consolidated outdoor comparo beamshots v1 thread for comparisons vs. 23 other lights.


LONG DISTANCE OUTDOOR BEAMSHOTS
I recently completed some long distance outdoors shots. For full details and comparo vs. other lights, see here.



XENOPHOBIA ANYONE?

We've learned that Xeno means foreign or alien so you guessed right that Xenophobia is the fear of anything foreign or alien. I think it's natural to have a fear of certain unknown things in life, some natural, some not but if one were willing to take the time to overcome them, they may be pleasantly surprised by what they find.

Take for instance the symbol prominently featured on the side of the light:

One may think that it represents an alien of sorts but it's actually a Chinese pictogram that stands for "Tiger" dating back to the Shang Dynasty (18th-12th Century BC). You can compare the logo XENOLED uses and prints on their lights to, the tiger pictographic script example here.

For me, below are some experiences that I'm completely familiar with but may be foreign/alien to you...

Last week I attended the grand opening of a Korean fast food restaurant that my friend manages, in which case most of the items on this menu may be foreign to you :


Here we are at my son's Tae Kwon Do school:


The uniforms and equipment in the background are used as part of Kumdo.


OK, here's one that caught me off guard, while out apple picking over the weekend, I came across this weird looking plant that looked alien in nature (anyone care to identify it?). The one that's opened resembles the monster plant from the Little Shop of Horrors:




GALLERY



(strange alien plant got owned by 480 lumens!, lol)



Disclosure: The XENO G10v2, XENO accessories and RediLast batteries were provided by edcplus.com for review.

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:21
turboBB
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I was also sent along the following accessories for testing:
- HD70 V7 Holster
- ST03 V5 Stainless Strike Bezel (Sand Blasted finish)

In general, I find that some companies expend all their attention to details only to the main products they are selling and do not apply that same level of scrutiny to the accessories. I'm happy to report that as with the G10v2, the holster (made from CORDURA fabric) is truly of top notch worksmanship!

As can be seen in the pic above, the stitching is EXCELLENT and extremely neat, it basically outlines the shapes on the holster and if you were to take a ruler to it, you'd be hard pressed to find any deviation from the edges greater than half a mm (.5mm).

The strap holding the bottom buckle was cross-stitched for extra security:

When squeezing the buckle, I found that placing your fingers closer to the tips (the side closest to the strap shown above) will give you better leverage to easily open it.

Speaking of the side-squeeze buckle, both it and the D-ring are made by the DURAFLEX Group that is designed to resist cold temperature and still remain flexible:

I'll dump this in the freezer overnight and report back on that aspect later

With the strike bezel installed on the G10v2, the light measures a total of 5.53in (140.5mm) and is just a bit snug but still fits the holster well:

The max diameter of the bezel I measure on the G10v2 is 1.37" (35mm). You can use these measurements as a rule of thumb for the maximum length/circumference of the light/laser/knife/multi-tool or what-have-you that this holster can accomodate.

The inside of the holster is COMPLETELY velvet lined with no abrasives to scratch any precious shelf-queens :


The strap on the back is just a hair under 1" making it compatible with gear that supports the MOLLE system. Here's the holster strapped to various the loop holes on my Maxpedition bag:


The bottom of the holster features a drain/peep hole:


This enables the light to be used while holstered and actually lets through quite a bit of light! Here is a pic taken about waist level with a Z2/M60 Malkoff turned on:


If there was but one potential aspect of this holster that might be questionable in terms of durability would be the button. Of course this is just conjecture at this time since I haven't had the holster for long but I'll report back in the future on how well it holds up after repeated use:


The stainless steel strike bezel sent to me was in sand blasted finish but there are other finishes available like polished and black Ti-Electroplating:


Given I had previously purchased these on my own, I've decided to throw them in the review as well:
- ST03 V3 Stainless Strike Bezel (Black Ti-Electroplating finish)
- TW02 V5 Wand / Bezel Tool

The great thing about these bezels is that they are compatible with certain Surefire lights, here it's mounted to a Z2:


As discussed in the replies below, the the TW02 wand is made from POM (Polyoxymethylene) and doubles as a bezel removal tool via the prongs incorporated in the tip:


but it can only remove XENO bezels as the grooves are just slightly different from Surefire bezels:

(however, it will fit any bezels measuring 1.25" (32mm) in diameter)

Once you have the wand correctly aligned w/the grooves, apply firm pressure and give it a twist (remember: righty -> tighty, lefty <- loosey) and voilà, the bezel is removed with ease:


The wand could technically be used w/the bezel removal tool side inserted but it won't provide the same effect:

(left - bezel removal side inserted | right: correct way)

To expound on this, the wand functions best with a beam pattern that is able to illuminate the entire tube. To illustrate this, I stepped down the aperature to capture the light pattern with various beam profiles to give you an idea of what I mean.

On Z2 w/Malkoff M60 (TIR narrow beam):

As you can see, most of the light is concentrated at the tip.

On G2Z w/Neofab D1000 (TIR but with a larger hotspot than M60, beam is very similar to E2DL):

Most of light still concentrated at tip but spread a little further down as opposed to the Z2 w/M60.

And finally on the G10v2 (XM-L w/SM reflector giving good combo of flood and decent throw):

As you can see, nearly the entire tube is just about evenly illuminated which is what you want to maximize the effectiveness of the wand.

I'll take better pics but here are two quick snaps, first w/the G10v2 lighting up my room via ceiling bounce and then w/the wand on (same exposure):


As Shane mentioned below, Kevin (owner of XENOLED) is a stickler about quality and it really shows not just in XENOLED's lights but the accessories as well! Good job XENOLED!



GALLERY


harry25175
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the only problem is its output. if only xeno maximized the output, it would be a great light

turboBB
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I had actually provided feedback to Jason @ edcplus on this very topic that I wish Xeno would create an enthusiast version that was driven harder but I think there's a trade off to be had given the light runs in near perfect regulation as can be seen by the runtime charts. 

In the end, they opted to trade off a little output in order to maintain regulation.  Take for instance the TN10 & TN11, both are respectively brighter than the G10v2 but they each step down after a few minutes in order to prevent massive heat build up.

ChibiM
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Again a very nice detailed review!
And again really good pics!

Thanks!!

jamesearljonesi...
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Great review and pics, Thanks for porting your reviews here and Welcome!

2pts1scn
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 Tremendous review(s)!

kreisler
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@Mixo

so whose the one wid asperger's?

Big Smile

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
harry25175
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turboBB wrote:

I had actually provided feedback to Jason @ edcplus on this very topic that I wish Xeno would create an enthusiast version that was driven harder but I think there's a trade off to be had given the light runs in near perfect regulation as can be seen by the runtime charts. 

In the end, they opted to trade off a little output in order to maintain regulation.  Take for instance the TN10 & TN11, both are respectively brighter than the G10v2 but they each step down after a few minutes in order to prevent massive heat build up.

yeah.. i agree.. in order to get more ouput, they have to sacrifice the running time.

 

I don't really like the flashlight with a feature of automatic output step down, it is pointless. No point to use the highest output only for few minutes. If the manufacturer concern is high temperature, they should make better heatsink not stepping down the output.

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I had to LOL a bit at myself.

For a moment there I was sure that you had switched the pictures of the V1 and the V2. But then I realised that your pictures just look better... OMG! you take fine pictures!

Good review also. But the flashlight pron is amazing!

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

pounder
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harry25175 wrote:

the only problem is its output. if only xeno maximized the output, it would be a great light

yep it's a real shame..they could have my money but I guess they don't want it lol..

awesome review as always turbobb!

also I don't mind step-down output..it's smart to do it..I have 2 zebralights that step-down and it's great..saves me from having to do it..

JohnnyMac
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Great job on the review! Your photography is AMAZING!
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pounder wrote:

harry25175 wrote:

the only problem is its output. if only xeno maximized the output, it would be a great light

yep it's a real shame..they could have my money but I guess they don't want it lol..

awesome review as always turbobb!

I think xeno is trying to give their customer a good runtime therefore they sacrifice the output. 

also I don't mind step-down output..it's smart to do it..I have 2 zebralights that step-down and it's great..saves me from having to do it..

turboBB
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Thx guys, glad you're enjoying the reviews.  As always, open to any feedback on how they can be improved.

Cheers,
Tim