Armytek Predator PRO

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Armytek Predator PRO Magnet USB review: tactical flashlight

Armytek Predator PRO specifications

Brand/modelArmytek Predator PRO maget USB warm
LEDCREE XHP35.2 Hi
Max. Lumens1,400 lm (warm)
Max. Beam intensity / distance62,800 cd / 494 meters
Battery config.1*18650
Onboard chargingMagnetic USB (proprietary)
Modes4
Blinkies2*Strobe
ReflectorSmooth
WaterproofIP68
Review dateMay 2022

Introduction:

1Lumen isn’t new to Armytek, and we’ve reviewed half a dozen of their lights. Dave reviewed the Armytek Dobermann PRO, and the Armytek Viking PRO quite recently. The one in this review is the Armytek Predator Pro Magnet USB, another great tactical flashlight.

Armytek has been in business since 2010 and is especially known for its headlamps. Besides headlamps, they also make search lights, EDC lights, and keychain lights.

The Predator PRO Magnet USB is built upon the popular Predator series, which started production back in 2011. It was a 18650 flashlight with a CREE XP-G LED, and a max output of 450 lumens. About a decade later, Armytek upgraded the Predator along the way and stuck with the 18650 battery, but with new features and a maximum output of 1400 lumens (for the warm version), and 1500 lumens for the ‘white’ version.

To distinguish all the Predator models, the one in this review is officially called: Armytek Predator PRO Magnet USB (Warm Light)

Package quality.

The Predator comes in a nice retail-friendly package with a nice number of accessories. Armytek also included a Magnet Mount, and a Magnetic Remote Switch (MRS-01)

  • The flashlight: Armytek Predator PRO Magnet USB
  • Armytek 18650 battery with 3500 mAh
  • Pocket clip
  • Cigar grip ring
  • Lanyard
  • Holster
  • Magnet charging cable
  • Spare o-rings
  • Short manual
  • Armytek Magnetic Remote Switch (MRS-01) optional
  • Armytek Magnet Mount (AWM-03) optional

Although the included manual is the short version, the online version is very detailed. Armytek provides one of the most insightful and detailed manuals from all manufacturers, including several lanugage. They pay so much attention to them, unlike some cheaper brands that don’t even include a manual. Of course, those are in a different price category, but having such a detailed manual likely helps them with better customer service.

Flashlight in use and accessories

Armytek uses a distinct kind of coating, which is highly matte, which increases grip, even with the lack of knurling. But if you still think this flashlight is too slippery, you can either use the included Pocket clip or Cigar grip ring. Both accessories are included by default and also work as an anti-roll feature.

Armytek is probably in the list of top 3 manufacturers that include this many accessories. With the additions, there are 5 ways to carry your light… well… even more if you combine them.

  1. Empty
  2. With pocket clip
  3. With cigar grip
  4. With lanyard
  5. With holster

And many more options if you mix any of them. So, yes, that’s really nice to have, and I really appreciate that of Armytek.

The Predator uses a single switch for 2 user interfaces; Hunting and Tactical. Each has a unique UI when tightening or loosening the head from the battery tube (not the tailcap). More explanation in the UI section below.

It’s not your typical forward clicky or reverse-clicky switch. It’s a silent two-phase switch, with a half-press for momentary use, and a full click for continuous use. Keep in mind that the switch is quiet, which is great for tactical use, but is also (according to Armytek) 20 times more durable.

One additional great feature of this switch is that you can activate it with the palm of your hand. Try that with a normal mechanical switch!

It’s been pretty clear what this light is built for. Not for EDC, but for tactical use. It’s rather unique when you compare it to other flashlights.

Armytek Magnetic Remote Switch MRS-01

An additional accessory was included in the parcel, and that’s a magnetic remote switch. It can be used with Armytek’s tactical flashlight with magnetic charger, including the Armytek Viking Pro Magnetic USB, Dobermann Pro Magnetic USB, and Predator Pro Magnetic USB.

The great thing about it: you just pop it up on the switch, and it attaches itself with the built-in magnet. Easy peasy.

There are 2 operation buttons, a large one, and a tiny one. The larger one is for momentary-on, and the small square button is for continuous on. You can’t hear the large switch, and the small square switch can be heard but the sound is extremely small.

It also includes 2 rubber pieces that work to mount it on a Picatinny rail, and some velcro tape to attach to anything you like.

Armytek even made a professional video, just for this small accessory. Great job Armytek.

btw. this remote switch costs about $19

Armytek Magnet Mount AWM-03

Then there’s another accessory they included. And that’s a magnet weapon mount. The specifications are as follows:

  • Works with flashlight body between 1″ (25.4mm) and 2.52″ (64mm)
  • Fit on weapons with a diameter of 0.1-1.2 inches (8-30mm)
  • Durable and anti-impact design
  • Extra strong magnets (up to 18lb / 8.1kg)
  • 5 years no hassle warranty

Unfortunately, I don’t own any rifles or guns, so I can’t test this in terms of strength. I attached it to a table, and that works great. The Predator fits snug, and is relatively easy to fit.

Build Quality, and Warranty

It’s no secret that Armytek stands out in terms of coating. Unlike all other manufacturers, they use a very matte finish on the body that looks and feels distinctive. However, the coating is also easy to scratch and become ugly. If you scratch any surface with your nail, that mark will be there forever.

The body and tailcap can be unscrewed. The body has 2 o-rings on both ends, and all 4 are lubed, so tightening and loosening feels very smooth. The threads towards the head are not anodized, while the threads near the tailcap are.

But despite having 2 o-rings on both ends, Armytek still rates it at IP67, instead of the very popular (and likely not tested) IPX8. So the only way water could come in is through the switch? Perhaps.

Anyway, the pocket clip seems pretty strong, and I like the rubber cigar grip ring.

Armytek warranty according to the manual.

Armytek 10 years No-Hassle Warranty

Armytek provides free warranty repairs for 10 years (excluding batteries, chargers, switches and connectors, which have 2-year warranty) from the date of purchase if there is a document confirming the purchase. The warranty does not extend to damage during:

  • Improper usage
  • Attempts to modify or repair the flashlight by nonqualified specialists
  • Application in chlorinated, contaminated liquids or sea water
  • Immersion into liquids in case of broken leakproofness
  • Exposure to high temperatures and chemicals, including the liquids from defected batteries
  • Usage of low-quality batteries

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

The Predator is available in 2 different LED temperatures. (CCT color temperature). The one I’m reviewing is the ‘warm light’ which is more of neutral white than warm.

The warm version has a max output of 1400 lumens, while the regular version (cool white) has a max of 1500 lumens.

The LED is centered very well and sits in a pretty deep reflector. Armytek used a CREE XHP35.2 Hi, which is available in low CRI, and high CRI, ranging from CRI70-CRI90, and temperatures of between 2700K to 7000K. The one in this light I tested with the Opple Light Master and got the following:

High mode:

  • CCT: 4783
  • Ra (CRI): 89.4

Low mode:

  • CCT: 4546
  • Ra (CRI): 93.1

The beam is pretty ringy, but neutral white. The smoother the reflector, the more apparent any rings or any other irregularities. On the contrary, an orange peel would have an uneven surface and scatters the light, so better at hiding any abnormalities.

The bezel has a different-looking coating, and I’m not sure what material it is made of. The manual doesn’t mention anything either.

Dimensions and size comparison

  • Length: 160 mm / 6.29 ”
  • Head diameter: 41 mm / 1.618 ”
  • Body diameter: 25.37 mm / 1 ”

Weight: 

  • Empty: 142 g / 5.01 oz
  • With battery: 191.2 g / 6.74oz

Flashlight comparison

Size compared to 3 awesome Tactical flashlights

From left to right: Armytek Predator PRO Magnet USB, Nitecore MH25S, Fenix TK22 v2, Olight Warrior X 3

Driver & User Interface:

Armytek uses unique user interfaces on many of its lights, including the Predator PRO. The switch behaves like a forward clicky switch. Once a mode is selected, half pressing the switch doesn’t do anything.

It has 2 separate menus: Hunting menu and Tactical menu. And the interesting thing is that both menus have 2 different interface depending on whether you tighten or loosen the head.

By default, the light is shipped in Hunting mode menu.

How to change mode menus on the Armytek Pedator PRO Magnetic USB?

You can change mode menus by unscrewing and tightening up the head at least 10 times. When you stop and the head is tightened, you will see a short blink.

Hunting Menu

From off: Head tightened

  • Half-press: Momentary-on Turbo
  • 1 click: continuous Turbo

From on: Head tightened

  • 1 click: turns off

From off: Head loosened

  • Half-press: change modes from low to high and strobe*
  • 1 click: activate the mode for continuous use

*Strobe is part of the menu, but you can deactivate strobe by tapping the switch for at least 20 times, and then fully click the switch. You’ll notice a quick blink to indicate activation or deactivation of strobe mode.

From on: Head loosened

  • 1 click: turns off

Tactical Menu

From off: Head tightened

  • Half-press: Momentary-on
  • 1 click: continuous

In tactical menu, you have only 1 mode when the head is tightened. However, you can program this to be Medium or Turbo mode. How to do that? Once the light is activated with a full click, quickly loosen en tighten the head to toggle between these 2 modes. The last output you used will be memorized. Pretty handy feature.

From on: Head tightened

  • 1 click: turns off

From off: Head loosened

  • Half-press: Momentary-on strobe
  • 1 click: continuous strobe

From on: Head loosened

  • 1 click: turns off

Just like with the head tightened, you only have 1 strobe mode when the head is loosened. Again, you can program this to be medium-output strobe or high-output strobe.

Mode memory:

  • Yes, kind of

Low voltage warning:

  • Yes, the light will turn off at around 2.87V

Strobe/blinkies

  • Yes, you can have strobe as part of the main modes in Hunting Menu
  • In Tactical Menu, you have strobe when the head is loosened

Lock-out mode: 

  • No electronic lockout but you can twist the tail cap to physically lock out

PWM

  • None detected

Firmware / UI Conclusion:

The UI seems rather complicated at first, but it all is pretty common sense. Especially if you remember this is a tactical flashlight that has easy access to Turbo. I like the single modes with the head tightened. I started to appreciate a 1 mode flashlight a couple years back. I always take it with me doing beamshots.

I could just glue the bodytube to the head, so I will have another 1-mode flashlight… lol.

If the explanation wasn’t very clear, hopefully the following video will be.

Armytek Hunting & Tactical UI explanation video

Batteries & Charging

Armytek includes a 3,500mAh 18650 lithium-ion battery in the package. And since the Predator Pro has a built-in charger, you don’t need to buy a separate charger, and you are ready to go.

The battery itself is not proprietary, so you can charge it in any 18650 charger you might already have.

Charging is done with a magnetic USB cord, that attaches to the rear of the light. There’s a colored indicator LED showing different status.

  • Green blinking: evaluation of battery voltage.. (it will soon turn to a solid green light)
  • Red blinking: you need to clean the contacts
  • Orange blinking: USP power voltage is too low, or bad contacts. Clean the contacts, or just re-insert the USB cable.
  • Red: charging

I measured the highest charge current at around 1.2Amps. It takes the charger 3 hours and 53 minutes to charge the battery from empty to full. The charge current changes during charging, so that’s why it doesn’t take the expected 3 hours * 1.2A, but almost 4 hours. 4 hours is a little slow to be honest, but that charge rate will likely lengthen the battery’s cycle life.

Performance test

Lumen measurements:

All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.

For Amp readings, I use a Fluke 77III DMM. For higher amps I now use a Fluke 325 True RMS clamp meter. For microamps, I use a cheap DMM with an easy-to-use micro amp setting.

I copied the specs from the ‘white light’ online manual, except for Turbo mode, because that’s the only output shown in the written manual.

All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Armytek 18650 3500mAh

ModeSpecificationsat turn on30 seconds10 minutes
low40393939
med120105105105
high300264263260
turbo1400 lm12061193637
turbo* (low battery)931880

*I tested Turbo with a low battery (3.58V) to see how high Turbo was. Output was much lower.

Unfortunately, mine didn’t reach the claimed output.

Parasitic drain:

  • not sure, couldn’t measure

Runtime: battery life

The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.

Turbo doesn’t seem to be very impressive, dropping to below 200 lumens within 15 minutes on Turbo. Fortunately, you can turn back on Turbo when the battery is low.

According to the ANSI FL1 standards, the end of a runtime is when the output drops to 10% of the initial measurement (30 seconds after turn on).

ModeSpecified runtimeMeasured runtime
Low (Main1)32h27h08min
Med (Main2)12h20min12h10min
High (Main3)5h13min5h11min
Turbo*1h33min (700 lm after 3 min)1h19min
Battery life *Turbo modes can drop below 10% within a few minutes, so the actual useful runtime can be different.

Turbo’s runtime is actually 25 minutes, because it dropped below 10% of the initial 30 second measurement. But it still continued running till it turned off at 1h19min.

Throw Measurement

Measurements were taken indoors at 5 meters with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. Taken after 30 seconds.

SpecsMeasured CandelaMetersYards
Low12757178
Med3500118129
High8850188206
Turbo62,800 cd40,850 cd404442

The manual didn’t specifically mention the warm white version, so the candela specs may be different. But my measurements were quite a bit higher than I measured on mine. 40,000 cd isn’t bad, but not as good as 62,800 cd.

Beamshots

For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec , F4, 5000K

The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence at about 200 meters. 

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Armytek. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Looks nicely built
  2. Plenty bright
  3. A great number of accessories
  4. Interesting UI for tactical use
  5. Quiet switch
  6. Lots of extra optional accessories for gun mounting
  7. 2 LED choices, cool and neutral

Cons

  1. The coating is a little sensitive to scuffs
  2. Not reaching the claimed output and throw
  3. Turbo output drops within 15 minutes to below 150 lumens.

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

4 stars: ★★★★

Many stores sell ‘tactical flashlights’ but really aren’t. The Predator Pro is a real tactical light with a few very interesting features. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach the claimed output, nor throw. Also, the sustained output in Turbo isn’t particularly great.

One of the nice features is the quiet switch, and the other is the very interesting UI. It may not for everybody, but you only need to select 1 of the UIs, and go with that. I personally like the Tactical one, with 1 Turbo mode, and 1 Strobe mode.

Armytek Predator PRO discount code

Don’t forget to use our special 1Lumen 15% OFF discount coupon: Lumen15

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.

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