Tuesday, September 1, 2015

MecArmy IllumineX-1 Titanium (10180 battery) Review

This is the first time,I am reviewing something so small. The object of my review is the new unique,ultra-small flashlight MecArmy IllumineX in its Titanium version. Many of you are already familiar with the design of the flashlight. It is powered by a small 10180 battery,which means,it is 10mm diameter and 18mm long. It has the same diameter as an AAA battery and less than half the length!
But this was not enough for the designers and they have built a charging circuit,which allows the user to charge the battery directly in the flashlight. For a charging power supply is chosen the most common type of source. The IllumineX is equipped with a MicroUSB port and can be charged almost everywhere and every time you want. Almost every new electronic device come with a Micro USB cable,so you can charge the IllumineX with the same cable from a computer USB port,5V wall adapter,or mobile power bank.
The IllumineX is available also in Stainless steel,Copper and Brass versions.

As usual,I made my best to take interesting pictures. Some outdoor,some great macro pictures.
It's hard to tell the size looking at the pictures. On the pictures,the IllumineX looks much bigger than it is in reality,so check out the size specifications first.

Here are the main specifications of the flashlight.

Here you can see it in my hand(quite slim).

User Interface
The IllumineX has two lighting modes,High(130Lm) and Low(8Lm).
Operating the flashlight is possible by twisting the head. Lightly tightening activates the Low mode.
Tightening further(fully) activates High mode.
The flashlight is so small,it is impossible to twist it with one hand,without some training and skillful hands .

The MecArmy IllumineX flashlights are equipped with Cree XP-G2 LED.
The light from the LED is reflected by a TIR optic.
This type of reflector is used,because of its short depth.It also eliminates the need of a glass lens.
After using the IllumineX for some time,my impressions of the beam are only good.
Nice nearly neutral white beam. Smoothly blending from hotspot to spill. Quite floody beam,which is very pleasing for EDC use.
Great choice for LED and optic,resulting in a great beam

The LED on my sample is not centered quite well,but this does not bother me,because the beam is still excellent,without any visible defect.

Yes,the off center LED is visible on the picture below,but this is only on a picture.In real world use it is not noticeable.
The cameras usually make the beam look more contrasty than it is.

I measured 120 lumens on High mode and 12 lumens on Low mode.

1 meter, 1/20sec

The Titanium version comes in three different finishes.
Brushed,Sand blasted and Blued.
My has the brushed finish.

There are very thin lines,clearly visible on the macro pictures.
The lines work as a nice anti-slip feature,improving the grip.

Some very,very close up pictures.
You can see the machine work quality.

This is the packaging.

The IlluineX comes with two really small spare O-rings,a metal split ring and a nice bead chain.

Comparing with Fenix E99Ti(AAA),ThruNite"Ti"(AAA) and CQG Bullet(16340).

Here is a size comparison picture with some various keys.

The flashlight can be disassembled on three main parts.
It's great to see-the threads at both ends are square cut.This makes screwing/unscrewing action more smooth,and easier.
(Click on the pictures to see them in High resolution )

Here is a view of the back of the head. There is a metallic membrane,which does the switching to the High mode.
(Most SMD push button "electronic" switches have a similar membrane inside and the way of working is the same as this here).

Let's see how the charging feature works.
Most of the electronics-brightness regulating and battery charging is gathered in the top part of the body.
You can see the MicroUSB charging port,after unscrewing the head.
Then just connect a Micro USB cable and the flashlight starts charging the battery.

Red indicator light while charging. Green light,when the charging process is finished.
Fully charging the supplied 10180 battery,takes less than an hour.

The 10180 size batteries are not so widely distributed. This is why all of this small flashlights come with a 10180 battery in the set,ready for use.

There is a spring at the head,for good contact with the battery and to prevent battery rattling.

The MecArmy IllumineX-1 is a great little flashlight. Comfortable for different ways of carrying-on the neck,on the keyring,on the belt...
The beam is excellent and I have nothing to complain about it. I like the warmer white light,how flood is,the brightness is respectable.
I found the Low mode suitable for almost any occasion and the High mode needed just for rare special cases.
Some people may find the Low mode way too bright,but using the flashlight as a single mode light,makes sens of the brightness and saves us uncomfortable twisting until we choose the needed mode(as it will be if the light has 3,or more modes).
My run time test shows about 4,2 hours on Low mode,which is less than the manufacturer stated 6 hours.
I did not tested the High mode yet,but expect less than the stated 30 min.
The brightness depends on the voltage and is slightly decreasing with discharging the battery.The light is not constant at any voltage.
I did not see a low voltage protection,but the light gets very dim at the end telling us that it is a time for charging.

Activating the light with one hand is not an easy task,but this is the price for having a miniature flashlight,that can be carried as a necklace.
Build quality is on the desired high level. The charging function works well.
My impressions of the flashlight are only good,so far. A very useful light for EDC use.
I really like the idea for a really small flashlight,which can be charged easily. I also like the use of Li-Ion batteries,as they are much lighter than the NiMH batteries.

Thanks for reading!

The IllumineX-1 Ti was provided by MecArmy for test and review.