Review: Fenix E01 A Quick Overview

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Dsoto87
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Review: Fenix E01 A Quick Overview

FENIX E01

E01_1

Purchased From:LightJunction.com
Price:$12.50 (Before Discount)
Emitter:Nichia White GS
Battery Type:1x Alkaline, Ni-MH, Lithium (1.7v)
Run time:11 Hours regulated + 10 Hours Unregulated
Size:71mm (l) x 14mm (w)
Weight:14 grams w/o battery
Waterproofing:Tested to IPX8
Modes:1 (Twisty Operation)
Finish Type:Type III Anodizing
Accessories:

1x O ring, 1x Split Ring

Outdated Useless Technology???

E01_2

Except for those newest to the flashlight world, I'm sure you've heard of the Fenix E01 atleast ONCE in your lifetime. You've probably checked it out, saw the specs, and quickly navigated away from the page and never gave it a second thought. I can't say I blame you. When you've got similar sized lights pushing out over 100 lumens with multiple modes, who would want something seemingly so useless? That's all true... until you realize the purpose of the light.

So what is that purpose you may ask? Well I must first say, it doesnt matter how many lumens your solarforce drop-in puts out, or how long the firefly mode burns for on your Quark, if you dont have it in an emergency situation. Thats where the E01 comes in. Like all those "Ronco" products, you simply set it and forget it. Pop an L92 in it, place it on your keys and never worry about not being without light again.

"But wait!", you say. "The E01 isnt the only single AAA based light out there. In fact theres many others at similar price points that put out 10 times the amount of lumens." Well thats true, but despite only putting out 10 ugly lumens, the E01 is tried and true. Lets take the Skyray S1 for instance.

As you can see the Skyray compares favorably. Just about the same size, right down to the amount of threads. So why pay $12.50 for a light that uses extremely old technology when you can pay $10 for light that works with Li-ons and puts out way more lumens? Well size is about the only things these two lights have in common.

For my purposes, I use these types of lights only when my main fails for whatever reasons (battery, electronics, forgetting it at home, etc). So there may be long instances in between uses where I dont check the light at all. When I need it, I want it to work. The skyray is an excellent value but it has a few downfalls. The retaining ring on mine came loose on its own, which brings me to my next point. The lens is thin, real thin. These are two things you dont need to worry about on the Fenix. Theres no lens to fall out or crack. Well what about waterproofing? The skyray claims to be waterproof and though I have tested it personally in the tub, I dont feel confident about the O ring. When twisting the head onto the Fenix, you can feel the grip of the O ring engaging. Not so much with the Skyray. Lastly, the Skyray is light. Seems like a good thing right? Well a lot of the weight comes from the walls being so thin. Im sure I can crush it in my hand if theres no battery in it. The Fenix feels solid throughout. In the next picture you can clearly see the difference in the walls of the two light.

 So there you have it. Does old and outdated describe the E01? Absolutely, but like the old saying: "Dont fix whats not broken." Don't be put off by the minimal output. 10 lumens is a lot brighter than you may think. Not to mention, 21+ hours on a battery (more if using L92s) is nothing to scoff at. The E01 is small, lightweight, waterproof, and most importantly RELIABLE. For $12 this is something that should be on all of your keychains. I gave one to my father a while back. He rarely used it up until recently when a real emergency arose. He went on vacation to New York. You dont really plan for the worst when going on vacation, but trouble came in the form of Hurricane Irene. He told me nothing was more useful than that little light that he completely forgot was even on his keys. So buy one, better yet buy a few and like a good flashoholic, hand them out to family and friends. With a L92 or Eneloop (or similar LSD battery) in it, leave it on your keys and rest assured you'll NEVER be without light no matter the situation

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:12
alfreddajero
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Nice review and pics......always remember when it comes to lights that two is one and one is none lol.

With Darkness, there will always be Light.

 

 

esrevenge
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Very good review and insight, thanks.

 

I dont have a single AAA light, the Fenix looks pretty good.

sb56637
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Very nice Dsoto! Thanks a lot for the nice review. You made a good argument for this light. In fact you made me think about what I'll be putting next on my keychain.

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

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gcbryan
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Nice review! I agree with your logic I just have a hard time making my keys heavier or having to hold a hand full of keys to use a light. I do have a light similar to the one reviewed that I keep in the car and I do have one of those free plastic button lights on my keychain.

I'm curious about the lack of a front lens. Won't the reflector get damaged?

Dsoto87
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sb56637 wrote:

Very nice Dsoto! Thanks a lot for the nice review. You made a good argument for this light. In fact you made me think about what I'll be putting next on my keychain.

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Thanks. I really do think its an excellent value. I love budget lights and feel you get a lot more lumens and features from other offerings but this little bugger has a long track record of reliability. In some ways I feel your backup should be your most reliable light. If all else fails it will be the one you'll need to put your faith in.

gcbryan wrote:

Nice review! I agree with your logic I just have a hard time making my keys heavier or having to hold a hand full of keys to use a light. I do have a light similar to the one reviewed that I keep in the car and I do have one of those free plastic button lights on my keychain.

I'm curious about the lack of a front lens. Won't the reflector get damaged?

I use to carry a stainless steel ITP A1 on my keychain so everything after that feels weightless :P. It really doesnt add much. Youll forget you even have it on. As I said, I dont think this light should be your main torch. It should be the "**** hits the fan/ last resort" light. So if the situation arises, my keys getting uncomfortable for me to hold will be the last of my worries.

Sorry I didnt go more into detail about the emitter. I kind of glazed over it real quick. It doesnt use a traditional reflector and doesnt need a lens because it utilizes a potted 5mm nichia LED. Heres a picture that I should have included in the original post but forgot.

 

BTW, you dont need to worry about scratching the emitter at all. Its actually done on purpose by many users (me being one). You take some steel wool and rub around the emitter with it. It diffuses the beam slightly and lessens the angry blue tint.

sb56637
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Dsoto, do you by any chance own an ITP A3 EOS or the newer Olight I3? I'd be interested in knowing how either of these compares with the Fenix E01. Obviously the ITP/Olight costs quite a bit more than the E01, but it's drastically brighter on high while still offering a great low mode. Also has a pocket clip. Almost identical size. Seems like close competition.

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SashiX
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sb56637 wrote:

Dsoto, do you by any chance own an ITP A3 EOS or the newer Olight I3? I'd be interested in knowing how either of these compares with the Fenix E01. Obviously the ITP/Olight costs quite a bit more than the E01, but it's drastically brighter on high while still offering a great low mode. Also has a pocket clip. Almost identical size. Seems like close competition.

+1 Want to see that nichia vs. R5 (ITP A3)

Nice review, btw Wink

sb56637
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SashiX wrote:

+1 Want to see that nichia vs. R5 (ITP A3)

Well, as far as Nichia vs Cree XP-G R5 goes, there's pretty much no comparison. The Cree is incredibly more powerful. But as the reviewer mentioned, there's a lot more to the equation that just lumens.

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Leelou
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sb56637 wrote:

Dsoto, do you by any chance own an ITP A3 EOS or the newer Olight I3? I'd be interested in knowing how either of these compares with the Fenix E01. Obviously the ITP/Olight costs quite a bit more than the E01, but it's drastically brighter on high while still offering a great low mode. Also has a pocket clip. Almost identical size. Seems like close competition.

Great point. I'm very interested in the comparison too.

I like: walks on the beach, sushi and things that are paisley.

gcbryan
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The A3 is about 5 mm shorter I believe...I measured my A3 and compared to the reviewed measurements.

I have an Ultrafire single AA that is a little longer and heavier that sounds about like the reviewed Fenix (except that the Ultrafire is about 60 lumens and costs $15).

I would think the advantage of the Fenix would be toughness and long runtime.

okyeung
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Do you have the $3.50 Coast light http://budgetlightforum.com/node/1169 to compare it with?  I remember they have the same emitter.

3

Boaz
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I'd like to  see the coast 3.50$ light

the fenix E01

and the new Nitecore T0   http://nitecore.com/goods_detail.php?id=27

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4039

in a heads up shoot out ..My money's on the nitecore at a whopping 12lumens  and a bright orange body

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

2100
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The nitecore T0 looks nice.  Think i might get one.

These small AAA are tougher than most think.  I could not get my Tank007 TK-703 to quit.  XP-E and 1-mode though, probably direct drive.  Will last quite a while with AAA Alkalines.

Shock/toture test for TK-703, 4m drop, 7m drop and washing machine spin cycle : http://budgetlightforum.com/node/4215

tbenedict
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The EO1 pretty much defines reliability.  There have been several "torture" tests.

IMO, the EO1 and the Gerber IU's are about the best emergency lights.

Ian2381
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I agree on the E01s reliability, Got one in my Mt hiking pack as my last resort light when everything fails.

mfm
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sb56637 wrote:

Dsoto, do you by any chance own an ITP A3 EOS or the newer Olight I3? I'd be interested in knowing how either of these compares with the Fenix E01. Obviously the ITP/Olight costs quite a bit more than the E01, but it's drastically brighter on high while still offering a great low mode. Also has a pocket clip. Almost identical size. Seems like close competition.

The A3 obsoletes the E01 for the reasons you already came up with.

Although, for gifting, the A3/i3 R5 models are quite equivalent to an E01 because people will have to suffer with only two lumens since they will forget about the modes and it will always start in low.

tbenedict
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I carry my A3 on my keychain since it is smaller and lighter weight.  Mine is the older MLH vs.  The advantages of the EO1 has is durability, knurling, tailstanding, and arguably runtime.  The Maratac vs. negates some of these.

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Very nice review, Dsoto87! Thanks. I tend to place more of an emphasis on brightness, but then again, I usually use the light I have on my keychain at least once or twice a day, which is why I've been carrying the Skyray for a while now.

Having said that, I think I'll pick up a E01 now. The Skyray is likely to stay on my keychain because it can take 10440s, but you can never have enough flashlights, can you? Smile

 

gcbryan wrote:

Nice review! I agree with your logic I just have a hard time making my keys heavier or having to hold a hand full of keys to use a light. I do have a light similar to the one reviewed that I keep in the car and I do have one of those free plastic button lights on my keychain.

I used to be in the same boat: I had way too many keys, most of which I rarely needed and I hated the added weight in my front pocket. At the time, I just didn't have any space for a keychain light other than a DX fauxton.

So, one day, I bought a dozen or so small clip-on keychain carabiner thingies from the dollar store. My car key looks like this:

I permanently keep my house key and my Skyray S1 attached to my car key. All the other keys have one of the aforementioned clip-on carabiners attached to them. Before I leave the house in the morning, I clip whatever keys and RFID tokens I'm going to need for the day on the car key. That way, I don't need to carry a ton of keys I won't need and I don't have a bunch of stuff flopping in the wind when I'm out riding my bike, but I don't need to worry about loose keys and crypto tokens.

mfm
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tbenedict wrote:

I carry my A3 on my keychain since it is smaller and lighter weight.  Mine is the older MLH vs.  The advantages of the EO1 has is durability, knurling, tailstanding, and arguably runtime.  The Maratac vs. negates some of these.

Runtime? The old model is rated 50 hours on low, the newer i3 at 20 hours on low. I and many others have come to the conclusion that the A3 is durable enough for tough usage in the real world. I dropped mine 3-4 meters onto a concrete floor and only the eneloop inside it lost some paint, the light wasn't damaged. The i3 can also tailstand.

tbenedict
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I've dropped mine several times too.  My ITP has been pretty solid, but I have had some glitchy contacts with one of my Maratac's causing flickering.

The EO1 gets 8 hours of regulation (8-10 lumen) and another 8 hours of dimming on a battery.  This seems pretty good for ceiling bounce applications when the power is out, plus it will run a battery further down.

sb56637
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I never noticed that the runtime on low is drastically less on the i3 compared to the ITP A3. That's a bit of a disappointment.

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mfm
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sb56637 wrote:

I never noticed that the runtime on low is drastically less on the i3 compared to the ITP A3. That's a bit of a disappointment.

It's probably just measured differently. I think they have to use the included alkaline battery for the measurement according to ANSI, the old runtime test was made using 1000 mAh NiMH.

sb56637
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mfm wrote:

sb56637 wrote:

I never noticed that the runtime on low is drastically less on the i3 compared to the ITP A3. That's a bit of a disappointment.

It's probably just measured differently. I think they have to use the included alkaline battery for the measurement according to ANSI, the old runtime test was made using 1000 mAh NiMH.

I think they just increased the brightness of the low mode on the Olight. It's 2.5 lumens compared to like 1.5 on ITP or 1.8 on the Upgrade Edition with an XP-G.

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tbenedict
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sb56637 wrote:

I never noticed that the runtime on low is drastically less on the i3 compared to the ITP A3. That's a bit of a disappointment.

I think they also increased the low's output slightly, which make it easier for me to hold off getting one.  If I remember correctly, the 50 hour runtime in low was a little exaggerated (35-40 hours on alkaline).

neverfeltbetter
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I did a runtime test on low with my Q5 A3 and got 18:20h with eneloops.

e01 left, a3 right (high)

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neverfeltbetter wrote:

I did a runtime test on low with my Q5 A3 and got 18:20h with eneloops.

Thanks, that helps. What do you reckon it would give with Alkalines? Alkaline usually lasts longer (going slowly dimmer) on the low mode.

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neverfeltbetter
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Quote:

Thanks, that helps. What do you reckon it would give with Alkalines? Alkaline usually lasts longer (going slowly dimmer) on the low mode.

 

I did not test runtime with alkalines yet. I will buy some fresh alkalines tomorrow and then we'll find out.

According to this thread Link the A3 gave 24+ hours of light on "????"


 

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okyeung wrote:

Do you have the $3.50 Coast light http://budgetlightforum.com/node/1169 to compare it with?  I remember they have the same emitter.

 

I have both, and the hotspot is very similar...almost UV purple and oblong in shape.  The Coast light is noticeably brighter with more spill and a very ringy beam, plus a forward clicky.  Of course, the EO1 is noticeably smaller and can tailstand and is a twisty. Both are nice quality small lights.

Dave

Dsoto87
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Im glad I got some of you interested in this light. Theres a lot of comparison questions raised and unfortunately I dont own any of the lights in question. Im not really into AAA lights as a feel AA is a far superior platform for just a little bit more size. I feel the E01 serves its intended purpose though.

I will say this, I dont own the ITP/Olight alternative but after using my A1 for quite a long time, Im not too fond of ITPs mode switching. I had constant problems trying to get to the right mode. It was very finicky. On top of that I also owned an SA1 (XPG) that I wasnt fond of at all. The quality was decent and you get a lot for your money but I probably wont buy any more ITPs. 

For those interested in buying it, please remember... This is the furthest thing from a barn burner/pocket rocket you can possibly get. Do not buy this light to impress people. Buy this light because you want a rock solid backup.

mfm
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Dsoto87 wrote:

Im glad I got some of you interested in this light. Theres a lot of comparison questions raised and unfortunately I dont own any of the lights in question. Im not really into AAA lights as a feel AA is a far superior platform for just a little bit more size. I feel the E01 serves its intended purpose though.

I will say this, I dont own the ITP/Olight alternative but after using my A1 for quite a long time, Im not too fond of ITPs mode switching. I had constant problems trying to get to the right mode. It was very finicky. On top of that I also owned an SA1 (XPG) that I wasnt fond of at all. The quality was decent and you get a lot for your money but I probably wont buy any more ITPs.

All iTP/Maratac/Olight/4sevens lights are not equal, there is no problem at all with my iTP A3, it's mostly people with SS/Titanium/4sevens-lights that have had problems.

Olight have further improved the threading to avoid contact problems in the Olight i-series.

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