I’ll start with the main one: In my opinion, at the moment Sofirn SP32A v.2.0 is the best inexpensive LED flashlight with aliexpress with 18650 battery. With a small difference in cost, this model is functionally much more interesting than the long-term monopolist of budget flashlights — Convoy S2 +. Sofirn has a lot of models, the manufacturer does not stand still, unlike the convoy, which travels for a long time on proven s2+ C8.
specificationfrom the manual:
- Uses CREE XP-L2 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
- Operating voltage: 2.8-6.6V
- Batteries supported: one protected 18650 or two CR123A.
- Dimensions: 123mm(long) × 23.4mm(diameter)
- Weight: 65±1gram (without battery)
- Constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum alloy, premium type Ⅲ hard anodized, anti-abrasive finish for a durable and damage-resistant housing.
- Clear glass with anti-reflective coating.
- Degree of moisture protection IPX8: 2 meters under water.
- Reverse polarity protection, protects against incorrect battery installation.
- Mode memory: remembers the last brightness level in general modes, but does not remember the strobe mode. The next time you turn it on, it will be at the brightness level at which the flashlight was turned off.
- Advanced Thermostat (ATR):
- Automatically adjusts the brightness level when the temperature reaches 60℃ to avoid overheating the flashlight.
- Automatic shutdown: from Turbo mode to High mode after 3 minutes to avoid overheating.
- Power indicator: The LED indicator on the side switch flashes green for 5 seconds if there is enough power in the battery. The indicator turns red when the battery is low. If the indicator flashes red quickly, charge the battery.
Packaging and appearance
Packaging, in general, is not a gift. Sofirn uses them for all other similarly sized models. There is no designer beauty here, but even so it is much better than what you get by buying almost any Convoy.
The package includes the flashlight itself, 2 o-rings, lanyard, charger and battery, instructions. There is a version without charging with a battery.
Here is the flashlight. Sofirn SP32A V2.0, despite its low price, looks pretty decent. As for me, outwardly it is no worse than the same Fenix UC32 or something similar. In fairness, there is no need to look for something special in terms of design. But even so, the flashlight looks much more decent than the Convoy S2+. And here, it’s already possible to say that in terms of a gift, based on its appearance, a flashlight will be a completely acceptable option for an inexpensive gift or a magarych.
As for the size, then the flashlight does not stand out from the mass of other similar things. I would not say that this is a frankly pocket 18650 flashlight, there are also more compact ones. But even so, it is quite suitable from the position of the EDC thing. The hero of the review is exactly in the center.
Well, now in more detail.
The carcass is disassembled into 3 parts.
The spring in the tailcap is quite thick (for a flashlight of this type). The spring in the head is clearly thinner.
The clip sits tight, but not excessively. Does not scratch anodizing.
The knurling is the simplest, with small diamonds. However, she is quite tenacious. The grip is comfortable and secure
In the hand, the flashlight sits quite comfortably.
The cooling fins here are rather symbolic in size. To be fair, there’s nothing more to be done here.
The button is small, with a small depth of travel and a click, pretty sticks out.
There is an indicator light, standard for charging the battery and reaching the discharge, somewhere in the 3v.
The bezel is glued on, underneath is a smooth reflector about 2cm deep with an XPL2 on the bottom. Anti-reflective glass.
Actually, that’s all. Outwardly, absolutely nothing supernatural, but at this stage of the review, the flashlight more than justifies its small price.
Fortunately, the instruction contains a good translation into Russian. Surprisingly, for 20 bucks you get both the usual and stepless brightness adjustment.
Side switch controls all functions
First mode group: 6 modes (default group)
Click to enable. Press and hold for 0.5 seconds to turn off.
When pressed while the flashlight is on, the modes change from Eco to High in a cycle.
Double click activates Turbo, single click returns to the last mode.
Triple click activates the Strobe, one click returns to the last mode.
Four clicks — lock (not indicated in the instructions)
To change from Mode Group 1 to Group 2, press and hold the switch for 3 seconds. When changing the Mode Group, the flashlight will flash 2 times.
Group 2: Ramping (Fade)
When the light is in Group 1, press and hold the side switch for 3 seconds, the flashlight will switch to Ramping mode, the default brightness is 160 Lumens (medium mode).
In Group 2, to turn the flashlight on or off, you need to make a quick click.
Press and hold the side switch to increase or decrease the brightness. If you release and press the side switch again in less than 1.5 seconds, the brightness will reverse. If you release and press the side switch for more than 1.5 seconds, the brightness will change in the same direction as before.
The flashlight flashes once when it reaches the minimum (Eco) or maximum (High) modes.
Double click activates Turbo, single click returns to last brightness.
A triple click activates the Strobe, a single click returns to the last brightness.
When the light is off, press and hold the side switch for 3 seconds, it flashes 2 times and then switches to Group 1.
If you continue to hold the side switch after the brightness has reached the minimum (Eco) or maximum (High), then after 3 seconds the flashlight will switch to Group 1 by blinking 2 times.
When the flashlight is in Turbo mode, a lot of heat is generated. Hence, Turbo runs for 3 minutes, then the flashlight automatically switches to High. If you still need Turbo mode, select it manually. When the temperature exceeds 60℃, the flashlight will automatically turn off to avoid overheating.
Flashlight at work
Unfortunately, Sofirn doesn’t have as much flexibility in choosing LEDs as the convoy (at least I didn’t see non-cold light options), so here we get only cold white light. But, this is not a frank 6500K cold like the main ultra-budget bestseller s2 +, here the light is warmer and more comfortable, somewhere around 5500K.
There is no shim flicker in any mode.
The light distribution is quite convenient for close work. Not quite close, as it would be more convenient with a textured reflector, but already somewhere from 3-4 meters it is definitely comfortable to work with a flashlight. And, to be honest, for the bulk of users it will be convenient and close. I judge this from the position of a person who has the opportunity to compare. In general, in my opinion, there is a difference with S2 +, but from the standpoint of everyday use it is not significant.
Before talking about stabilization, it is worth mentioning about charging and battery. The capacity of the latter on the discharge corresponds to the declared one. Charging is simple, 0.5A, just charge at night.
currents: 0.01-0.11-0.34-1.14-2.5A (most likely, the latter is wrong, since I have problems with measuring currents greater than 2-3A). But, the photographs and graphics below complement it all enough.
A pleasant surprise for me here was the presence excellent stabilization. And this is a big plus with respect to the same convoy, where a small cost translates into a gradual drop in brightness as the battery is discharged.
In connection with some comments on my position about what I say that there is no stabilization in convoys (in their mass), here are two graphs for comparison: classic s2+ and M2 on a biscotty driver (C8+ shows a similar figure). The difference is palpable and that’s why I say that in one case there is stabilization, in the other there is not. I admit that I am overly critical here, because in lower modes this drop in brightness / min will be extremely insignificant, until some point the eye will compensate for it simply by adapting. But, nevertheless, this is not a full-fledged straight line on the chart. Therefore, it is easier for me to say that in one case there is stabilization, but not in the other.
A 3 minute turbo is plenty of time to see everything you need to see. I was genuinely surprised. That’s honest. One would expect that the full brightness in the turbo would only be on a fully charged battery. But no, turning on the turbo time after time, I saw, in general, the same brightness for the same time. Here you can see that the declared thermoregulation really works. Without cooling, the brightness drops rapidly, with cooling it stays at the same level until some point.
Be that as it may, I did not expect to see something like this in a flashlight with such a price tag. That’s a huge, huge plus.
high at a brightness of about 500 lumens is also enough for you for almost any household purpose within a radius of fifty meters that way. At the same time, I ran a test with the most popular Liitokala Panasonic NCR18650B budget batteries — the result is even better.
Well, here’s how the flashlight shines. It is clear that there is no point in waiting for some real range here, for this you need a fundamentally different flashlight. Your flashlight for your purposes. And Sofirn SP32A v2.0, as I mentioned above, is quite good within a radius of fifty meters. And if we are talking about a closed room such as a basement, then even more so.
Of course, since I see it as a clear contender for the title of the best budget flashlight, I will compare it with the long-term leader in this segment — Convoy S2 +
and that’s 50 meters.
To the heap there is also a video review, everything is clearer here.
They are extremely positive. Everything the same (or even worse, especially with regard to stabilization) could easily be seen with a nightcore or phoenix, only 2-3 times more expensive. For its price, the flashlight seems to be an exceptionally successful thing from the standpoint of everyday use.
Yes, it does not stagger the imagination with brightness or range. But they are definitely sufficient for an ordinary flashlight, and a decent range of modes (and who needs it, you can even more accurately adjust the brightness for yourself in stepless adjustment) is convenient for almost all situations of everyday use.
In case of extreme need, you can fry the turbo over and over again, thermoregulation is sane here.
A huge, exceptional plus for me was a full-fledged solid stabilization, which I did not expect to see in a flashlight with such a price. In this regard, Sofirn SP32A v2.0 is radically better than S2+ and the purchase, in view of all the above in the review of the latter, can only be justified from the standpoint of frank and maximum savings or tightness in funds.
+ stabilization and thermoregulation
+ Quite decent brightness for everyday purposes.
— cold light only
If Sofirn makes built-in charging and gives you an option with neutral light, managing to keep within $ 25, then in my opinion it will be a clear bestseller.
If you are looking for a gift for someone you know, a gift from the «inexpensive and useful» category, then Sofirn SP32A v2.0 will be the right option. Here, whoever wants to buy the kit right away, whoever wants to take a separate acc + charge (although I don’t see any obvious savings here). In the garage, basement, garden, just walking back and forth, he will show himself from the best side. By the way, many people use S2 + as a cycle light, not taking into account the smooth drop in brightness. Here the light is stabilized, you can ride without fear that in an hour the brightness will drop to half. I emphasize that I don’t blame this model in any way, it works out its penny price tag honestly. But the point of all of the above is that with such a difference in price, it is justified to add a little and get a radically better flashlight.
UPD. Several years have passed since the review was written. Although this flashlight itself is good even now, I still think that the 21700 model is more relevant, the brightest (literally) representative of which is the Wurkkos TS21, which I actually use as a regular EDC. I recommend review
Where to buy and how to save
Aliexpress► YANDEX-MARKET ►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