Recently I was contacted by /u/Emily_Gearbest26 about reviewing a flashlight from them. I opted for a Sunwayman G20C for a few reasons. First, I wanted something I’d never used before. Secondly, I wanted to review something I wouldn’t want to keep. 🙂 Third, I have always wanted to try a Sunwayman light – I have always wanted a titanium v11r drilled with tritium slots…. And finally, I wanted to pick something that the community here would probably enjoy, because GearBest generously agreed to let me keep the light and do with what I wish – I wish to benefit the community by passing it along in a giveaway!
Here’s the GearBest link for the Sunwayman G20C. As I said above, GearBest provided this light to me for free. That fact will not influence the review. Furthermore, since GearBest does not even manufacturer these lights, what bears the most importance for GearBest from this review, is the service I received from them. So let’s address this first.
I hope and expect /u/Emily_Gearbest26 will answer any GearBest questions you might have.
Once Emily and I had agreed on which light I’d receive, it was put into the system as a regular order and processed as such. That order was placed on Sept 7, and I received the light on Sept 16. Appx 9 days shipping, from China. I have ordered quite a few things from China in the past (not my bride!), and in my experience 9 days is excellent. I doubt any huge advances in LED technology will be happening in those 9 days, so I’m satisfied with that wait. I believe GearBest ships items to a US distribution shipper, who then sends them on to the purchaser. Not that it matters but I think that could actually help speed shipping. There was a customs form attached to the bubble mailer and on it, the value of the light. I believe the value is posted as the GearBest cost, not the purchase cost. I feel like that is probably because this was a free sample light; I expect a light you purchase will have the purchase price displayed on the customs form. I have tried to chat through the web chat they offer, and currently there are 46 customers ahead of me. [During the course of writing this review, I gave up waiting in this queue.]
All orders ship free too, which is a big bonus and noteworthy.
All of my interactions with Emily were great, and she was extremely prompt and clear.
I found the website to be fairly easy to navigate, but it seems pretty typically not-American. That’s not a complaint specifically, but it’s slightly more “in-your-face” than a site like Amazon for example. But much less so than other Chinese sites like Rakuten or dealextreme.
Product listing accuracy
I did note one error within the product listing. It was not a huge error: the reflector was listed as orange-peel when it is actually smooth. Everything else looked good, and the price was almost 20% lower than other US-based sellers.
It is reasonable to have concerns about the legitimacy of a Chinese site such as GearBest. It is not unheard of for fake or counterfeit items to come out of China. I do not have a US-purchased Sunwayman G20C in front of me to compare, but the quality of the light make it seem clearly authentic. It is well built as would seem reasonable for a $80 light. I would have no concerns buying name brand flashlights from GearBest in the future. That said, I would probably steer clear of the very very cheap $3 lights they sell, but that is reflection of the low quality of those lights, not a reflection on GearBest.
It is also very clearly a brand new item.
Positive. I am satisfied with GearBest, and in the future I would not hesitate to consider them if they have a light (or some other name-brand item) I want.
Sunwayman G20C review
I am normally a huge fan of EDC type lights, and I have never ventured much farther out than CR123 batteries. In fact I normally prefer AA lights. My current EDC is a Zebralight SC5w. I love it, and it’s exactly what I need.
So my goal for reviewing the Sunwayman G20C was to pick something I would never purchase, just to see what’s out there. I have zero use for a tactical light (if the G20C should even be considered tactical), nor do I have any 18650 batteries.
Note upfront that I don’t do beamshots or electrical graphics. If you’re looking for that I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe next time if there’s a next time, I’ll try at least beamshots.
Let’s be real, pictures are where it’s at. So here are some glamor shots first. That’s all of them: any that are below are reused from that album. Just fyi. 🙂
The box. Some people love unpackaging/unboxing. I am not one of those people. I am not using the box for flashlighting, so whatever. The box protected the item; that is all I care about.
Package Contents: 1 x Sunwayman G20C Handy Flashlight, 1 x Spare O-ring, 1 x Lanyard, 1 x Pocket Clip
The light comes with the above items, and the pocket clip comes installed. I really thought I’d taken a pic of the o-ring and package contents but I don’t seem to have. This one being the closest.
It comes with just one extra o-ring and should have three in the light (below the glass, between the head and the body, and between the body and the tail). I didn’t measure or take them apart but I figure all 3 are the same size – if you needed to replace any one, you’d be able to use the spare for it. I have literally never had to do this for one single light I own.
One thing that really got under my skin about the G20C is that I had a lot of trouble finding a manual for it. GearBest didn’t provide one, but then I couldn’t even find one on Sunwayman’s site either. There are some sketchy instructions about the UI of the light, which helped marginally, but eventually I just gave up and winged it. I like a manual. Even if the UI is simple, I like a manual. All Sunwayman light product pages include a bunch of text enhanced product shots, which one might assume serve as a manual. This does not satisfy me.
UI and Operation.
Here are the buttons.
As you can see this light has an unusual two button interface. Initially I thought that was great. These buttons do not appear to be user programmable, (which isn’t abnormal) but it’d be great if they were. As it stands, the metal button is for two things: If the light is off, the metal button always activates strobe. If the light is on, the metal button always cycles low > medium > high. This is a decent program. I never once had an accidental activation of the metal button, but I did accidentally click it a number of times which led to unexpected strobes. I expect that those who actually have need of tactical lights will really appreciate the immediacy with which the strobe can be reached. My Zebralight SC5w has strobe, and half the time I can’t remember how to get to it (triple click, I believe).
The other, rubbery button, does most of the work. As you’d expect from a tactical light, it has a forward-click momentary on. That momentary on is to the same mode as you left the light in. Probably smart but wouldn’t you rather that be Turbo? idk, you tell me. My nerf gun mount doesn’t need the momentary so I never tested it. Just kidding I don’t even have a nerf gun.
With the light on, holding the metal button down locks (and leaves on) strobe. Extremely handy if you’re having a rave.
I saw a (probably official) pic somewhere describing holding both buttons and twisting the cap in order to switch between modes. I will honestly say I never figured that step out. I’m not sure if that’s a fluke or what but I feel like I was able to see the modes of the light without doing the twist action.
As I said above, I don’t have any 18650 batteries. But I do have some cr123’s. Fortunately the G20C will work with both. (The light actually takes CR123A, CR123R, 18650 and 16340 (which are basically rechargeable CR123a).
Here is tail-off with two cr123 batteries.
Clearly the tube diameter is much bigger than the diameter of a cr123 battery. If you shake the light, you can make the batteries squirm and maybe even bang around, but generally speaking the spring pressure does keep them pretty secure. I believe an 18650 is 1.6mm thicker, so the fit would be better. I feel like even with that battery you’d have quite a bit (maybe 1-1.5mm) of breathing room for the battery). I would really prefer to have an 18650 in the light just for the better fit.
However this light has a working voltage range from 2.8 up to 6 volts, so it might work “better” with cr123’s because the output would be 6v as opposed to the 4.2V of a single 18650. I am not sure that practically this would make much difference; in any case both types will work. A single 18650 holds more total energy than two cr123’s, however, which might be preferable. I could be wrong about this whole paragraph: I am not an Electrical Engineer.
LED and Beam
The LED is a Cree XM-L2 U2. I promise not to hold my personal distaste for the band U2 against the LED. There are 3 versions (warm, neutral, and cool) but the documentation doesn’t state which this is. My guess is that it’s the cool variety, but I have been wrong twice before.
It’s designed to throw. I am not used to throwy lights so I’m not sure what the beam should look like against a wall for example. I can tell you that there are a few distinct colors in this light. The outside ring is distinctly purple, then there’s a wide ring of yellow light, and the center is white. At a distance, there’s a very specific spot of even color. This would make a great search light. Sunwayman estimates usefulness at 100-200 meters.
GearBest does mention the reflector as “orange peel” when it is in fact smooth. That’s the only listing issue I noted.
The pocket clip is pretty nice, though it’s really more of a “belt” clip. It holds the light vertically and very securely, though unless you stand all day every day, I can’t imagine wanting to carry your light this way. The clip is clever too, in that it allows you to retain the light in up or down orientation. The clip does look like it would be removable, but I did not have luck removing it. Seems like it should slide right out once the head/led part of the light is removed.
The light comes apart from a few places. The tail can be taken off, but there are electronics housed there so the parts can’t really be taken off to clean/access the buttons. The head comes completely off and like the tail, the electronics are inside. Remaining then, is the battery compartment, which is … a tube. Further, the LED retaining ring on the head of the light (the little silver bit) does easily unscrew. The tempered “coated mineral” glass, o-ring, and reflector can then be removed.
I found the threads to be extremely clean and smooth, and also very well oiled.
I know little about drop ins, but I did note above that the head of the light can be disassembled, leaving a raw LED held down by two phillips screws. I presume those two screws could be removed. I’m not really sure how dropins work, so you might need to remove one more piece which might prove difficult. The measurements are approximately right (but I can’t confirm without a caliper).
Is this a tactical light? First blush to me says yes. Then you look at the light and have to wonder. The bezel is not crenelated. There’s a lot of silver or white on the light. From the little I know it does not look like it could be (or is made for) mounting on a gun. In which case I suppose it’s more aptly described as a “search light” – which makes me wonder why strobe is so prominent in it’s UI.
The product description says the light will tailstand. Mine does not. Probably with more use the rubber clicky will settle in, and then the light will easily tailstand. Would you even want to tailstand a throw light? Idk but they say it will, and mine does not.
Sunwayman notes the knurling as “anti-roll.” Well the light won’t roll anyway with the seemingly unremovable belt clip. But the knurling does provide fine grip, so let’s assume that’s what they meant. Inability to remove the clip does make the light feel funny/uncomfortable in hand though.
It is my opinion that Sunwayman might be better off sticking to small lights like the v11r or Mr. Elfin.
This is a great light for the right person. It’s a light I might be willing to keep in my car all the time. It’s certainly not one I’d want for carrying on my person all the time. Having had it for a few days and used it, I can say that it won’t hurt my feelings to pass it along to the eventual giveaway winner. It works great and like it’s designed to do, and I have no hate for it, but it’s not for me.
Because I love this shot.