Fenix E16 - A Short Review

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rookiedaddy's picture
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Fenix E16 - A Short Review

I recently bought a Fenix E16 after reading a lot of praises about it from other reviewers and the fact that it's a Neutral White light from Fenix. That's something that we don't usually get from light manufacturer like Fenix, and this reason alone is worth getting it in my opinion. This will be a short review...

The box that it came in:

A real small light for a CR123A-size light, but pack a punch in output.


it's even shorter than any of the Olight S-series

Fenix E16 is made up of 2 parts, head and body:

battery not included in package...

Some form of TIR Lens, this lens projects a tight and uniform beam, one of the nicest beam profile lens I have ever seen:

The pocket clip, very insecure, very loose, don't carry your Fenix E16 by depending on this pocket clip:

The tail end, there is a tiny hole for the wrist lanyard, but the thickness is a little thin on the edge than I'm comfortable with:

There are 2 ways to lockout the Fenix E16 according to user manual:

In my experience so far, the electronic lockout is too easy to engage accidentally, and the physical lockout "recommended" by the user manual does not work as it's still relatively easy to push the clip to turn on the light. But the delayed start -- hold the switch for 0.5s to turn on the light does help a little.

what you should do according to the user manual...

what you could have done to make the physical lockout work...

but due to the clip being too easy to move around, this doesn't work well either...


Battery recommendation from user manual:

The (*) warning at the bottom of the table refers to generic 16340 LiIon cells with no protection circuit. A better translation from the Chinese should be: "* Warning: 16340 LiIon batteries are generally meant for industrial application and do not have the safety features required in consumer product. Low quality battery or improper usage (short-circuiting, high temperature, etc.) are potentially hazardous and can present serious fire hazard, explosion that may result in personal injury and/or property damages. You must understand and assume the risk associated with using these type of batteries. Using high quality and protected LiIon battery will reduce the risk greatly." In a way, Fenix is asking us to use Fenix-branded batteries.


I tested the output of Fenix E16 to be:

as usual, my disclaimer: I do not claim the above measured lumens as authoritative nor an indication of over/under-stating the number given by manufacturer. It's calibrated against some known light output (e.g. SureFire, Elzetta, etc.) so take it with a grain of salt and just as a relative reading.


The runtime on Turbo using Fenix ARB-L16-700:

a closer look at the first 90 seconds:

it narrowly passes the ANSI-PLATO-FL1 requirement for quoting the light output. You also need a high discharge capable LiIon cell to take advantage of the high output and to sustain it beyond 30 seconds, the Primary CR123A cell is no exception too.

Many has liken Fenix's E16 to that of Olight's S-series offering, the remaining of this review will be of a comparison between Fenix E16 and Olight S1Mini. Why S1 Mini and not their most recent release? well, for starter, the S1R Baton II is a rechargeable light and the build is in a very different league than Fenix E16.

First, let's lay down the criterias for comparison:

  • Build quality
  • Design
  • Beam Profil
  • Tint
  • Runtime
  • Battery
  • Charging system
  • Clip
  • Accessories
  • UI
  • Value

for each criteria I'll assign 1 point to the light that is I think is better in that category in my opinion.


Build quality
Fenix E-series has always been Fenix's budget series, and it shows in the material used...

look at how thin is Fenix E16 body compare to Olight S1Mini. However, wall thickness does not mean the build quality is low, and for that, I'm giving them 1 point each as both are from quality manufacturer.


Neither are very aesthetically pleasing, I had electronic lockout issue when tightening the E16, and some design compromises with S1 Mini (e.g. weak magnet). Neither gets any point in this category.


Beam Profile
It's well known that S1 Mini has an ugly beam profile, especially the CW version that is used in this comparison. On the contrary, Fenix E16 has a uniform and smooth beam overall. 1 point to Fenix E16.


No question here, it's Fire and Ice

Another point to Fenix E16. A few more picture of tint comparisons:


With the rather short runtime using LiIon cell in Turbo mode of Fenix E16, Olight S1 Mini takes the point in this category. I've also decided to do a runtime test using primary CR123A from SureFire...

and the results:


Fenix E16 is rather fussy about the battery we feed it to compare to Olight S1 Mini. It also doesn't run well with normal Primary CR123A and very demanding of high discharge battery. Also, Fenix E16 does not include any battery in the package while Olight S1 Mini does (a Micro-USB rechargeable protected LiIon 16340). 1 point to Olight S1 Mini.


Charging system
Neither has in-built rechargeable system. However, Olight S1 Mini does includes a Micro-USB rechargeable protected LiIon battery. But to be fair, this category is about lights that has in-built rechargeable system, so no point for both.


Pocket Clip
Olight S1 Mini pocket clip is non-movable, an improvement to the original S1 Baton which it carries to this day of S1R Baton II. It just feels more sturdy than Fenix E16 loosely pocket clip. 1 point to Olight S1 Mini.


Although S1 Mini includes a Micro-USB data cable for the included Micro-USB LiIon 16340 battery, it doesn't includes any spare O-rings like Fenix E16 does. So neither has any advantage over the other as there is nothing special included in both accessories list(e.g. no diffusers cone, no carrying pouch). So no point for both.


Fenix UI is the dreaded full cycle UI, Low -> Medium -> High -> Turbo -> Low... there are no moon mode nor direct access to Turbo mode. I really dislike this UI. 1 point for Olight S1 Mini for proven and workable UI with direct access to Moon mode and Turbo mode.


Checking with my local reseller, the Fenix E16 is cheaper by USD 1.80, but with that USD 1.80, I get a rechargeable protected LiIon battery with Olight S1 Mini, so that is a win for S1 Mini. 1 point each.


and here is the summary:

With the above, will I still recommend the Fenix E16? Absolutely! for reason none other than the Neutral White tint and the smooth beam profile!


still changing sig ::
Edited by: rookiedaddy on 01/17/2019 - 06:51
Tjohn's picture
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Location: continental drift

Thanks for the righteous review,
and selling me on a Tiara with Nichia !

djozz's picture
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Location: Amsterdam

Thanks for the review. I enjoyed the comparison with the Olight S1 Smile

rookiedaddy's picture
Last seen: 6 hours 58 min ago
Joined: 04/15/2016 - 21:42
Posts: 189

Thanks for the kind words guys, appreciate it.

@Tjohn, you can try contacting member @clemence and he may be able to set you up with his latest High CRI emitters... Smile

still changing sig ::