Fenix E18R Flashlight Review

Preface

I’m pleased to have another Fenix light review.  This is a brand that seems underrepresented in (at least “my”) reviews, and I hope to get to reviewing more of them.  This is another small light, using a 16340 cell, with built in magnetic charging.  Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

Just one version.

Price and Coupon

This one’s $65, but doesn’t look to be in stock on the official site.


Short Review

This is a nice little ‘complete package’ light.  The battery indicator in the switch is nice, and I like the clickiness.  Also of note is that this isn’t one of those spongy mashy buttons – another nice thing.  All in all I’m satisfied with the light, but I wish it was just a little shorter.

Long Review

What’s Included

Lots of stuff!

  • Fenix E18R Flashlight
  • Fenix 700mAh 16340
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic connector)
  • Split ring
  • Spare o-ring
  • Lanyard
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

The E18R comes in a flip open display box with the great colors of Fenix (black and orange).

The light and goods are in a plastic tray.

Here’s the manual.  There’s a decent UI graphic, and also a graphic of the runtimes on all modes (which might be a little misleading, if you don’t look at the timescale).

Build Quality and Disassembly

I have no major issues with the build quality of the E18R.  A minor complaint would be the logo being screen printed over the grip on the body – it ends up looking faded.  Not a performance issue, though.

Another minor issue is that the button and the charge port are quite similar.  They’re distinguishable by feel, but still similar enough that if you don’t use this light often or it isn’t your main light or whatever, it might be a little difficult to get accustomed to.  Fortunately nothing about the charge port pushes, so you won’t mess up anything; you might just end up hunting for the switch.

The charge port is larger, flatter, and has a nub in the center.

Here are the guts, as far as I got to see them.  There’s a magnet which can be removed, in the tailcap.  The head doesn’t have a spring, but has a brass button, and brass contact for the negative terminal, too (contact which is made through the body tube).

The bezel is press fit in much like many of the smaller Olights.  This bezel won’t be easy to remove, but it’s press fit ON not IN, so it’s probably possible.

Size and Comps

Officially:

Size:
Length: 2.4” (60mm)
Diameter: 0.8” (20mm)
Head: 0.8” (21mm)

Weight: 1.17 oz. (33.3g) excluding battery.

Much smaller than the Convoy S2+ of course.

Not pictured, but it’s also a few mm shorter than the recently reviewed (and otherwise extremely similar) Olight S1R II Baton.

Retention and Carry

Likely the primary means to carry this light will be the pocket clip.  It’s a friction clip, with no holes (which are often used for lanyard attachment).  The clip is free to rotate around the light (ie not a fixed position) which is another thing that could allow confusion with the switch and the charge port.  A fixed clip gives a good target.

The clip works quite well.  It has a big mouth and a deep shoulder, so it fits on jeans or thicker pants, too.

Another option for carry is the lanyard, which only attaches through a hole in the tailcap.  The hole is generously sized.

And finally, there’s a magnet in the tailcap.  It’s strong enough to hold the light in a horizontal position.

Power and Runtime

The E18R is powered by a single 16340.  Fenix includes one in the package – a Fenix branded 700mAh cell.  It’s a regular ol 16340 – not proprietary.  It is a button top.  I have a flat top unprotected 16340 floating around my house somewhere (um… yikes?) but I can’t lay my hands on it to test if flat top cells will work.  I do not think the will, just based on the set up of the positive terminal inside the light.  I’d probably lean toward just using the included cell, or another button top.

Here’s a test on Turbo.  The output doesn’t quite last 30 seconds, and begins a heavy decline to around 320 lumens.  By 1 minute, the light has settled on it’s stepdown, and is very stable from there.  The light never properly shuts off, and in testing with the bench power, does not seem to have low voltage protection.  The included cell has a protection circuit, so undervoltage shouldn’t be an issue, with the included cell.  There’s also a low voltage warning in the switch around 3V – the switch flashes red.  Interestingly, the switch warning fades as the voltage decreases, but the main emitter output is very stable all the way to [cell death].  The claimed runtime for this mode is 45 minutes, which about matches the stepdown from 325 lumens.

The high output is very stable for the most of the claimed runtime of 2h35m.

This is a charging version of the light.  The charge is achieved through a connector in the head, exactly opposite the switch.

A cable is included:  USB to proprietary magnetic.  The parts snap together easily, and stay snugly enough.  The cable connector has a charge indicator – Green means complete (or ‘not being used’) and red means “charging is ongoing.”

Here’s a charge time test.  Charging in the CC phase is around 0.85A (reasonable if a little high for a 16340).  The CV phase seems to just trail off into nothing – it takes quite a while for the charge system to actually finish the charge cycle.

User Interface and Operation

There’s one switch on the E18R.  It’s a side e-switch, with an indicator right in the middle.  The switch cover is a nice hard plastic, positively clicky with no wobble, and probably less than 1mm of travel.  It’s a very nice switch.

The UI isn’t extremely complicated, but it has a fairly nice set of features.

Here’s a UI table! (Spoiler, the UI is just like the E16 UI!)

State Action Result
Off Hold (0.5s) On (Mode memory)
On Click Mode advance (LMHT)
Unlocked Hold (1.2s) Strobe
Strobe Click On (Mode memory)
Off Double Click Lock
Lock Double Click Unlock
Off Click Battery Check*

It’s the double click for lockout that will get most users (me included).  Also there’s no shortcut to any mode (unfortunate!!)

* Battery check, as follows:

Green constant on: saturated (100% – 85%)
Green flashes: sufficient (85% – 50%)
Red constant on: poor (50% – 25%)
Red flashes: critical (25% – 1%)

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 750 45m 724 2.50
High 150 2h35m 164 0.20
Med 30 13h50m 30 0.02
Low 5 70h 4

LED and Beam

The emitter Fenix has put in this light is a Cree XP-L HI.  Fenix doesn’t state the Kelvin, but I’d estimate it at around 5000K.  It’s not nearly as warm as the Fenix E16 (which I really liked because it’s exceptionally warm).  The optic used in this TIR light is also the same as the E16.

I really like this optic.  There’s very little spill, and more of a spot than some more familiar optics.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

In person, the light looks much whiter than pictured above.

The Big Table

Fenix E18R
Emitter: Cree XP-L HI
Cell: 16340
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? No – Warning
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? Yes (LMH,Strobe)
Claimed Lumens (lm) 750
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 724 (96.5% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 136
Throw (Calculated) (m) 161.4 (118.7% of claim)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 205lux @ 5.636m = 6512cd
All my Fenix reviews!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

There aren’t that many lights with XP-L HI in the 16340 format, which also offer integrated charging.  And among those, some include lights with cells that have integrated charging (which I don’t really count in this category).  So the E18r is a great (ie the only) light in this category with all these features, so it’s worth considering.

Conclusion

What I like

  • I love the optic Fenix uses in these lights
  • Onboard charging is good (at least in the CC phase, but a little draggy in the CV phase).
  • Small for a 16340 light with on-board charging
  • On-board charging doesn’t require a proprietary cell

What I don’t like

  • Proprietary charge cable
  • Charge port and switch too similar, and hard to feel the difference (without looking)

Up Next

Next week I’ll have more lights – at least one Nitecore, probably a Sofirn (one I’ve been looking forward to for a long while).  Maybe a charger.  Maybe a cell!  Who knows!  Maybe I’ll just take off for the new year!  Happy New Year!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Fenix for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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