This is my review of the Lumintop FWAA flashlight.
The flashlight was originally presented in this group buy thread (still active in the moment I’m writing/posting the review).
I bought my flashlight (Nichia 4000K 90CRI) along with a Vapcell H10 from www.nealsgadgets.com (non-affiliated), with the code provided in that thread. Besides the one I bought, Neal kindly sent me a review sample (5000K 70CRI), which I will also show in this review.
Thank you Neal for the fast shipping (10 days from shipping to arrival) and also for the extra flashlight
EDIT: DISCLAIMER: I don’t do runtime, lumens or candela measurements. If this is important information for you, please consider searching other sources of information. Or…buy yourself the flashlights and the tools for that Thanks for understanding!
Body Colour: Grey
Emitters: 3 x Nichia 4000K 90CRI & 5000K 70 CRI ( other options: CREE XP-G3 (6500K) / Nichia 219C (3000K) / SST20 (4000K) )
Lens: Glass, AR Coated
Optic: Triple TIR Optic
Battery: 3.7V 14500 Li-Ion (max 50.5mm)
Switch: Electronic Tail Switch
Max runtime: NA
Max beam distance: 95m
Max output: 1200 to 1400 lumens
Impact resistance: NA
Low Voltage Warning: Yes (detailed below)
Reverse Polarity Protection: NO
PACKAGE: Flashlight and Accessories
The FWAA flashlights arrived in a thick white box Lumintop branded. In the bottom there is a sticker indicating the LEDs type. Inside, the flashlight and accessories are well protected by foam.
The box contains: FWAA flashlight, 1 lanyard, 2 o-rings, 1 cigar grip ring, 1 user manual, and a card indicating the correct polarity. The flashlight has already installed a pocket clip, and with mine I bought a Vapcell H10 battery, as an extra.
For those who know me in what concerns flashlights, it is already obvious that I like AA/14500 flashlights, and that I was an enthusiast of the FW3A flashlight. So…if you combine both, it is an immediate win for me
This FWAA is a compact version of the FW3A, with similar body, just “shrunk” into a more pocketable and EDC’able flashlight!
- compact, being even shorter than the DQG Slim Ti AA which was the smallest AA light with a tail switch I own and know
- lightweight, even if not “feather-weight”
- well machined, without any visible imperfections
- pleasant to the touch, with a good anodizing and the knurling helping on the grip
Looking at its constitution, what can be said from the top to the bottom?
- the bezel can be unscrewed to have access to the LEDs
- the bezel has some etching/engravings, on the one side the “HOT” and Lumintop logo, and on the other the FWAA and the flashlight serial number
- there is a glass AR coated lens, with an o-ring below it that keeps it well secured
- outside the head, below the threads, there is also another sealing o-ring
- the TIR optic is smaller than the Carclo 105XX optics, so it is probably an less know TIR or a made by request one
- the TIR is slightly “frosted” not as the Carclo 10508 but more like a 10511
- the LEDs seem well reflowed, although on the 5000K there is one LED in which there seems to be an issue, which can only be seen in the lowest level of all and that doesn’t affect the beam
- the wires are well soldered (there were some solder blobs around but not on the leds), the MCPCB is quite thick, there is a screw to “fixate” the MCPCB in place, and there is grey thermal paste under it
- I didn’t unsolder nor removed the driver, but it can be seen that there is a retaining ring that holds it in place, and the spring seems a tough one to prevent contacts between battery and driver’s chips
- as known, there is a signal tube inside the host tube, which has both edges unanodized
- there are o-rings in each tip of the host tube, which also has unanodized threads and edges
- in the tail cap, outside can be seen a metal button with the “bunny” logo :heart_eyes: and inside it can also be seen a retaining ring to hold the switch in place (I didn’t disassemble the tailcap)
- the spring on the tail switch is also tough
- the threads on both sides are square and arrived slightly lubricated
- the pocket clip and the cigar grip ring can only be attached from the tailcap side, and both can have a lanyard attached
- the pocket clip is double sided to allow pocket carry and cap carrying , headlamp style
- the cigar grip ring provides a good…grip, it doesn’t get “stuck” in one position, it can be rotated or allow the flashlight rotation
You can attach it to different points in the pocket clip, and also in the cigar grip ring.
It is well made, allows dual sided use and, as far as I could test, it provides good retention on jeans pockets.
CIGAR GRIP RING
I confess, I was nor enthusiastic about this accessory, but I am now admitting that it works well in the FWAA specially because this is a small flashlight and sometimes getting a good grip can be harder. It makes the flashlight bulkier, though, and does not provide retention on a pocket. Maybe using it with a lanyard can be a better option!
Talking about being a small flashlight, here are its’ weight and dimensions!
A delicate point mentioned on freeme’s thread was the batteries indicated for this flashlight. You know, being a higher drain flashlight is preferable if you want to obtain the max output. Currently, Shockli and Vapcell make the best 14500 batteries in the market (high drain and high capacity). Just be sure you get them in the right format, as seen bellow.
I tried some of the 14500s I have and these are the ones that worked, portrayed in the photos.
Shockli H10 IMR 14500 1050mAh 12A – unprotected flat top
Vapcell H10 INR 14500 1000mAh 10A - unprotected flat top
Efest IMR 14500 650mAh 9.75A - unprotected flat top
Sofirn 14500 900mAh - unprotected button top (shorter than the other cells)
Sanyo UR14500P 800mAH - unprotected flat top
These 2, unprotected button top Vapcell Gold and Vapcell H10,
didn’t work as they are too long for the FWAA flashlight.
EDIT: After further tests, they worked in the flashlights *BUT they produced slight bents on the springs. I wouldn’t advise using these longer button top cells on the FWAA. Please refer to this post: “REVIEW”: Lumintop FWAA – 14500 – Anduril 2 – Triple Nichia 4000K & 5000K [Pic Heavy] - #60 by MascaratumB
USER MANUAL and USER INTERFACE
Well, I will not enter the details on the user interface of this flashlight. I could go step by step, but
a) that would take all the fun of experimenting and experiencing that
b) I am not completely familiarized with it yet :zipper_mouth_face:
c) I am sure many of you are already familiarized with the Anduril version, so the Anduril 2 has some new and different features, that you’ll learn fast :student:
You can also learn more from it in the source: http://toykeeper.net/torches/fsm/anduril2/anduril-manual.txt
As I am still learning and going through some configurations of this flashlight, I wasn’t able yet to see it all and to give a full opinion about it, but I can tell that I really like this UI and that it suits this flashlight pretty well
As always, I do some flashlight comparison to show how the reviewed flashlight looks like!
In this FWAA, besides looking good, I don’t get tired of saying “it is even smaller than the DQG Slim Ti AA” and even the Enogear SS !
Vs GT Nano
Vs Tool AA 2.0 Panda White
Vs Convoy S2+ 18500
Vs Enogear and DQS Slim Ti AA
Vs Sofirn SP10A and Skilhunt M150
Vs Acebam TK15 and Olight S1R Baton II
Vs RovyVon A23 and On The Road 311
Vs Jaxman E3, Sofirn SF14 and Convoy T2
Vs FW3A and FW1A
Cute, ain’t it? :heart_eyes:
Time for some beamshots, indoor and outdoor, and some tint comparison.
No PWM detectable by human eye as far as I can tell.
Minimum range I could get was indoors, about 1 to 1.5m. Outdoor, the maximum range out be 60-70m .
Regarding the tints, I am inclined to say that I prefer the 4000K, it has a warmer tint, better colour rendition and I can relate more easily with it, specially looking at my latest preferences in colour temperatures, between 3000K up to 5000K.
Despite this, the 5000K Nichias are also pleasant enough for my eyes and I could live with it perfectly. These have some more “greenish” tint on them, but not as much as SST20 5000K :confounded:
I would also like to see Nichias 5700K 90CRI on these lights, as it would probably make a “pure white” beam!
FWAAs: Nichia 219C 4000K 90CRI vs Nichia 219C 5000K 70CRI
Some outdoor beamshots to show how it lights the dark spaces around the house! It can reach something like 60-70m with “good” illumination, on max output but then it loses more range with this kind of LED.
A single led would certainly give more “throw” but could also lose some of the close range beauty that this light provides with its’ floody beam.
And now some tint comparison with other lights I like!
The comparison tints are on the right side of each photo. I will try to put my other Nichias side by side with it and see how these look like in comparison.
VS FW3A (XP-L HI 3D 5000K)
VS Convoy S6 (Luxeon V 4000K)
VS Convoy S2+ 18500 (Luxeon V2 3000K)
Well, this is juts an experience with the Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 diffuser. It works, not perfectly, but it can be used with this flashlight, as example, in candle mode. I also tried with the diffuser from the Wuben E05 and it works even better. I am sure it will have some use that way
WHAT A PAIR
Last but not least, both FWAAs side by side. The one in the right is the one that Neal sent as review sample (Nichia 5000K), which bought the same accessories as the one I bought, except the battery.
Well, as I mentioned before, I may be a bit biased about this/these flashlights, given that I like AA/14500 and that I like the FW3A and that Anduril firmware. With this warning you can guess that I don’t have much to say about the FWAA, besided what I mentioned before.
- In terms of aspects to improve, I guess heat (when used at max, the “real” max) would be a point to correct, but given that this is a pocket rocket it would eventually distort the purpose of the flashlight
- Also Reverse Polarity Protection should be introduced in this flashlight! I tested an inversed battery and it went hot within seconds. So, a major point to correct would be this one.
- Another thing, would be to remove the etching/engraving in the bezel, which is not completely bad, but I would prefer it without any marks.
- The last thing I would probably improve, would be the pocket clip, to have one that allows deep carry, such as the “Neal” clip for the FW3A.
- I would also like to see, as eventual accessories: a stainless steel bezel and a specific diffuser.
WHAT I LIKE (besides what I mentioned before)
- Concerning the parts I like, I do like the size, the weight, the texture/anodizing, the shape, the responsiveness of the tail button, the way it is built and secure inside (ex: retaining rings!), the tint and the different led options. :+1:
Other than this, I am really happy with this flashlight. And now I’ll go through the UI chart to learn all the Anduril 2 stuff!
Thanks to all involved in the work, thanks freeme and Neal for the code, and thanks Neal for sending the review sample too
If you have comments or questions let them come!