Eagtac DX3B Clicky Flashlight Review

I’ve handled enough Eagtac lights to know that I like having Eagtac lights – I’ve gone some bigger lights by the brand, and one of my main carry lights is one of their smallest (D25AAA, in Nichia, regretfully discontinued).

Today I have the DX3B Clicky, one of the many lights in the DX3B series.  This one packs a ton of features, along with a bunch of options, too.  Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

Wow the number of versions.  First of all the versions specific to this model name, the DX3B Clicky.  There’s an XHP35 HI.  An XHP35 HD.  An XHP50.2 (what I have here).

Then aside from the emitter options for the DX3B Clicky, there’s the DX3B Clicky Pro (which differs in at least that it has a crenelated bezel).  There’s the DX3B Mini (which looks to lose the mechanical tail switch and rely solely on the e-switch side switch).  Finally there’s the DX3B Mini Pro (which at the very least adds a crenelated bezel, a magnet in the tailcap, doesn’t have a mechanical switch, and includes a 18650 extension tube.)

It looks like the aforementioned emitter options are available in all the lights.

Price and Coupon

These retail for $88.  Both Pro versions retail for $105.


Short Review

I didn’t really remember liking an XHP 50.2 light all that much before this one, but I have to say, the temperature is quite nice.  The DX3B Clicky is simple to use, and the dual switch has a good and specific purpose – I expect the Mini (or Mini Pro) would be more suited to my use cases.

Long Review

The Big Table

Eagtac DX3B Clicky
Emitter: Cree XHP50.2 (NW)
Price in USD at publication time: $88.00
Cell: 1×18350
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Dual
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1720
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1638 (95.2% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 170
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 363lux @ 4.61m = 7715cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 175.7 (103.4% of claim)*
All my Eagtac reviews!

* Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Eagtac DX3B Flashlight
  • Eagtac 1300mAh 18350 Lithium ion cell
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2, different sizes)
  • Spare charge port cover
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

This light ships in Eagtacs standard package.  A blue box with a model-specific sticker.  Inside is also cardboard, which means this package is very recyclable – a great thing.  (Unless you’re like me and just keep the package anyway, which maybe renders the point moot?)

The manual is specific only so far as the DX3B line goes – they all share a manual.  The manual is ok – I would really like a more specific UI description, at least to differentiate the similar models with and without the tail clicky.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Not unlike other Eagtac lights, this one’s finely built.

The body tube, with unanodized threads on both ends, is reversible.  It’s all kinds of cumbersome to do that way, though.

The head has only a small brass button, but the tail has a spring.

The bezel unscrews easily.

Look at all the thermal compound!

Size and Comps

Officially
Head Diameter: 22.5 mm
Body Diameter: 22 mm
Length: 98 mm
Weight: 80 grams (including cell)

This isn’t a short 18350 light by any means.  Then again the BOSS isn’t the longest.  Still the DX3B packs a dual switch interface, and on-board charging.  So some of the 98mm length can be forgiven.

Retention and Carry

The main way to carry this light is the pocket clip.  It’s a friction fit clip, and quite long.  A good amount of light sticks out of the pocket when clipped, but due to the length of the light, it’s not top heavy at all.

The clip is steel and offers two points for attaching a lanyard.  That’s not the most secure means for attaching the lanyard, however.

The most secure means would be the loop around the tailcap, as seen below.

This is a plastic ring, just the same as is on the other Eagtacs I’ve reviewed, and aside from being a great lanyard attachment point, also serves as an interesting (if unique) way to unscrew the tailcap.  Unscrewing the tailcap is facilitated by this ring, because the ring spins freely.  Sort of use the ring as a guide, and grip the tailcap, and twist to unscrew, then release enough pressure on the tailcap knurling but not the ring so that you never lose your place on the tailcap…. confusing to describe, but nice to use in practice (namely because the shoulder of the clip sits high enough to otherwise get in the way of unscrewing the tailcap).

Power and Runtime

Eagtac provides the prime cell for running the DX3B Clicky light.  It’s a 1300mAh 18350.  I didn’t test if 1300mAh is accurate but essentially there’s no way…  I’ll overlook that flaw for now, and just see if the cell performs adequately.  (The highest rated 18350 currently is 1100mAh as far as I know, despite Efest claiming higher in the past.  They ultimately downgraded that cell.)

This is a button top protected cell.

Using the provided cell, I achieved the following results.  First Turbo.  The runtime is…. quite short – under 18 minutes after a reasonable stepdown (likely, hopefully temperature based).  The light shuts off with LVP and a cell voltage of 2.77V, which is good, proper LVP.  The runtime does match the specification, though, so this is nothing to complain about.

High of around 900 lumens (claimed 905) is pleasantly flat for the duration, and while I show a cutoff of 3.04V, it’s likely lower (it was only checked after a bit of bounceback).  The claim for this mode is “0.55h” so practically close enough to meeting spec here, too.

Also there’s a warning from the indicating switch, starting at around 3.0V.  The switch blinks only in blue.

As stated above, the DX3B Clicky sports on-board charging.  This happens by means of a micro-USB port in the head area, opposite the e-switch.  A cable is provided for charging.

The silicone charge port cover attaches over a little metal button on the light.  The cover seems fairly secure, but the edges aren’t contoured.  In my use of the light I found them fairly prone to becoming inadvertently dislodged.  Aside from that they were a fidget point, so I found myself messing with the edges mindlessly.  That’s not a problem, but won’t be ideal for their long term durability.  I’d rather this be a waterproof port, or have a better cover.

Charging is very good, at 1A.  Also very consistent, which is another great bonus.  This charge rate would be good even if the light was a 18650 light (and while I haven’t looked yet to see if there is a 18650 version, knowing Eagtac, there is.  I’d expect it to be called the DX6B, and it looks like [/me searches] that there isn’t one past the extension tube offered for one of the DX3B models.)  The charge test below is only a display of how the charge circuit works; it’s not a test of the actual capacity of the cell.  There are number of things that can make the cell capacity different from what is shown below, besides the fact I’m logging at the USB source.  I’ll call the cell a 1000-1100mAh cell and I’d be satisfied with it at that capacity.  It’s not impossible that Eagtac branded these when Efest was still labeling their 18350 cells as 1300mAh, so I can’t really fault too badly them for the mislabel.  But I hope future versions will have an accurate specification.

During charging, the side switch will let you know some things –

1 Flash: <50% Battery Capacity
2 Flash: 50-75% Battery Capacity
3 Flash: >75% Battery Capacity
Constant: Charging is complete

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Max 1720 0.2h 1638 4.04
Max 2 1190 0.4h 1250 1.64
High 905 0.55h 868 0.51
Med 335 2h 309 0.16
Low 120 6.3h 101 0.02
Very Low 12 75h 12 0.00

PWM

The below scopes don’t indicate true PWM but it’s a variation that is visible to me, at least on the Very Low mode.  It’s not a huge deal, but slightly annoying on Very Low.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the DX3B Clicky.  The first (“first” because this one must be “on” for the light to output any light) is the mechanical switch on the tail.  Being mechanical means if this is off, there’s no completed circuit for light – also means the e-switch on the side won’t have any parasitic drain whatsoever.

The mechanical switch is very clicky, and a little proud of the tail – enough that tailstanding isn’t going to work with it.  (If you want a tailstanding DX3B, you’ll want one of the other models, probably).

The second switch is an e-switch on the head.  It’s a big button.  Clear, and has an indicator inside.  It’s also very clicky.  Due to the distinct shape of the cover of the charge port, it’s unlikely that you’ll confuse the two.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Turbo)
Off Side Switch (SS) Any Action No result
Off Press TS Momentary Turbo
Off Hold SS, Click TS Very Low (Lowest output)*
On Click SS Mode advance (L>H direction)&
On Hold SS No Action
On Double Click SS No Action
On Click SS 15x** Strobe
Strobe Click SS SOS
SOS Click SS Low
On Click SS Battery Indicator on SS^
On Hold SS >5s Sets the SS startup level

* This is the only way to get to “Very Low” output.  Also there’s a preflash of what seems to be the next higher mode – Low.  It’s slight, but worth mentioning.  Also, this is programmable, and if you program this startup mode, you’ll lose the lowest output.
& Excludes Very Low (despite what the manual says – it’s a little ambiguous on this point).  Manual says “Max>Very Low>Low>Med>High>” – five output levels.  In all honesty “Very Low” is referenced a bunch and including it the manual mentions 5 modes – there are certainly 6 modes.  (At least until you program the startup mode, and then the 6th, lower mode, seems to disappear.)
** Different for lights without the tail switch
^ Indicator is as follows:
1 Flash: <20% Battery Capacity
2 Flash: 20-50% Battery Capacity
3 Flash: 50-80% Battery Capacity
4 Flash: >80% Battery Capacity

LED and Beam

My review copy has a Cree XHP50.2.  I was fortunate enough that Eagtac heeded my request for the Neutral White version, which is the J4 bin.  The NW option takes a hit on output (the CW is rated at 1850 lumens) but the NW is very pleasant – I’d highly recommend this option.  The reflector is lightly orange peel.

Also just look into that head…. such a nice fill of emitter and reflector….

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

It’s no surprise that the XHP50.2 NW isn’t rosy like the Nichia 219b, but it’s more about realities and expectations here.  The NW is quite warm, and I find it enjoyable.  It’s also fairly uniformly temperatured, which is also nice.

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  I use that site a lot!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Full package light
  • Meets specifications
  • Offered in many variations – it’s unlikely you won’t be able to find one that suits your needs

What I don’t like

  • It’s long for an 18350 light
  • Preflash on lowest output (at least until you lose the lowest output by programming)
  • Programming low is fiddly.  Clicking the SS advances the mode – which is memorized? (per manual it should be the mode you clicked from, not the mode you clicked to.  In practice it’s the mode you click to that gets memorized.  This means to memorize Very Low, you have to click from Max.  It’s confusing.)

Notes

  • This light was provided by Eagtac 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 BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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