Klarus Mi7 Flashlight Review

Preface

A double A light for review. I wasn’t really expecting this light, and I’ve gravitated toward bigger lights lately, but /u/gearbestlights asked if I’d like to review the Klarus Mi7 light. I noted it has a XPL-HI, I excitedly said yes. 🙂


Klarus Mi7 Official Specs

• CREE XP-L HI V3 LED; 50,000 hours life
• 3 output levels,2 strobe patterns
• Voltage Range: 1.0V – 4.2V
• Battery:AA x 1; Li-ion 14500×1
• Color:Black, Red, Blue
• Reflector: Orange Peel
• Switch: Side Switch
• Dimension:Bezel19mm (0.75″); Body 17.6mm (0.69″); Overall Length: 87.2mm (3.43″)
• Weight: 26.4g (0.93oz) (without battery)
• Material: Aerospace Aluminum Alloy 6061-T6
• Protection: IPX-8 rating (up to 2 meters submersible)
• Lens: Hardened Mineral Glass; AR coated; Scratch resistant
• Maximum output 700 Lumens; Maximum runtime 67 hours.
• Battery Capacity Indication displays remaining power for easy monitoring
• One Touch Access to Moon-light and High output levels
• Unique high efficiency circuit with broad voltage range to accommodate both AA (Primary/Rechargeable) and Li-ion 14500 batteries
• Constant Current Control with no PWM flash; suitable for photography illumination
• Over-Discharge Protection automatically lowers output levels to protect rechargeable batteries
• Lock-Out mode specially designed to prevent accidental activation of the flashlight
• Reverse Polarity Protection for ease of use
• Exclusive Stainless Steel switch; Elegant, Ergonomic, Easy to use
• Aerospace grade Aluminum Alloy body; CNC precision machining; Military grade Hard Anodizing (HAIII) protection; Superior heat dissipation
• AR (Anti-Reflective) coated MineralLens hardened for scratch resistance

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


Short Review

Great light for Sundays, or if you’re always wearing dress pants but often need to throw a little. Smallest XPL-HI format light I know of, and maybe the only AA XPL-HI.

Long Review

Key Features

  • XP-L HI emitter
  • Battery Check (very general)
  • Lockout to prevent accidental activation
  • Low voltage protection (for AA [0.8V] and 14500 [3.0V] both)
  • Constant current control (no PWM!)
  • Comes in three colors!

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What’s Included

  • Battery (alkaline!)
  • Lanyard
  • Flashlight
  • Locking S-biner
  • Split ring
  • Spare o-ring
  • Manual

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Pictures

Some pictures!

Quality, Build and Disassembly

The Klarus Mi7 is nicely built, and feels great in hand. Probably the first thing to notice is that it has the “pineapple” style knurling. I love this kind of knurling, and it’s ok on this light. It’s a cross between what the MecArmy PT series has, and more regular knurling. Not quite smooth, not quite grabby….

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It has very smooth square cut threads (they are, but it’s hard to tell from that pic, sorry), and a big beefy tailspring. Meant to get the tailspring in this pic but it ended up showing off the unanodized battery tube, so oh well. 🙂 I will say that the threaded area is kind of short, so getting them to grab when installing a battery can be tricky. That’s one reason I’m glad it has square cut threads. With non-sq threads, I’m usually very afraid I’ll wreck the threads.

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The head on this light too, thwarted my attempts to unscrew it. I feel like it could be done, but as I’ve said before…. hand strength of a 5 year old girl. The head on the Mi7 is quite large – of course there has to be room for a side switch and reflector, but…. the overall length of the light nearly twice the length of the AA cell itself! (50.4mm vs 87.2mm)

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There’s nothing to disassemble on the tail end. It’s one full tube, with no threading or potential for incursion at all.

The side switch is easy to find, even if you just fiddle with the light in your pocket. It’s also easy to press, with a reasonably responsive feedback – you can generally feel you’ve clicked the button.

Package and Manual

Plastic box suitable for hanging displays. The light is in a plastic tray, and the goodies are in a tiny box inside. The manual is robust: one side is English, one side is Chinese. Like some other products from GearBest, this one has a sticker placed by GearBest, with their product code and a date.

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The manual has all the specs, and a good description of the UI and light features. It’s a pretty nice, one sheet manual!

Power

One cell: AA or 14500, with a working voltage range from 1.0-4.2V. 14500 has a timed stepdown of 3 minutes on high. (No stepdown with an AA.)

User Interface and Operation

Just a single button to click on this light, and it’s a small, responsive button with a very positive click. It’s easy to find, even accidentally. One of the nice features is that this light has an electronic lockout. And a very general battery check….

The UI:

From Action Result
Off Long click Moonlight
Off Click High
Off Double Click Strobe
Off Triple Click Battery check
High Click Low
Low Click Off
On Long click No action
Strobe Click Off
Strobe Double Click SOS Strobe

I’ll try to update this with a flow chart. Because I like flowcharts and this UI would be good pictured that way. I’m not on my flowchart making computer right now though.

Note that:

  • There’s no way to get to moonlight if the light is on.
  • From high, button must be pressed twice to turn off (but too fast and you’ll get strobe!) Ie, it takes conscious effort to turn the light off from high, which I strongly do not like. Really wish a long click from “on” turned the light off!
  • Strobe is unusual (faster flash followed by fast flash).

LED and Beam

This is the first time I’ve used an XPL-HI emitter. I like it. It’s great, if slightly cool. The beam profile is great, the tint is fine for me, and I’m glad to sacrifice a few lumens to have the slightly better throw of a [factory] dedomed emitter. Go here for an actual explanation by DrJones on domed vs domeless emitters. Very interesting stuff but I own’t reiterate it all here.

This little XPL-HI really cooks. It’s just an AA light but the emitter really does churn out some lumens. The beam profile is really indicative of a larger light (intense hotspot with an even diffuse spill). But it’s not a “thrower” (if an AA light could at all. (Ie, I really doubt this image from Klarus’s site). It’s kind of a …. small thrower. The orange peel reflector keeps the beam nice and even and prevents any shenanigans with the profile.

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I’ll be honest and say that I’m not sure what the “V3” of the emitter name means. Normally you’d expect a flux bin or whatever, but the spec sheet doesn’t list a “V3 (of the HI), and other sources indicate that just means “version 3.” I did read that the temp is about 5700k, and that seems about right by my coloreyeometer. And it’s possible (and maybe most likely) that this is actually a flux bin. Glad to hear further discussion about that if you have input.

Runtime

Runtime on an Eneloop AA. That’s my first runtime graph ever, so please forgive if it’s not good…. I’ll try to do better and more robust work in this area, now that I’m understanding how better.

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I can say that the light continued on 1.5% output for…. maybe 2 hours? The graph is not useful if I included that data.

Final voltage for the Eneloop AA was 1.1V, too, not the claimed 0.8V. Also the battery was not completely dead (though I did let the test go overnight, and still came on but dipped straight to medium.)

Thanks!

Beamshots

Flashlight Settings (@ 5000k)
Klarus Mi7 [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]
BLF-348 [0.3s, f/8, ISO 100]
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.

I forgot to take a moonlight of the Klarus Mi7.

Retention

Right up front: This light does not have a pocket clip. It does come with a split ring and a nice little locking s-biner, but no pocket clip. This light would be perfect for pocket clip-carry, but… it’s just not an option. There is a lanyard, but between pocket clip and lanyard guess which I’d rather have, and recommend for this light? Nice, strong holes for the lanyard, too.

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Also no magnet. There looks to be room in the tailcap recess where the lanyard would connect, to drop in a magnet, much like is done on the Eagtac d25aaa (which I love). But this one has no magnet. sadpanda

Size

It’s a small light! But is it small for an AA light? it’s definitely thin, but I think it’s a bit long. Just the right size for a fist lode – great for punching: if you’re in a bunch of bar fights this might be perfect. I actually am in bar fights all the time so this is perfect. 17.6mm x 87.2mm (head diameter 19mm).

Random Comparisons….

This little AA light with an XPL-HI isn’t going to compare to much in this size range. How about a couple of tint comparisons?

BLF-348, Klarus Mi7

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Olight S1 (brushed titanium, NW), Klarus Mi7

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General size comparisons.

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Summary

Pro

  • Use of AA is great
  • Great throw for such a small light
  • Low voltage protection
  • Battery Check
  • Electronic Lockout!

Cons and Conundrums

  • No pocket clip.
  • Seriously, no pocket clip.
  • XPL-HI in a AA format strikes me as odd
  • Moonlight is way too bright.
  • Starts on High.
  • Light will accidentally activate if you don’t lock it out.

Final Thoughts

Great buy as a Sunday light, or if you need a light for your dress clothes. UI is ok for the light it is (tiny light made for tiny throw.)

Coupon Codes

This time, there’s a great coupon for this light: RedditMi7. Head over to GearBest to pick it up.

Parting Shot

Just this one shot.

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Author: zeroair

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