[Review] Manker E03H II - 600lm AA/14500 headlamp

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 3333
Location: Central IL
[Review] Manker E03H II - 600lm AA/14500 headlamp

Intro
Manker makes quite a few really nice lights, but I can’t say that I’ve ever used a Manker headlamp / right-angle light before. I’ve seen a lot of positive feedback about this model, so when FlashlightBrand offered it to me for review, I just couldn’t say no! A big shout out to FlashlightBrand for providing the light for the review. Note: aside from providing the light, no other compensation has been provided, nor have they put any other stipulations on the review (eg, giving it so many “stars” or saying particular things about it… nothing of the sort).

Packaging
The Manker E03H II arrived in a box with an eye-catching black & orange color scheme. There’s a little window that let’s you see the light inside. The package would be right at home on any store’s racks. The package contained: the Manker E03H II, headstrap, clip, lanyard, spare o-ring 3 diffusers (clear, red, and green), and the instruction manual. The battery was NOT included in the package, but FlashlightBrand kindly sent one along with the light separately.


Build Quality & Usage
As I would expect from Manker, the build quality of the E03H II is well done. The machining is nicely executed and there aren’t any sharp edges… well, except for the lanyard attachment point. It’s kinda sharp. I’ve seen this on lights from several brands. I’m not sure why they all seem to forget about reducing the sharp edges around the lanyard hole. That aside… there are a few anodizing options: Black, Red, Green, and Sand. Mine happens to be the green model and I really like it. I’m sure they would all look nice. I’m just happy to have some variety to escape the usual black models.

While the clip isn’t captive, it is a nice clip. It can be attached near the tailcap, where it provides proper deep-carry positioning. You can attach it by the head as well, where it could help if you put it in a shirt pocket or something. The tailcap is magentic, which can help with positioning when you use it as a right-angle light. The lanyard is pretty nice, a small step up from the usual basic lanyards. And the headstrap is befitting of a AA/14500 light. It only goes around the head (not on top), but I don’t find that to be an issue with smaller/lighter lamps. Due to its design, it’s pretty easy to install and remove the E03H II for quick and easy usage changes.











LED & Beam
Manker gives two choices for the LED: Cool White and Neutral White. The Neutral White model uses a 4000K 95-CRI SST-20 LED. The Cool White is still an SST-20, but it’s a 6500K 70-CRI version. While I would normally prefer the Neutral White version, I received the Cool White version and I’m not about to complain about the version of a free light. Do note that the Cool White will have better performance attributes: a CW, low CRI LED will pretty much always pump out more lumens than a NW, high CRI counterpart. It’s your usual quantity vs quality trade-off. Here’s a reading from my Opple Light Master on Turbo with a 14500 from about 1 meter away.

User Interface
The Manker E03H II uses a mostly standard e-switch UI, but it does use a feature that you see on quite a few Manker models that I really enjoy: adjustable ECO mode levels. On a AA, you get 6 levels to choose from (0.1-15 lumens) and on a 14500, you get 5 levels to choose from (5-40 lumens).

  • Click for on/off
  • Hold from Off for ECO mode
  • Double click for Turbo
  • Triple click for Strobe
  • When On, hold to switch between Mid and High
  • When in ECO, hold to adjust the brightness level (memorized!)

Batteries & Charging
The Manker E03H II did not come with a battery in the packaging, but FlashlightBrand was kind enough to send along a Manker-branded USB-C rechargeable 14500 battery. It performed really nicely… until I fried it trying to recharge it. My USB meter had just been used to charge a USB-PD capable light at 9 volts. I think it defaulted back to this 9 volt setting, and when I plugged in the Manker battery it immediately released some magic smoke. The charging LED still lights up, but the positive button gets blazing hot after a few seconds, so… I’m pretty sure the charging / protection circuit is toast. Burnt toast.

On a positive note, the Manker E03H II supports alkaline AA batteries and NiMH as well. In looking at Manker’s documentation, NiMH is actually the preferred fuel for the E03H II. I can see why – it supports much lower lows and gives nice regulated runtime. While 14500 is support, it appears to be running in a pass-through mode (akin to a FET-driven light with some added resistance).

Performance
The lumen claims that Manker provides are clearly for the Cool White version. I see that Marco at 1lumen.com reviewed the Neutral White version and was a bit disappointed to see that it missed the lumen claims. Understandable! But as stated earlier, the Neutral White model clearly prioritizes quality (CCT & CRI) over quantity (lumens).

My runtime tests on Turbo line up pretty well with what Manker claims. Some highlights:

  • 14500 started at 657 lumens
  • At 30 sec, the 14500 was at 576 lumens
  • At 1 hr 13 min, the 14500 experienced a large drop off (ending the ANSI runtime)
  • NiMH (Eneloop 1900 mAh) started at 361 lumens
  • At 30 sec, the Eneloop was at 264 lumens
  • At 1 hr 54 min, the NiMH output dropped off a cliff (ending the ANSI runtime)



Size Comparisons
Here’s the Manker E03H II compared to some other great 14500 (or AA/14500) lights: ThruNite TH20, Manker E03H II, Wuben H5, and the Wurkkos TS10

Verdict
There’s an awful lot to like about the Manker E03H II: AA alkaline, NiMH, and 14500 lithium-ion compatibility, small, light-weight, 3 included diffusers (clear, red, and green), 4 different color options, and nice built quality. The button is a bit small, but it is well designed otherwise and is stainless (who doesn’t like stainless?). Now I see why everyone seems to rave about the Manker E03H II – it really is a great little light. And I would be amiss if I didn’t give one final shout-out to FlashlightBrand for providing the light and battery for this review!

Links (non-aff)

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 6762
Location: Central North America

Great Review!
There is also an AAA version

Great little lights
https://www.flashlightbrand.com/manker-e02-ii-1-x-luminus-sst20-led-420-...

Scientist
Scientist's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 07/24/2017 - 13:33
Posts: 371
Location: Out standing in my field NY

Thanks for the nice review. Do you think the lowest level on eco is really 0.1lm when using AA? On my E02 on the lowest eco level I can hardly tell if the thing is on, even in the dark. I don’t have any way to measure it but my impression is that this is one of the lowest lows, certainly for any of the lights I have. Lower than the SP10 pro.

Please illuminate responsibly
Part time fragmented conciousness technician

UV triple using Sofirn C8F
395nm High Power LED in Sofirn SC31b

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 3333
Location: Central IL

I need to double check, but it is indeed super low. With NiMH, in a room with low lighting, I could hardly tell that it was on.

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 6762
Location: Central North America

gchart wrote:
With NiMH, in a room with low lighting, I could hardly tell that it was on.
same, my e02 goes so low, my meter cannot measure it.

the minimum output is below 0.005 lumens, and my meter cannot read the first 8 levels of moonlight. On step 9 of 21, the output is 0.01 lumens, same as my SP10 Pro.
.

iow, the lowest 8 modes are so low its ridiculous Smile
to see the lowest mode during the day I have to basically hold the light up to my eyeball. The photo makes it look brighter than my eyes see it.

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2449
Location: Ohio, United States

jon_slider wrote:
gchart wrote:
With NiMH, in a room with low lighting, I could hardly tell that it was on.
same, my e02 goes so low, my meter cannot measure it.

the minimum output is below 0.005 lumens, and my meter cannot read the first 8 levels of moonlight. On step 9 of 21, the output is 0.01 lumens, same as my SP10 Pro.
.

iow, the lowest 8 modes are so low its ridiculous Smile
to see the lowest mode during the day I have to basically hold the light up to my eyeball. The photo makes it look brighter than my eyes see it.


What’s amazing is that, as low as it goes, RRT01 can go lower
Any idea what the efficiency of the mankers is on low?
gravelmonkey
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 22 min ago
Joined: 08/17/2012 - 20:28
Posts: 637
Location: London, UK

Does it have thermal stepdown?

jon_slider
jon_slider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 09/08/2015 - 12:20
Posts: 6762
Location: Central North America

Scallywag wrote:

What’s amazing is that, as low as it goes, RRT01 can go lower
Any idea what the efficiency of the mankers is on low?

lowest AAA mode lasting 8 or so days.

the RRT-01 only lasts about 3 days, and sadly, it flickers Crying

the Manker does not flicker Grad

thefreeman
thefreeman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 23 min 23 sec ago
Joined: 01/06/2020 - 09:56
Posts: 1723
Location: France

Nice review.
I use it daily, nice little headlamp.

If I recall correctly it draws about 6mA minimum on Nimh.

Edit : I actually made a bunch of measurements a while ago, I forgot about it :

Lower flux but it’s 4000K.

gchart
gchart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 30 min ago
Joined: 03/19/2016 - 11:57
Posts: 3333
Location: Central IL

nice tests, thefreeman!

Quadrupel
Quadrupel's picture
Online
Last seen: 9 min 38 sec ago
Joined: 12/03/2017 - 10:40
Posts: 1144
Location: Lithuania
UI is really simple and user friendly. This kind off UI should be standard for all headlamps and EDC.
varbos
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 02/16/2017 - 07:36
Posts: 651

I got some E02 and E03 v1 models a few years ago, they are very good. Very low moonlight.

For a low-output flashlight I prefer the reflector of the v1 models, rather than a beaded TIR.