There is a peculiar category of light (up to 1xAAA) gizmos among headlamps. According to marketing statements, they are made for fans of light hiking and jogging. There is no need for high brightness here, and a secure fit and light weight on the head are more important. And AA 14500 here are a logical compromise.
In general, about a year after the release, this pet of the Phoenix nest fell into my hands. Let’s see what this thing is.
- Neutral white CREE LED,
- Batteries: 1 x AA battery or Ni-MH battery
- Dimensions: 69.5mm x 40mm x 32mm
- Weight: 43 g (without batteries)
- Maximum brightness 240 lumens,
- Three brightness modes
- Protection against incorrect installation (polarity reversal) of batteries
- Low voltage warning — reminds you to change batteries
- Aluminium case
Packaging and appearance
The headlamp, like all other Phoenix models, is packaged in a good plastic box. From a gift point of view, everything is fine.
Inside, in a plastic blister, are: the headlamp itself, head mount, battery, o-ring, manual.
The headband is really compact, only 70mm in length. Due to its size and weight (43g without battery), it will actually be a good headlamp not only for jogging, but also for children. In terms of size, it is quite comparable to a protected 18650 or regular 21700 battery, which, you see, is quite a bit.
As for the appearance, the design of the forehead is quite decent. Not that there were any frills, no. Just a neat and proportionate appearance, which, even being devoid of any pretentiousness, immediately makes it clear that you have a brand model in front of you.
The headband is very good. Soft, light, perforated, with reflective elements. Only the gel sweat strip is missing.
On one end is the battery cover. The rolling is good, tenacious. The lid itself moves smoothly along the thread.
On the opposite side is the contact pad. There are no springs. Given that the specifics of use directly imply running — a strange decision, a second spring would be more appropriate. However, I tried to run with a headband, the contact does not disappear.
A button is located in the recess on the opposite end. The move is shallow, with a noticeable click.
In the middle under the TIR lens is one of the junior Cree LEDs, Fenix is modestly silent about which one.
That, in fact, is all. Small and neat headband.
On-off by short hold.
Switch modes on click.
There is no mode memory, the headpiece always starts in low mode.
How the Fenix HM23 headlamp shines
Well, quite unexpectedly — a pleasant neutral light. Not in the usual Phoenix sense (5000K+), but something around 4000K. Perfectly comfortable in terms of color temperature and light distribution.
But the stabilization here is far from ideal. Although even from AA, the headband could keep, if not the turbo, then the high completely stabilized. This step chart is typical for many modern Phoenix models, it could definitely be done better. Here it is appropriate to give a link to my Fenix HM65R review
For those who do not know what stabilization is — see my lamp selection guide.
To be fair:
a) the eye adapts and until some point you simply will not see a drop in brightness.
b) if you use a headband for jogging, then the capacity of a good battery will be enough for you and the run will end before the brightness drops seriously. If not… well… a box with 1-2 spare AA batteries takes up a little more than nothing. I would recommend good jars like EneloopFujitsuGP Recyko.
Actually, as for the latter, see for yourself. There are no miracles here, and it would be naive to expect them in this size from AA nutrition. Support for 14500 batteries could correct the situation.
Be that as it may, even such seemingly ordinary figures result in quite tolerable brightness. turbo is quite enough on the scale of the garden, and high may not be enough except for a crazy rally through a windbreak. In the normal mode of running with a light jog, these 70 lumens are more than enough, believe me — I conscientiously trotted through the evening country streets and did not feel the slightest inconvenience, except for shortness of breath, which was not related to the headband.
In short, I have no complaints about the light. The only thing that comes to mind is that it would be great to make another intermediate mode that way at 130-150 lumens. If there was decent stabilization in the forehead, the turbo could fall on it. And one could count on quite a sufficient hour in this mode.
Like pretty much everything phoenix has made in the last year or two, this headlamp leaves mixed impressions.
On the one hand, it looks good, has a pleasant and comfortable light. On the other hand, it lacks the 14500 power supply typical of this kind of headbands (which does not cause any particular inconvenience) and full-fledged stabilization (which will result in the need to take spare cans if the headband is needed all night).
If we are talking about using it specifically for the stated purposes of jogging, such stepwise stabilization will not cause any problems, the run will end before the brightness is at a frankly impractical level. Well, let me remind you that a spare one or two AA elements weigh and take up a little more than nothing.
Management is tolerable, in a typically Phoenix straight-line spirit, i.е. intuitive and will not cause the slightest difficulty even for a person far from the lantern theme. the reverse side of this is the absence of some kind of interface desserts such as tabs to the maximum-minimum modes. However, I do not think that this will be any problem if you take this flashlight for light jogging, as an everyday light source for physical education in the evening.
Where to buy and how to save
You can buy Fenix HM23 on Yandex Market Aliexpress SBERMEGAMARKET
You can save on purchases with coupons and promotional codes from the discount channel in telegram, see the link to it below in the “about the author” block