EDIT 1: Post#4 - Videos with User Interface Demonstration
EDIT 2: Post #14 - Summary of User Interface Features
EDIT 3: Post #21 - Beamshots Night Beamshots and Comparison
EDIT 4: Post#25 - Mod Mod: Luxeon V2 5000K
This is my review of the Skilhunt M150 flashlight, a small and lightweight AA/14500 flashlight!
The flashlight was sent by Skilhunt for review with no other compensation than the flashlight itself and the accessories! Thanks Skilhunt!
Below you find how the flashlight looks like and my honest and unbiased appreciation!
Here’s the official product page: https://www.skilhunt.com/product/m150-usb-magnetic-rechargeable-flashlight/
And here you find some “introduction” videos by Skilhunt:
User Interface: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s6cw61sO44
Drop Tests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9fdKIo85HA
There is an on-going discussion thread about the Skilhunt UIs here: https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/72845
So far I couldn’t find other reviews of this light. When I do, I will add them to this thread.
Body Colour: Black
Other colours: Blue (bezel and rings on the e-switch and charging “port”)
Material: Aluminum (Type Ⅲ Anodization, rugged and anti-scratch finishing)
Emitter: Cree XP-L2 (Cool White)
Reflector: Orange Peel (OP)
Lens: Glass AR Coated Lens
Battery: 1 x 14500 Li-Ion (recommended) or 1 x AA / 1 x Ni-MH
Working Voltage: 0.8V – 4.2V
Switch: Side E-Switch
Charging: Magnetic in a side port, through proprietary cable
Max runtime: 50 Days (800mAh 14500 Li-Ion) / 55 Days (2450mAh Ni-MH)
Max beam distance: 110 meters / 61 meters
Max output: 750 lumens / 240 lumens
Candela: 3000cd / 930cd
Impact resistance: 1 m (well, you can see in the videos that it held higher drops )
Low Voltage Warning: YES (to be described below)
Reverse Polarity Protection: YES
Others (specified on the User Manual or the product online page)
- Intelligent temperature control technology
- High efficiency driver circuit
Other characteristics will be mentioned and/or described below.
PACKAGE: THE FLASHLIGHT & ACCESSORIES
The Skilhunt M150 arrived in a Skilhunt branded cardboard box, which contains information about the emitter colour in the front and some overall specifications and User Interface diagrams in the back. This box was well protected with foam and tape to prevent damages during shipping.
Inside we find a plastic holder for the M150 flashlight and below there is a paper holder for the accessories. The overall package includes: Skilhunt M150, 1 Skilhunt branded 800mAh - 3.6V - 2.88Wh - 14500 Li-Ion battery, user manual, 2 o-rings, pocket Clip, Skilhunt branded lanyard, magnetic charging cable.
Let’s see the flashlight!
This thing is small and lightweight! Besides this, it is a good looking flashlight, with an “Olight” touch, mainly due to the blue bezel and the blue rings around the switch and the charging port.
The flashlight is composed by 3 parts (head, battery tube and tailcap) but the head & tube are glued, so I couldn’t separate them!
At the first sight we see there is grippy horizontal knurling in the battery tube. It is not the common diamond of pineapple knurling. In the head it has some cooling fins above the switch/charging port. The tailcap also has thin vertical knurling.
In the front, the M150 has the side e-switch covered by a hard plastic cap with a led indicator in its center. Around, there is a blue metal ring; below, the Skilhunt logotype, and above the “HOT” triangle!
In the back, it has a round magnetic charging port, also with a blue metal ring around it! Above, the CE confirmation and below, the flashlight model and the manufacturer website address.
On the top, the head has a blue bezel with 3 grooves. Below, an AR Coated lens, a Orange Peel aluminium reflector, an o-ring at the side if the reflector and a white 3535 gasket to help the reflector sitting around the XP-L2 Cool White emitter.
The LED sits on a specific Skilhunt MCPCB that is probably copper with 1.2-1.5 mm thickness. I didn’t take it out so I cannot confirm this. Also, I can’t confirm the diameter.
A Led “special macro”
In the battery tube, outside we see that it has the horizontal knurling and also 2 grooves for the pocket clip. It can be said, then, that the clip can be reversed, allowing the head to be upwards or downwards (or front / back, depending on the position we fixate it!). Inside the tube there is a yellow sticker indicating the correct polarity of the batteries. In the end of the tube, we can see the driver, which has no spring, only a slightly protruding brass button and something I cannot specify on its side.
Threads arrived well lubbed and there is an o-ring to prevent water infiltration between the tube and the tailcap. The egde of the tube is non-anodized, what allows physical lock-out!
On the bottom, there is a magnetic tailcap. Inside it has a thick spring above a strong round neodymium magnet. The tailcap has 2 holes to insert a lanyard. It is flat so it allows tailstanding!
The magnetic tailcap is quite strong and it “glues” to almost every possible metallic surface. Skilhunt advises to use a rubber cap/pad if using the flashlight in the pocket along with magnetic bank cards, cellphone or other damageable materials.
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Lightweight, as I said
And short and slim-ish!
The lanyard in this package is a Skilhunt branded lanyard with a wrist adjuster. It is black with light blue letters. It came with a thin blue thread on the tip to help passing the thinner thread into the tailcap holes.
The battery included in this pack is a Skilhunt branded 800mAh - 3.6V - 2.88Wh - 14500 Li-Ion battery. It is a button top protected battery for high drain device and it is stated as 2A max continuous discharge. I didn’t do any test on this. I can only say it arrived with about 3.75V.
There was a plastic pad between the negative pole and the spring to avoid discharging or accidental activation during shipping.
This battery is longer than my unprotected Sanyo, Efest and Sofirn, but it is shorter than the protected and with USB port Wuben battery. BTW, this is the only battery – from the ones I have - that doesn’t fit nor work in the M150.
In comparison with Ni-MH and AA alkalines, this cell is longer, despite it is slimmer, fitting better than the others in the tube.
The pocket clip was not in the flashlight when it arrived. It’s shape is similar to the one of the Lumintop Tool AA / Tool 25 and even the DQG Slim Ti. It can be used in both grooves in the battery tube, allowing to use the flashlight in different positions. Contrarily to what I expected, it looks better on this light than on the Tool AA
The magnetic charging cable included in this package can be seen as “proprietary” as it is not a common micro USB or USB-C cable. It resembles a bit like some charges from Klarus, Amutorch and, with less comparison, Olight. It as a USB port that can be plugged into a wall charger, powerbank or computer, and has the magnetic part that will fit on the M150 port.
It has 2 LEDs inside: BLUE and RED. RED is for charging, BLUE is for charged or for empty flashlight (no battery inside).
The User Manual states that:
“Rechargeable function only for on 14500 (3.6V / 3.7V) rechargeable lithiu battery!”
This way, I assume that Ni-MH are not rechargeable inside this flashlight!
The User Manual is written in 2 languages, English and Chinese. To be honest, Skilhunt may need some help with the English part, despite most of the information can be understood. However, in some parts it gest confuse.
Depsite all the information the UM presents, there is other than only the M150 online official page has. I would like to see that information (that may be seen as publicity by some…) on the manual, as it should be as complete as possible.
The Manual presents the overall Specifications; Operation ( Battery Installation & Replace magnet; Turn ON / OFF & Mode Transfer, Location indicator & Lock-Out Function; Power Indicator and Low Voltage Indications, Charging instructions and notices ), plus User Interface Diagram and Warranty information. (click the photo to enlarge if needed)
CHARGING PROCESS & VOLTAGE INDICATION
The charging process happens when the magnetic charger is connected to the magnetic port in the side of the flashlight.
When charging the LED on the charger head will be RED; when almost fully charged, it will be BLUE. Please note:
a) the charger LED will turn BLUE before it reaches the 4.2V!
b) according to specs, Ni-MH batteries shall not be charged inside the flashlight!
The Voltage Indication Led is activated during 5 seconds when the flashlight is turned ON. During this period, this is what may happen:
CONSTANT BLUE – Battery between 100–80
BLINKING BLUE - Battery between 80–50
CONSTANT RED - Battery between 50–20
BLINKING RED - Battery below 20%
When the battery is below 3.0V, the indicator LED will flash 3 times every 2 seconds.
NOTE 1: The battery indication works only with 14500 Li-Ion batteries! I tried it with AA Alkalines and Ni-MH and the switch LED doesn’t activate!! So…careful with Ni-MH cells inside! 3.6V/3.7V Li-Ion cells are recommended!
NOTE 2: I didn’t do any test to see at which voltage the blinking BLUE and the REDs activate. When I do, I will post the data.
The Skilhunt has what can be a called “Double User Interface”, constituted by the Group Mode A and the Group Mode B. I will describe below the operation and composition of each group.
Although it is not simple in the paper, it is simpler when using!
It is also important to say that this flashlight has a mix of “last level memory” and “no memory”.
It has electronic lock-out (despite physical lock-out is also possible).
NOTE: According to Skilhunt schemes for this light, let’s consider that the L/M/H/T with 1 are the higher outputs and those with 2 are the lower.
Composition Group Mode A :
- 8 output levels: Low 2 – Low 1 / Mid 2 – Mid 1 / High 2 – High 1 / Turbo 2 – Turbo 1
- 3 special modes (S1 – Flash, S2 – Signaling beacon, S3 - Strobe)
- Single click from OFF = turns ON (in the last memorized level)
- Single click from ON = advances in the memorized output levels in the sequence L > M > H > T > H > M > L
- Press 0,5s from ON = turns OFF from any mode
- Press 0,5s from OFF = enters L1 or L2 (depends on the memorized Low level)
- Double click from ON = alternates between the output (1 or 2) within a given level (L, M, H or T) and memorizes that output level for the cycling sequence.
- EX: LOW = When in L2 – the lowest mode – double click changes to L1. If after this there is a single click to advance level or if the light is turned OFF, the L1 will be memorized in the cycling sequence for the next time you use the Low level.
- Double click from OFF = enters Turbo 1 (the highest mode)
- After being on Turbo 1:
a) single clicks decreases brightness (From T to L) in the memorized output levels
b) double click alternates between T1 and T2
- After being on Turbo 1:
- Triple click from OFF or ON ( any mode) = enters Special modes (S1 - flash)
- After being on S1:
a) double clicks alternate between S1 > S2 > S3 > S1…
b) single click returns to the last regular output level used.
[ c) 4 clicks also return to the last regular output level used.]
- After being on S1:
Special modes “description”:
S1 = Flash = short flash each 1s. [blinks maybe in L1 brightness]
S2 = Signaling beacon = blinks every 0.5s [forgive if the times is not accurate; blinks maybe in M1 brightness]
S3 = Strobe = double frequency [blinks in maybe in H2 brightness]
This is how the progression between L2 > L1 > M2 > M1 > H2 > H1 > T2 > T1 > T2 > H1 > H2 > M1 > M2 > L1 > L2 looks like just above the led!
Composition Group Mode B :
- 5 output levels: Low 1 - Mid 1 – High 2 – High 1 – Turbo 1
- 1 special mode: SOS
- +Single click from OFF = turns ON (in the last memorized level)
- Single click from ON ( any mode) = turns OFF
- Press 0,5s from OFF = enters L1 (lowest level in this Group Mode sequence)
- Press and hold from ON = advances in this group mode sequence L1 > M1 > H2 > H1 > T1 > H1 > H2 > M1 > L1
- Double click from OFF = enters Turbo 1 (highest level in this Group Mode sequence)
- Double click from ON = enters SOS
This is how the progression between L1 > M1 > H2 > H1 > T1 > H1 > H2 > M1 > L1 looks like just above the led!
CHANGE BETWEEN GROUP MODES
From OFF, press the switch continuously for 5 seconds. The light will turn ON on LOW, momentarily, and then it will shut OFF again, and then within 2 seconds it will blink 3 times (while keeping the switch pressed). After these 3 blinks, the Group mode has changed.
This is the same process from A to B or B to A!
Lock-Out and Location Beacon
This flashlight has electronic lock-out. It is activated in the same way from both Group Modes (A or B).
LOCK: When the flashlight is OFF press & hold 1.5s-2s, the LED will turn ON momentarily and then will turn OFF, locking the light.
UNLOCK: When the flashlight is OFF press & hold 2s-2.5s and the LED will turn ON in the lowest (memorized) level, unlocking the light. The LED stays ON after unlocking.
The location beacon is a very nice feature of this flashlight!!! When it is locked, single click on the switch and it will activate the RED LED under the switch that will flash each second. This allows to locate the light in the dark, and it also allows to check if it is locked or not A single click on the switch will de-activate it, in case you don’t want/need it!
The beacon can also be activated if the switch is pressed for 1.5s while the flashlight is OFF.
OUTPUT AND RUNTIME
I opted to retrieve this information from the User Manual as it becomes quite difficult to indicate each level runtime.
This seems to be a very regulated and efficient flashlight according to the specs. Having a Low level as low as 0.2 lumens gives this flashlight a big runtime, and having a Lower turbo for 3 minutes on max is also a great thing, taking into account the flashlight body and the type of battery used.
There are obvious differences between 14500 and Ni-MH cells. In case one prefers runtime over lumens this is surely a flashlight to get and to use with Ni-MH!! The only equivalent levels are L2 and L1. In the others, the amount of lumens is multiplied immediately when using a Li-Ion battery!
I didn’t make any heat vs runtime test to check if the 1m or 3m on turbo correspond to that time in reality. When I do, I will post my data.
Here are some photos for size comparison between this flashlight and others of my collection.
Sofirn SF14 > Convoy T2 > Jaxman E3 > Nitefox ES10K > Nitecore D10 > Amutorch S3 > Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 > Skilhunt M150 > DQG Slim Ti
Side Switch AA flashlights
Sofirn SP10B > Wuben E05 > Skilhunt M150 > Manker E11 (it is shorter but the magnet in the tail makes it taller currently)
My EDC lights
Klarus XT1C > Skilhunt M150 > Acebeam TK16
My Special ones
RovyVon E300s > FW3A > Skilhunt M150 > Convoy S2+ shorty > Emisar D4 shorty
My “blue collection”
Olight M2R Warrior > Amutorch AX1 > Skilhunt M150 > Convoy S2+ > Sofirn C01 > Olight S1R Baton I > RovyVon A2 > Olight M1t Raider (horizontal)
Due to my smartphone camera quality, beamshots in the dark (indoor) are getting harder and harder to do, specially ti portray how the flashlight beam really looks. So, for now, I will only add photos of the beam pattern with a 14500 battery.
Also, I will post some photos with tint comparison between this Skilhunt M150 and other flashlights.
Later I will add night beamshots, if possible comparing 14500 vs Ni-MH vs AA Alkaline.!
The beam has some greenish tint shift expected in due Cool White XP-L2 LED! It can be noticed in all output levels without exception. Even the Orange Peel reflector can’t disguise it…
On the edges of the spill it can be noticed the blue/purple reflection from the AR coated lens, although it is not very noticeable.
Sequence: L2 > L1 > M2 > M1 > H2 > H1 > T2 > T1
USE AS CANDLE
Having some many modes to chose from makes this light a candidate to use it as a “candle”. I doesn’t have the FW3A effect, but the different brightness levels are surely handy in a power outage situation! Here’s how it looks like with a small diffuser (from Wuben E05).
Sequence: L2 > L1 > M2 > M1 > H2 > H1 > T2 > T1
WB 4900K / ISO: 100 / Shutter: 1/125s
(Skilhunt M150 on the RIGHT)
Acebeam H20 (XP-L HI U6-4C)
“H-C 348” (Nichia NVSW219BT)
Wuben T70 (XHP70.2)
Klarus XT1C (XP-L HD V6)
FW3A – XP-L HI 3D
Acebeam TK16 (Triple Osram Whit Flat 1)
Lumintop Tool AA V2.0 (XP-L HD)
Manker E11 (XP-L HD Cool White)
Wuben E05 (Luxeon V 4000K)
Sofirn SP10B (XP-L HI U6-3A)
Convoy S2 (Osram White Flat 1)
So, what do I think about this flashlight? My impressions are overall positive, but there are some things I would definitely improve!
But I do consider this a fantastic light for EDC, it has the quality and features for that!!
1 – The size and weight. This is a small flashlight, very lightweight making it good for EDC without being very noticed on the jeans or even in a shirt! It fits well in the hand and not being a tube light, it allows some grip and ergonomics.
I must also mention that due to the head shape, in case you don’t find the switch with the thumb, you’ll find it with the index finger. So, even looking awkward, it really is a nice “feature”.
2 – Overall construction. As seen in the video from Skilhunt and for the period I have this light, it as an elegant but solid construction. Different types of knurling, good matte anodizing, possibility to reverse pocket clip, cooling fins, different design, the blue rings and bezel, all make this flashlight an excellent compromise between looks and functionality!
3 – Precise functioning. Sometimes the switches don’t work as they were supposed, and sometimes there is a discrepancy between specs and activation in reality. Skilhunt made this switch very precise o activate, the timing is as described for the different operation. This is a plus. Also, not taking long times to Turn ON / OFF, even when a “longer” press is required, makes it very useful and pleasant to work with.
4 – Versatile UI. The Double User Interface is a plus that this flashlight brings. Having the possibility to configure the output levels one wants/needs is excellent, specially concerning the lower levels. Also, having a “stable” UI to use if we don’t want to alternate between those “inner” output levels is a good thing. However, as will be addressed below, this may also be very confusing specially because of the way the sequences are established.
I must also mention that the shortcut to the lowest mode (from OFF) and the possibility to advance on the levels’s sequence from there is a very good thing, specially because this flashlight has memory.
5 – Magnetic charge. Ok, this will imply that we need to carry one extra cable to charge this flashlight. BUT, not having to deal with bad silicone covers to protect a charging port is a plus. For those worried with the exposition of the charging port, I used metal tweezers to “short” the charging port, and the only thing that happens is a very short sparkle. The light didn’t shut OFF when doing this. Also, under water there is no concern about this too. I put the flashlight in a glass with water and nothing happened.
6 - Runtime. 55 days on Ni-MH or 50 days on a 14500 battery, if using the Lowest mode is something than must be remarked. This flashlight is very efficient and will probably rival with the Wuben E05 in this aspect. The turbo is not as higher as could be but it offers a very good compromise or output vs runtime. We must be aware that this is a small and thin light that is not capable of handling heat as other more robust lights!
7 – Magnetic tailcap. This is a nice feature that many flashlights already have, but it is always handy. Also, combining this feature with the range of output levels the M150 has is a very good option for a work light of for a bedroom light. Stick it in a metal surface and it’s done. Carefull, however, as the magnet may provoke damage on bank cards or devices that may be damaged due to magnetic influence.
8 – Location Beacon. It is also a plus from this light. I wish the blinking was in a lower luminous level, but it is good to have it. Lock the light, put it in a backpack and activate the indicator beacon! You’ll see where it is when searching for it. (Well, specially in the dark, of course )
9 – Lock-out. Having both physical and electronic lock-out is a thing I appreciate, specially due to the possible parasitic drain that this light may have (I didn’t measure yet).
10 - Accessories. Lanyard, pocket clip and battery! Basic but important stuff that I do appreciate. Specially the battery and the pocket clip Ehehe
The “suggestions to improve”:
1 – The User Interface. Above I mentioned that the UI versatility is a plus in the M150 and I confirm. However, the general mode sequence L>M>H>T>H>M>L is not the most “usual”. If only it gave the possibility to come down and the go up in the sequence without having to do it all the way down/up (as in a ramping UI), it would be better. Please do not see this as drawback, but it is indeed a different feature this flashlight has that could be changed. I hope Skilhunt takes in consideration the opinions given on the above mentioned thread about UI.
I do have to say, though, that this UI and this sequence is useful for some situations. When in Turbo, the passage to High is less “visually violent” than if it was as “moonlight” level. The eyes adapt easier in the increase/decrease brightness while in the dark. SO…this is not something I am quite sure it “needs to be changed”.
2 – The LED. Although XP-L2 is a powerful and efficient driver, the Cool White option provokes a huge tint shift that becomes unpleasant at least indoor. I still need to use it outdoor! A Neutral or Warmer LED would be a better choice, without compromising brightness. Also, despite the MCPCB of the M150 is quite good, it will not take some LEDs (ex: Luveon V, that would probably make the beam on this light gorgeous!), Maybe XP-L, Samsung or Luxeon V2 are better choices in case we want to replace the LED.
3 – The User Manual. Despite the information can be understood, the English language could be improved. The important information is passed, although other is also found on the official online page of the M150.
4 – The charging. This is mentioned by the manufacturer: the BLUE Led of the charger will turn ON when the battery is almost charged. However I would prefer it could only turn on in BLUE when the battery is at 4.2V. Of course the difference can be minimal if the battery is not full, but a more precise indication would be appreciated.
This is it! Later I will try to do some tests (output decrease on Turbo, temperature, parasitic drain), and also some comparison beamshots between Ni-MH, AA Alkaline and 14500. And comparison with other AA lights.
Thank you Skilhunt for sending this flashlight for review :THUMBS-UP:
For now, feel free to comment or question!