Praise for the SOFIRN SP10S

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Praise for the SOFIRN SP10S

As we close on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I thought it was time for my thoughts on this little flashlight which is a favorite.

Who am I want do I do with lights like this?  For a couple of decades, I have been carrying various AA lights, generally various Fenix options with a FourSevens or two thrown in to spice things up in the more recent past.  I have tried various double AA Maglites and similar lights but, they were just too big and bulky to be with me when I needed light.  I traveled a lot so, dark motel parking lots and stepping in potholes, water puddles, or inconsiderate owners' dog droppings, I found I really needed a light.  Photons back in the day were tried but, they just didn't have enough light to be really useful but, the colors were fun to play with!

The Sofirn SP10S is a favorite of mine and has been my steady companion for many months.  It rides in the watch pocket of my blue jeans any time I am dressed for the day's activities.  If I am out to a more formal event where blue jeans aren't appropriate, it still ends up typically in the change pocket of Dockers or Dress slacks because it is so useful for lighting up a dark room where I need to read something or when I walk in an unfamiliar area that is poorly lit.

Size, in the beginning, my first impression was that it was large.  While technically true in relative terms, we are really only talking about a millimeter or two in real terms to the one it replaced.  In my High CRI V2 slate blue version, I find the color to be a wonderful thing when I empty my pockets at night, especially in a dimly lit hotel room.  The emitter itself also really pulls out the color differences to identify things as well in the dimly lit hotel room which matters when looking at a paper map or delivery menu.

The newer V3 version which I got while COVID global transportation and supply chain issues were in full effect, is black, and is a product improved version.  It has all the performance functionally I like in the V2 blue version with some minor changes to illumination steps and a bit more Turbo power on the top end.  Sofirn shipping right now is awesome as well!

Compared to similar lights, it has a side switch which is really useful in a light like this.  However, if you don't lock it out, in my case at least, it can be activated in the pocket and will yield a dead battery.  This was my first long term experience with 14500 batteries as well which allows lights like this to really shine!  While this light will run on normal AA options, the 14500 battery will let it really rival larger lights in sheer output at modest distances.  It is a small head, small reflector, flashlight after all.

Compared to the ubiquitous Lumintop Tool AA, I personally find it to be superior in every way.  The emitter of my SP10S is high CRI which I can't say of my Tool AA samples.  The tail switch is a love it or hate it thing because of accidental activation and more difficult single-handed illumination level changes.  Fit and finish is simply superior in the SP10S IMHO.

Compared to the Skillhunt E2A, I find fit and finish to be a very similar level of awesomeness in a ~$20 AA light!  Emitter choices are similar. The light itself is more trim but, again we are talking about relatively small differences but, the battery tube is among the thinnest I have experienced.  The tail switch can be a take it or leave it issue depending on personal preference IMHO.  The last comment is on the lens which is beaded.  This is good for flood but terrible for throw.  Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage from the SP10S series is a matter of personal preference in practical terms, at least for me and how I use lights like this.

I wanted to try the Convoy T3 with its 219B R9080 emitter and see what the R9080 effect would be on my uses but, it was DOA!  Convoy is a good company but, to be honest, I wonder about quality control with this being the second defective light I received.  I have a bunch of SOFIRN lights and haven't had any issues with quality control so far so, a clear advantage here for SOFIRN IMHO.  The T3 is larger in diameter but, again were are talking about small differences.  I will give the T3 a slight advantage since it is available in colors but, this isn't meaningful if your light is dead!

Hopefully, this will help someone make a more informed choice in their single-cell AA flashlight choice.  If you want a superior light, the SOFIRN SP10S is a great choice.  The Skillhunt is a little smaller overall, has the beaded lens, and is a little smaller overall if absolute smallness matters or you can't live with a side switch.  Whatever you choose, don't forget the 14500 batteries!

Best Regards, Sid

Edited by: sidpost on 11/29/2021 - 22:15