Warning: Pic heavy, as usual.
Klarus has recently come up with a new 1xAAA light, the Mi X6, in stainless steel. Let’s see how it compares to other 1xAAA lights …
- Emitter: Cree XP-G R5 LED
- Four outputs: 26 lumens (5.7 hours) —— 3 lumens (66 hours) —— 85 lumens (70 minutes) —— Strobe 85 lumens (2.3 hrs)
- Battery: 1 x AAA (Alkaline, Ni-MH). 10440 Li-ion use is not recommended.
- Digitally regulated output, with no PWM (for flicker-free performance)
- Stainless Steel body for corrosion resistance and a solid feel
- Reverse polarity protection, which protects the flashlight and battery from damage
- Switch: Twist switch. Switch modes by loosening and tightening the flashlight head
- Lens: Toughened ultra-clear glass
- Reflector: Textured orange peel reflector
- Body Material: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 71.6mm (Length) x 12.7mm (Head) X11.6mm (Body)
- Net weight: 18g (Excluding battery) 10. Waterproof to IPX-8 standard (2 meters)
- MSRP: ~$45
Packaging is fairly typical for a 1xAAA light. Inside the cardboard box is the light, extra o-ring, small split ring and manual.
From left to right: Energizer L92 lithium AAA, Klarus Mi X6, 4Sevens ReVo, 4Sevens Preon1, ITP A3 EOS Upgraded (XP-G), Maratac AAA, Ray S20, Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi, VersaTi.
Klarus Mi X6: Weight 16.2g, Length 72.9mm (battery installed) x Width 12.8mm
4Sevens Preon 1: Weight 15.3g (with keychain clip), Length 75.6mm x Width 14.0mm (bezel)
4Sevens ReVo:: Weight: 11.3g , Length 72.7mm (battery installed) x Width 12.9mm
ITP EOS A3 Upgraded: Weight: 11.6g (no clip), Length: 69.7 x Width 14.1mm (bezel)
The Klarus is quite petite for the class – very similar to the 4Sevens ReVo. I don’t have the stainless steel ReVo to compare, but I imagine weights would be comparable.
Mi X6 body is stainless steel. Lettering is sharp and clear, in a muted dark gray against the shiny background. While there is no anodizing to speak of, the fluted ridges on the head help with grip. I found the light can be operated one-handed.
Tailstanding is not possible, but the Mi X6 does have a substantial clip attachment point.
The Mi X6 doesn’t use a spring in the tailcap, but it does have the same sort of flexible-looking base as my ReVo.
Head contains a brass heatsink, which should help for durability and thermal transfer. Note the soft black disc on the positive contact plate, to limit rattle.
By the way, not only does this all look very similar to the ReVo, but I’ve discovered the Mi X6 head can screw onto the ReVo body and activate. The ReVo head threading seems just a little too thick to screw on to the Mi X6 body, though.
Mi X6 comes with a textured reflector (OP) and uses a XP-G emitter. The emitter was well centered on my sample (it is the angle of the light in the picture above that makes it look slightly off).
Which brings me to the white-wall beamshots. All lights are on 1xAAA Sanyo Eneloop NiMH, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences. All beamshots taken immediately upon activation.
I find most 1xAAA lights to have fairly diffused beams, with broad hotspots.
Turn on by fully tightening the head/bezel against the body. The light is off when the bezel is loosened slightly.
Light comes on in Med output to start. To select a different level, twist the Mi X6 off and then back on again within 1 second. This will advance to the next level in the following repeating sequence: Med > Lo > Hi > Strobe.
There is no memory mode.
Here’s a nice find – there is no sign of PWM on the Lo/Med modes of the Mi X6. Like the ReVo, the Mi X6 also seems to use current-control for its low modes
Strobe was 9.9 Hz in my testing.
All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
Effective November 2010, I have revised my summary tables to match with the current ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.sliderule.ca/FL1.htm for a description of the terms used in these tables.
No surprise here, max output and throw is in a similar range to other XP-G lights. It does have one of the lowest Lo modes I’ve seen, though.
First thing you will notice is the Mi X6 has a step-down in output on Hi, at 3 mins into the run. Again, this is just like the ReVo.
Output is typically slightly lower on the Mi X6, compared to the ReVo. This is interesting given my ReVo has an XP-E R2 and the Mi X6 has a XP-G R5. But otherwise, performance of the Mi X6 seems to be dead ringer for the ReVo on Med and Hi on alkaline and NiMH – similar excellent runtime, and similar well-regulated pattern. It is just L92 lithium where there is a relative efficiency drop with the Klarus light.
Head-twist “tighten-to-turn-on” designs always have the potential to be “battery crushers.” However, the Mi X6 uses the same sort of flexible connection in the tail of the light as the ReVo, and I haven’t experienced any issues with that light.
Strobe is on the main sequence (i.e. not “hidden”)
Light can’t tailstand.
As I noted in earlier 1xAAA reviews, emitter output bin alone is a poor predictor of performance in this class. I’ve seen a number of XP-G R5-equipped lights that are no brighter than their earlier XP-E Q5/R2 counterparts, and runtime efficiencies that are all over the map. Circuit design is obviously pivotal for good performance – and the Mi X6 doesn’t disappoint on this front. It is clearly using a good quality current-controlled circuit, which is rare in this size light.
No point beating around the bush – the overall build, output and runtime patterns of the Mi X6 are remarkably similar to 4Sevens ReVo. I have to assume they are using a similar basic circuit – both even step down in an identical manner.
One difference is the sequence – the Mi X6 starts on Med, and includes Strobe in the repeating sequence. I’m somewhat neutral on the Lo > Med > Hi vs Med > Lo > Hi sequence fight. Although I personally prefer lights that start on the lowest level, the Med-first sequence might make more sense for the general non-flashaholic crowd. But I personally don’t like seeing Strobe here – it clutters the interface.
I’m not generally a fan of large stainless steel lights (i.e. too heavy), but the material works well in the 1xAAA size. The extra weight is negligible, and adds a feeling of increased sturdiness. Mode switching is smooth, and I was able to do it one-handed (thanks to the fluted head).
All said and done, if you don't mind the mode sequence, this seems to be very good option for those looking for a tiny stainless steel 1xAAA for keychain carry.
Klarus Mi X6 provided by goinggear.com for review.