“REVIEW” – Fenix E12 V2.0 – 1xAA flashlight – 160 lumens - Dissassembly [PIC HEAVY]


This is my review of the Fenix E12 V2.0 flashlight.

The flashlight was sent for review by the store Flashlightbrand.com without other compensation than keeping the flashlight and accessories and without asking for a positive review. Thanks Simon !

If you want to buy this or other lights, you can check it/them at the store, in the following links (non-affiliate):
Store: www.flashlightbrand.com

Fenix E12 V2.0: Best Fenix E12 V2.0 MATCH CA18 LED 160 Lumens AA EDC Lights on sale - Flashlightbrand.com

Fenix Series: Best Fenix Flashlights on sale - Flashlightbrand.com

Use the code NEW10 for 10% discount on their website :wink:

Since there are plenty reviews of the E12 V2.0 online, and this is not a brand new model, I will not post other links for YT or websites.

Body Colour:Black
Emitter: MATCH CA18 (cool white)
Material: Aluminium alloy A6061-T6; HAIII anodizing
Lens: Textured TIR (Automobile ultrathin optical lens coating process)
Battery: 1.2V or 1.5V AA batteries (alkaline or Ni-MH)
Switch: Tail Reverse Clicky Switch
Low Voltage Indication: Yes (visual drop in lumens)
Max runtime: 70 hours
Max beam distance: 68 m
Max output: 160 lumens
Candela: 1133 candela
Waterproofness: IP68
Impact resistance: 1 m
Reverse Polarity Protection: Yes, physical, in the diver

Let’s start this!

So, if you are searching for a SMALL - really SMALL - AA flashlight, the Fenix E12 V2.0 may be an option! Both for you or for someone that is seeking a simple and straightforward UI or not familiarized with complicated UIs.

I will present you some of my positive considerations, beforehand, about the Fenix E12 V2.0:

- it is compact

- it is lightweight

- it always starts on Low

- it has 3 modes!

- it has no blinkies

- it only takes AA batteries (1.2V or 1.5V, alkaline or Ni-MH rechargeable)

- it has a clean floody beam

- it comes with a dual sided pocket clip

  • it has a great anodizing

At the same time, I will tell you about some things I see as less positive, for my taste, but that may not be completely negative for others:

- it has a Cool White emitter

- it has a glued tailcap and glued driver

  • it has a press fit bezel

Well, by now you can see that the pros and more than the cons for me in this flashlight! And even the cons didn’t not stop me from a) liking it and b) making it better :sunglasses:

I will show you what the package brings, how the flashlight looks like, and how it behaves in terms of beamshots!

PACKAGE: Flashlight and accessories

The package of the Fenix E12 V2.0 flashlight has it all:

- Fenix E12 V2.0

- 1.5V AA alkaline battery

- spare o-ring

- lanyard

- pocket clip

- user manual

  • warranty card

Along with the package I also received some cards from www.flashlightbrand.com indicating their 10% discount!
The box, itself, has some quick information in the front and in the back that sums up almost all the important specs you may need to know about the flashlight.

Taking a look at the flashlight, it has a simple but good looking design :wink:

From the top to the bottom, this is what it has:

  • first, the flashlight has only 2 parts - head + battery tube & tailcap, but I managed to “unglue” and open it to check all the components

- the bezel is probably of stainless steel, and is coated in a copper like colour; it is press fit, no threading

- below the bezel there is a thin transparent o-ring, that makes a cushion to the AR Coated glass lens

- under the lens we have the textured TIR optic, surrounded by a rubber black o-ring for waterproofness

- as for the MCPCB, it is made of copper, it is probably DTP, and is less than 1mm thick and around 15,77mm wide; given the size of the LED footprint, this is probably a custom PCB

- the LED is a Cool White emitter, named MATCH CA18, which I never heard about and of which I can’t find information; I surely can tell, though that it has a small footprint and it is also very small

- the shelf has 4 holes, 2 for the driver’s wires and 2 for screws that keep the MCPCB in place

- in the lower and part of the head, we find the driver, which is around 16mm diameter, with 2 small flaps, and which is glued from the inside; the driver only takes button top batteries, since it has 2 brass buttons around the positive pole to prevent contact with the rest of the surface and with the 5 flashing contacts

- the head has the dreaded “HOT” warning engraved; it has 4 vertical grooves and has some knurling near the bottom

- the battery tube has square threads on both sides and it has 2 sealing o-rings (one on each side); it is not reversible

- the Serial Number is engraved in the upper part of the tube, above the horizontal thin knurling and on the way to the threads that fit the head

- along the knurling, it is engraved “Fenix E12”

- on the bottom of the tube, there is a groove for the pocket clip;

- the pocket clip is quite sturdy and allows good carry and retention, although one part is quite narrow to fit thicker fabric; it is a dual sided clip, allowing different placements in clothes, backpacks, caps, hats, etx

- as for the tailcap …well, it was well glued, it has vertical thin knurling, and on the inside we find a reverse clicky switch on a 15,7mm PCB, which has a small, flexible but resistant spring and reinforced brass contacts in the outer layer; above the switch there is a black plastic gasket, a metal spacer and the rubber button with a customized “F”

- both the tailcap and the pocket clip have 2 lanyard holes

- it allows tailstanding, which is nice :wink:

The flashlight disassembled and some details and measurements!
BTW, I used a lighter to heat the tailcap, leather straps and pressure pliers to open it. I made a small damage in the tailcap knurling but is barely noticeable, since the anodizing is quite strong! :laughing:

As for the head, I used a work knife to take the bezel and the head internals out, and from there I unsoldered the MCPCB and with a toothpick I pressured the driver from the top :wink:

Taking a look at the dimensions and weight of the Fenix E12 V2.0! It is reaaally compact and light :wink:

As for the accessories, I won’t take much time with them. The lanyard is Fenix branded on the plastic part. The o-ring …is an o-ring.

The battery is a 1.5V AA alkaline battery, Pairdeer branded, whatever that means! I find it funny to send an alkaline battery, but the truth is, one may not have it, and after all the flashlight is supposed to use them, or Ni-MH 1.2V rechargeable batteries.
Positive pole goes towards the head :stuck_out_tongue:

As for the User Manual, it presents information in English, Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, German, and Russian. I guess this is also representative of the reach of Fenix flashlights’ throughout the years, no? :wink:
Now it can have Portuguese as well :innocent:

Click to see bigger images


Unlike other flashlights with complex INTERFACE, the Fenix E12 V2.0 is a really straightforward in terms of usability.
It has no mode memory, so it always starts on Low (unless really quick presses ON>OFF>ON are made…)

LEVELS = Low > Medium > High > L > M > H…

- From OFF: full click > turns the light ON (on the lowest mode)

- From ON: full click > turns the light OFF

- While ON: half presses = change levels in the sequence L > M > H > L > M…

As for the OUTPUT and RUNTIME, I would say that getting 70h at 5 lumens from an AA battery, is good enough! Similar flashlights with more or less similar specs have less expected runtime (see the Skilhunt E2A, or the Lumintop EDC15). Other will have tremendous runtimes on lower Low levels, such as the Wuben E18.

Despite this, in my perspective the three levels are not well spaced, as I feel that the Medium level could be slightly higher if compared with Low. Maybe the TIR optic has some influence on this, once the beam is very wide and not “focused”. This gives an illusion of lower output. However, I feel that a better spacing would be interesting.

When using the flashlight on High for a longer period of time, of course some heat will be felt, but it is not a big amount since using an AA alkaline will not produce a huge amount of heat (as opposed to a Lithium-Ion cell), and since the output will drop within some time.

I didn’t do a test on this specs, though, since it is not a worry for me to have this flashlight on High for a long period of time, given its specs. Even for a non-enthusiast, this is a safe flashlight at that level.


Now I will just put here a bunch of photos comparing the Fenix E12 V2.0 to other flashlights! Just because :wink:

Sofirn C01 > Lidl AAA Zoomie > Fenix E12 V2.0 > “BLF 348”(hc-lights.fi) >Olight i3T EOS

Vs Olight S1R Baton II



Vs Lumintop Frog

VS some AAs
Convoy T2 > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 > Enogear SS > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 (magnetic tailcap) > Fenix E12 V2.0 > Lumintop FW1AA > DQG Slim Ti AA > FWAA

Vs AAs
Alonefire X360 > Jaxman E3 > Convoy T2 > Nitefox ES10K > Nitecore D10 > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 > Amutorch S3 > Skilhunt M150 > Manker E11 > Sofirn SP10 Pro (modded) > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 (magnetic tailcap) > Fenix E12 V2.0 > Lumintop FW1AA > DQG Slim Ti AA > FWAA

Vs Textured TIR optics
Wuben G2 and Wuben H3

Vs Olight Warrior Mini

Vs my EDC Knife (Sanrenmu 7010 LUY-SHF)


First, there is no PWM on this flashlight.

Second, the beam is, of course, Cool White, not hideous, but not the best if you like Neutral or Warm white.

Third, it doesn’t have many artifacts, unless you put the flashlight against a white wall and try to see the yellowish that is generated. I would say that it would not be the normal use of a flashlight, so in general terms that shift won’t make a difference when using the flashlight

Fourth, the beam is wide, as expected, due to the type of textured TIR optic. However, also due to the optic and due to the type of LED of the Fenix E12 V2.0, there is a kind of marked center or hotspot. Not like a flashlight with reflector, but it can be seen.

Let’s check the beam profile:

And the mentioned artifacts, which can only be noticed in this perspective:

Some tint comparisons (Fenix E12 V2.0 on the LEFT)

Wuben D2 (Osram P8 + Textured TIR)!

Olight S1R Baton II (Cree XM-L2 CW.+ TIR optic)

DQG Slim Ti AA (XPG2 + Pebbled TIR optic)

FW1AA (Osram W1 + SMO reflector)

FWAA (3x Nichia4000K + TIR optic)

Convoy T2 (Luxeon V2 3000K + OP reflector

Jaxman E3 (3x Nichia 5700K + TIR optic)


Olight S1R Baton II >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jaxman E3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Wuben D2

And now some outdoor beamshots! (Sorry for the quality, I need to check a better site to make GIFs :cry: )


Honestly, I wanted to have the Fenix E12 V2.0 for a while! So, when flashlightbrand.com reached me for this review, I was quite happy since I was able to chose it. Thanks Simon and Flashlightbrand.com !!!

It is not a recently launched flashlight, but it IS
simple to use,

This is a flashlight that can be given to a non-enthusiast, to someone that is looking for something simple but effective, without being a powerhouse or an headache to learn how to use.

I have a friend that likes going abroad and that likes adventures. Recently she was in Iceland and when she returned she told me
“I need a flashlight for my kit, something small, easy to use, not expensive, and that I can take to travels!”

I presented her different options with and without charging, using different types of batteries, different sizes and features and in the end she said: “
“That small one is what I need! Simple to use, small, and that takes AA batteries that I ca find easily when I am out of the country!”

Soon I will get one for her! :wink:

Could we get something cheaper? Yes, there are plenty, but without this quality!
Could we get something more powerful? Yes, but that would come with a tradeoff in terms of size (ex: Convoy T2)!

Again this is a solid option to use or gift to someone.

The cons of this light were mentioned above, are and mostly related to the

- Cool White emitter

- glued parts

  • press fit bezel

Apart from this, the fit and finish, the anodizing, the size, the reliability when in use, the good pocket clip, the tailstanding ability, are some of the features I like, besides the no blinkies and no memory mode :stuck_out_tongue:

For those who like to see videos, check my Youtube video review of this flashlight:

Thank you all for reading! If you have questions or remarks, let me know :wink:
:beer: :beer: :beer:

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Old Lumens Contest 2022 - Modified Light Category

Despite what I said about of the flashlight, I also wanted this light to transform it into something better (for me) :innocent:

That is why I modded the Fenix E12 V2.0 and transformed it into “The Bistrix Mule” that can be seen in this thread:

Here’s how it looks like now :wink:

And this is what it does :sunglasses:

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Thank you :wink:

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Thanks for the video man very good , i got it today and it's perfect and i use the Fenix ARB-L14-1600 which is a USB Rechargeable 14500 Li-ion Battery with 1.5V and 1600mAh and it works perfectly fine so far ! This is my 2nd flashlight from Fenix and im very pleased with the company !

I also have the Fenix WT25R so it's a perfect combo for me ! And also i made fabric pouches for both of them, so i can use them without any fear for scratches and dust... etc... !

How is it possible that this fine looking light doesn’t support 14500 3.7v cells?
I really like this size, but only if it’s more flexible with the cells it accepts.

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You can use the Fenix ARB-L14-1600 its a AA Li-ion 1.5V micro usb rechargeable battery !
So far i have no issues with both of them !

Thanks for sharing your experience with those cells TARTARA!
Although many people is probably looking to know if 3.7V cells work with this light, it is good to know that those 1.5V can be used.

As I’ve dismantled my Fenix to mod it, now I cannot test it with 3.7V Li-ion. But, I still have the driver and plant to use it in another flashlight and maybe I can try it there ! If it goes “puff” then I and you all will know that they can or cannot be used in the original Fenix :stuck_out_tongue:

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Nothing at all man !

Any idea what the footprint of the LED is? Did a SST-20 swap on a E20 V2.0 and it turned out good but not great. Would LOVE a 519a E12v2… What method did you use to remove the lens retaining ring?

Hum, I am not sure about the footprint because I never saw a led like this before, but in the images below I can give you a notion of how “small”.
I hope it helps in some way!

As for the retaining ring I used a “work knife” to pry it open, just like we can do in Olights.
Next to an SST20

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Maybe it’s interchangeable with E17A :thinking:

Great photos MascaratumB :+1:

Im guessing you could install one on its own 16mm mcpcb, so you do not have to match an LED to the solder pads on stock mcpcb

the kaidomain mcpcb is probably 0.5 mm thicker, but hopefully the screws will still fit or your could use double sided adhesive thermal tape to hold the mcpcb down, or use thermal epoxy for a permanent attachment. I have used both, in other lights, and imo the thermal tape is easier to work with, and just as effective

the 16mm mcpcb may need a very small amount of diameter reduction… a sanding drum on a dremel would make quick work of that

the other anticipated issue is the dome of the 519a might not fit the small opening in the optic, I think you could solve this by dedoming.

I hope you share results if you try the mod

I have a friend with an E12 and I would like to put a 660nm red SST 20 in it for him. it has a much smaller dome than the 519a, so might fit the optic without crushing the dome

Thank you jon_slider :wink:

I guess that won’t work because there is few space inside the head.
I would actually suggest this: 6.74€ |Nvsw519at 519a r9080 2700k 3000k 3500k 4000k 4500k 5000k auf speziellem Kupfer dtp mcpcb für t2 t3| | - AliExpress

It is a Convoy copper PCB with a Nichia 519, which will probably fit better, both in diameter and in height.
I am not sure if it will hold well in place, with the optic pressure maybe it will.

BUT there is also anothe issue, related to how the optic matches the led.
If the led dome is too tall, it may get pressed by the inner part of the optic.
I just tried a Luxeon V2, is too tall and has that issue. Eventually a 519a is less tall or maybe it can be dedomed for this purpose.

I do not think the flat optic in this design applies any direct pressure to the mcpcb

the Fenix design appears to be similar to this HS10. The optic does not touch the mcpcb:

that is why the mcpcb needs to be held down w screws or adhesive.

I agree there may be issues with 519a dome height, that could be solved by dedoming

Hum, I am not sure if I agree, jon_slider :wink:

According to this thread (Sofirn HS10 emitter swap - #12 by Verodin):

but that is something that doesn’t happen with the Fenix.

The Fenix has a pressed bezel (not screwed in) + o-ring + lens + optic + PCB.

And the optic has 3 very short legs, unlike the one from HS10, which is flat in the bottom.
Also, in the photo below, it can be seen that the “egde” in the Fenix, where the optic sits, is lower than in the HS10, making a tight fit and provoking contact between the optic and the PCB.

While there seens to be a gap between PCB and optic in the HS10, in the Fenix they are in contact.

The screw that the Fenix has is to keep the PCB in place to prevent it from rotating (not lifting), since the driver has no retaining ring (it is just “fit and glued” to a small rim inside the head structure) and could rotate freely and tear the wires.


good info! I agree there are no legs on the HS10 optic,

thanks for clarifying that the Fenix optics has legs that press down on the mcpcb,

and the screws are only to prevent the mcpcb from rotating, not to provide down pressure on the mcpcb

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I’m glad the information was useful :wink:

In these small lights, small details can make a difference :wink:

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