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Jetbeam E1 Titanium Flashlight Review
|1*CR123A / 16340
Jetbeam has built many good looking titanium flashlights in the past. Ones like the Jetbeam TC R2, TCR3 and TCR20 to name a few old ones. And it’s nice seeing Jetbeam continue making these special editions. Another one I reviewed some time ago, was the Jetbeam DM25, another interesting-looking titanium flashlight.
The Jetbeam E1 arrived in the same orange plastic box as the DM25. I already complained about the lack of professionality of Jetbeam’s packaging in the Jetbeam RRT M1X and RRT M2S reviews, but I will do it again. Why don’t they make a nice original package for this kind of premium flashlight? I have no idea. But they could have spent a few extra dollars by making it a real collector’s item with a beautiful display box. But no, they just took a $1 box of AliExpress and dropped the flashlight in. And this time they even forgot to add a manual.
- The Jetbeam E1
- 1 spare o-ring
Handling of the light
I love the design of this flashlight. That is the main reason I got it. I didn’t care for the battery type at first, but it would have been nice if they made it 2mm wider to fit 18350 batteries, which have almost double the capacity of 16340 batteries.
The flashlight body is tapered towards the rear. At the narrowest part is a ring with holes, which looks like a cigar grip ring. And the only place that this flashlight has relatively sharp edges, it’s here. They aren’t razor sharp, but they do feel painful when you push on them.
There is only 1 switch, that is in the tail cap. It’s a forward clicky switch, so you can use it momentarily, but it will also change modes.
Build Quality, and Warranty
When it comes to its build quality, I am not 100% sure how to rate this. It looks really good, and all parts fit well, but there is a high pitch noise that I can hear in the lower modes. This could mean some parts aren’t tightened enough.
The whole flashlight can be taken apart because no Loctite or glue is used anywhere. You can get access to all parts and pieces without a problem. Still I don’t really know where the high pitch sound comes from, but at times it’s gone.
In terms of sharp edges, the Jetbeam E1 isn’t particularly smooth on all the corners. The cigar grip titanium ring (the one with the holes) has some relatively sharp corners. It’s not sharp enough to cut your fingers, but it doesn’t feel too comfortable when pushing the edges onto your skin.
Since there is no manual, nor any papers related to warranty, I really don’t know anything to say about warranty. I assume their standard terms are in place, which you can find here: http://www.jetbeamlight.com/services_c11.html
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
The Jetbeam E1 works with modules, and mine came with a single CREE XP-L and is supposed to produce 1300 lumens. But since this is a titanium flashlight and they use modules with an LED and driver, the likeliness this is going to produce 1300 lumens is very slim. They might have copied the specs from the triple emitter, which should be powerful enough to reach 1300 lumens.
A single Cree XP-L in a smooth reflector does show some artifacts, but you can always use some DC Fix to clean up that beam. It does have a defined hotspot. One more thing I noticed. Usually, AR (anti-reflective) coated lenses have a purple hue, but the one on the E1 has a blue hue.
The bezel is flat, so you can’t see when the flashlight is on, putting the flashlight with the head down. only the high pitch sound will warn you if that happens.
And if you’re into trits.. please read that carefully.. the Jetbeam E1 has 3 slots in the tail switch, 6 in the tailcap, and 6 in the side of the head.
Trit slots are measured:
- In head: 6 pieces with the following diameters: 6.8mm long x 1.57mm
- In tailcap: 6 pieces with the following diameters: 8.26mm long x 1.9mm (but the slots are longer, probably 12.5mm from bottom to top and entrance from the top is only 1.8mm
- In tail switch: 6 pieces with the following diameters: 6.25mm x 1.52mm
- Length: 96.16 mm / 3.785”
- Bezel diameter: 29.2 mm / 1.15″
- Head diameter widest: 30.47 mm / 1.199 ”
- Body diameter narrowest point: 19 mm / 0.75”
- Empty: 82.8 g / 2.92 oz
- With Trustfire 16340 battery: 101.5 g / 3.58 oz
Some excellent EDC flashlights compared:
From left to right: Jetbeam E1 (16340), Reylight Krystal (18350) Reylight Triple Ti (18350) Jetbeam V10R Ti (16340), Jetbeam DM25 (18350)
Driver & User Interface:
Here comes probably one of the worst parts. And this is one of my main rants here. The UI is horrible, including the PWM and a high pitch noise. Blinky modes are accessible from every mode with 2 quick clicks. It happens often that you accidentally get into a blinky mode when you’re switching modes. I have never seen this kind of horrible UI. (It’s probably worse than the next-mode memory UI). The switch is a forward clicky by the way.
The driver diameter is exactly 20mm, so I hope to find a replaceable driver for this one to make it perform as well as it looks. This is really a shame.
There are basically 2 mode groups. Normal modes and Blinky modes. It’s too easy to move from the normal mode to the blinky modes. And it takes some practice do move between them correctly. It’s a timing thing.
- 4 main modes
- Multiple (4?) blinky modes
- Half-press: momentary On (all modes, including the blinky modes)
- Single-click: On
- Single-click: Off
- Yes, even including all the blinky modes
Blinky modes menu:
- In order to get into blinky modes form the main modes… you will get there even when you try not to. It’s a matter of how fast you do the clicking. I can’t really say the difference, but a Quick double-click will move from normal modes to blinky modes, and a normal, or slow double-click will just forward the menu cycle, this can be all blinky modes, or normal modes.
Low battery warning:
- When the battery runs low, the flashlight starts flickering. You will notice that you have to replace batteries.
- Yes, one of worst I have seen in the last couple of years. And this is not even a budget flashlight. The lowest mode has the worst. Let’s call it Moon for now. Then the next one has a higher PWM but still visible if you shake the light, and this mode you can also hear a high pitch noise. Almost as if some parts of the flashlight aren’t tight enough.
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
The UI is one of the worst I have ever seen, in combination with the PWM and high pitch noise.
Batteries & Charging
Before you order the Jetbeam E1, you need to understand that it runs on CR123A and 16340 lithium-ion batteries. If they made it like 2 milimeters wider, it would had fit a 18350. This also means, that the low voltage protection is set to really low. This is mainly because it can be used with non rechargeable CR123 3V batteries.
Discharging your lithium-ion batteries till 2.5 volts is not really recommended. Even during my runtime tests I stopped the test when the lux meter (with ND filter) showed 0 lux, while I still saw light. At this point the light was just flickering.
Since there are springs on both sides (tailcap and driver) you will be able to use flat tops as well as button tops.
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.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged but old Trustfire flames 16340.
|@ 30 sec
So it’s not doing anything close to the advertised 1300 lumens. But I guess they copied the specs from the one with the Triple LED module.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
Full runtime graph of all 4 modes with a 16340 Trustfire Flames lithium-ion battery.
The same graph, but then focused on the first 60 minutes
The batteries used for these tests haven’t been used much, but they are pretty old. Please keep this in mind. The behavior in the runtime charts may be different with newer, higher amp batteries.
4/4 (Could be called Turbo) runs for 1 minute when it drops from roughly 570 lumens down to roughly 250 lumens. It continues with that output till about 7 minutes and 20 seconds before it drops again to roughly 155 lumens. It then continues slowly till 1 hour and 30 minutes. There is a short increase again in output and then dies slowly.
3/4 (Presumably high mode?) starts at roughly 255 lumens and runs for 1 minute before it drops down to 90 lumens. Runtime is about 2 hours.
2/4 Output is pretty consistent and starts dropping around 3 hours 30 minutes till it jumps up again around the 4-hour mark. It then drops to about 1 lumen and continuous that for another 20 minutes or so.
1/4 (Presumably low mode?) is very stable at 25 lumens for almost 9 hours.
Measurements were taken indoors at 5 meters with a high-end Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. The numbers were taken 30 seconds after turning on.
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.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Banggood. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- One of the most interesting designs I have seen
- One of the most horrible UIs I have ever encountered
- PWM visible in lowest modes
- High pitch noise in lowest modes
- Poor packaging
- No accessories or manual
2.5 stars: ★★⋆
If you’re a Titanium maniac who loves exotic designs, the Jetbeam E1 definitely makes your heart beat faster. But that is probably everything I have to say positively about it because the user interface is one of the worst I have encountered. No joke. I would only recommend it to people who are not afraid of replacing the driver and possibly the emitter to get you a really nice titanium EDC light.