Wowtac H01 Review (Headlamp, $16, 16340, USB Rechargeable) (Video+Written)

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liquidretro
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Wowtac H01 Review (Headlamp, $16, 16340, USB Rechargeable) (Video+Written)

Wowtac has a new headlamp on the market with the H01 and it’s been getting some positive buzz in the flashlight community for it’s low price and high value. It’s running a Cree XP-G2 LED, a 16340 battery, and has onboard recharging. Thanks to Wowtac for sending it to me to take a look at. Wowtac has provided a discount (Affiliate link) that I have posted in the description of the YouTube version of this review.

Watch this review on YouTube:


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Packaging & Accessories
Wowtac’s package is a small cardboard box with everything packed in tight. Good luck getting it to fit like it arrived ever again. The outside has just the brand, model number and emitter. In this case it’s a cool white. Included in the package is the light itself, a Wowtac wrapped standard 16340 battery, a basic Wowtac head strap, microUSB cable for recharging, 2 extra orings and a spare usb cover, and the manual.



Construction
The light is made from aluminum and machining is pretty good for the price, my only small complaint is the milled heat syncs in the rear of the head still have slightly sharp edges. The tail allows for it to tail stand but there is no magnet. There is nuzzling in the body section that’s pretty standard. Threads between the head and body tube are anodized, short and square cut. There is only a spring in the tail of the light with the head having a small brass post.




The head has the microUSB charging port directly to the left of the emitter when looking at it head on. The port cover sits flat but the little pull tab does stick out more then I would like. On top the semi transparent silicon covers the button and sits slightly domed and smooth. There are LED underneath that are used to indicate the battery charge level and during recharging. The lens is a deeply recessed TIR style optic held on with a exterior retaining ring.


Size & Weight
I measured the length at 67mm, diameter of the body at 21mm, maximum diameter of the head at 22mm. Weight with the battery was a light 47.7g. The light is IPX8 rated.

Comparisons to other 16340 sized headlamps.



Retention
No clip is included with the H01 which is a little disappointing but I can see why they did this given the price point and it would have been a tail down carry most likely given how the body profile is cut. The headstrap itself has a silicone mount with 2 loops and the light will mount in either direction. The straps are black with Wowtac woven into them. There is no silicone grip strips on the inside of the around the head design. I found the headband comfortable with how small and light this light is.

LED & Beamshot
The H01 is running a Cree XHP G2 LED in cool white. No specific tint is given. This does the job pretty well without any undesired tint issues like the XHP-G3 LED has so I appreciate Wowtac making this selection. My beam pattern here has a centered hot center from the TIR with a good amount of spill. There is a big of a square pattern to the spill of the beam, it’s especially noticeable at shorter ranges. There is some PWM in the middle modes, but it’s not anything I notice or my eye does.

Specs

  • Turbo – 614 Lumens
  • High – 198 Lumens
  • Medium – 62 Lumens
  • Low – 16 Lumens
  • Firefly – 0.5 Lumen
  • SOS – 176 Lumens

For my nightshots see the video version of this review.

Runtime & Heat
For my runtimes I ran the light with the included 650mAh 16340 battery. Turbo in my tests lasted for 70 seconds, a little shorter then what Wowtac quotes, from there it continues running in the 35% relative output while slowly falling over the next 80 minutes following the decline of the batteries voltage. It’s a regulated driver but the regulation isn’t’ the best. The FL1 standard comes in at 1 hour and 27 minutes of total runtime but the light continues making light out to 2 hours and 13 minutes. The last 30 minutes of runtime the light does flash on and off every few minutes, it’s impossible to still notice if you’re using the light at the time. When the light completely shut off I measured the voltage at 2.895V. Maximum heat I saw was 42C.

I did try to run this light with a CR123A battery as it physically fit’s in the light but the driver isn’t designed for the lower voltage range and you end up getting the low power warning which is the light flashing on and off in kind of a beacon mode.

UI
UI here is pretty standard from WowTac and Thrunite. Long press from off to get to the firefly mode. From off a quick press gets you low, and holding the button down then starts the light progressing up it’s 3 available modes. The light does have memory mode in the normal L-M-H modes. Double press takes you to Turbo, and Triple press gets you to the only blinking mode SOS.

Recharging
Recharging the light is accomplished via the onboard MicroUSB port on the side of the light. The LED’s under the switch turn red when charging and blue when charged. While it would have been great to see USB-C here, but this light was built with a low target price so MicroUSB it is. I measured the total recharging time to take 1hr and 33 minutes, maximum charge rate was 0.52A, so just below 1C. I measured the charged battery at 4.15V.



Pro

  • High value, small and lightweight
  • Standard 16340 Battery
  • Neutral white may be available in the future.

Con

  • Unlike many other headlamps it’s not designed for pocket EDC use, there isn’t a pocket clip or tail magnet. This does help save cost.
  • Driver isn’t designed to use a CR123A battery and gives a low voltage warning if one is used.
  • A bit of a square pattern to the spill of the beam

Conclusion
If you have watched my reviews before, you know I am a headlight proponent. I use a headlamp often around my house and car when cleaning, doing home repair projects, and just other stuff, because it allows me to have both hands free. The Wowtac H01 offers a good, low cost, basic headlamp that gets the job done. It has enough runtime on the lower modes for moderate sized tasks and is a great value for getting a complete package here with the battery included, and fast shipping from the US. If you want longer runtimes of light with a larger battery it’s going to be better suited.

My con’s list isn’t that big of a deal given the cost here and the focused headlamp only use. It’s been a while since I have seen a light with this square of beam pattern, it’s not my favorite for sure but something a non flashaholic won’t notice probably. I can recommend the H01 if you’re looking for a small low cost, rechargeable headlamp with decent runtimes, it’s certainly a much better option then genetic headlamp options from brands you have never heard from that’s available on Amazon.

sochi111
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Nice review, thank you

Muto
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Damn fine review, they should send you like 5 more for gifts to your friends for the work.
Impressed.

Flashlight looks nice and small, probably hardly feel it on your head.
Thanks for the effort!

Keith

The difference between Hoarding and Collecting is the illusion of Organization
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“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards

mitsuki08
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Thanks for the review! Looks kinda like a SP40 with the 18350 tube. This one hands down just has a better UI.

bansuri
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Picked one of these up recently, so much to like. Small, built-in charging, output levels are appropriate for battery size, decent UI.
The blue lights on the button seemed weird but if you hold your hand up near them you can get a quick idea of the battery state.
But this light had the worst tint and beam pattern I’ve ever seen. If not THE worst, certainly in the bottom 3. BUT, there’s so much to like!
I ordered a waffle optic 17MM XML “bead surface” lens and a 4000k 95CRI SST-20 and now it’s absolutely fantastic!
Using the XML optic with the smaller SST-20 doesn’t seem bad. If I get around to it I’ll try the larger die SST in it.
Love the small size, I don’t always need the biggest, brightest light. Just need light.

Here it is pictured with my beloved Zebralight H50 neutral/warm.

additional info: Unlike the Thrunite version, this bezel is screwed on. Mine was on pretty good so I found a bolt that would fit into the 3 notches after I removed every other lobe from the hex head. Locked 2 nuts on the bolt and put it in vise, then pressed the bezel down on it while unscrewing. Mod was a breeze, rotate the board out and unsolder the connections, swap emitters and replace.