Manker E14, Nichia 219b variety, Flashlight Review

Preface

Finally I get to see the Manker E14 (219B)! Another review light from GearBest! First of all, thanks to GearBest for providing this light. Second of all, I’m pleased to say that I already have experience with this light in the Astrolux S41 format and I liked that one enough to willingly accept the Manker version (the E14) as a review light from GearBest. I love the S41, let’s look at the Manker E14..


Manker E14 Official Specs

Manker E14
Emitter Type 4xCREE XP-G2 / 4xNichia 219B
Circuit Driver A17DD-L FET+1 Driver (BLF A6)
Light Tint XPG2 (6500K) / 219B (5000K),
Material Aero grade aluminum alloy & copper
Battery Configurations 1 x 18350/16340 battery/1CR123A/1RCR123
Impact Resistant 1 meter
Max Output XP-G2 1600lumens / Nichia 219B 1400lumens
Working Voltage 2.8-4.35v
Lens TIR
Waterproof IPX-8 waterproof 2 meters
Weight 90g without battery
Size 80mm x 24mm(length x body diameter)
Emitter Choices Color Temperature
Cree XPG2 6500K
Nichia 219B 5000K

The above section contains the manufacturer’s descriptions and claims, not my impressions or results.


Short Review

Well built, solid light that does what it is purported to do. UI is fantastic. It has a small cell and likes to use it fast, but I love it.

Long Review

Key Features

  • Quad emitters!
  • TIR Optic!
  • Copper heatsink!
  • That luxurious 219b tint.
  • Nice battery options

What’s Included

  • Manker E14 Flashlight
  • Spare rubber boot
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket Clip
  • Spare o-ring
  • Manual / warranty sheet
  • Nice box
  • Unbridled Joy

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Pictures

As always, pictures first. Below this section is just the ramblings of a tired father. There will be mistakes1. Here are those pics! All the pictures below are reused from this album. There are a few beam shots in here just so you can see the profile and tint (comparatively). Apologies for the watermark: Pics from a previous review were used (with my permission) elsewhere, but I still want to drive some traffic to /r/flashlight, and that’s the best way I know how. I’m just like you: completely against watermarks.

Quality, Build and Disassembly

The Manker E14 is a very solid little light. The copper heatsink gives the light quite a bit of heft – after all copper is around 4x more dense than aluminium; the weight difference is probably the first thing you notice with the light in hand. The head, tail and battery tube all screw together well and the threads are nicely lubed. Both ends of the tube are unanodized, but the threads are, allowing mechanical lockout. The threads do not appear to be square cut – having used this light for a little while, I can say I do wish they were. It’s not that they feel sloppy, it’s that I always feel like I’m going to crossthread non-square threads.

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I had no trouble disassembling the tailcap. Note that the spring is a double spring! The head proved more difficult, and I did not have the tools necessary to disassemble it. I do not think it’s secured with loctite, as others have reported disassembling it. I have the hand strength of a 5 year old girl.

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I did not keep it under for hour and hours, but it did hold up just fine underwater. The rubber boot has a nice seal and a teflon(?) liner that keeps things dry inside.

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Here is the E14 and S41 tailcap, side by side. And the head. Same BLF driver.

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Package and Manual

The manual is simply a small piece of paper. One side is a diagram of the User Interface (a picture of /u/ToyKeeper‘s A6 firmware flowchart), and on the other is general flashlight specification info. The UI manual can be found all over the internet easily, including right here.

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All this comes in a nice compact little box, on which GearBest puts a sticker with a date. Just like with the Nitecore F1 review, I like this because if there’s ever a firmware update, it’ll be easier for me to know which one I have. The other end has the Light info including emitter choice.

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All packaged up very snugly.

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Power

The light works with a single cell: 18350 / 16340 / CR123A / RCR123. There’s also an extension tube available, allowing the use of a single 18650. Take note however that though they might fit, the driver can’t handle the voltage from two of the smaller cells. So, one cell even if you have the extension tube.

I only use 16340 cells, currently a Keeppower 700mAh ICR16340 from Illumn. The cell fits just fine with no wobble in any direction – though there is quite a bit of room around the cylinder. It does not rattle at all – probably because of the springs on both ends of the light. So no size adapter is needed.

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The extension tube also will not fit any of my protected cells (EVVA 3400 mAh, I believe). Unprotected laptop pulls had no problem at all fitting (and working quite well). The girth is the issue, not the length. So I expect some protected cells will work, just not the ones I have. Still the light is designed for an 16340. There’s enough mass to handle the heat produced when using the 16340. The 16340 will expire quickly and fortunately – the head won’t be able to handle much more heat. But with the 18650, the battery will not expire and the light will not be able to continually handle the heat from turbo.2 IE there is no thermal management. (Though some have disputed this.)3

User Interface and Operation

The UI is custom made by [our very own? – can we claim you?] /u/Toykeeper. It’s absolutely fantastic. It has the unusual ability to go forward and backward in mode selection. I love this because it keeps me from having to cycle through the modes to get to the one I really-meant-to-leave-the-light-on-but-went-too-far-and-now-I-have-to-go-all-the-way-back-through…. I cycle and hit an amount of light that is more than I need, and roll it back to the lower mode. Ultimately I’m sure it saves battery, though who can say how much. It’s also feature packed: Battery check, strobe, turbo, bike flasher (which is so cool), and can be set to have memory or no memory. (I never roll with memory because I always want to trust my, light to start on low – except in big lights like the Convoy L6). It can even have 4 or 7 modes, all of which are very pleasantly spaced. (Described as “visually-linear output modes” – which I have no way to test but 4 or 7 modes, both have useful distance between each mode.)

Here is some detail on the special modes, copied straight from ToyKeeper’s firmware

  - Turbo (just like the regular turbo)

  - Tactical strobe (10 Hz)

  - Battery check / beacon mode
    (each blink represents about 25% of a full charge)
    0 blinks: < 1% full        (< 3.0V)
    1 blink : 1% to 25% full   (3.0V to 3.5V)
    2 blinks: 25% to 50% full  (3.5V to 3.8V)
    3 blinks: 50% to 75% full  (3.8V to 4.0V)
    4 blinks: 75% to 100% full (4.0V to 4.2V)
    5 blinks: > 100% full      (> 4.2V)

  - Biking flasher (2-level stutter beacon, 1 Hz)

The mechanical switch is a reverse clicky. I like that fine but I slightly prefer forward clicky because I like momentary. And I think momentary would be great for the E14, too. I do wish this light had a forward clicky, but not at the expense of the BLF A6 firmware.

I won’t go through the specifics of the modes – the flow chart does that quite well. It looks a little intimidating but works as described. Just remember that the solid lines are short presses, and the dash lines are longer and you should be good to go. I have not had trouble knowing how to get to and from the 7 main modes, but I do often have trouble getting to Turbo from Moon, and also sometimes do that accidentally. I don’t think that’s a fault of the light, I think I just haven’t learned. And I often had trouble hitting the 0.5s-1.5s window to advance through the special modes (Turbo -Tactical strobe – battcheck – bike flasher) and that was rather frustrating too. But I believe practice can improve AND it’s intuitive, so you don’t have to sit there practicing with a manual in front of you.

Two get to the “soft config” mode, do 15+ taps, or until the light stops turning on. A “tap” is defined as soft clicking the button, and not fully depressing it (not “clicking” it).

I tried to make a runtime graph but my software messed up and I’m still trying to fiddle with that. I can tell you that the output began dropping immediately, and kept dropping all the way down to the second highest mode. The light was quite hot at that point and one wouldn’t have been able to comfortably hold it. There’s a timed stepdown from turbo to high, at 45 seconds, but honestly at that point the output had sagged to at or below High anyway.

The default turbo step-down is 45 seconds.

Of note per the firmware:

When turbo steps down to high, a short tap will push it back up to turbo or a medium tap will step down further, even if you got to turbo by going backward from moon. The step-down effectively moves it from the “hidden” turbo back to the non-hidden turbo

I’d be surprised if a user would want to use this. The light would be so hot at that point that I can’t see things going well. Remember that this firmware was designed for the BLF A6, a single emitter light. So while it lacks the copper that the E14 has, it also has 1/4 the emitters so would likely not have quite as much heat to deal with.

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The E14 does have low voltage protection, cutting off at 2.8V. But the driver will continue to sip power4, so the light does need to be switched off. The firmware wording is actually very specific on this:

Low-voltage protection will progressively step down the output at about 2.8V, and the light will shut itself off when even the lowest level gets below 2.8V.

LED and Beam

These emitters are Nichia 219b in 5000k. The quality of this emitter is well known, and I happen to love it. I have a slew of lights with the 219b, and I love them all. There is a bit of variation among them, as seen in comparison with this Prometheus Beta QR v2 – still the tint on this E14 is fantastic.

Moonlight is low, but not quite as low as with the Zebralights, or even with the Manker U11.

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The beam is a nice punchy spot of light – not “throw” but not all flood either. Great for lighting up a doorway across the room, but it spreads pretty quickly past that. The TIR optic causes this, and I happen to really like it. I like a thrower to bit of very specific spill, but a TIR light like this – a broad bright spot is great. Beamshots are below:

Beamshots

Flashlight Settings (@ 5000k)
Manker E14 [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]
Astrolux S41 [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]
Convoy L6 (5000k) [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]
XintD C8 XP-G2 S4 [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]

All beamshots are at the same settings in practically the same conditions. Some of these are beamshots used in previous reviews: I have included them here just for reference and your joy which is the most important thing to me. (Imgur seems to have changed the one of the ways to make albums, so I’ll have to figure that out asap. If you’re still on the old imgur, these links should take you to an album. If you’re on the beta imgur, …. I’m working on it.)

Retention

One of the new style great clips, which is reversible. And a lanyard. I have carried this light a lot and love the clip. The light is quite short so it sometimes rides a little funny but it has not come out once, or accidentally activated once. The clip is a great length for the light, and could be used on the bill of a cap if you wanted, but the weight of the light would make that a silly thing to do. The clip seems to be the same size as the Manker U11 clip – I like that these clips are becoming ubiquitous; this should make them easy to find anywhere and with any light, and also very cheap!

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Size

80mm x 24mm(length x body diameter). Of course the head is a little larger because of the copper heatsink, and the quad emitters. For a 16340 light, it’s not particularly small. For a quad emitter light, it’s particularly small. Even in the 18650 configuration, for a quad emitter light, it’s a great size. The copper is great but I do believe the light could benefit from better cooling (which would require larger size, which is why I mentioned it here!).

Here are some other lights, so you can compare the size. Nearest in size is the Olight S1 of course, and my old Zebralight H31.

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Conundrums

  • I wish GearBest sold the 18650 tube, and that the light came with that tube, and that that tube worked with protected cells.
  • Momentary would be great but I’m not sure if that’d play well with the UI.
  • Doesn’t lego with other lights it seems like it would lego with. (I really mean the Convoy s2+ here, though there’s no good reason to think they should lego, I suppose.)
  • Battery cell is reversible but doesn’t work both ways.

Compared to….

Astrolux S41: no difference. The clip on one was black (S41) and gray on the other (E14) but other than that there’s no difference that I can see.

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Olight S1: S1 has just 1 emitter and is much smaller. Overall output is not as hight, and the runtimes are similar. The E14 is probably a higher quality built light. I have the brushed titanium version of the S1 so it was more expensive than the E14 and between the two I’d consider the E14 a better value. If size and weight is of utmost concern to you, the S1 might suit you better. But if the price you’re seeing is similar, I’d go with the E14 almost certainly.

Convoy S2+: The S2+ is of course much cheaper, has a different reflector, and just one emitter, but the shape is similar when the E14 is outfitted with the extension tube. In my opinion, the E14 wins with the UI alone. And if you outfitted the S2+ with the driver from the E14 (which could be done), the prices are similar enough that the E14 wins by having a higher output and better heatsinking. YMMV here, depending on your needs of course.

BLF-348: Just a beamshot. Both are 219b, so should be close.

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Manker U11: Just a picture.

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Summary

I love mine, and think it’s a great purchase even if you don’t plan to EDC it. Highly recommended particularly at the sale prices below.

And I’m just gonna be honest, these are just glamour shots.

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Maybe this is my favorite.

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Pros

  • Lots of light!
  • UI is great
  • Inexpensive for a quad emitter
  • Works with an 18650 tube, which would help those runtimes.
  • Very well built and solid.

Cons

  • Short runtimes on turbo
  • Gets hot if left on turbo
  • No thermal management

Final Thoughts

Nothing I didn’t say in the summary. I love this light. I think it works great and also looks great to boot. The amount and direction of light has been great for my EDC needs, and that the firmware allows me to go back and forth in mode selection is fantastic.

Coupon Codes

NICHIA 219B 5000K 10% OFF Coupon: Reddit Price: $44.91
CREE XP-G2 6500K Coupon: ManE14G Price: $37.89

There’s also the standard 10% OFF coupon for flashlights, Reddit 🙂 Sorry there’s no special code for the 219B version. I’ll ask my contact if she can do anything for that!

Parting Shot

I told you I like to do this. This is on turbo with my hand probably 5 inches away. This thing is bright!!

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Two parting shots. Sorry. As bright as it is, it can also be very dim like your boy here!!

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Footnotes:

1 I didn’t mean my children are the mistakes. My children are perfect!

Author: zeroair

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