Review: Trustfire Z3 Zoomie Torch

Trustfire Z3

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★


Battery: 1x 18650 OR 3x AAA
Switch: Tailcap Clicky
Modes: 5 Mode (Hi-Med-Low-Strobe-SOS)
LED Type: 1x Cree XM-L T6 Emitter
Lens: 26.5mm Glass Concave Lens
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: $16.69
From: Ebay
Date Ordered: 27/07/12


  • Convenience of a Zoom Flashlight (Adjust light from Flood to Throw)
  • PWM is not noticable on any of the modes * Small size and Lightweight
  • Decent flood and throw beam spots (will upload beam shots very soon)
  • Good light output from a small 18650 torch
  • Can utilise both 18650 battery (requires a round spacer thing) or 3x AAA batteries (battery holder provided)
  • Threads come pre-lubricated
  • Can tailstand pretty well, allowing the flashlight to light up a whole room when pointed towards the ceiling


  • Takes four full turns (1440 degrees) to change from Flood to Throw vice versa.
  • The whole body heats up to about 35-45C after 5 minutes of HIGH mode (Tested at 27C indoors with no airflow)
  • XM-L T6 Emitter is under-driven (1.5A on HIGH mode, though the limit of the brightness on HIGH mode seems reasonable as it prevents the body from overheating too much?)
  • The host/head/pill/driver can not be disassembled and seems that modding is not possible

Features / Value: ★★★★★

This the first Zoom 18650 Torch that I have brought and I must say it is very convenient to have the zoom feature. It allows you to go from Flood to Throw, though it takes quite a few turns to get there, 4 full turns 1440 degrees to be exact (not a big deal for me). You simply twist the head to change the zoom. [I'll be uploading beamshots very soon once I get my Canon 7D DSLR back! The pictures I've been taking are bad quality sorry, once I get my DSLR back I'll get some awesome pics up] Another great feature is the convenience of being able to use either 3x AAA batteries or an 18650 battery to power the torch. To use the 3x AAA, a battery holder is required [Pic for this coming soon] and it just slides into the body just like you'd normally put in batteries. To use a 18650 battery, you'll need this round spacer thing to be placed into the body so that the battery does not slide around and rattle. Neat feature! In this image (from left to right): AAA Battery Holder, Sanyo UR18650FM 2600mAh Battery (not included), 18650 round spacer, torch body, tailcap switch. Inside the torch body with a 18650 battery & spacer Same shot expect with the AAA Battery Holder.

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The build quality on this torch is what I'd expected from a 18650 torch. It is very sturdy and the battery does not rattle or make a lot of noises when in use. The flashlight body itself has a really fine grip that is comfortable to hold in the hand. Also the threads come pre-lubricated and there are o-rings to ensure that water or any dirt does not get inside. The torch itself is about 130mm (5.11 inch) in length and 35mm (1.37 inch) wide. Quite compact dimensions. I really like the orange bezel design on this torch though the whole thing looks like it's a copy of the Romisen RC-C8 flashlight. Here is a look inside the flashlight body.

Battery Life: ★★★★

The driver used in this flashlight seems to be pretty efficient but from my experience, using a 18650 battery will give you better brightness and obviously runtime compared to AAA. Though I tested it with Sanyo Eneloop AAA Ni-Mh 1.2V rechargable batteries, maybe you'll get a more similar result in brightness if you used alkaline cells. Anyway here are some current readings for the different modes (Hi/Med/Low) from the tailcap. Readings were taken with the use of a fresh Sanyo UR18650 2400mAh Battery (4.14V) Current reading accuracy: +- 100mA HIGH mode: 1600mA MEDIUM mode: 850mA LOW mode: 160mAOn HIGH mode, the XM-L Emitter seems to be under-driven as it is only being supplied with 1600mA from the tailcap readings. But I guess the driver may have been designed that way so the torch itself does not heat up so easily on HIGH? From my testing, 5 minutes on high resulted in a very warm torch body, around 30-40C (tested at 27C room temp with no airflow). You could imagine how hot the emitter would actually be! This concludes that the torch does have heat problems when used on the HIGH mode, on other modes it relatively does not have a problem with heatsinking. This was to be expected as a small host would not have adequate heatsinking...

Light Output: ★★★★

The light output is what you'd expect from a Cree XM-L T6 Emitter, though on HIGH mode, the amount of light outputted is not to the fullest capability of the emitter because it is under-driven at 1.6A. I currently don't have any devices for measuring light output/brightness. Sorry! :( When fully zoomed to flood, the beamshot is relatively floody and round. If fully zoomed to throw, the head extends by 15mm (0.59 inch) and the beamshot shows a relatively small square. This is not a fault as the XM-L emitter is indeed a square. Using the flood feature is very useful, it helps when it is tailstanding and the beam reflects off the roof to illuminate the room. Though the colour of the emitter in my case has slightly colder blue tint to it, compared to my Trustfire X8. HIGH mode is relatively bright and adequate across different zoom ranges. Even though it's under driven at 1.6A, it still throws quite well with little spill. LOW mode is very usable giving very adequate for flood. It really saves on the battery as well, and I tend to use this mode quite often to illuminate my whole room. At 160mA, it's going to last well over 16 hours with my Sanyo UR18650FM 2600mAH 18650 Battery (calculated theoretically). We'll have to wait until I get my DSLR back and I'll be able to take photos showing the difference in brightness because with an iPhone or point-and-shoot cameras, there isn't a 'true manual mode' where you can adjust shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Beamshots Comparison of different zooms Here the torch is in full flood mode. Photos were taken about a metre away from the wall. And please don't judge the brightness because I can't control the shutter speed or aperture... Beamshot of in-between flood & throw Beamshot in full throw.

Summary: ★★★★

In conclusion, the Trustfire Z3 is a very convenient torch that can be used when a flood or throw is required but the flashlight does not completely replace a thrower. While it does throw relatively well with it's square light beam, it has relatively less spill than my Trustfire X8 Thrower. The torch is able to utilise either 18650 or AAA batteries which makes it even more convenient and though it is under-driven on the HIGH mode, I'd still say this is one really great torch to have and use! Despite the fact that the zoom might be annoying as you have to rotate it 4 full turns from flood to throw. Well that concludes my first review on a flashlight! Woohoo! :) Hope you enjoyed my review and please do give me some feedback.

Sorry guys! Review not finished, posted on accident….can’t delete. But stay posted if you are interested in the Trustfire Z3 Zoomie Torch!

(Couldn’t get the image to embed so here’s the link)

Looking forward to the review! Here your image is.

Thanks for that! I think previewing images is not working for posts :confused:

What post editor are you using? I find the "Advanced Post Editor" to work much better.

I’m using the simple editor, I’ll try the Advanced one :slight_smile:

Hey, the review is finally finished :slight_smile:

Nice review! BTW, your "2400" mah battery is actually 2600. It is the UR18650FM.

Thank you. It is a bit rushed and it lacks photos to support my ideas. Will fix them up over time and add more photos. Haha thanks for the correction! :slight_smile: Your right… I was too sleepy when I was writing the review. :slight_smile:

Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.