Review: Smallsun ZY-A4

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Davx
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Review: Smallsun ZY-A4

Smallsun ZY-A4


Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★


smallsunzya4

Summary:

Battery:

 18650

Switch:

 reverse clicky

Modes:

 3

LED Type:

 Q3

Lens:

 Plastic

Tailstands:

 Not perfectly

Price Payed:

 14,20 USD

From:

Dealextreme

Dimension:

150 mm x 31 mm

dim2     dim1

Pros:

  • Very bright
  • Sliding mechanism inside the body
  • More resistant to water than similar flashlight with classical sliding mechanism
  • Good quality for the price
  • Good heatsink

Cons:

  • Protected 18650 do not fit without mod
  • You have to lube it up to use it with one hand
  • Probably a glass lens would be better
  • Low-Mid quality tailcap
  • No memory mode

 

Features / Value: ★★★★ 

After buying my first flood-to-throw flashlight with 3xaaa, i was searching for another one with 18650 battery to have a more powerful and more durable flashlight. Suddenly i see this one and I was fascinated by the particular throwing mechanism. I usually don’t like so much the 3 mode flashlight because I find totally useless the strobe. I’d rather prefer HIGH-MED-LOW than HIGH-LOW-STROBE.

I read some opinion and I was quite impressed by people saying it’s really bright also if it has only a Q3 led so I decided to give it a try also because is really low budget.
I order it on DX and it arrived more than one month after with the box damaged but the flashlight was perfect. The ”orange” parts give an impression of toy-lamp but in the hand was heavy and solid.
It needs some lube because the rotating mechanism of the head has some internal friction. I test it immediately with a protected 18650 ultrafire and in this moment I find the first problem. With the battery in you can’t completely screw the tail cap. I try with unprotected cell but the problem is only reduced.

zy_a4_1

I managed to solve this problem screwing in the opposite way the ring with the strap. The clip won't fall off anyway because is firmly on the body.

zy_a4_2

It immediately seem more bright than the declared 130 lumen and in throw mode cover a long distance without loosing a lot of brightness.
The first impression is a good light useful also for future DIY project.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★ 

The design is quite different from usual both for the different mechanism and for colored parts that, as I stated before, make it seems a toy at first sight. Maybe is bigger than other flashlight of this kind, but is the price to pay for the different movement.

unmount1

The shape of the head allows to use the flashlight with one hand (once you have lube it) and can also stop it from rolling.
The heatsink seems pretty good. The led was on 20 mm star and the flashlight become warm after some minutes so I suppose there’s a good transmission between led and body..
As I said before, is quite annoying that a 18650 flashlight has some problem using this kind of battery. Is a problem that you can simply solve but is absolutely a cons of Smallsun ZY-A4.
Another con is the lens made of plastic. It reduce the emission and it’s also quite difficult to find another one with same shape and measure made of glass.
The flashlight has two o-ring on the lens and one for tailcap and, even if I don’t try, I think it is at least resistant to rain.

unmount2

The tail cap seems not to have a perfect contact with the body because if you touch the switch the light varies for an istant. The switch has a glow-in-the-dark cover so you can find your flashlight even in the night.

 

Battery Life: ★★★★★

I take some measure but I have to admit the battery probably was at 95% so the data can be not perfect.
I use a Ultrafire 18650 protected cell. At the moment of the test was at 4,17 V

- HIGH MODE : 0,94 Amps
- LOW MODE : 0,22 Amps
- STROBE : -
I did not  make any complete duration test, but I suppose the runtime are:


- HIGH MODE : about 2 h
- LOW MODE : more than 10 hour
- STROBE : -

The amount of light is pretty constant for at least the first half of runtime. Then slowly become less bright.

Light Output: ★★★★★

The amount of light is absolutely more than the stated 130 lumen declared by DX. I can’t measure it but it is at least 150 lumen.
To have at least one data I used a luxmeter and at 1mt this is what I found  (I hope I made no mistakes):

High (Flood): 530 lux
High (Throw): 11210 lux
Low (Flood): 140 lux
Low (Throw): 2800 lux

I’m really satisfied of the amount of light emitted from the Smallsun also if the spot isn’t really perfect because of the lens.

Dealer Experience: ★★★  

I buy a lot of stuff from DX but this time I choose a bad time for my order. It was too close to Chinese new year so it takes more than a month to arrive.
The price is good especially considering the different kind of flood to throw mechanism.

Summary: ★★★★ 

In conclusion I’m pretty satisfied even if there are little things that can be better. This is the light for you if you’re searching a flood to throw different from the other, with a good brightness, using 18650 cell and with a good price.

 If you have some question or you find some mistake in my review, write it in a comment or contact me with a private message.

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:22
Match
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Very nice review, Davx.  I gotta say "Thank you!" for the detailed shots of the torch completely disassembled.  For folks into modding, that's a huge helpWink.

You mention the plastic lens as a con.  I thought so too until I swapped a few of my DX aspherics out with the glass lens's they sell.  Could be due to the glass finish/quality, or to a slight difference in shape, but every one I tried I ended up going back to the plastic because it worked and looked better.

Budgeteer
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Great review Davx! (buona la prima! Smile )

Luxes at throw at 1m should be substantially higher. Even if the led gets driven at around 800mA the lux readings by a rough guesstimate should be substantially higher. My cheesy q3 zoomie manages well over 18000 lux@1m but it's driven at 1A.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Davx
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Thanks for support! And for suggestion also!
Today i'll fully charge the battery and i remake some test. I will also add the measure of the flashlight.

@ Match: thanks for advice. I was thinking about order a glass lens but i'll save the money for some other stuff.

@ Budgetter: Great Italian Smile

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

Budgeteer
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Regarding the plastic lenses i tried may times with glass versions just to find out the stock ones worked way better. It's hard to find a exact suitable glass one. Focal distance is often the problem.

Davx: (quelle di vetro facevano cagare da urlo in ogni torcia che ho avuto la possibilta di provare. Rassegnati e usa le "plastique fantstique" stock.)

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

sb56637
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Excellent review Davx, thanks for all the details and the great disassembled shots!

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Davx
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I take a fresh 18650 battery and i make new lux measure. Budgeeter was right, value are really higher than before.

I also add dimension and photo. I hope this will not cause errors on  frontpage setting.

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

fishinfool
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    Davx!

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion