This is my first review attempt on the forum!
I don’t have enough expertise, knowledge or tools to provide a “full review”, so this one will focus just on some of this flashlight characteristics.
Feel free to ask questions if you want, and I’ll try to answer them the best I can!! :+1:
More or less 1 month ago I found this flashlight in a AliExpress store. Having seen the specs, I sent a message to the seller asking if it would take 14500 Li-Ion batteries, and the answer was negative and that it would only take AA batteries. Still, I gave it a try.
When buying 2 of these small flashlights, another would be offered for free! So, today I got 3 flashlights! :money_mouth_face:
Link: https://tinyurl.com/ycvyfogs (non-Affiliate link, the original is huge)
Shipped in: July, 25th // Arrived in: August, 11th
Price(for 2 lights, with seller and AliExpress coupons): 27,95€ (got 1 free light, so the price was below 10€ each)
Name: Stainless Steel Cree XPG3-S3 :question:
Material: Stainless Steel (body; deep and integrated pocket clip)
Emitter: Cree XPG3-S3
Batteries used: AA (I’ll talk about this later… :exclamation: )
User interface: Low-Medium-High. (Full click to get it ON; half or full press to switch mode; full press for OFF; full press and a quick press for ON will enter the next mode; always starts on LOW; doesn’t have strobe, SOS or other blinky modes) :+1:
It arrived well packed and protected, no scratch outside or inside!
Each flashlight and extras arrived in an individual tough cardbox, with a brand sticker on top and an identifying sticker on the back side.
In each box I found a flashlight, a spare switch and a spare o-ring (for the head).
Very well made, no scratches, very soft to touch, but also a bit heavy. With a battery inside it is heavier than a Manker E11 or a Sofirn SF10, both AA lights.
Size comparion with: Convoy S2+ / Sofin SF10 / Manker E11 (with magnet in the tail) / Amutorch
The front and LED
It uses a TIR plastic lens that produces a narrow beam.
Considering the specs, it uses a Cree XPG3-S3, that seems legit. However, I’m not a LED expert, so…I’m just following the specs!
Everything seem seems well centered, but due to the opacity of the lens, I cannot tell it accurately!
It has a sealing ring in the head, above the lens!
Some details on the lens…
The tint is not greenish as it seems here, no way! The human eye perceives a blue or white tint, not green (at least not like the Zanflare F1).
But…this is the only way I can show them to you, and I just have a cellphone to take some pictures… Sorry about this!
Low and Medium mode have PWM on the photos, both using Ni-MH and 14500 Li-Ion batteries. High mode doesn’t have PWM.
The tint is more Cool White looking, more than a Convoy S2+ XML2 U2-1A, towards the “blue”.
This aspect was what disappointed me the most, the thint, but I guess this is an issue that can be surpassed with a few mods
Pictures taken with cellphone at 40cm from a white wall, and 5cm above a white surface!
Tint and beam Comparison (Amutorch / Manker E11 / Sofirn SF10)
The tailswitch and pocket clip
It has a metal (SS?) reverse click switch.
It can be easily disassembled through the outside of the tail, taking the pocket clip out and then unscrewing the metal part of the switch.
The switch is inside and gets out easily too. It seems very well made, and has a sealing o-ring.
The pocket clip has a specific space to be screwed in, and there is also space to put a lanyard.
The Pill and Driver
The pill is made in aluminum and it is not very thick.
Its extraction was bit hard, it was really well screwed in! I used pointy metal tweezers to unscrew. The driver got a bit scratched, but it works properly!
I didn’t took the driver out, but I’ll do it eventually to swap it for a new one.
Concerning the batteries…well, the seller said it wouldn’t take 14500 batteries.
However, I tried it with a Sanyo 14500 (unprotected) and it worked.
But: a) on HIGH, the light got very hot, hotter than what I felt with Ni-MH battery; b) as this is a flat top battery and the driver doesn’t have a spring, I had to use a small magnet in the top of the battery.
Also, I don’t know if the driver holds a 14500 for a long period without frying…Maybe I’ll try that later, though
In terms of visible outputs, the differences are significative comparing the use of Ni-MH or 14500 cells.
Beam comparison between 2 of these Amutorch (AA Ni-MH vs 14500 Li-Ion) (1m from a white wall)
My overall appreciation
Yes, I like these lights But, some small explanation points below:
Pros, or the reasons why I like these lights:
a) the size, as they are really portable, thin and have a nice pocket clip to attach them wherever we want;
b) the host, as it is very good looking and with no remarkable machinig flaws;
c) versatility, as they can take AA alkaline, AA Ni-MH, and 14500 (despite with these it gets REALLY hot in a few moments)
d) damn, they are really good looking!! This is my first stainless steel light and I liked it a lot
e) having a free light when buying 2 of these or 1 of the bigger lights on that store! Really cool, thanks to the seller!
Not so “pros”, or some reasons that I didn’t appreciate that much:
a) the tint, as it is more Cold White than Neutral or Warm White, and on a light like this I would prefer other (warmer) tints as this will be a indoor light or close range light;
b) the TIR lens, that narrows the beam and I’d prefer to have a wider one more “spread”;
c) pill, it is thin aluminium, not copper, and it seems to let the heat pass a lot to the head. Maybe this is because of the body in stainless steel, though
d) o-rings, are a bit fragile, those in the connection between the head and the body. I’m glad they sent a spare ring for each light!
e) the mode spacing, as I’d like to have a lowest low mode, whatever was the used battery.
Options to mod
1) probably I’ll change the driver and put a driver like those used in Reylights. Despite the driver is 15mm and the pill base is 14,5mm, I think that filling it a bit well help the driver to fit the pill! But, further measures have to be taken
2) If I can find one, I’ll replace the lens for a OP reflector, or,
3) If I can find one, I’ll replace the lens for a lens that allows a wider beam
4) eventually, change the LED tint if it starts to annoy me
Sorry for not having numbers of lumens or decent photos for the beams, but this is all cellphone power, no cameras here!
Hope this helps those interested in the flashlight! :+1: