Yezl Z1X XM-L
Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆
|Battery:||1x 18650 li-ion|
|Switch:||reverse clicky tailcap|
|LED Type:||Cree XM-L T6|
- Small form factor
- Very very bright
- Disassembles easily
- Nice design and decent components
- Average construction (assembly)
- Tailstands wobbly if lanyard is attached
- Very ringy beam
- Dropped once and needed repairs (see below)
Features / Value: ★★★☆☆
This is kind of a departure for me to review a torch I haven't built or modded, so bear with me. I'll try and keep it short and to the point:
The Yetzl Z1X is a small, lightweight torch offering the latest cree emitter, the XM-L T-6. It combines an extremely high output in a form factor much smaller than the typical P60-style affair. Modes include a Hi, Med, and a Low with no strobe or SOS. GITD o-rings are used throughout including the tailcap. A glass lens comes stock, although I doubt it's AR coated.
Design / Build Quality: ★★★☆☆
Here's the part were I got impressed and ticked off at the same. The design was very well thought out, with quality materials used and attention to issues a torch like this may have as an EDC. As you can see above, the torch disassembles relatively painlessly and allows access to the pill, switch, and refector without a lot of work and/or swearing. The threading is so-so... better than the x2000, but not in the same league as a fenix or zebralight for smoothness (even after lube). The pill is a quite thick and solid affair...more so than any other budget light I own. The emitter was also secured in place via thermal glue, and not just held down by a plastic ring like a lot of other lights. This makes me feel better about running it in high mode for somewhat extended periods (I'll get to that in a minute). With a spring on the base of the driver, flat top cells are usable, and both protected and un-protected cells fit just fine.
The bad news came not from design, but implementation. The threads were dry, minimal grease on the O-rings, and it quit functioning after one tumble out of my pocket. Now these are all easily remedied with oil, silicon grease, and a bit of solder...but I don't feel this should be necessary for a torch costing $30. The reason it stopped working was because the driver board lost negative contact.
In the above picture you can see the base of the pill and the brass retaining ring that sits on top of the driver board and holds it in place while providing a negative connection. The problem here is that the small fall caused the ring to unseat a bit and lose connection with the board. A small dab of solder fixed this from happening again, but I feel it shouldn't have happened in the first place. I thought the ring at first was a nice touch, but now I only see it as a failure point. A few solder joints around the edge would not only hold the driver in place better, but provide a solid electrical connection to ground and prevent it from failing from a minor bump.
I also need to mention the minor "attack crown" bezel. It is stainless, not all that sharp, and purely for decoration. That's right, it can be removed and the lens will stay in place, so if you don't like it just take it off ( Or send it to Boaz, he's good at grinding them down )
Battery Life: ★★★☆☆
Sorry folks, I honestly don't have the patience to do a rundown test. What I can do though is give you the tailcap amp readings to give you an idea of battery life.
Well now, they kind of overshot their specs of 125ma, 840ma, and 2.5a. Like most stock modes, my only complaint is the low mode, which is over twice what was stated. I think @100ma or less would be ideal. Then again I like really low low modes as well... Much like death and taxes though, I've come to accept this from most budget torches.
A note on heat: As you can imagine, the torch heats up rather quickly on high mode. I take this to be a good thing because it tells me the heat is getting out from around the pill (I did add thermal grease to the pill upon reassembly). Although, it will also limit how long one can run it on high mode. Crazy output in exchange for heat....not necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind.
Light Output: ★★★☆☆
As you've probably expected from the current draw, this torch puts out an amazing amount of light for such a small package. The tint is similar to most of the other xml's I have in that it leans toward neutral, and is quite pleasant. Again, I wish low was lower because in output medium and low are too close together. My biggest gripe here is the ringy beam. I wouldn't have thought it a problem with the large xml, but I'm here to say this is one seriously ringy beam. I can even notice it in use outdoors. Here's a shot:
The garage door doesn't do those saturn-esque rings justice. This is something I won't live with and will take it apart and use a misting of clearcoat on the reflector. Now let's take a look at some beamshots as compared to the zebra SC60 and the infamous MF drop-in:
MF xml drop-in:
Yezl Z1X xml:
As you can see, in overall output the Yezl compares quite favorably with the MF drop-in. The differences are purely due to reflector, as the MF xml throws a fair bit better.
Edit: Lux readings @1meter = 7.4k lux on high
Lumen output on high = 814.2L
I've been carrying this torch for about a week now, and I do like it. As you can see from the stars, I rate it smack dab in the middle due to the good being offset by the bad. Then again, I haven't had or seen a torch yet I'd rate a 5 star, so maybe I just have high expectations.
I purchased it because I was intrigued by the light output in such a small form factor, and thought it was a good looking light. My review may come across negative, but that's just my way of ensuring that the excitement of a new toy doesn't taint my viewpoint and that the pro's and con's are covered accurately.
Bottom line, yes...I'm happy with my purchase and I think it's a fine torch. There are no show-stoppers here with the negatives and with a little bit of tinkering can make it even better, and I find myself reaching for this torch now over some of my others. It's the only other 18650 light I own besides the SC60 that I can practically carry in my pocket all day long. That point alone makes it rare these days.
I said I'd try and keep this short, so I'll stop here. Thanks for reading.