Wowtac A5 Flashlight Review

Wowtac has a new wall-of-light in a 26650 format light.  Wowtac has made some other great lights, with “technical support by Thrunite.”  Here’s my review of the Wowtac A5!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

I only see one version of this light, but it wouldn’t surprise me if both NW and CW were available.  In fact the box confirms that there are NW and CW, at least in theory.

Price and Coupon

The A5 is going for $59.95 right now $49.95 on amazon!  That is an amazon referral link.

Also my Wowtac rep emailed me this offer to share.

 “Leaven an honest review for A5 on Amazon, qualified to get one FREE A1 flashlight, CONTACT review@wowtac.com to get in.”

Take that deal for what you will….


Short Review

Low price for a complete package and it exceeds throw and output specs.  It’s a nice package and good light!

Long Review

The Big Table

Wowtac A5
Emitter: Cree XHP70 (NW)
Price in USD at publication time: $49.95 on amazon!
Cell: 1×26650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): 0.00009
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? No.  Lowest three modes with cell.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 3650
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 3674 (100.7% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 234
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 630lux @ 5.363m = 18120cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 269.2 (115% of claim)*
All my Wowtac 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

  • Wowtac A5 Flashlight
  • Wowtac 5000mAh 26650
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Wowtac’s package is just like Thrunites – a printed cardboard box.

Build Quality and Disassembly

The A5 is a sturdy light. I have no build quality complaints whatsoever.

The knurling around the cell tube looks pretty aggressive but it’s actually not – at least not so much to be abrasive on hands.  It provides adequate grip.

The tailcap technically unscrews but my impression is that it’s not intended to be removed.  Much easier to unscrew the head from the body.

The head has a few thick fins for cooling.

The cell tube is not reversible.

The head does not have a spring; instead it has a brass button.  The tail actually has two springs.

#photonphreaks !!

Size and Comps

Dimensions: 115mm*35mm*32.5mm
Weight: 212.7g with battery.

It’s not a terribly small light, but it’s a 26650 with charging.  So you wouldn’t expect it to be all that small.

Still shorter than an S2+!

Retention and Carry

Really the only way to carry the A5 is either in hand or with the included lanyard.  There is no pouch, pocket clip, or magnet.

Power and Runtime

Wowtac includes the cell appropriate for the A5 – it’s a 26650 cell, at 5000mAh.  The included cell is flat top, and labeled as “high discharge.”

With an adapter (read: pvc tube) inside the body, an 18650 should work just fine.

Here’s a runtime on Turbo.  Output holds for around 3 minutes before dropping, likely due to temperature.  At 30 seconds the output is much higher than the claim, at >3700 lumens.  The light steps down to around 1800 lumens, which isn’t a trivial output, for 90 or so minutes.  This level is the same as High.

High output looks just like Turbo, but without the blip of >3700 lumen output.  The runtime is a little longer, as expected.

In both cases, the light shut off when the cell voltage was low.  Around 3V.

Wowtac also put on-board charging in the A5.  It’s a common micro-USB port in the head, opposite the switch.  The appropriate cable is included.

The port is covered with a rubber push in cover, which feels quite secure.

Charging is at around 2A, as seen below.  The two tests look a little different, but that’s not a deal breaker – 2A from a micro-USB could come down to something awry in my charge setup during one test; not necessarily anything in the light.  Full charging takes around 3 hours.

Also the manual only states that the indicating side switch does anything during charging.  Ie it doesn’t indicate when voltage is low during runtimes.  That’s a bit of a letdown.  Anyway, during charging, the indicator is red.  When charging is complete, the switch is blue.  When charging is abnormal, the switch is purple.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 3650 3m+130m 3674 8.52
High 1750 8m+140m 1822 2.95
Medium 300 10.2h 322 0.39
Low 30 46h 31 0.04
Firefly 0.3 37d ~ 0.00

Eight point five amps on Turbo means you’ll need a very good quality cell to run this light.

PWM

No PWM detected.

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

This Wowtac has a single side switch, which is an indicating e-switch.  There are two emitters, displaying red and blue.  The cover is clear silicone, and a little low and hard to find for my tastes – I prefer these side switches to be a bit proud like on the A4.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (memory, LMH only)
Off Hold Firefly
Any Double Click Turbo
Turbo Double Click Strobe
On Click Off
On Hold Mode cycle (LMH only)

That’s the same UI as other Wowtacs (A4 for example) and also many Thrunites (TC20 for example).

LED and Beam

In the A5 is a Cree XHP70, and my sample is neutral white.  The reflector is shallow and orange peel.  There’s mostly hotspot, but with some spill still.

Firefly is quite low!

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

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package
  • Hits claimed numbers
  • Absolute wall of light at >3700 lumens for 3 minutes
  • High being 1800 and holding for 90+ minutes is pretty incredible
  • Available in NW and CW both
  • [Debatable] Looks to use 70 and not 70.2, which I think has worse Cree rainbow

What I don’t like

  • The switch is a bit hard to find, particularly without looking

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wowtac 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

6 thoughts on “Wowtac A5 Flashlight Review

  1. Is the tint halo as yellow/green as your beam shot photo seems to shows? That’s one thing I’m not crazy about with my Thrunite lights – the yellowy/ greenish halo around the spot.

    Is this a 5000k version? A shootout between this and the TC20 would be interesting. Thanks for the review.

  2. EXCELLENT REVIEWS ALWAYS SO THOROUGHLY DONE..ONE OF THE BEST OUT OF 3 ON UTUBE WORTH WATCHING SO AS TO B ABLE TO MAKE A SOUND DECISION ON PURCHASING ❗❗ THANK U CHEERS

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