Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC Flashlight Review

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The Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC flashlight has a small form factor, due to the thin optic used by Fenix, and supports AA cells. The reverse clicky tailswitch is great to use.  Read on for some testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Fenix E12 V2.0 EDC flashlight product page.

Versions

Just one version of the Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC flashlight is available.

Price

The price of the Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC flashlight is $26.95, and it’s available now.


Short Review

This is a well-built little light.  I have always liked these optics that Fenix uses in small lights, and this is no exception.  I would prefer a warmer emitter and strongly prefer for the Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC flashlight to accept 14500 cells.  Overall, for the price, this is a nice little light.

Long Review

The Big Table

Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC Flashlight
Emitter: MATCH CA18 (CW)
Price in USD at publication time: $26.95
Cell: 1xAA
High Runtime Graph Medium Runtime Graph
LVP?
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 160
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 151 (94.4% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 8.9
Claimed Throw (m) 68
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 90lux @ 3.504m = 1105cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 66.5 (97.8% of claim)^
All my Fenix reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.

What’s Included

what's included

  • Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC Flashlight
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-ring
  • Primary AA cell
  • Manual and papers

Package and Manual

open package

I secretly prefer boxes instead of these bubble packs…  Since I keep all boxes from anything, boxes store much better.  Also this package uses a lot of plastic!  I will say this though:  I appreciate that Fenix has a package design and sticks with it for these smaller lights.  Very recognizable.  Very consistent.

manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

on side

The build quality is nice, and there are a few well considered features on this little light.  First of all is the size – this light is small, even for an AA light.

From the top-down, here are the parts.  You’ll note that the tailcap has this reeding – the tailcap is not for removal.  I believe it might even be threadlocked.

top down 1

top down 2

top down 3

The head has minimal reeding for grip, but it’s sufficient.  The head is what you’ll remove to swap the cell.

top down 3

There’s also some branding on the body.  This silkscreen is over the ribs but still looks good.

branding

lanyard holes

headstanding

tailstanding

Here you can see the bezel, which has a rose color.  Sorry to say that I’m unsure if this bezel is press-fit or screwed in – I can’t make it budge.

headstanding detail

Now on to the threads – as I said above only the head is removable.  One of the nice features is the threads, and in particular how they interface with the head.  The head sits down over the body in such a way that getting the threads to grab goes very smoothly.  Much more so than most other lights.  I can’t point to exactly why, except to say it’s because of how the head flairs on the body side.  The threads are square-cut, anodized, well lubed, and moderately long.

open showing threads

The head end has only a button.

open showing head contacts

Inside the cell tube, you can see that there’s a spring.

Open showing tail end spring

glamor shot

Size and Comps

  • Length: 3.06″
  • Head Diameter: 0.75″
  • Body Diameter: 0.69″
  • Weight: 0.96 oz (Excluding Battery)

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

beside torchlab boss 35

Here are some other AA-sized lights.  As you can see, the Fenix E12 V2.0 AA flashlight is quite a bit shorter than the rest!  Notably shorter than the Skilhunt E2A, which is similar in almost every other way (except that it adds 14500 support).  You can see my Skilhunt E2A review here.

with other AA-sized lights

Retention and Carry

The Fenix E12 V2.0 AA flashlight ships with a friction fit pocket clip installed.  This clip fits only on the tail end but is a two-way clip.  This means the light can be carried bezel up or down, though bezel up would reveal over an inch of the light (fully 1/3 of the light sticking out of your pocket).

pocket clip

I am normally not a fan at all of the two-way clips but this one is very slim, and overall quite nice.

lanyard holes

It also sports a few holes, which can be utilized for attaching the lanyard.

pocket clip lanyard hole

But generally, you should attach the lanyard through these two holes on the tailcap.  Both sides of the tailcap have holes.

clip hug and lanyard holes

The tailcap is just a “bipod” but still, there’s enough area to allow for tailstanding.

tailstanding

Because the clip is two-way, this light will work well as a hatlight.  And everything negative I said about bezel up carry would be a positive for hat light use.

Power and Runtime

The Fenix E12 V2.0 AA flashlight is powered by a single cell.  Support is for only 1.5V cells, but that includes primary (of which one is included), and NiMH (which was used for testing here).  There is no support for 14500 cells.

with cells

Lack of support for 14500 cells is disappointing because I don’t like having to remember if a light will or won’t work with whatever cell I grab that will physically fit.  This is my reason for desiring 14500 support.  If there was a higher output mode that was only accessible with a 14500 cell, well, that’s just a bonus.  My desires are for lack of being required to remember anything.  

The cell fits into the light in the usual way – positive end toward head.

cell installed

Here are a couple of runtimes.  I don’t really note any low voltage protection, but the output is so low by the end there, that you’ll notice.

runtime graph high

Output on Medium is near perfectly flat for hours and hours.  Pretty good, if low output.

runtime graph medium

The manual states clearly that the lack of low voltage protection is intentional.  And as long as it’s intentional, I don’t mind it.  This light is clearly designed to be used with primary cells, which you’d really want to drain completely, and taking NiMH cells below 1V doesn’t hurt them as bad as it would a li-ion cell.  So this gets a pass.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 160 1h 151 1.54
Medium 30 13h 27 0.13
Low 5 70h 0.01

Pulse Width Modulation

What you see here isn’t PWM, and I don’t notice it during use.  Whatever it is (“sawtooth”) it’s very fast anyway.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, which is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

The Fenix E12 V2.0 AA flashlight is operated by a single reverse clicky mechanical switch on the tail.

tailswitch

The switch is accessible from the sides, because of the bipod tail setup.

tailswitch profile

There’s minimal travel on the switch – maybe 1-1.5mm, and it’s very clicky.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Low
On Tap Mode advance (LMH direction)
On Click Off

And that’s it.  There are no strobes, no hidden anything, just 3 modes with no memory.  (This is good.)

LED and Beam

The emitter chosen for this light is a “Match CA18” which is the same emitter we saw in the Fenix E03R.

emitter and optic

Details on this emitter are scarce, but I’d love to know if there’s some good reason for going with it.  I know the optic here is quite specialized, so there could be limited clearance, or maybe some other reason.  I have my doubts, because the Fenix E16 uses a similar optic, and has a Cree XP-L HI.  Same with the E18R.  All in all, I love the beam profile that this little optic provides, but I would much rather have a warm emitter like the E16.

on

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

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package (includes cell)
  • Extremely simple user interface
  • Reverse clicky switches are great!
  • Beam profile from this optic is good for my personal preference
  • Very short – overall the size is good

What I don’t like

  • No 14500 support
  • Cool white emitter

Notes

  • This light was provided by Fenix-Store.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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1 thought on “Fenix E12 V2.0 AA EDC Flashlight Review”

  1. You should test a 14500 just for giggles. I’m sure plenty of people have searched for this online. Myself included.

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