Imalent MS12 Mini Flashlight Review
Imalent has released the MS12 Mini, a flashlight featuring 12 Cree XHP70.2 emitters and three built-in cooling fans. Read on for testing!
Official Specs and Features
This is the only version of the Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight. There are apparently three emitter options, though. On the page, I see Cree XHP70.2 (seen in this review), Cree XHP70.3, and a warm Cree XHP70.2.
The MSRP and the going price for the MS12 Mini is $409.95.
First of all, the integrated fans are a big improvement over the heat shroud used in a few previous models. Output on this model is great and very high for a little while before stepping down. The fans seem effective, and the Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight can hold high output for quite some time. I would like a lower low, though.
The Big Table
|Imalent MS12 Mini Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Cree XHP70.2 (12)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$409.95|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||?|
|Charge Port Type:||Barrel Plug|
|Power off Charge Port||All modes|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||65000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||40458 (62.2% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||3|
|Claimed Throw (m)||1036|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||3980lux @ 5.883m = 137747cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||742.3 (71.7% of claim)^|
|Measured CCT Range (K)||5800-6200 Kelvin|
|Item provided for review by:||Imalent|
|All my Imalent 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).
- Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight
- Wall wart
- Nylon pouch
- Spare o-rings (2)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
The Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight build quality is great. Unlike some other models Imalent has released recently, this one has the fans built in. There are three fans and they work in unison.
The MS12 Mini also features built-in charging, which we’ll talk about more later. This metal (different metal than the flashlight – probably stainless steel) tailcap covers the charging port.
The charge port cover also serves as a good flat surface for tailstanding.
Here’s one of the fans.
When the fans are running you’ll know it – they are a bit loud. The fans turn on automatically on the third-from-lowest output and when the temperature gets over 50°C.
I only removed the head from the body – I didn’t do any disassembly here. You really might never choose to unscrew this part after the initial opening, since there’s built-in charging.
The contact points are big and beefy – for those high output modes, a lot of current will be going through these parts! The big button on the body half is a bit springy.
Size and Comps
149mm (length) x 83 mm (head diameter) x 56mm (body diameter)
Weight: 787g (battery included)
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.
Here’s the Imalent MS12 Mini beside the Acebeam X50 CRI, which I reviewed recently.
Retention and Carry
Two ways are included for carry of the MS12 Mini. First, we can talk about the lanyard. Maybe it’s more of a wrist strap. Either way, it can connect to the tailcap as seen below.
If installed improperly, the light won’t tailstand properly any more.
But if you install the lanyard/wrist strap as seen below, you can still tailstand properly.
A nylon pouch is also included. This pouch allows only one-direction installation, and the tailcap hangs out the bottom.
The light can’t be used while in the pouch.
Power and Runtime
The MS12 Mini runs on a “4000mAh 21700 Li-ion battery pack” which ships covered with this little plastic shield.
Here are a few runtime tests. The light does shut off when voltage is low, and when the light shuts off so do the fans. You can see what happens when the fans go off, too – the temperature shoots up a bit. That’s expected and is also a testament to how much cooling they are providing.
The MS12 Mini has built-in charging. There’s a charge port in the tail end, covered by the metal disk we talked about above.
A wall wart is included.
This has the same specifications as the Imalent DX80 wall wart, but the DX80 didn’t seem to have exactly the same plug as this one and wouldn’t work for this light. So just plan to use this wall wart (which is included, anyway.)
I am not able to log charge cycles for this type of connector, but a couple of tests indicate it charges fully in around 2 hours to 2h 15m. Quick!
When charging, a LED beside the charge port is red. When charging is complete this LED turns green.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
No mode utilizes PWM.
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, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. 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
There’s one switch on the Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight. It’s an e-switch and is very much like many other similar Imalent flashlights. It’s an e-switch on the head. The switch is “textured” and has a nice positive clicky action.
The action is very low. This switch can be rotated too. Not that you’d ever need to or that it serves any purpose to do that, but you might find it rotating under your finger, and be surprised by it. It doesn’t hurt anything, though.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory (excluding Turbo/Strobe)|
|On||Hold||Mode cycle (low to high order)|
|Off||Triple Click||On in Low|
|Off||Hold 3s||Manually turn on (or off) the cooling fans|
|Off||Click 4x||Iterate Lock (indicated by switch indicator light blinking a few times)|
The Triple-Click to Low is an interesting choice, and while unusual, I’m pleased that off-to-Low is possible!!
I could probably put the heat shield user interface in a separate table or section but it’s very simple. Click the tail switch to iterate the fans. That’s all there is to it. As far as I can tell, nothing else can be performed via the tail switch.
LED and Beam
In my copy of the Imalent MS12 Mini flashlight are Cree XHP70.2 emitters, and there are twelve of them.
Each has a tiny reflector, and that reflector is lightly textured.
All in all, I’d say the beam is surprisingly tight for using these big domed emitters.
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
I don’t know that I have the “warm” version (pretty sure I don’t) but these emitters are perfectly reasonable anyway – around 5800-6100K, and CRI in the low 70s.
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!
What I like
- Massive output
- Simple user interface
- Shortcut to low (triple click)
- Good throw
- Fans are built in and not attached via a “heat shield”
- Fan control is automatic (but can be controlled manually, too!)
- Very high sustained output levels
What I don’t like
- Barrel plug charging – USB-C has the same charge capability (19V)
- Stepdown off Turbo is very quick
- Low of 1500 lumens (and measures way above 1500 lumens, too)
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